Focusing on the unresolved debate between Newton and Huygens from 300 years ago, The Nature of Light: What is a Photon? discusses the reality behind enigmatic photons. It explores the fundamental issues pertaining to light that still exist today.

Gathering contributions from globally recognized specialists in electrodynamics and quantum optics, the book begins by clearly presenting the mainstream view of the nature of light and photons. It then provides a new and challenging scientific epistemology that explains how to overcome the prevailing paradoxes and confusions arising from the accepted definition of a photon as a monochromatic Fourier mode of the vacuum. The book concludes with an array of experiments that demonstrate the innovative thinking needed to examine the wave-particle duality of photons.

Looking at photons from both mainstream and out-of-box viewpoints, this volume is sure to inspire the next generation of quantum optics scientists and engineers to go beyond the Copenhagen interpretation and formulate new conceptual ideas about light–matter interactions and substantiate them through inventive applications.

part |2 pages

Section 1: Critical Reviews of Mainstream Photon Model

chapter 1|8 pages

Light Reconsidered

ByArthur Zajonc

chapter 2|12 pages

What Is a Photon?

ByRodney Loudon

chapter 3|14 pages

What Is a Photon?

ByDavid Finkelstein

chapter 4|22 pages

The Concept of the Photon—Revisited

ByAshok Muthukrishnan, Marlan O. Scully, M. Suhail Zubairy

chapter 5|20 pages

A Photon Viewed from Wigner Phase Space

ByHolger Mack, Wolfgang P. Schleich

part |2 pages

Section 2: Epistemological Origin of Logical Contradiction

part |2 pages

Section 3: Exploring Photons beyond Mainstream Views

chapter 8|14 pages

What Is a Photon?

ByC. Rangacharyulu

chapter 9|12 pages

Oh Photon, Photon; Whither Art Thou Gone?

ByA. F. Kracklauer

chapter 10|8 pages

The Photon Wave Function

ByA. Muthukrishnan, M. O. Scully, M. S. Zubairy

chapter 12|22 pages

Violation of the Principle of Complementarity and Its Implications

ByShahriar S. Afshar

chapter 13|10 pages

The Bohr Model of the Photon

ByGeoffrey Hunter, Marian Kowalski, Camil Alexandrescu

chapter 14|8 pages

The Maxwell Wave Function of the Photon

ByM. G. Raymer, Brian J. Smith

chapter 16|14 pages

Photon—The Minimum Dose of Electromagnetic Radiation

ByTuomo Suntola

chapter 17|20 pages

Propagating Topological Singularities: Photons

ByR. M. Kiehn

chapter 18|10 pages

The Photon: A Virtual Reality

ByDavid L. Andrews

chapter 20|20 pages

Phase Coherence in Multiple Scattering: Weak and Intense Monochromatic Light Wave Propagating in Cold Strontium Cloud

ByDavid Wilkowski, Yannick Bidel, Thierry Chanelière, Robin Kaiser

chapter 22|16 pages

What Physics Is Encoded in Maxwell’s Equations?

ByB. P. Kosyakov

chapter 23|14 pages

From Quantum to Classical: Watching a Single Photon Become a Wave

ByMarco Bellini, Alessandro Zavatta, Silvia Viciani

chapter 26|14 pages

Do We Count Indivisible Photons or Discrete Quantum Events Experienced by Detectors?

ByChandrasekhar Roychoudhuri, Negussie Tirfessa

chapter 27|8 pages

Direct Measurement of Light Waves

ByE. Goulielmakis, M. Uiberacker, R. Kienberger, A. Baltuska, V. Yakovlev, A. Scrinzi, Th. Westerwalbesloh, U. Kleineberg, U. Heinzmann, M. Drescher, and F. Krausz