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I just started learning about the intricacies of quantum mechanics in high school and aim to improve my understanding of the wave-particle duality of particles. I was wondering about different variations of Young's double-slit experiment in which the particle would act as a wave or a particle. I asked around my teachers but didn't come to a satisfying conclusion and I couldn't come across a proper answer that applied to my inquiry online.

My understanding of the Which Way Double Slit experiment is that if there is a detection of the photon's path, the uncertainties of the position are erased and the photon behaves as a particle instead of a wave and leaves a pattern of a particle on the screen (the pattern being two humps that represent the two ranges of positions the photon land on). And if there is no detection (no detector) then the photon behaves as a wave and shows the interference pattern on the screen.

In the case in which a detector is used, what happens if, instead of the screen, another barrier with a double slit is placed such that each slit is placed at each hump of particles. What would be displayed on the screen? Does the photon remain a particle and create the same two humps on the screen? Or does it generate an interference pattern because it is a double slit and there is no further detection happening?

Illustration:

what I imagine would happen

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  • $\begingroup$ I suggest looking into the Quantum Eraser experiment - at its core, this is your proposed setup. $\endgroup$
    – Kandrax
    Commented Dec 4, 2023 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ Best to think of an electron as a particle and a photon as a wave, both in the EM field. The EM field likes to work as waves ... like a guitar string .... both el/ph are affected by the EM field. An electron (and a photon) always has wave properties, with a double slit you can affect the wave properties, if you mess with the electron after the slits it loses the effect of the slits (the interference). If you mess with a photon you usually absorb/destroy it ... a polarizer is an exception. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 4, 2023 at 14:15

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...and leaves a pattern of a particle on the screen (the pattern being two humps that represent the two ranges of positions the photon land on).

You should be a little careful about how you describes these things. There is no such thing as a "pattern of a particle." When a single particle is detected on a detection screen it shows up like a little "blip" in the detector.

It is only after the detection of very many particles that any distribution like "a pattern" of "two humps" shows up.

Please take a look at this paper and a very nice accompanying video and images of this effect, where the effect was demonstrated quite directly.

And if there is no detection (no detector) then the photon behaves as a wave and shows the interference pattern on the screen.

Again, it is only after very many individual particles have been detected that any kind of "pattern" (whether it is two humps or the interference pattern) shows up.

You may also want to review the old master's description of the experiment.

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