i am a year 12 student and as i was reading a book written by Brain Clegg, i hit a roadblock. It would be great if somone could help me out with this.

when we conduct young's double slit experiment with a single photon , it is seen that we get an interference pattern due to the probability of the photon passing through either of the slits. Now, if we were to place a detector before the slits, we would know for sure through which slit the photon would pass. In the experiment does the results still show an interference pattern even though we know the location of the photon or does it disappear? And is the interference pattern still produced without a detector?

Thank you

  • $\begingroup$ More on single photon in YDSE. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Oct 25 '15 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ "The photon" does not pass trough either slit. The photon is simply the outcome of a measurement on a quantum field, i.e. it and it doesn't even exist as a physical object until after you perform the measurement. After you have performed the measurement, the photon is simply a bunch of numbers (time of arrival, detector location and polarization), so it doesn't exist as a physical object any more than the center of mass coordinates of a classical object exists as "an object", either. The conceptual problem with the double slit is a direct result of the meaning of the word "photon". $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Oct 25 '15 at 14:55

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