September 5, 2012

My new FQXi essay is available

My entry for the latest FQXi Essay Contest is finally in, it was delayed due to some IT issues. The Contest orienting topic was:
Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?

Well here it is:
Can Repeated Interactions Show More About a Photon Than Current Theory Allows?

Essay Abstract

We explore whether it is possible in principle to find the "circularity" (amount of circular polarization) of a single photon to a degree not allowed in conventional quantum theory. The thought experiment involves passing the same photon many times through a half-wave plate (with intermediate correction) so the tiny "spin" interaction of the photon is amplified enough to transfer measurable angular momentum to the detector HWP. HWPs invert coefficients for RH and LH states instead of "collapsing" the photon into a circular basis. Because passing one photon many times through a HWP should be like passing many photons once each though the plate, the transferred angular momentum would be revealed on a continuum. Such a measurement would violate the projection postulate (which says that only yes/no answers to probabilistic detection questions can be found for a single particle).


Folks, I need your votes as much as anybody else "running" for some accomplishment that depends on them. Check out the proposal, remember it doesn't have to prove the point, just to be a thought-provoking attempt and exploration. All I ask is for what you think is fair. Thanks.