Hypothesis about Quantum Interference in Time

In summary, the conversation discussed the possibility of quantum interference in both space and time. The question was whether or not the interference pattern seen in a double-slit experiment could be explained by the interaction of electrons emitted at different times. The existing theory of quantum mechanics predicts that this should not change anything, but the conversation also mentioned an experiment that displayed quantum interference in time. The question was raised about testing this idea further by using multiple double slits and observing the superimposed distribution. The conversation concluded with the mention of a similar experiment that was already conducted a couple of years ago.
  • #1
peter0302
876
3
So this is a question and not a quack theroy. :) I'm sure it's wrong but I am just looking for confirmation that this has been thought of and experimentally proven wrong.

Simple question is - is it possible that the quanta interfere with each other in time as well as space?

In other words: send a stream of electrons through a double slit . The electrons we all know distribute in the famous interference pattern despite the fact that they go through one at a time. So say we have a stream of electrons:

e1, e2, e3, e4...eN

Is it possible as e2 is emitted, it is actually interacting with e1 (from a few seconds prior, but in the same space) to create the interference pattern? And that e3 and e2 are interfering? Etc.?

I would think the way to test this would be to separate the single electrons by long lengths of time, maybe minutes, or hours, and see if the interference pattern looks any different. Alternatively, set up 10 double slits lined up in a row, and send a single electron through each one, and likewise see if there's a distribution pattern when the 10 results are superimposed.

I know that existing QM predicts that this won't change anything, because the experimental setup itself dictates the wave functions and these wouldn't depend on the temporal separation of the particles. But has it been tried?
 
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  • #2
You are at least a couple of years too late.

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/21623

Zz.
 
  • #3
Damn it! I'm always a couple of years late for my Nobel. :p

[Edit]
Absolutely fascinating. The experiment is displaying quantum interference between electrons each emitted at one of two different possible random times (i.e. either of the two maxima of the electric cycle). It literally is a double-slit in time and it shows that quantum interference takes place in time as well as space.

My question is slightly different though - I'm asking if the whole business can be explained with temporal interference. What would the distribution look like if we lined up 100 double slits and shot an electron at each one of them and looked at the superimposed distribution? Would it be the same? Again, QM says yes, but has it been tested?
 
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Related to Hypothesis about Quantum Interference in Time

What is a hypothesis about Quantum Interference in Time?

A hypothesis about Quantum Interference in Time suggests that time itself can be affected by quantum phenomena, specifically interference between different quantum states. This hypothesis proposes that time can be manipulated or altered through quantum interference, potentially leading to the ability to travel through time or create paradoxes.

What evidence supports the hypothesis of Quantum Interference in Time?

While there is currently no solid evidence to support this hypothesis, some scientists point to the phenomenon of quantum entanglement as a possible indication of quantum interference in time. Additionally, some theoretical models and thought experiments have been proposed to explore the potential consequences of this hypothesis.

What are the potential implications of the hypothesis of Quantum Interference in Time?

If the hypothesis of Quantum Interference in Time were proven to be true, it could have significant implications for our understanding of time and the universe as a whole. It could potentially open up the possibility of time travel and raise questions about the nature of causality and the flow of time.

What challenges exist in testing the hypothesis of Quantum Interference in Time?

One of the main challenges in testing this hypothesis is the fact that it deals with concepts and phenomena that are currently beyond our current technological capabilities and understanding. Additionally, the effects of quantum interference in time, if they do exist, may be difficult to detect and measure.

How does the hypothesis of Quantum Interference in Time relate to other theories and ideas in physics?

This hypothesis is still in the realm of theoretical physics and is not currently supported by any established theories or laws. However, it does intersect with other areas of study such as quantum mechanics, relativity, and time travel theories. Further research and experimentation will be needed to fully understand its potential implications and connections to other concepts in physics.

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