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published by the PhET
This webpage contains an interactive simulation that allows students to explore quantum interference of photons and matter particles.  Users have the choice 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.  Tools include a stopwatch and ruler to record data plus a capture tool for comparison of results at time intervals.  

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.  SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for a link to lecture presentations and clicker questions designed specifically for use with this simulation.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Quantum Physics
- Probability, Waves, and Interference
- Lower Undergraduate
- Upper 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
(PhET, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (
PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference (PhET, Boulder, 2005), <>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference. (2006, August 11). Retrieved July 23, 2024, from PhET:
Chicago Format
PhET. PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference. Boulder: PhET, August 11, 2006. (accessed 23 July 2024).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference. Boulder: PhET, 2005. 11 Aug. 2006. 23 July 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference}, Publisher = {PhET}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {23 July 2024}, Month = {August 11, 2006}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

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

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D August 11, 2006 %T PhET Simulation: Quantum Wave Interference %I PhET %V 2024 %N 23 July 2024 %8 August 11, 2006 %9 application/java %U

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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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