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Phase-dependent which-way information

By Uwe Schilling and Joachim von Zanthier


We introduce a new observable for reading out a which-way detector in a Young-type interferometer whose eigenstates either contain full which-way information or none at all. We calculate the which-way knowledge K that can be retrieved from this observable and find that K depends on the phase difference \delta that the interfering object accumulates on its way from either slit to the detector. In particular, it turns out that K(\delta) has an upper bound of 1, almost independent of the visibility V of the interference pattern generated by the interfering object on a screen, which is in marked contrast to the well-known inequality K^2 + V^2 <= 1 (cf. B.-G. Englert, Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 2154 (1996)).Comment: 7 pages, 4 figure

Topics: Quantum Physics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.physleta.2012.10.019
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