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Reducing handling errors on a Mach Zehnder interferometer and illustrating single photon interference
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

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



Abstract [en]

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 [1], 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

[1], 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.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-129287OAI: diva2:651337
Available from: 2013-09-25 Created: 2013-09-25 Last updated: 2013-09-25Bibliographically approved

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