The Simplest Double Slit: Interference and Entanglement in Double Photoionization of H2

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The wave nature of particles is rarely seen in nature. One reason is their very short de Broglie wavelengths in most situations. However, even with wavelengths close to the size of their surroundings, they couple to their environment, e.g. by gravity, Coulomb interaction, or thermal radiation. These couplings shift the phase of the waves, often in an uncontrolled way, hence yielding varying amounts of decoherence i.e. loss of phase integrity. Decoherence is thought to be a main cause of the transition from quantum to classical behavior. How much interaction is necessary and how big an environment is needed to induce ... continued below

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Akoury , D.; Kreidi, K.; Jahnke , T.; Weber, Th.; Staudte , A.; Schoffler, M. et al. September 18, 2007.

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The wave nature of particles is rarely seen in nature. One reason is their very short de Broglie wavelengths in most situations. However, even with wavelengths close to the size of their surroundings, they couple to their environment, e.g. by gravity, Coulomb interaction, or thermal radiation. These couplings shift the phase of the waves, often in an uncontrolled way, hence yielding varying amounts of decoherence i.e. loss of phase integrity. Decoherence is thought to be a main cause of the transition from quantum to classical behavior. How much interaction is necessary and how big an environment is needed to induce the onset of classical behavior? Here we show that a photoelectron and two protons form a minimum particle/slit system, and that a minimum environment can be no more than a single additional electron. We observe interference 'fringes' in the angular distribution of a single electron and the loss of fringe visibility caused by its Coulomb interaction with a second electron. While, at the same time, the correlated momenta of the entangled electron pair continue to exhibit quantum interference.

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  • Journal Name: Science; Journal Volume: 318; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 11/09/2007

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  • Report No.: LBNL-4105E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1001039
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc836995

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  • September 18, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • July 26, 2016, 5:48 p.m.

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Akoury , D.; Kreidi, K.; Jahnke , T.; Weber, Th.; Staudte , A.; Schoffler, M. et al. The Simplest Double Slit: Interference and Entanglement in Double Photoionization of H2, article, September 18, 2007; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc836995/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.