Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

1.47: Terse Analysis of Triple-slit Diffraction with a Quantum Eraser

  • Page ID
    155898
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \(\newcommand{\avec}{\mathbf a}\) \(\newcommand{\bvec}{\mathbf b}\) \(\newcommand{\cvec}{\mathbf c}\) \(\newcommand{\dvec}{\mathbf d}\) \(\newcommand{\dtil}{\widetilde{\mathbf d}}\) \(\newcommand{\evec}{\mathbf e}\) \(\newcommand{\fvec}{\mathbf f}\) \(\newcommand{\nvec}{\mathbf n}\) \(\newcommand{\pvec}{\mathbf p}\) \(\newcommand{\qvec}{\mathbf q}\) \(\newcommand{\svec}{\mathbf s}\) \(\newcommand{\tvec}{\mathbf t}\) \(\newcommand{\uvec}{\mathbf u}\) \(\newcommand{\vvec}{\mathbf v}\) \(\newcommand{\wvec}{\mathbf w}\) \(\newcommand{\xvec}{\mathbf x}\) \(\newcommand{\yvec}{\mathbf y}\) \(\newcommand{\zvec}{\mathbf z}\) \(\newcommand{\rvec}{\mathbf r}\) \(\newcommand{\mvec}{\mathbf m}\) \(\newcommand{\zerovec}{\mathbf 0}\) \(\newcommand{\onevec}{\mathbf 1}\) \(\newcommand{\real}{\mathbb R}\) \(\newcommand{\twovec}[2]{\left[\begin{array}{r}#1 \\ #2 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\ctwovec}[2]{\left[\begin{array}{c}#1 \\ #2 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\threevec}[3]{\left[\begin{array}{r}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\cthreevec}[3]{\left[\begin{array}{c}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\fourvec}[4]{\left[\begin{array}{r}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \\ #4 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\cfourvec}[4]{\left[\begin{array}{c}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \\ #4 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\fivevec}[5]{\left[\begin{array}{r}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \\ #4 \\ #5 \\ \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\cfivevec}[5]{\left[\begin{array}{c}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \\ #4 \\ #5 \\ \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\mattwo}[4]{\left[\begin{array}{rr}#1 \amp #2 \\ #3 \amp #4 \\ \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\laspan}[1]{\text{Span}\{#1\}}\) \(\newcommand{\bcal}{\cal B}\) \(\newcommand{\ccal}{\cal C}\) \(\newcommand{\scal}{\cal S}\) \(\newcommand{\wcal}{\cal W}\) \(\newcommand{\ecal}{\cal E}\) \(\newcommand{\coords}[2]{\left\{#1\right\}_{#2}}\) \(\newcommand{\gray}[1]{\color{gray}{#1}}\) \(\newcommand{\lgray}[1]{\color{lightgray}{#1}}\) \(\newcommand{\rank}{\operatorname{rank}}\) \(\newcommand{\row}{\text{Row}}\) \(\newcommand{\col}{\text{Col}}\) \(\renewcommand{\row}{\text{Row}}\) \(\newcommand{\nul}{\text{Nul}}\) \(\newcommand{\var}{\text{Var}}\) \(\newcommand{\corr}{\text{corr}}\) \(\newcommand{\len}[1]{\left|#1\right|}\) \(\newcommand{\bbar}{\overline{\bvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\bhat}{\widehat{\bvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\bperp}{\bvec^\perp}\) \(\newcommand{\xhat}{\widehat{\xvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\vhat}{\widehat{\vvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\uhat}{\widehat{\uvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\what}{\widehat{\wvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\Sighat}{\widehat{\Sigma}}\) \(\newcommand{\lt}{<}\) \(\newcommand{\gt}{>}\) \(\newcommand{\amp}{&}\) \(\definecolor{fillinmathshade}{gray}{0.9}\)

    Slit positions, slit width and the wavefunction at the slit screen which is a superposition of the photon being simultaneously present at all three slits.

