Photoelectric counting measurements as a test for the existence of photons
Abstract
It is pointed out that it is impossible to distinguish between photons and classical wave packets by measurement of photoelectric counting statistics for any state of a light beam for which a classical description exists. Therefore, an experiment with a thermal light source recently proposed by Karp (1976) as a test for the existence of photons can yield no information on this question, even if it should be able to distinguish between two different statistical models of a light beam. The quantum nature of the optical field can, however, be inferred from other photoelectric measurements, some of which are briefly discussed.
 Publication:

Journal of the Optical Society of America (19171983)
 Pub Date:
 August 1977
 Bibcode:
 1977JOSA...67.1101M
 Keywords:

 Electrophotometry;
 Optical Measurement;
 Photons;
 Radiation Counters;
 Statistical Analysis;
 Electromagnetic Fields;
 Light Sources;
 Mathematical Models;
 Statistical Tests;
 Thermal Emission;
 Wave Packets;
 Optics