On 2/25, John Howell wrote:
> This is a thought-provoking paradox. I think its solution is subtle, and
> is based on the fact that when light that is travelling in air reflects
> (externally) off of a glass surface, the light's phase changes by 180
> degrees, but no such change takes place when light that is travelling in
> glass is internally reflected.
John is right, I forgot to account for this additional phase shift in the
described outline. Instead of being out of phase my beams will be in phase.
It is easy, however, to modify the setup and to compensate for the forgotten
phase reversal. The main questions (about two out-of-phase beams traveling in
the same direction) remain. What will mother nature do to obey the energy
conservation law? Will the "long antinodes" happen? I do not see anything
fundamental (?) in the reversal of phase when light is reflected from an
optically more dense medium. Perhaps the phase shift RULE will be disregarded
to obey the LAW.
Do you think that temporal coherence of laser light can be good enough to
keep the phase relation (between waves in two independently produced beams)
constant on the time scale of several seconds, or more?