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paperAssignment - Physics 61 Quantum Theory Fall 2009 Paper...

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Physics 61, Quantum Theory Fall 2009 Paper Assignment 1) Find a paper that reports an experimental test or demonstration of an important quantum mechanical principle (e.g. wave-particle duality, complementarity, uncertainty principle, tunneling, particle interference, non-locality). The paper must come from one of the following sources: The journals Physical Review Letters , Nature , or Science . Or any of the experimental papers cited in The Quantum Challenge , by Greenstein and Zajonc, except the Tonomura paper on electron 2-slit interference.. Links to some of those papers can be found on the course website. 2) Write a non-technical explanation of the experiment (no equations!) at the level of an article in the “Science Times” section of the New York Times (but with bibliographical citations). Your paper should be between 500 and 1000 words in length, and may include at most two figures – one diagram and one data figure. It should explain how the experiment was carried out, what the results were, and how they test or demonstrate an important aspect of quantum mechanics. Some hints: Very often the first paper you find is not the best one to use, since it is often a refinement of earlier work that is easier to understand. Read the paper’s introduction and look up some of the background references; one of them may be a better choice. Nowadays physicists take the correctness of quantum mechanics for granted, so the paper may emphasize more subtle or esoteric measurements rather than agreement with quantum theory. So the main point for our purposes won’t necessarily be what’s highlighted by the authors.
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