Newton thought of light rays to be streams of tiny particles called corpuscles which cause sensation of light upon striking the retina of our eyes. But how can such corpuscles coming from two different sources interfere to give dark and bright fringes unless they kill each other at the site of dark fringe? This probably led Thomas Young to say that light is some kind of wave motion. But what kind? The answer to such a question came from Maxwell who showed that it is electromagnetic wave motion. However, his electromagnetic theory failed to explain black-body spectrum and photoelectric effect. It was through the works of Planck, Einstein and Compton, it became clear that in these experiments light behaves as particles called photon, which are different from Newton's corpuscles. The three facets of light - corpuscles, waves and quanta, as viewed by the three great physicists - Newton, Maxwell and Einstein are the subject matter of this book. The author has tried to show that these three are related in the sense that one can pass on from the first to the second and therefrom to the third by certain prescriptions. The physics of all the three are presented in great detail in three chapters.
Trilochan Pradhan, Honorary professor Emeritus, Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India and its founding director (1974-89), obtained his PhD from the University of Chicago, US in 1956. He headed the Theoretical Nuclear Physics Division at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata, West Bengal, India (1964-74) and served as the Vice Chancellor of Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India (1989-91)
Newton's Corpuscles Lagrangian Formalism Fermat's Principle of Least Optical Path Principle of Least Time Orbits of Corpuscles in Coulomb Media Ray Equation Method Hamilton-Jacobi Method Wavization of Newtons's Corpuscles Introduction Bohr-Sommerfeld Wavization de Broglie Wavization Schrodinger Wavization O () Group for Corpuscles in a Coulomb Media Maxwell's Equations for Wavized Corpuscles Wave-Corpuscle Duality Maxwell's Waves Plane Wave Solution Plane Wave Solution Spherical Wave Solution Convariant form of Maxwell's Equations Polarization Properties of Electromagnetic Waves Maxwell's Equations in Terms of Potentials Scalar and Vector Potentials Pseudoscalar and Pseudovector Potentials Energy, Momentum and Angular Momentum of the Electromagnetic Field Energy Momentum Angular Momentum Oscillator Expansion of the Electromagnetic Field Symmetries of the Electromagnetic Field Introduction General Formalism Poincare Invariance Scale Invariance Special Conformal Invariance Duality Invariance Coherence properties of Maxwell's Waves Interference of Amplitudes Interference of Intensities Einstein's Quanta Black-body Radiation Photo-electric Effect Compton Effect Epilogue to Einstein's Theory Quantization of Maxwell's Theory First Quantization Second Quantization Covariant Quantization Conservation Laws in Quantized maxwell Field Introduction Poincare Invariance Scale Invariances Special Conformal Invariance Conformal Group Duality Invariance Supersymmetry Algebra Coherence Properties of Quantized Maxwell Field First Order Coherence Second Order Coherence Correlation Experiments Single Photon Source Wave Nature of a Single Photon Uses of Single Photon Sources Local Symmetries And Interactions of Photons Introduction Local Duality Invariance Local Scale Invariance Local Lorentz Invariance Photon as a Composite Particle