Questions about the Double Slit Experiment

In summary, the conversation discusses the double slit experiment and its various interpretations. It raises questions about what would happen if the experiment is modified to record "which way" information and whether the results would change if different individuals look at the data or the wall first. The experts agree that leaking out the "which way" information will disrupt the interference pattern, regardless of who looks at it or when. However, there are different interpretations of quantum mechanics, including Copenhagen, Einstein, and Bohmian, and discussing their validity is not allowed on the Physics Forum.
  • #1
andrewshen123
1
0
As I'm not learning quantum mechanics formally in a classroom, I have no real experience with the matter, or a teacher to whom I can pose my questions. There are a few experiments I'd like to run as well, but no way to do so. In any case, I'm hoping that someone else has run these experiments, or at least has theories as to what will happen.

  1. What happens if you run the double slit experiment, recording which particles go through which slit, look at the back wall before looking at the results of the observations, then look back at the wall? Will it start off as an interference pattern, then become a clumping pattern, since your knowledge about the particles has changed? Will it "predict" that you will look at the data, and start off as a clumping pattern? Will the fact that you've already looked at the wall lock the particles in place, so even after you look at the data, their positions won't change because you know where they landed? Or something completely different?
  2. What happens if you run the experiment with two (groups of) people, one to look at the wall and one who may or may not look at the data. Will the results always agree with each other? Does it matter if you look at the wall or the data first, even if it's two different people doing so?

Thank you for reading, and hopefully for responding.
 
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  • #2
The interference pattern doesn't change just because someone chooses to look or not look at the data about which slit the particles passed through. Modifying the experiment in order to record the "which way" information is what changes the interference pattern--whether or not anyone looks at that information.
 
  • #3
"double slit experiment" interpretations depend on "school" you are belong to.
There are Copenhagen, Einstein, Bohmian,... or your own.
Physics Forum rules forbid even discussion of the validity of any of them :(((((
So i must close my mouth.
 
  • #4
Don't all the interpretations agree that, as long as you modify the experiment in such a way that which-slit info is leaked out into the environment, you will not get the interference pattern. Shouldn't matter if or when or who looks at the which slit information, just that the which slit information is available is enough to remove the interference.
 

Related to Questions about the Double Slit Experiment

1. What is the double slit experiment?

The double slit experiment is a thought experiment that demonstrates the concept of wave-particle duality in quantum mechanics. It involves shining a beam of particles, such as electrons or photons, through two parallel slits and observing the resulting interference pattern on a screen behind the slits.

2. What does the double slit experiment show?

The double slit experiment shows that particles, such as electrons and photons, can exhibit both wave-like and particle-like behavior. This means that they can act as waves and interfere with each other, producing an interference pattern, but they can also behave as discrete particles by landing at specific points on the screen.

3. Why is the double slit experiment important?

The double slit experiment is important because it challenges our understanding of the fundamental nature of particles and the laws of physics. It also has implications for technologies such as quantum computing and communication.

4. What are some variations of the double slit experiment?

There are several variations of the double slit experiment, including the delayed choice and quantum eraser experiments. These variations further demonstrate the strange behavior of particles at the quantum level and continue to challenge our understanding of the universe.

5. Are there any real-world applications of the double slit experiment?

While the double slit experiment was originally a thought experiment, its principles have been applied in various technologies, such as electron microscopy and diffraction, which are used in fields such as medicine and materials science. It also plays a crucial role in understanding and developing quantum technologies.

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