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Using Averages To Bend the Uncertainty Principle 112

summerbreeze writes "Researchers at the University of Toronto have conducted a two-slit experiment, published in Science, that uses 'weak measurement' on photons to push back the boundaries of what can be known about them, given the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Jason Palmer does a great job reporting this experiment to us mere mortals in a BBC article: 'The team allowed the photons to pass through a thin sliver of the mineral calcite which gave each photon a tiny nudge in its path, with the amount of deviation dependent on which slit it passed through. By averaging over a great many photons passing through the apparatus, and only measuring the light patterns on a camera, the team was able to infer what paths the photons had taken. While they were able to easily observe the interference pattern indicative of the wave nature of light, they were able also to see from which slits the photons had come, a sure sign of their particle nature."
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Using Averages To Bend the Uncertainty Principle

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  • by migla ( 1099771 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @03:48PM (#36337752)

    The key here is surreptitiousness. The researcher must act uninterested and as if they aren't trying to measure anything in particular and especially not with any fine accuracy. It helps if they whistle and distractedly reorganize bottles on a shelf while glancing fleetingly over at the experiment letting out a bored "Meh" as they do so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 04, 2011 @10:30PM (#36339730)

    I don't get it How does this differ from the classic two-slit experiment?

    Well, the explanation might be a bit long, but try to bare with us.

    You see, the main difference is

    #include <article.h>

    See? Simple as can be!
    Sorry if that post got too long winded...

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer