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1 October 2013 Wave-particle dualism unraveled by Young's double slit experiment
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Abstract
Particle and wave like properties of photons can impressively be demonstrated in Young’s double slit experiment. Usually, measurements behind the slit provide information either about the path of the single photons or interference can be observed. Today the question of “which-slit” versus “interference” in the double-slit configuration is as relevant as it was in the early days of quantum mechanics. To gain deeper insight we set up an experiment using a pair of photons generated by SPDC pumped with a higher order mode (TEM01). One of the SPDC photons, the signal photon, was used to illuminate the double slit and measure the single photon interference behind it. The other photon, the idler photon, was used in a reference measurement at the position of the slit using a polarizing beam splitter. First, the signal photons were obtained at the position of the slit as a function of the position of the entangled idler photons in a coincidence measurement. From this coincidence measurement the “which-slit” information is available. In a second coincidence measurement the far field interference fringes were obtained for signal photons passing through one of the slits, only, selected by the position of the reference detector measuring the entangled idler photons. The newest results will be presented and discussed. This may provide new insights in the wave-particle dualism and thus inspire the discussion about the nature of photons.
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A. Heuer, D. Puhlmann, and R. Menzel "Wave-particle dualism unraveled by Young's double slit experiment", Proc. SPIE 8832, The Nature of Light: What are Photons? V, 88321G (1 October 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2026744
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