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Particle and three slits + one detector experiment

  1. Mar 2, 2004 #1
    What would happen if the slit experiment is done with three slits and at only one slit some sort of particle detecting or particle tagging device is placed and at the remaining slits no means of particle detecting is introduced.

    I know the results of two slits with and without two detectors. But in this other scenario I imagine that perhaps a third of the particles shot will read on the detector and will land without an interference pattern, and the others will go undetected and will land with some kind of interference pattern between the other two slits. But I’m wondering if the presents of a single detector will foul the whole thing up somehow ending with no interference pattern result at all. Answering this question will help my thinking on the slit issue a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2004 #2
    The experiments with slits, edges, half-silvered mirrors,... always behave exactly as the EM waves would indicate. There is Sudarshan-Glabuer theorem from 1963 on the equivalence between semi-classical and quantum optics results (see my posts on Stochastic Electrodynamics in an earlier thread with more details). It only appears mysterious if you insist on imagining photons as particles. If you place 2 detectors, one right behind each slit in a double slit experiment, you will find that detector counts are generated on each slit independently from the counts on the other slit i.e. the wave packet leaving slit A and entering detector A will trigger or not trigger detector A independently on what the other wave packet did on detector B -- there is no collapse of EM wave packet A when packet B triggers detector B (explained as "photon bunching" in particle + wave-collapse imagery).
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2004
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