Is there any way to recreate this experiment with detectors at home?

I need detectors If I want to recreate the interference pattern. I have a little know-how in electronics so If I need to buy a detector there wouldn't be a problem using it. The thing is I don't know which detector should I use. Can I do this? Is It just too expensive for a DIY project?

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    $\begingroup$ We need a lot more info on your design. Do you want to measure visible photons? Radio waves? Electrons? . What's your source (are you aware of coherence requirements)? $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Feb 25 '14 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ I thought someone's going to ask that. :D Well It's really up to my budget. Realistically I think I want to measure visible photons because I can buy a Laser for a $1 or less. But sure If I need to spend more money on this project I'll do It. $\endgroup$ – Muhamed Krlić Feb 25 '14 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ I got my inspiration from Dr Quantum video believe it or not :). Since then I started surfing the internet all about double slit experiment. Waves have to be coherent. There's also some math involved in spacing between the gaps to get a good interference patterns. But all this knowledge is a new thing for me and I am willing to learn doing this project. $\endgroup$ – Muhamed Krlić Feb 25 '14 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ The mind-blowing thing about this experiment is a claim by some people that consciousness is involved in how the particle behaves. Personally I think that It's not true, but I am willing to test this! $\endgroup$ – Muhamed Krlić Feb 25 '14 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ It's not consciousness which makes particle behave, it's the macroscopic apparatus which measures the particle state. See e.g. this question. $\endgroup$ – Ruslan Feb 25 '14 at 18:49

The biggest restrictions on detectors are likely to be the light intensity, and the size of one pixel.

The intensity of light that comes through the slits is actually quite small. After all, the slits have to be narrow in order to function. Then you need to go to the screen, spreading out the energy over a wider area. Next, you want to cover the range of intensity in order to see the shape of the pattern. So you need quite a range of sensitivity.

To get details of the pattern, you will want a fairly small size detector pixel. Smaller area means you need more intense light to get signal.

A suggestion: Are you skilled enough to get and install something like a CCD from a digital camera? Probably you don't want to get an actual camera and take out the CCD because it will probably be pretty small for your purposes. To say nothing of destroying the camera. But there are various sizes of CCD devices. And they can be quite sensitive. And they come in a nice grid pattern so your data is automatically divided into locations.

A quick Google found a bunch of things, but I'm not sure where you want to go.

As well, you want to exert care with the light source. Monochromatic is necessary. Intense is good. Consider something like an LED laser pointer type device. You can get them for cheap. Possibly you can get a lens for it that will spread the beam out to the width that is most useful for your experiment.

Alternative: Instead of having the detectors directly receive the light, you could have the light fall on a screen. Then you could use any convenient camera to record the image. A few clever tricks with marks on the screen could give you calibration distances. Then you could extract any information you want from the camera image.


The question is what exactly it is you would like to observe. If all you are after is an interference pattern, then you could build a double slit experiment with shallow water waves or (classical) laser light. While these are classical waves, the underlying mechanism (maxima and minima due to interference of waves) is exactly the same.

If you insist on using bona fide quantum particles, both, creating a suitable source and a detector will be significantly more complicated. Ditto if you want to create low intensity sources so that you can see single impacts of, say, photons or electrons.


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