Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

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

The question comes from thinking about the way how electrons act on the slits. Do material of the slits affect electrons motion? Assume the radius or length of the slits are set in this case.

share|cite|improve this question

Does the material affect the double slit experiment? No, but with some important conditions.

The double slit experiment is designed to measure the diffraction interference pattern of the wave-nature of matter like photons and electrons. The material used to make the slits is meant to either completely block the incident particles where there isn't a slit or let them pass completely through where there is a slit. The boundary between the material and the slit is supposed to be sharp. That's why the barriers S1 and S2 don't need labels:

double slit diagram

If you chose a material that didn't have these properties (or if you made the barrier so thin it could be tunneled through) you wouldn't really have the double slit experiment anymore.

So, given an appropriate choice of material, the experimental results don't change from material to material. The experiment is based on the geometry of the slits and the wavelength of the incident particles and not the particle-material interaction.

share|cite|improve this answer
I had checked your answer, but having thought further on this, I think that the real experiment is a solution of the quantum mechanical equation with boundaries for the electron the two slits, and in this case the conductivity for example should play a role at some level. It should not just be geometry if one could solve exactly. – anna v May 24 '14 at 7:41

"The material of the slits" (it would be more correct to say "the material of the screen with slits", as there is no material in the slits) definitely "affects electron's motion". For example, "In the course of our previous qualitative study an unexpected broadening of the diffraction peaks was observed.27 We show that the broadening of the diffraction peaks is affected by the type and thickness of metallic coating" ( ). The reason is the "image charges" in the screen with which electrons interact depend on the electric properties of the screen.

share|cite|improve this answer

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.