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4 August 2005 The photon wave function
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We review and sharpen the concept of a photon wave function based on the quantum theory of light. We argue that a point-like atom serves as the archetype for both the creation and detection of photons. Spontaneous emission from atoms provides a spatially localized source of photon states that serves as a natural wave packet basis for quantum states of light. Photodetection theory allows us to give operational meaning to the photon wave function which, for single photons, is analogous to the electric field in classical wave optics. Entanglement between photons, and the uniquely quantum phenomena that result from it, are exemplified by two-photon wave functions.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
A. Muthukrishnan, M. O. Scully, and M. S. Zubairy "The photon wave function", Proc. SPIE 5866, The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?, (4 August 2005);


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