Philosophical analysis of wave-particle duality of photons

Bhatta, Varun S (2020) Philosophical analysis of wave-particle duality of photons. Doctoral thesis, NIAS.

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Thesis advisorSarukkai,
Abstract: This thesis is a study about the insights and challenges provided by the concept of wave- particle duality for the understanding of physical entities. I specifically analyse the duality claim of photons and the related interference phenomena. To begin, I explore several notions of duality found in mathematics and various branches of science and present the similarities and differences amidst them. After this, with regard to wave-particle duality of radiation, I highlight the plurality associated with this concept based on a few important interpretations of duality. I then focus on the wave-particle duality claim about photons articulated in the context of two experiments: the anti-correlation experiment and photons’ behaviour in the Mach-Zehnder interferometer experiment. I argue that this claim can neither be substantiated through the complementarity principle nor by claiming that photons behave analogously to classical waves and particles. This detailed examination of the experiments brings to the forefront yet another confusion about photons that I subsequently evaluate. I discuss the controversy concerning the interpretation of the interference phenomenon of photons and identify the sources of this confusion. Through these arguments and conclusions drawn in this thesis, I demonstrate how philosophical analysis is crucial for the understanding of scientific entities.
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: philosophy of science, wave-particle duality, photons
Subjects: Doctoral Programme > Theses
School of Humanities > Philosophy of Science
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2021 15:00
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2023 05:39
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    Funders: Sutasoma Trust, London, ICPR (JRF for two year) and Tata Trust
    Projects: Philosophy in Action Project funded by Tata Trust

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