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Publication Citation: Observing the average trajectories of single photons in a two-slit interferometer

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Author(s): Sacha Kocsis; Boris Braverman; Sylvain Ravets; Martin J. Stevens; Richard P. Mirin; L. Krister Shalm; Aephraim M. Steinberg;
Title: Observing the average trajectories of single photons in a two-slit interferometer
Published: June 03, 2011
Abstract: A consequence of the quantum mechanical uncertainty principle is that one may not discuss the path or "trajectory" that a quantum particle takes, because any measurement of position irrevocably disturbs the momentum, and vice versa. Using weak measurements, however, it is possible to operationally define a set of trajectories for an ensemble of quantum particles. We sent single photons emitted by a quantum dot through a double-slit interferometer and reconstructed these trajectories by performing a weak measurement of the photon momentum, postselected according to the result of a strong measurement of photon position in a series of planes. The results provide an observationally grounded description of the propagation of subensembles of quantum particles in a two-slit interferometer.
Citation: Science Magazine
Volume: 332
Issue: 6034
Pages: pp. 1170 - 1173
Keywords: Quantum Optics; Single-Photon Sources; Weak Measurements
Research Areas: Quantum Optics
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1202218  (Note: May link to a non-U.S. Government webpage)
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (777KB)