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Thursday, June 18, 2015
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
T-DO Conference Room

Quantum Lunch

Controlled double slit electron diffraction

Herman Batelaan
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Quantum interference explains the stability of matter, guided the construction of the laser, and led to many applications. So what is this quantum interference about? Feynman considered the double-slit experiments for electrons to contain “the only mystery”, insofar as it concerns quantum interference. To get as close to Feynman's description of double-slit diffraction we closed the individual slits on demand (see figure). Following Tonomura’s famous interference build-up movie for a biprism wire, we also recorded a movie of the build-up of the diffraction pattern one particle at a time for the double slit. In recent work done in Paris, macroscopic particle-wave duality with bouncing oil droplets was demonstrated for a double slit. This was supposed not to be possible. What does that mean for microscopic or quantum-mechanical particle-wave duality for electrons? This means a lot to an international group of physicists labeled to be a “band of rebels” according to Morgan Freeman’s show “Through the Wormhole”. However this appears not to be the message presented in the past three years to many high school students through our educational movie “The Challenge of Quantum Reality”. In the presentation this issue will be discussed.

Host: Peter Milonni