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Interfering Quantum Trajectories Without Which-Way Information

Abstract

Quantum trajectory-based descriptions of interference between two coherent stationary waves in a double-slit experiment are presented, as given by the de Broglie–Bohm (dBB) and modified de Broglie–Bohm (MdBB) formulations of quantum mechanics. In the dBB trajectory representation, interference between two spreading wave packets can be shown also as resulting from motion of particles. But a trajectory explanation for interference between stationary states is so far not available in this scheme. We show that both the dBB and MdBB trajectories are capable of producing the interference pattern for stationary as well as wave packet states. However, the dBB representation is found to provide the ‘which-way’ information that helps to identify the hole through which the particle emanates. On the other hand, the MdBB representation does not provide any which-way information while giving a satisfactory explanation of interference phenomenon in tune with the de Broglie’s wave particle duality. By counting the trajectories reaching the screen, we have numerically evaluated the intensity distribution of the fringes and found very good agreement with the standard results.

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Acknowledgements

We wish to thank an anonymous Reviewer for helping to point out the important feature of same-color crossings in the MdBB trajectory plots. We also thank Professor K. Babu Joseph for useful discussions.

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Correspondence to Moncy V. John.

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Mathew, K., John, M.V. Interfering Quantum Trajectories Without Which-Way Information. Found Phys 47, 873–886 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10701-017-0088-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10701-017-0088-1

Keywords

  • Quantum trajectory
  • Double-slit experiment
  • de Broglie–Bohm theory
  • Complex trajectories
  • Which-way information