Author Topic: Double Slit from a Photon's Perspective  (Read 2257 times)

Offline threred

  • Little Puffin
  • **
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Double Slit from a Photon's Perspective
« on: January 02, 2015, 11:14:04 PM »
In a couple of different episodes of TP, Ben has mentioned that when a photon travels from point A to point B, since it travels at the speed of light, from the photon's point of view the time is instantaneous.

He explained this by stating that as you go faster and faster towards the speed of light, relative clocks appear to slow down. So, travelling at the speed of light, as a photon does, all those clocks don't tick once, therefore no time passes for the photon.

I was thinking about this in regards to the double slit experiment - or rather variations such as Wheeler's delayed choice experiment.

From the photon point of view won't all of the experimenter's actions occur simultaneously? Has this idea been discussed anywhere? And what are the repercussions, philosophically or otherwise?

~R



Offline bobmath

  • Miocene Terror Bird
  • *******
  • Posts: 100
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Double Slit from a Photon's Perspective
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2015, 10:23:32 AM »
I don't think Ben has answered a question here in a while, so I'll just do my best Clippy impression and say, "it sounds like you're asking a question about relativistic quantum mechanics." Which I haven't studied. Time dilation is a special relativity thing, wave/particle duality is a quantum mechanics thing, and SR+QM=RQM.

On a related note, does anyone know where I can find a nonterrible description of Wheeler's thing? The ones I've found online are ridiculous.

Offline threred

  • Little Puffin
  • **
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Double Slit from a Photon's Perspective
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 10:42:30 AM »
A couple of links from where you sent me I ended up reading about massless particles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massless_particle) which confirmed "...these particles must always move at the speed of light and hence do not experience time."

I've yet to read an article discussing the implications of this concept.

As for a description of Wheeler's delayed choice experiment, I just used wikipedia's page as my reference.

~R

Offline bobmath

  • Miocene Terror Bird
  • *******
  • Posts: 100
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Double Slit from a Photon's Perspective
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 06:21:44 PM »
The thing is, in QM, photons don't have to move at the speed of light. It's just much more likely for them to do so, if they're traveling more than a really tiny distance.

That wikipedia article on Wheeler's delayed choice is pretty bad. It keeps talking about how "the photon decides whether to be a wave or a particle", which is nonsense because photons don't "decide" anything. They always act like photons (not waves or particles).
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 06:27:55 PM by bobmath »