Quantum interference of molecules
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The double-slit interference experiment has been famously described by Richard Feynman as containing the “only mystery of quantum mechanics”. While the double-slit experiment for light is easily understood in terms of its wave nature, the very same experiment for particles like the electron is somewhat more difficult to comprehend. It has taken almost six decades after the establishment of its wave nature to carry out a ‘double-slit interference’ experiment for electrons. This has set the stage for interference experiments with atoms and molecules. In the last decade there has been a spectacular progress in matter-wave intereference experiments. Today, molecules with over a hundred atoms can be made to interfere. In this article we discuss some of these exciting developments which probe new regimes of Nature, bringing us closer to the heart of quantum mechanics and its hidden mysteries.
KeywordsMatter waves wave-particle duality electron interference decoherence
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