Single Photon Interference

How does a single photon show a phase shift? Using the interference pattern created by light traveling through a double slit, the resource asks whether the interference pattern would still show if only one photon of light is sent at a time. The video sets up an experiment to find out and displays the resulting data as part of the Veritasium playlist.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Research the history of scientists' theories about light
  • If the class is not familiar with the double slit experiment, you can find it here
Classroom Considerations

  • The class should have some concept of light and its properties
Pros

  • Contains a graphical display of the waves being out of phase
  • Provides an explanation of why the light in a double slit experiment using the sun appears as a blob
Cons

  • None
Common Core

NGSS