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Observing the average momentum flow lines of particles in a double slit interferometer

American Physical Society
Morley, J.Edmunds, P.Barker, P.Hiley, B.Flack, R.Monachello, V.Experimental Weak Values, Team American Physical Society 2016 Physics

The 1988 work on weak values by Aharonov et al., introduced a new kind of quantum variable. This created new perspectives when it came to the limits of quantum uncertainty. More recently, Kocsis et al. had used these techniques experimentally, claiming to have reconstructed the trajectories of photons after passing through an interferometer.

This was done without destroying the interference pattern, an act apparently forbidden by standard quantum mechanics. We aim to replicate Kocsis' experiment using atoms. A ready made magneto-optical trap can routinely cool and trap, metastable argon atoms to the mK range. The ultra-cold temperatures offers particles with a large De Broglie wavelength. Here we present our intended method of reconstructing the atom's trajectories, while maintaining the interference pattern, as they fall below the slits.

The paper was presented at: 'Bulletin of the American Physical Society: 47th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics', American Physical Society.

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