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Quantum Physics

Title: Bohr's Complementarity: Completed with Entanglement

Abstract: Ninety years ago in 1927, at an international congress in Como, Italy, Niels Bohr gave an address which is recognized as the first instance in which the term "complementarity", as a physical concept, was spoken publicly [1], revealing Bohr's own thinking about Louis de Broglie's "duality". Bohr had very slowly accepted duality as a principle of physics: close observation of any quantum object will reveal either wave-like or particle-like behavior, one or the other of two fundamental and complementary features. Little disagreement exists today about complementarity's importance and broad applicability in quantum science. Book-length scholarly examinations even provide speculations about the relevance of complementarity in fields as different from physics as biology, psychology and social anthropology, connections which were apparently of interest to Bohr himself (see Jammer [2], Murdoch [3] and Whitaker [4]). Confusion evident in Como following his talk was not eliminated by Bohr's article [1], and complementarity has been subjected to nine decades of repeated examination ever since with no agreed resolution. Semi-popular treatments [5] as well as expert examinations [6-9] show that the topic cannot be avoided, and complementarity retains its central place in the interpretation of quantum mechanics. However, recent approaches by our group [10-13] and others [14-20] to the underlying notion of coherence now allow us to present a universal formulation of complementarity that may signal the end to the confusion. We demonstrate a new relationship that constrains the behavior of an electromagnetic field (quantum or classical) in the fundamental context of two-slit experiments. We show that entanglement is the ingredient needed to complete Bohr's formulation of complementarity, debated for decades because of its incompleteness.
Comments: 8 pages, 4 figures
Subjects: Quantum Physics (quant-ph); History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph); Optics (physics.optics)
Cite as: arXiv:1803.04611 [quant-ph]
  (or arXiv:1803.04611v1 [quant-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: Xiao-Feng Qian [view email]
[v1] Tue, 13 Mar 2018 04:23:44 GMT (2348kb,D)