Science Report Presented in the Media vs. a Scholarly Source

ScienceReport Presented in the Media vs. a Scholarly Source

ScienceReport Presented in the Media vs. a Scholarly Source

Question1: Identifier Table

Table1: Identifier

Media article

Scholarly article

Article’s title

“The birth of quantum holography: Making holograms of single light particles”

Hologram of a single photon

Article’s source

Science news website known as Science Daily

University of Warsaw Library

Publication date

July 18, 2016

January 12, 2016

Research done by the author?



Authors’ location

Science Daily

University of Warsaw in Warsaw, Poland

Question2: Summary of the articles


Themedia article addresses the breakthrough that scientists have maderegarding the production of a hologram that consists of a singlephoton. The author argues that the application of the concept ofclassical holography has allowed scientists to overcome thebottlenecks associated with the laws of physics. An experiment thatallowed researchers to observe the wave-fronts of one photon wasconducted at the University of Warsaw. The new technique isdifferentiated from the conventional practices because traditionalphotography facilitates the determination of light intensity, but theclassical holographic technique permits researchers to identify thephase of the light. A test performed to determine whether acombination of two photons could produce the same results as a singleone indicated that the resultant interference is influenced by thewave-fronts of individual photons. In addition, physicists at WarsawUniversity were the first group of scientists to reconstruct thefunction of a single wave of light.


Thescholarly article documents an experiment that was performed to studythe spatial structure of one photon. The authors acknowledge the factthat it has been practically impossible to get a spatialphase-amplitude structure of one photon when applying complementaryholographic methods. They introduce an effective method thatinvolves the recording of a hologram that is comprised of a singlephoton (HSP). This is accomplished using a different referencephoton. The HSP strategy makes it possible to encode all informationregarding the shape of the photon. The quantum wave function is oneof the critical information that can be obtained when using HSPstrategy, but it is impossible to get the same data when applyingcomplementary approaches. The information about the wave function,which is part of the results, was obtained by preparing an unknownphoton that was orthogonally polarized and a reference photon. Thetwo types of photon were then passed through a single mode fiberbefore being transmitted through the polarized beam splitter. TheseHSP procedures enabled the physicists to transfer the techniques of ahologram recording.

Question3: Format of the two articles

Informationin the media article is presented in paragraphs that are not dividedinto specific sections. However, the overall content of the articleis presented in three parts. The first part indicates the date ofpublication, source, and the summary of the results. The second partis the body that contains about 14 paragraphs of different sizes. Thelast section is the reference, which indicates the source of thestory and the journal references.

Similarly,the content of the scholarly article was presented in sections. Thefirst section is the body of the article, which is comprised ofseveral paragraphs. The second part is the methodology, and it isfurther divided into subsections. These subsections are presented inthe following titles photon source, single photon localization,measurement details, phase-retrieval algorithm, and resultsuncertainty. The last section is comprised of a list of sources fromwhere the researchers obtained information to support their study.Other sections that do not contain information that is pertinent tothe experiment include the acknowledgement and authors’contributions. Although the main body of the article was presented inthe form of paragraphs, it is evident that it contained sections thatwere not given specific titles. For example, the first paragraph waswritten in a different font and it summarized the entire article,which gives it the nature of an abstract.

Question4: Presentation of the experimental results

Inoverall, the media article presented the results of the experimentdocumented in the scholarly article in a general description. Thisimplies that the media article described the findings of theexperiment that was reported in the scholarly article. Formula,numbers, and graphs used to present the results in the scholarlyarticle were not captured in the media report. However, an image ofthe single photon was presented to illustrate how the wave functionwas reconstructed in the actual experiment.

Question5: Comparing the conclusions drawn in the two articles

Theconclusions made in the two articles, media and the scholarlypublication, are quite similar. The two articles conclude byemphasizing on the two key breakthroughs that were made byphysicists. The two breakthroughs include the successful measurementof the hologram produced by an individual photon and retrieval of thewave function of a single photon. However, the conclusion made in themedia article focused on two additional aspects, including the realapplication of the new discoveries and the future of the quantumphysics. While concluding on the issue of application of thebreakthrough Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw (2016) stated,“It is likely that real applications of quantum holography won’tappear for a few decades yet, but if there is one thing we can besure of it is that they will be surprising” (p. 3). Therefore, thetwo conclusions are based on similar ideas, but presented with a fewdifferences.

Question6: Criticism on data and conclusions

Noneof the two articles provided criticism on conclusion and data. Inaddition, none of the two articles provided alternative conclusionsand hypotheses, with the objective of explaining the data.

Question7: Criticism and alternative viewpoints provided by either of thearticles

Thetwo articles provide some viewpoints that differ in one way oranother. For example, the scholarly article concludes that the HSPapproach can be applied or adapted to the complementary techniques inthe area of quantum optics (such as general configurations andtwo-dimensional cases of holograph recording), but the media articledoes not provide this viewpoint. In addition, the authors of thescholarly article presented the aspect of results uncertainty, whichwas not mentioned in the media article. Authors of the scholarlyarticle applied the Monte-Carlo approach in order to minimize theuncertainty of results, but they included the standard deviation inorder to take account of the possible errors. The media article, onthe other hand, presented an aforementioned aspect of the applicationof the HSP approach outside the laboratory, which is not discussed inthe scholarly article. The author of the media article raised theissue of real-life application by questioning whether thebreakthroughs made in the new experiment will have practical benefitsin the same way as the classical holography.

Question8: Accurate reflection of the content by the title of the mediaarticle

Thetitle of the media article is “The birth of quantum holography:Making holograms of single light particles”. This title providesquite an accurate reflection of the content of both the scholarly andthe media articles. The first part (just before the colons)introduces the idea that the content of the article provides a newbreakthrough in the area of quantum holography by using the term “thebirth”. This is because the content of the two articles introducesa new procedure that allows physicists to study the wave function ofan individual photon, which could not be possible with the use ofcomplementary approaches. The second part (after the colon) of thetitle introduces the general idea that is discussed throughout thetwo articles. The experiment and the discussion provided in the twoarticles are all about the successful production of holograms of anindividual light particle. Therefore, the title can be considered asan accurate representation of the contents of both the media and thescholarly articles.

Question9: The insight obtained from the exercise on how scientificinvestigation or research is done and reported as well as how themedia covers the study

Thereare two insights obtained from the exercise. First, scientificstudies are done and reported in a technical format and language.However, the media plays the role of summarizing and presenting thescientific findings in a language that people who are not familiarwith the scientific terms can comprehend. By reading the twoarticles, one can easily follow and understand the media contentfaster than the scientific report. The second insight obtained fromthe exercise is that the media questions the significance of thefindings of a given scientific study to the members of the public.For example, the scholarly article did not mention the real-lifeapplication of the HSP approach, while the author of the mediaarticle asked whether it will be used to benefit people, just likethe classical holography has done.


Chrapkiewicz,R., Jachura, M., Banaszek, K. &amp Wasilewski, W. (2016, January12). Hologramof a single photon.Warsaw: University of Warsaw.

Facultyof Physics University of Warsaw (2016, July 18). The birth of quantumholography: Making holograms of single light particles. ScienceDaily.Retrieved August 1, 2016,