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published by the Physics Education Technology Project
This webpage contains an interactive simulation that allows students to explore quantum interference of photons and matter particles. The simulation allows the user to shoot either a continuous beam or single particles at a screen and watch an interference pattern emerge.  The entire evolution of the wave packet can be seen as it travels from the source to the screen. This simulation helps learners to develop a concrete mental model of quantum particles and the process of interference. User controls include resolution of the detector, size and placement of barriers, slits and detectors, types of particles modeled, frequency of photons or velocity of the particles. The simulations includes a stopwatch and ruler tool in order to record data and the capability to capture results at different times for comparisons.

This page also contains sample learning goals, a teacher's guide and user-submitted ideas and activities for use with the simulation.

This simulation is part of a large and growing collection. It has been designed using principles from physics education research and refined based on student interviews.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Quantum Physics
- Probability, Waves, and Interference
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- application/java
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2005 PHET and University of Colorado
Additional information is available.
Double slit, Single slit, Uncertainty, double slit, interference pattern, particle interference, wave function
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created September 9, 2006 by Gifford Weber
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 11, 2006
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AIP Format
(Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (
PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference, (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), <>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference. (2006, August 11). Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Physics Education Technology Project:
Chicago Format
Physics Education Technology Project. PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, August 11, 2006. (accessed 26 May 2017).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, 2005. 11 Aug. 2006. 26 May 2017 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference}, Publisher = {Physics Education Technology Project}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {26 May 2017}, Month = {August 11, 2006}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference
%D August 11, 2006
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%C Boulder
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D August 11, 2006
%T PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%V 2017
%N 26 May 2017
%8 August 11, 2006
%9 application/java

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PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference:

Accompanies PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: Probability and Randomness Interactive Lecture

This is a lecture presentation in Power Point format designed by the PhET research team specifically to supplement the Quantum Wave Interference simulation.  It could be adapted for use in either a sophomore-level Modern Physics class or an introductory class.

relation by Caroline Hall

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