How Does Interference Fall?

  • Patrick J. OrlandoEmail author
  • Felix A. Pollock
  • Kavan Modi
Part of the Quantum Science and Technology book series (QST)


We study how single- and double-slit interference patterns fall in the presence of gravity. First, we demonstrate that universality of free fall still holds in this case, i.e., interference patterns fall just like classical objects. Next, we explore lowest order relativistic effects in the Newtonian regime by employing a recent quantum formalism which treats mass as an operator. This leads to interactions between non-degenerate internal degrees of freedom (like spin in an external magnetic field) and external degrees of freedom (like position). Based on these effects, we present an unusual phenomenon, in which a falling double slit interference pattern periodically decoheres and recoheres. The oscillations in the visibility of this interference occur due to correlations built up between spin and position. Finally, we connect the interference visibility revivals with non-Markovian quantum dynamics.



We thank Robert Mann for insightful discussions and German Valencia for pointing out errors in an earlier version of this work.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick J. Orlando
    • 1
    Email author
  • Felix A. Pollock
    • 1
  • Kavan Modi
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Physics and AstronomyMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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