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Measurement-induced decoherence and information in double-slit interference

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/zc77sr793

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  • The double slit experiment provides a classic example of both interference and the effect of observation in quantum physics. When particles are sent individually through a pair of slits, a wave-like interference pattern develops, but no such interference is found when one observes which “path” the particles take. We present a model of interference, dephasing, and measurement-induced decoherence in a one-dimensional version of the double-slit experiment. Using this model, we demonstrate how the loss of interference in the system is correlated with the information gain by the measuring apparatus/observer. In doing so, we give a modern account of measurement in this paradigmatic example of quantum physics that is accessible to students taking quantum mechanics at the graduate or senior undergraduate levels.
  • This is the publisher’s final pdf. The published article is copyrighted by American Association of Physics Teachers and can be found at: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aapt/journal/ajp/84/7/10.1119/1.4943585
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  • Kincaid, J., McLelland, K., & Zwolak, M. (2016). Measurement-induced decoherence and information in double-slit interference. American Journal of Physics, 84(7), 522-530. doi:10.1119/1.4943585
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  • 84
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  • 7
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