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Extreme beam attenuation in double-slit experiments: Quantum and subquantum scenarios

Annals of Physics 353
Grössing, G.Fussy, S.Mesa Pascasio, J.Schwabl, H. Austrian Institute for Nonlinear Studies,
Vienna, Austria

Atominstitut,TU Wien,
Vienna, Austria
2015 Physics

Combining high and low probability densities in intensity hybrids, we study some of their proper- ties in double-slit setups. In particular, we connect to earlier results on beam attenuation techniques in neutron interferometry and study the effects of very small transmission factors, or very low count- ing rates, respectively, at one of the two slits. We use a “superclassical” modeling procedure which we have previously shown to produce predictions identical with those of standard quantum theory.

Although in accordance with the latter, we show that there are previously unexpected new effects in intensity hybrids for transmission factors below a < 10−4, which can eventually be observed with the aid of weak measurement techniques. We denote these as quantum sweeper effects, which are characterized by the bunching together of low counting rate particles within very narrow spatial domains.

We give an explanation of this phenomenology by the circumstance that in reaching down to ever weaker channel intensities, the nonlinear nature of the probability density currents becomes ever more important, a fact which is generally not considered – although implicitly present – in standard quantum mechanics.

The article was published in: Annals of Physics 353: 271-281.

Full article

This work was supported (in part) by the Fetzer Franklin Fund of the John E. Fetzer Memorial Trust.