Reducing handling errors on a Mach Zehnder interferometer and illustrating single photon interference
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
At Vetenskapens Hus there is an exhibition where single photon interference
is demonstrated for younger students, using a Mach Zehnder interferometer,
to arouse their interest in physics. This report describes the work done
to improve the interferometer for this exhibition by making it user-friendly,
less exposed to the risk of handler errors and to create a more interesting
experience for the students. In order to accomplish this, custom electronics
were made by hand and a user interface was created using LabView. Also,
a manual was prepared for the staff at Vetenskapens Hus with instructions
of how to work the components of the system and how to align the interferometer
One of the most notable concepts in quantum mechanics is the concept of
wave-particle duality. When Einstein introduced the photon as a concept
to describe the photoelectric effect , the older debate about the nature of
light took another turn and one of the most well known experiments showing
the wave and particle properties of light is Young’s double-slit experiment
, which shows that interference patterns are obtained even when single
photons are sent through the slits.
However, in this thesis we are focusing on another experiment, using an
Mach Zehnder interferometer (Will hereafter be referred to as MZI). The
MZI is used in a set-up at Vetenskapens Hus demonstrating the concept of
wave-particle duality for younger students to arouse their interest in physics.
Vetenskapens Hus was founded cooperatively between KTH and Stockholms
Universitet to create a place where younger students get a hands-on experience
of natural sciences.
This thesis describes the work to improve the MZI set-up at Vetenskapens
Hus by making it easier and safer to handle, and to illustrate the interference
in more detail.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 37 p.
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-129287OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-129287DiVA: diva2:651337