Questions on Spin & Mixed States


  1. What determines the polarization of a wave? Give an example of this.

  2. Imagine that you allow natural (unpolarized light) pass through a polarizer with its axis of polarization held vertically. What is the direction of oscillation of the electric field of the light?

  3. Give an example to demonstrate that the direction of polarization of light affect its interaction with matter objects?

  4. Explain the difference between plane and circular polarization. What is the difference between circular and elliptical polarization?

  5. What are the natural states of polarization of a photon?

  6. Explain how R and L polarizations could "add" to produce, say, horizontal polarization. Do this by drawing a series of vector diagrams.

  7. A photon leaving the screen and landing on your retina is found to be in the R-state. What is the direction of its angular momentum?

  8. Imagine that instead of a photon of question 6, above, we are dealing with an electron. How would you respond to the question now?

  9. Draw the schematics for a Mach-Zehnder interferometer and explain how it works.

  10. Describe the quantum eraser experiment using photons in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer.

  11. Give an example of a mixed state.

  12. How does the quantum eraser experiment described in this section demonstrates existence of mixed states?

  13. What are entangled photon pairs? How are they produced?