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Double slit experiment, question on when the path is determined

  1. Jul 2, 2009 #1
    double slit experiment, question on when the path is "determined"

    Hi all, question here from a non-scientist.

    Let's say I set up a double-slit experiment, with a detector at one or the other slit. I get it working, so that when I am able to determine the particle path, the interference pattern on the target screen disappears.

    Okay, now I leave the detector in place, but I cover it up so that however it is that it indicates where the particle is or isn't, the indication can no longer be seen by anyone.

    I think the interference pattern will nonetheless still be missing, right?

    Does this prove that whatever the mystery is, consciousness has nothing to do with it? And that furthermore, the effects on the cells in one's retina also has nothing to do with the "waveform collapse"?

    I believe I've read that which-way path detection is getting to the point where the detector might have no effect -- other than waveform collapse? -- on the particle... mystifying indeed.

    Thanks all, I look forward to your replies.

  2. jcsd
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