Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Feynman suggested that there is an infinity of trajectories for a single electron travelling from the source to the phosphorescent screen. He said that one electron goes through both holes (Fig 4.10, page 110, The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene).

Is it possible that there is a simpler explanation?

The double slits bear a parallel resemblance to the characteristics of a simple slot antenna equal to a simple dipole antenna. Can the incident electrons induce a charge into the area surrounding the slot and cause an electric field to be created between the slot edges. This would serve to convert the electron from a transverse particle wave to a longitudinal magnetic wave which is then radiated forward. The interference pattern is created as the output of each slot interferers with each other producing the interference pattern on the phosphorus screen. It would also explain why, when a sensor is introduced to monitor what is happening in the slit, it causes the magnetic wave to change back to a particle wave, because it has disturbed the field in the slots.

share|cite|improve this question
see my answer to a similar question here… .Since the quote of Feynman newer experiments imply that it is the measurement that is spoiling the interference by changing the boundary conditions. More careful experiments show that one can detect the slit the photon went through by ingenious methods. The interference is in the probability distribution of the photons in the experiment. Not in a mystical mass spread, – anna v Feb 17 '13 at 14:31
yes check this as a start: – Nikos M. Aug 19 '14 at 12:29

I'm not sure what you mean by "transverse particle wave", and in general I think you might be mixing up a few concepts.

Putting that aside though, consider the fact that the double slit interference pattern has been observed with neutrons (and lots of other stuff). Neutrons can not fulfill your model's need for "an electric field to be created between the slot edges", thus your model can not explain why interference happens with neutrons.

Please forgive my bluntness, but the answer is no, the explanation provided is not viable.

share|cite|improve this answer
Thank you for your explanation and apology for bluntness. I don't consider your answer blunt but rather to the point. Please consider the following: – DanRCDD Feb 18 '13 at 14:00
"Transverse particle wave" is the Electric Wave orientation of the electrons electric field. Neutrinos electrical field is longitudinal. I don't know the orientation of a Neutron wave but what all of these particles have in common, as they travel at the speed of light, is their mass produced by their momentum. But more importantly I believe the particles mass impinging on and being absorbed by the material surrounding the slits (or slots) acts as a charge which is able to set up an electric field across the slit (slot) which is at the same frequency as the particle. Magnetic wave is radiated. – DanRCDD Feb 18 '13 at 14:10
Neutrinos don't have an electric field. Also, the massive particles you mentioned do not travel at the speed of light. In the double slit experiments they are travelling much much slower than the speed of light. The Compton wavelength of the electron is on the order of $10^{-12}m$ but the slit width used to reveal quantum interference is on the order of $10^{-6}m$ (a million times larger). The process you are describing does not make sense. If you could put it into equations then maybe it would be more clear. – xxx Feb 18 '13 at 15:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.