Research ArticleQuantum Mechanics

In search of multipath interference using large molecules

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Science Advances  11 Aug 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 8, e1602478
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602478

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Abstract

The superposition principle is fundamental to the quantum description of both light and matter. Recently, a number of experiments have sought to directly test this principle using coherent light, single photons, and nuclear spin states. We extend these experiments to massive particles for the first time. We compare the interference patterns arising from a beam of large dye molecules diffracting at single, double, and triple slit material masks to place limits on any high-order, or multipath, contributions. We observe an upper bound of less than one particle in a hundred deviating from the expectations of quantum mechanics over a broad range of transverse momenta and de Broglie wavelength.

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