Wave-Particle Duality : A Case Study

  • Alain Aspect
  • Philippe Grangier
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 226)


Many introductory courses in Quantum Mechanics -whether or not they choose an historical perspective- begin with an “experiment” exhibiting the wave-particle duality of the behaviour of matter [1]. This experiment is usually presented as in Fig. 1.a and Fig. 1.b.


Beam Splitter Light Pulse Path Difference Photon State Usual Source 
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    In that case, the fact that the experiment is dealing with particles is taken as evident, which is quite reasonable in some cases (with electrons or neutrons for instance). We however think that the discussion is more convincing when an experiment like (1.b) is presented (at the microscopic level, we do not see the particle, so how do we know that it is a particle ?).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Aspect
    • 1
  • Philippe Grangier
    • 2
  1. 1.Collège de France et Laboratoire de Spectroscopic Hertzienne de l’Ecole Normale Supérieureassocié au CNRS et à l’Université Paris VIParisFrance
  2. 2.Institut d’OptiqueUniversité Paris XIOrsayFrance

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