I’ve been reading a lot about of quantum theory to the point where things get so weird, there is no reference point to call “reality”! But, I digress. I took a step back to review what I know from the ground up, including the classic, double slit experiment.
In the early days, light was assumed to act like a particle until the double-slit experiment demonstrated that light, passing through a pair of slits in close proximity, (i.e.,: the double slit) will manifest an interference pattern - classic wave behavior. Later, as I understand it, the experiment was repeated with a beam of electrons, the same interference pattern appeared [allegedly] demonstrating that all particles can behave as a wave, too. Last, I read in the same article that the experiment was later repeated again, but this time with a stream of photons*. This time, the interference pattern supposedly proved the photons were [per the experts] interfering with themselves; thus, a photon could be in two places at once - one of many weird behaviors of quantum physics.
My questions are:
a) Based on my basic understanding of quantum theory, it is random whether a particle or wave will manifest. Yet, in all these cases, a wave’s interference pattern appeared every time. And, I would assume the results would be the same ad infinitum. …Yet, shouldn’t the result be totally random? (Maybe we expect a wave, so we see a wave pattern! :eek:)
b) In a stream of photons flowing through the double-split, how can it be said say for sure that one photon is interfering with itself (this, being two places at once)? Is it because the stream is precision-aimed to pass through only one slit? Are they sure there is one and only one photon passing through the double-slits?
Bonus! c) Related to this, Einstein discovered the photovoltaic effect first by increasing the brightness of a light, and then increasing the light’s frequency. The goal was to give the photons more energy (to free electrons in a conductor and create a current), but only some higher frequency would work. Yet, doesn’t a brighter light emit a stream of photons of higher energy, too**?
*Isn’t a light beam and a stream of photons the same thing?
**I realize a light can be made brighter by increasing the intensity by moving the light closer; thus, the light would produce a richer field of photons. However, a higher wattage bulb also produces a brighter light…so wouldn’t the higher wattage bulb produce a stream of higher energy photons, too? …eventually becoming high enough to match those photons of the higher frequency (if one keeps increasing the wattage)?