Volume 117, Number 5, March 2017
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||04 May 2017|
Weak-measurement Mach-Zehnder interferometer for testing wave-particle duality
College of Physics and Optoelectronics, South China University of Technology - Guangzhou 510641, China
Received: 17 February 2017
Accepted: 11 April 2017
The Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) is a regular yet simple instrument to test wave-particle duality. One key device in a standard MZI is the beam splitter 2 (BS2). Here we make a simple quantum mechanics analysis about the wave function evolution and find that the strong and exclusive interaction of BS2 with the incident microscopic particle beam (photons, electrons, etc.) is the fundamental reason why standard MZIs could not allow for the simultaneous observation of wave and particle properties of these particles. A weak-measurement (WM) MZI setup is then proposed, where BS2 is replaced with a deliberately designed highly transparent interference screen operating via either weak absorption or weak-scattering effect. Quantum-mechanical analysis on this WM-MZI shows that the overall power to make simultaneous observation of interference fringe (wave nature) and which-path information (particle nature) of microscopic particles can be significantly enhanced compared with the standard MZIs.
PACS: 03.65.Ta – Foundations of quantum mechanics; measurement theory / 03.75.Dg – Atom and neutron interferometry / 42.50.Xa – Optical tests of quantum theory
© EPLA, 2017
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