Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 9

Today we ran into a small problem with the speed of the platform. We thought we could see the interference with the speed we were using, but it was bunched up. We could not be sure of the interference because of noise (light from the outside). When we tried to slow the platform down, that setting didn't have enough power to push the platform. After rebuilding almost everything, we geared the motor down so it runs slowly and smoothly. Here is the new apparatus.

John Bergesen, a good friend who has seen the full light version of the experiment, had trouble posting these comments, so I'm going to post and answer some of them here:

Is the Sens-L being scanned (using the Lego train) over the plane we have seen in the past that showed the interference patterns?
Yes, the active area on the counter is very small so we need to move it to read the full interference pattern.

Are you still using the pin/polarizer configuration?
Not for the first tests, but we plan to run all the tests again in low light. Right now, we are just using a needle because then we can work on perfecting our detection and the least amount can go wrong with the setup.

Are you trying to show that a single stream of photons aimed at the pin will find its way around the pin as if it were two independent streams on either side of the pin?
Yes, that is part of it. The other part we'd like to show is the quantum side of a simple
experiment, such as the two slit experiment.

If you have a hypothesis you want to show, how do you plan to prove it from your measurements?
We are looking for a sine wave in the measurements. A low photon rate would be a dark spot and a high photon rate would indicate a bright spot.

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