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During the double slit experiment the electron passes through both slits, how come the material between the two slits does not collapse the wave function and we get an interference pattern? On the other hand, the photon gun's photons on the other side (the observer person's tool) does collapse it. Does it impart more energy than the material?

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    $\begingroup$ I think you've confused a few things here. The "wave function collapse" is the usual interpretation of the observational result which is that we see the interference pattern. I suggest you read this page, and then rewrite your question feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/III_01.html $\endgroup$ – N. Steinle Jan 8 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ Please give a reference to the experiment that you describe, or better still, a description of it. $\endgroup$ – my2cts Jan 8 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ The collapse is not a physical, dynamical process. $\endgroup$ – my2cts Jan 8 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ Closely related question here. $\endgroup$ – knzhou Jan 9 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ In the description of the experiment they never say which slit they are aiming at, whether they change their aim from shot to shot and whether the particle can fit through a single slit. Anyway, for some reason the which way question rises regarding this experiment, and when it does, the which way detector comes into play, so that's why I'm comparing the barrier between the slits with the which-way detector photon gun on the other side. If this detector destroys the interference pattern, I expect the barrier between the slit to do the same. $\endgroup$ – stevie Jan 9 at 21:13
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I would be careful about saying that "the electron goes through both slits", as that is simply not the right way to think about it. Rather, the photon will be in some superposition eigenstates as it passes through the slits.

Having said that, realize that anything that hits the barrier is going to bounce right off and not make it through. The moment that the photon hits the barrier it is in a position eigenstate. So in that sense, the barrier does collapse the wave function if it hits it. If it doesn't then the photon will remain in a superposition.

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