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Do wave-functions pass through transparent obstacles?

  1. Apr 2, 2012 #1
    wave-function is a hypothetical/mathematical construct

    the wave-function is said to collapse when we try to detect it, say in a double slit or mach-zehnder.

    what kind of obstacles (but non-detectors) do wave-functions pass through?

    what happens if we place a razor thin obstacle (that is not a detector) in one of the paths of the photon

    1. a razor thin opaque sheet of paper
    2. a razor thin transparent sheet of cellophane
    3. air particles - we know that air particles don't effect the wave function as the double-slit and mach-zhender experiments are not necessarily conducted in a vacuum.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2012 #2


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    A wave plate is a good example. It rotates the orientation of the wave that passes through it but does not cause collapse.
  4. Apr 2, 2012 #3

    does the amplitude of a single photon halve when it goes/emerges through a half silvered mirror? (say in a mach zehnder) on any one of the two paths/arms
  5. Apr 2, 2012 #4
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