Interference of Independent Photon Beams

Phys. Rev. 159, 1084 – Published 25 July 1967
R. L. Pfleegor and L. Mandel


Interference effects produced by the superposition of the light beams from two independent single-mode lasers have been investigated experimentally. It is found that interference takes place even under conditions in which the light intensities are so low that, with high probability, one photon is absorbed before the next one is emitted by one or the other source. Since the average number of registered photons per trial was only about 10, photon correlation techniques were required to demonstrate the interference. The interpretation of the experiment, and the question whether it demonstrates interference between two photons, are discussed.


  • Received 16 February 1967
  • Published in the issue dated July 1967

© 1967 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

R. L. Pfleegor and L. Mandel

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

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