My layman's understanding of one aspect of the wave/particle duality is that when we attempt to detect wave behavior we observe wave behavior, and when we measure to detect particle behavior we observe particle behavior.

The way that I understand the double-slit experiment is that the detector behind the slits is detecting particle hits, be they photons of light or what we classically describe as particles. So, I'm wondering if there have been experiments which use an array of antennae to observe the wave behavior after passing through the slits, rather than a particle/photon detector.


I do understand that the wave function is mathematical tool that represents and predicts quantum behavior, and it is uncertain whether it describes physical matter. Since there is an issue of wave behavior, I'm interested in what we can learn about it.

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    $\begingroup$ Related: Is the wave-particle duality a real duality? $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2018 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ Also: Are double-slit patterns really due to wave-like interference? $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2018 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting... so what would we see if we had an array of antennae that were sensitive to fluctuations in the quantum field? $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2018 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ Not clear what you are asking about physics. "Has experiment X been done?" is a question about human activity, not about the physics of experiment X. It is not a useful question. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2018 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ With a simple handheld radio you can certainly map out diffraction effects on signal propagation. A strict double-slit experiment may be hard to set up, but edge diffraction is pretty common. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 27, 2018 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


An array of antennae, each with its own detector, will still register each photon (or electron, or neutron, etc., depending on the type of experiment) as a single-particle hit, within the area covered by the antenna element. It would be possible to arrange the antenna array as a set of strips corresponding to the light and dark fringes in the diffraction pattern, then connect all the antennae that are in the dark fringes to one detector and all the antennae in the light fringes to another detector. The second detector would collect almost all the hits: we wouldn't know where the hit occurred within each sub-array.


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