1 October 2013 Single-photon detection, truth, and misinterpretation
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Abstract
Within this investigation it is critically questioned, if we really can detect "single photons", respectively the response of a single quantum transition by use of modern photon detectors. In the course it is shown that avalanche photodiodes (AVDs) especially in the "Geiger" mode by virtue of its geometry (effective area) indeed can detect "single photon" events as proclaimed by the manufacturers, but they tacitly assume the bandwidth of originating visible source being not greater than ~ 2.107 [Hz]. A short excurse to solid state basic physics makes it obvious applying the adequate doping accomplishes "single photon detection". Nevertheless this does not mean there is a 1:1 correspondence between a photon emanated from the source location and that detected within the detector module. Propagation characteristics were simply overlooked during the numerous discussions about "single photon" detection. Practical examples are worked out on hand of a pin- / and a AVDphotodiode.
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E. H. Berloffa, "Single-photon detection, truth, and misinterpretation", Proc. SPIE 8832, The Nature of Light: What are Photons? V, 88320G (1 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2022644; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2022644
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