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Quantum Physics, Second Edition by Alastair Rae

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2 · Which way are the photons pointing?

The previous chapter surveyed part of the rich variety of physical phenomena that can be understood using the ideas of quantum physics. Now that we are beginning the task of looking more deeply into the subject we shall find it useful to concentrate on examples that are comparatively simple to understand but which still illustrate the fundamental principles and highlight the basic conceptual problems. Some years ago most writers discussing such topics would probably have turned to the example of a ‘particle’ passing through a two-slit apparatus (as in Figure 1.2), whose wave properties are revealed in the interference pattern. Much of the discussion would have been in terms of wave–particle duality and ...

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