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Illustration of quantum complementarity using single photons interfering on a grating

V Jacques, Ngoc Diep Lai, A Dréau, D Zheng, D Chauvat, F Treussart, P Grangier, J-F Roch, New J. Phys. 10 123009 (11pp) doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/10/12/123009

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Abstract. A recent experiment performed by Afshar et al (2007 Found. Phys. 37 295–305) has been interpreted as a violation of Bohr's complementarity principle between interference visibility and which-path information (WPI) in a two-path interferometer. We have reproduced this experiment, using true single-photon pulses propagating in a two-path wavefront-splitting interferometer realized with a Fresnel's biprism, and followed by a grating with adjustable transmitting slits. The measured values of interference visibility V and WPI, characterized by the distinguishability parameter D, are found to obey the complementarity relation V2+D2≤1. This result demonstrates that the experiment can be perfectly explained by the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. Received 31 July 2008 Published 9 December 2008

This work is supported by Institut Universitaire de France and European projects EQUIND (FP6 project number IST-034368) and NEDQIT (ERANET Nano-Sci).
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