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Physics and Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

3:30 PM, Friday, April 5, 2013
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building

Dr. Herman Batelaan
Department of Physics
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Particle-wave duality with and without quantum spookiness.

Quantum interference explains the stability of matter, guided the construction of the laser, and its application led to medical imaging techniques. So what is this quantum interference about? The double-slit experiments for electrons is considered to be “the only mystery”, insofar as it concerns quantum interference.  Feynman's account of these experiments is one of the most popular. To get as close to Feynman's description of double-slit diffraction we did some experiments. This includes closing individual slits on demand, and taking a movie of the build-up of the diffraction pattern one particle at a time. In recent work done in Paris, macroscopic particle-wave duality with bouncing oil droplets was demonstrated for the first time ever. 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 is not what we have taught in the past three years to more than 100,000 high school students through our movie “The Challenge of Quantum Reality.”  What is going on?

Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM