This may be a stupid question, and I apologize if it is.

With the double slit experiment, measuring which slit the electron came through causes it to act like particle.

Instead, I wonder if it is possible to measure the direction that an electron came from once its gone through the slits, and just as it would act on the screen. If that were possible, would it cause the pattern to look like particles, or would it still look like waves? Would it matter if the "detector" was in a location that the detector was dark?

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    $\begingroup$ There are no particles or waves in that experiment. The correct answer is that neither option describes reality correctly, so it has to be something third. Today we call that third option a quantum field and the measurement of "an electron" is basically nothing else than the measurement of a state of that field. In that sense "an electron here at this specific time" is ontologically the same as a "spin up" in a spin measurement. Once you are over the idea that there have to be localized particles, it's much easier to analyze how a change of the detector will change the measurement result. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jun 2 '15 at 4:24

Whenever you handle electrons and photons, they are particles. They are indivisible particles and the pattern of fringes, one see behind an edge, a slit or double slits are always made from particles. This you can see when reducing the radiation of the beam and it was shown in many experiments.

To conclude, that even a beam of single following photons or electrons interfere with itself on an edge, a slit or well designed (in relation to the energy of the particles) multi-slits is a n interpretation. An other interpretation is the conclusion, that the particle in the beam and the surface electrons from the edges interact, the electromagnetic field between them is quantized and fringes are the result of that.

You will see, that in the forum is no argument against the second interpretation, only head shaking because it is not teached this way. Double slit experiment and its interpretation is highly canonized and discussion about other interpretation seems not possible.

  • $\begingroup$ Now we can handle particles? Which supplier of experimental physics equipment produces "particle handlers"? $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jun 2 '15 at 4:43

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