Exotic looped trajectories of photons in three-slit interference

Beitrag in einer Fachzeitschrift

Details zur Publikation

Autorinnen und Autoren: Magaña-Loaiza OS, De Leon I, Mirhosseini M, Fickler R, Safari A, Mick U, McIntryre B, Banzer P, Rodenburg B, Leuchs G, Boyd RW
Zeitschrift: Nature Communications
Verlag: Nature Publishing Group
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2016
Band: 7
ISSN: 2041-1723


The validity of the superposition principle and of Born's rule are well-accepted tenants of quantum mechanics. Surprisingly, it has been predicted that the intensity pattern formed in a three-slit experiment is seemingly in contradiction with the most conventional form of the superposition principle when exotic looped trajectories are taken into account. However, the probability of observing such paths is typically very small, thus rendering them extremely difficult to measure. Here we confirm the validity of Born's rule and present the first experimental observation of exotic trajectories as additional paths for the light by directly measuring their contribution to the formation of optical interference fringes. We accomplish this by enhancing the electromagnetic near-fields in the vicinity of the slits through the excitation of surface plasmons. This process increases the probability of occurrence of these exotic trajectories, demonstrating that they are related to the near-field component of the photon's wavefunction.

FAU-Autorinnen und Autoren / FAU-Herausgeberinnen und Herausgeber

Banzer, Peter Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Experimentalphysik (Optik)
Mick, Uwe
Lehrstuhl für Experimentalphysik (Optik)

Zusätzliche Organisationseinheit(en)
Graduiertenkolleg 1896/2 In situ Mikroskopie mit Elektronen, Röntgenstrahlen und Rastersonden

Einrichtungen weiterer Autorinnen und Autoren

Princeton University
Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM)
University of Ottawa
University of Rochester (UR)


Magaña-Loaiza, O.S., De Leon, I., Mirhosseini, M., Fickler, R., Safari, A., Mick, U.,... Boyd, R.W. (2016). Exotic looped trajectories of photons in three-slit interference. Nature Communications, 7. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13987

Magaña-Loaiza, Omar S, et al. "Exotic looped trajectories of photons in three-slit interference." Nature Communications 7 (2016).


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