Experimental Bounds on Classical Random Field Theories

Foundations of Physics 45 (7):726-734 (2015)
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Abstract

Alternative theories to quantum mechanics motivate important fundamental tests of our understanding and descriptions of the smallest physical systems. Here, using spontaneous parametric downconversion as a heralded single-photon source, we place experimental limits on a class of alternative theories, consisting of classical field theories which result in power-dependent normalized correlation functions. In addition, we compare our results with standard quantum mechanical interpretations of our spontaneous parametric downconversion source over an order of magnitude in intensity. Our data match the quantum mechanical expectations, and do not show a statistically significant dependence on power, limiting quantum mechanics alternatives which require power-dependent autocorrelation functions

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