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Keywords:

  • evanescent modes;
  • superluminal propagation;
  • quantum effect;
  • virtual photons

Abstract

Contrary to mechanical waves, the two-slit interference experiment of single photons shows that the behavior of classical electromagnetic waves corresponds to the quantum mechanical one of single photons, which is also different from the quantum-field-theory behavior such as the creations and annihilations of photons, the vacuum fluctuations, etc. Owing to a purely quantum effect, quantum tunneling particles including tunneling photons (evanescent modes) can propagate over a spacelike interval. With this picture we conclude that the superluminality of evanescent modes is a quantum mechanical rather than a classical phenomenon.