Foundations of Physics

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1370–1385

Afshar’s Experiment Does Not Show a Violation of Complementarity


DOI: 10.1007/s10701-007-9153-5

Cite this article as:
Steuernagel, O. Found Phys (2007) 37: 1370. doi:10.1007/s10701-007-9153-5


A recent experiment performed by S. Afshar [first reported by M. Chown, New Sci. 183:30, 2004] is analyzed. It was claimed that this experiment could be interpreted as a demonstration of a violation of the principle of complementarity in quantum mechanics. Instead, it is shown here that it can be understood in terms of classical wave optics and the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. Its performance is quantified and it is concluded that the experiment is suboptimal in the sense that it does not fully exhaust the limits imposed by quantum mechanics.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Physics, Astronomy and MathematicsUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUK