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The strange properties of the photon: a case study with philosophical implications by Alfred Driessen, Prof. Emer. University of Twente.
Talk presented at Journée « Science, raison et foi » on
Causalite, Temps et Origine de l'Univers
CASTELVIEIL , MARSEILLE, November 12 , 2013
Abstract: When dealing with extremely small and rapidly moving particles, the two great theories of modern physics, Quantum Mechanics and Relativity have to be taken into account. This is especially true for the photon with mass zero and travelling at the speed of light, the maximum speed allowed in Relativity. Strange result are expected, see for example the delayed choice Gedanken-experiment of Wheeler about light travelling over astronomical distances. There is evidence that causality in this and other situations has its origin outside the realm of time. For the philosopher it is a challenging task to understand the observations of the physicist and apply the metaphysical concepts time, space, causality, choice and others adequately. In this talk an attempt is made to look at the challenging behavior of the photon as a physicist as well as a philosopher.