    \[
    x_{1} :=-\frac{1}{2} \quad x_{2}:=0 \quad \mathrm{x}_{3} :=\frac{1}{2} \qquad \delta :=0.1
    \nonumber \]

    \[
    |\Psi\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{3}}\left[\left|x_{1}\right\rangle+\left|x_{2}\right\rangle+\left|x_{3}\right\rangle\right]
    \nonumber \]

    Calculate the diffraction pattern by a Fourier transform of the spatial wavefunction into momentum space.

    \[
    \langle p | \Psi\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{3}}\left[\left\langle p | x_{1}\right\rangle+\left\langle p | x_{2}\right\rangle+\left\langle p | x_{3}\right\rangle\right]
    \nonumber \]

    \[
    \Psi(p)=\int_{x_{1}-\frac{\delta}{2}}^{x_{1}+\frac{\delta}{2}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \cdot \pi}} \cdot \exp (-i \cdot p \cdot x) \cdot \frac{1}{\sqrt{\delta}} d x +\int_{x_{2} -\frac{\delta}{2}}^{x_{2}+\frac{\delta}{2}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \cdot \pi}} \cdot \exp (-i \cdot p \cdot x) \cdot \frac{1}{\sqrt{\delta}} d x +\int_{x_{3} -\frac{\delta}{2}}^{x_{3}+\frac{\delta}{2}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \cdot \pi}} \cdot \exp (-i \cdot p \cdot x) \cdot \frac{1}{\sqrt{\delta}} d x
    \nonumber \]

    Display the momentum distribution function which is the diffraction pattern.

    clipboard_e76b6f9d857d6c7d6ecf3915d5330b455.png

    Tag the slits with orthogonal states.

    \[
    \left\langle p | \Psi^{\prime}\right\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{3}}\left[\left\langle p | x_{1}\right\rangle|\uparrow\rangle+\left\langle p | x_{2}\right\rangle|\rightarrow\rangle+\left\langle p | x_{3}\right\rangle|\downarrow\rangle\right]
    \nonumber \]

    Recalculate the momentum distribution.

    \[
    \Psi^{\prime}(p)=\int_{x_{1}-\frac{\delta}{2}}^{x_{1}+\frac{\delta}{2}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \cdot \pi}} \cdot \exp (-i \cdot p \cdot x) \cdot \frac{1}{\sqrt{\delta}} d x \cdot\left(\begin{array}{l}{1} \\ {0} \\ {0}\end{array}\right) +\int_{x_{2}-\frac{\delta}{2}}^{x_{2}+\frac{\delta}{2}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \cdot \pi}} \cdot \exp (-i \cdot p \cdot x) \cdot \frac{1}{\sqrt{\delta}} d x \cdot\left(\begin{array}{l}{0} \\ {1} \\ {0}\end{array}\right) +\int_{x_{3}- \frac{\delta}{2}}^{x_{3}+\frac{\delta}{2}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \cdot \pi}} \cdot \exp (-i \cdot p \cdot x) \cdot \frac{1}{\sqrt{\delta}} d x \cdot\left(\begin{array}{l}{0} \\ {0} \\ {1}\end{array}\right)
    \nonumber \]

    Display the momentum distribution at the detection screen showing that the diffraction pattern has disappeared. The orthogonallity of the tags destroys the cross-terms in the momentum distribution, \(|\Psi^{'}(p)|^{2}\), which give rise to the interference effects shown in the original diffraction pattern.

    clipboard_eb2ccfcb04a87016602479a4af109349c.png

    Insert an "eraser" after the slit screen and before the detection screen.

    \[
    \Psi^{\prime \prime}(\mathrm{p}) :=\frac{1}{\sqrt{3}} \cdot\left(\begin{array}{l}{1} \\ {1} \\ {1}\end{array}\right)^{\mathrm{T}} \cdot \Psi^{\prime}(\mathrm{p})
    \nonumber \]

    The diffraction pattern is restored but attenuated because the so-called "eraser" filters out the orthogonal tags restoring the interference terms.

    clipboard_ede699f01d1be3de985222e75d92801cc.png


    This page titled 1.47: Terse Analysis of Triple-slit Diffraction with a Quantum Eraser is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Frank Rioux via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform.