Experimental limits of ghost diffraction: Popper’s thought experiment

Moreau, P.-A. , Morris, P. A., Toninelli, E., Gregory, T., Aspden, R. S., Spalding, G., Boyd, R. W. and Padgett, M. J. (2018) Experimental limits of ghost diffraction: Popper’s thought experiment. Scientific Reports, 8, 13183. (doi:10.1038/s41598-018-31429-y) (PMID:30181599) (PMCID:PMC6123420)

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Abstract

Quantum ghost diffraction harnesses quantum correlations to record diffraction or interference features using photons that have never interacted with the diffractive element. By designing an optical system in which the diffraction pattern can be produced by double slits of variable width either through a conventional diffraction scheme or a ghost diffraction scheme, we can explore the transition between the case where ghost diffraction behaves as conventional diffraction and the case where it does not. For conventional diffraction the angular extent increases as the scale of the diffracting object is reduced. By contrast, we show that no matter how small the scale of the diffracting object, the angular extent of the ghost diffraction is limited (by the transverse extent of the spatial correlations between beams). Our study is an experimental realisation of Popper’s thought experiment on the validity of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. We discuss the implication of our results in this context and explain that it is compatible with, but not proof of, the Copenhagen interpretation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Padgett, Professor Miles and Aspden, Mr Reuben and Spalding, Professor Gabriel and Boyd, Professor Robert and Moreau, Dr Paul-Antoine and Gregory, Mr Thomas and Toninelli, Ermes and MORRIS, PETER
Authors: Moreau, P.-A., Morris, P. A., Toninelli, E., Gregory, T., Aspden, R. S., Spalding, G., Boyd, R. W., and Padgett, M. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 8: 13183
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.659

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
6672319UK Quantum Technology Hub in Enhanced Quantum ImagingMiles PadgettEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M01326X/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
624501TWISTS - Twists & more: the complex shape of lightMiles PadgettEuropean Research Council (ERC)340507S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
717951IMAGITMiles PadgettEuropean Commission (EC)706410S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
636381EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensing and MeasurementAndrew HarveyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L016753/1SCHOOL OF PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
738201EPSRC DTP 16/17 and 17/18Mary Beth KneafseyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N509668/1R&I - RESEARCH STRATEGY & INNOVATION

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