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Understanding the triple slit experiment

  1. Jul 5, 2012 #1
    I have been contemplating Sinha's 2010 triple slit experiment, and wondering about its meaning and implications.

    If I understand the results correctly, if we take the detections that we get when all three slits are open, and subtract them from the detections that we would get with the combinations of one or two slits open, then we end up with zero. I assume that this means that with three slits open we don't suddenly get detections occurring at some point where they wouldn't have occurred with one of the other combinations. In essence an area on the screen that got no detections in any of the other combinations, would not suddenly get detections with the addition of a third slit.

    Is this essentially correct? If not, what am I missing?

    What I'm wondering is, how does this differ from the interference pattern that we would expect to see if we were dealing with waves in water for example. Would water waves show a distinct interference pattern for three slits?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2012 #2
    Yes, they would show a distinct interference pattern. However, the measurements would not show quantization. There would not be separate detections given the type of detector one would use with a water wave.
    Interference is a wave phenomenon. It is not a particle phenomenon. The evidence of a particle nature concern separate detection events, not the statistical pattern. The pattern comes from the wave.
  4. Jul 5, 2012 #3


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    I believe your understanding of the triple slit experiment is correct. Or so my reading up on it says.
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