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Electron double Slit Experiment

  1. Jun 1, 2005 #1
    Hey guys,

    I was reading, as you do, a bit of physics on the classic double slit experiment - this was a simple example that was in the article, however it got me thinking.

    I remember reading about some physicsts performing the experiment with electrons.
    now I also think I remember that when they fired many electrons, they got the typical resuls for when you fire a wave at the experiment. This was true even when they slwoed the rate of electron release down to one electron at a time. Even with one electron passing through, a wave type patter was formed. So the physicsts began to watch each slit to see exactly what was happening, however, as soon as they did, the electron began to behave like a particle.

    Now my question are thus,
    Is my remembering of the facts correct? Is the explanation that the observer, in the act of oberving, causes the electron to change its behaviour?

    - Ben
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2005 #2
    That's right, although talk of observers and observing as being important comes from older ways of looking at the experiment. It's the particle interacting with other particles that is important. :smile:

    You get similar results for a single electron, a single photon and even a single molecule made from dozens of atoms. They keep or lose the interference effect to different degrees, though.

    Photons keep their interference effect much, much better than electrons, for example.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2005
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