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Demystifier
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Mar30-12, 05:01 AM
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Quote Quote by Xilor View Post
What exactly is happening that causes every single photon to choose only one of the paths when the wave comes from both sides?
The answer is somewhat controversial, because it depends on the interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is not unique. Perhaps the most intuitive interpretation is the Bohmian one, according to which particle is a pointlike object the velocity of which depends on the value of wave function on the position of the particle. Thus, particle takes only one path, depending on the initial position of the particle.

Quote Quote by Xilor View Post
Why is the mirror so significant that it can cause this behavior and how is it decided which of the paths the photons will always take?
Actually the mirror is not very important, it only plays an auxiliary role by directing the wave beam into a desired direction. A more important peace of apparatus is the beam splitter, which splits the initial wave beam into two beams. In the Bohmian interpretation, the wave is splitted but the particle is not.