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The Double-Slit Experiment

Krushnaraj Pandya

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Homework Statement
I have always seen YouTube videos saying how an electron 'knows' when we are observing it but I always put that down to youtubers creating popular science (verging on science fiction) hype for more views. I suppose there is more science behind an electron behaving like a particle when we put a laser beam behind the slits to observe which slit the electron passed through and there must be more concrete evidence behind it to explain that. I do not see any explanations in my textbook and I am hoping all the knowledgeable people on PF can help me understand this seemingly bizarre phenomenon of an electron changing its behavior when we try to 'see' it. Thank you very much
Homework Equations
N.A
I have always seen YouTube videos saying how an electron 'knows' when we are observing it but I always put that down to youtubers creating popular science (verging on science fiction) hype for more views. I suppose there is more science behind an electron behaving like a particle when we put a laser beam behind the slits to observe which slit the electron passed through and there must be more concrete evidence behind it to explain that. I do not see any explanations in my textbook and I am hoping all the knowledgeable people on PF can help me understand this seemingly bizarre phenomenon of an electron changing its behavior when we try to 'see' it. Thank you very much
 
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Long story short : "observed" means "messed with".
 

Krushnaraj Pandya

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694
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Long story short : "observed" means "messed with".
I understand, but how does that translate to the physical result of the interference pattern being reduced to a normal one expected for particles?
 

Orodruin

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Common misconception. The electron does not change behaviour between being a wave and being a particle. It is neither. It is an electron and it behaves as an electron, which is a quantum particle. Now, that behaviour has some properties that are reminiscent of properties of a classical wave and some that are reminiscent of a classical particles. Which of these that become apparent in your experiment depends on what experiment you are doing.
 

PeroK

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Homework Statement: I have always seen YouTube videos saying how an electron 'knows' when we are observing it but I always put that down to youtubers creating popular science (verging on science fiction) hype for more views. I suppose there is more science behind an electron behaving like a particle when we put a laser beam behind the slits to observe which slit the electron passed through and there must be more concrete evidence behind it to explain that. I do not see any explanations in my textbook and I am hoping all the knowledgeable people on PF can help me understand this seemingly bizarre phenomenon of an electron changing its behavior when we try to 'see' it. Thank you very much
Homework Equations: N.A

I have always seen YouTube videos saying how an electron 'knows' when we are observing it but I always put that down to youtubers creating popular science (verging on science fiction) hype for more views. I suppose there is more science behind an electron behaving like a particle when we put a laser beam behind the slits to observe which slit the electron passed through and there must be more concrete evidence behind it to explain that. I do not see any explanations in my textbook and I am hoping all the knowledgeable people on PF can help me understand this seemingly bizarre phenomenon of an electron changing its behavior when we try to 'see' it. Thank you very much
Try this. See Chapter 4:

 

Krushnaraj Pandya

Gold Member
694
79
Common misconception. The electron does not change behaviour between being a wave and being a particle. It is neither. It is an electron and it behaves as an electron, which is a quantum particle. Now, that behaviour has some properties that are reminiscent of properties of a classical wave and some that are reminiscent of a classical particles. Which of these that become apparent in your experiment depends on what experiment you are doing.
Thank you very much, I understand now
 

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