Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

Violation of the principle of complementarity, and its implications
Author(s): Shahriar S. Afshar
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00

Paper Abstract

Bohr's principle of complementarity predicts that in a welcher weg ("which-way") experiment, obtaining fully visible interference pattern should lead to the destruction of the path knowledge. Here I report a failure for this prediction in an optical interferometry experiment. Coherent laser light is passed through a dual pinhole and allowed to go through a converging lens, which forms well-resolved images of the respective pinholes, providing complete path knowledge. A series of thin wires are then placed at previously measured positions corresponding to the dark fringes of the interference pattern upstream of the lens. No reduction in the resolution and total radiant flux of either image is found in direct disagreement with the predictions of the principle of complementarity. In this paper, a critique of the current measurement theory is offered, and a novel nonperturbative technique for ensemble properties is introduced. Also, another version of this experiment without an imaging lens is suggested, and some of the implications of the violation of complementarity for another suggested experiment to investigate the nature of the photon and its "empty wave" is briefly discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2005
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 5866, The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?, (4 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.638774
Show Author Affiliations
Shahriar S. Afshar, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Rowan Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5866:
The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Katherine Creath, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top