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Special Functions

particle impact
Detection locations over time.

Double Slit Wave-Particle Duality

The Double Slit Wave-Particle Duality Model demonstrates how matter and light display both wave- and particle-like properties in single and double slit experiments.  The simulation shows a detector screen placed behind an aperture with one or two open slits.  Particles (electrons or photons) pass through the experiment one at a time and their impact is recorded on the screen.  Although it is at first difficult to discern a pattern, a diffraction (interference) pattern eventually emerges suggesting that each particle is interfering with itself.  The particle seems be going through both slits as if it were a wave but is detected (observed) at only one location as if were a particle.  The particle is interfering with itself as if it were simultaneously passing through both slits.


Classical wave theory predicts the Fraunhofer diffraction pattern I(θ) if the viewing distance is large compared to the slit width D or slit separation d. 


Fraunhofer diffraction


Quantum mechanics interprets I(θ) as the probably of finding the particle (photon or electron) striking the screen.  Photons or electrons can each behave like particles or waves, but not at the same time.



The Double Slit Wave-Particle Duality Model was developed by Wolfgang Christian using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) version 4.3 authoring and modeling tool.


You can examine and modify a compiled EJS model if you run the model (double click on the model's jar file), right-click within a plot, and select "Open EJS Model" from the pop-up menu.  You must, of course, have EJS installed on your computer.  Information about EJS is available at: <> and in the OSP ComPADRE collection <>.

Intro Page



Code Language Translator Run

Software Requirements


Android iOS Windows MacOS
with best with Chrome Chrome Chrome Chrome
support full-screen? Yes. Chrome/Opera No. Firefox/ Samsung Internet Not yet Yes Yes
cannot work on some mobile browser that don't understand JavaScript such as.....
cannot work on Internet Explorer 9 and below



Wolfgang Christian - Davidson College, remixed added by lookang (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); lookang; tina

# Wave-Particle Duality JavaScript HTML5 Applet Simulation Model

The fascinating phenomenon of wave-particle duality has been a cornerstone of quantum mechanics for almost a century. It challenges our intuitive understanding of the nature of particles and waves, blurring the lines between them. In this blog post, we'll explore a JavaScript HTML5 applet simulation model that helps us grasp this intriguing concept.

## Understanding Wave-Particle Duality

Wave-particle duality is the idea that particles, such as electrons and photons, exhibit both wave-like and particle-like behaviors depending on the experimental conditions. This concept was first introduced by Louis de Broglie in 1924 and later supported by experiments like the famous double-slit experiment. It suggests that particles, when not observed, can behave as waves, exhibiting interference patterns, and when observed, they behave as discrete particles.

## The Need for Simulation

Wave-particle duality is a profound and abstract concept that can be challenging to grasp without visual aids. Fortunately, technology allows us to create simulations that make these complex ideas more accessible. One such tool is a JavaScript HTML5 applet simulation model.

## Building the Simulation Model

Creating a simulation model for wave-particle duality requires a strong foundation in both physics and programming. 

### 1. HTML5 Canvas:

Use EJSS authoring toolkit to edit the simulation model.

### 2. JavaScript:

JavaScript will be used to handle the simulation logic. Use EJSS authoring toolkit to edit the simulation model.

### 3. Particle and Wave Representations:

In the simulation, you can represent particles as discrete points and waves as propagating sinusoidal functions. You'll need to define the behavior of these elements based on the principles of wave-particle duality.

### 4. Interactivity:

Allow users to interact with the simulation. They should be able to toggle between particle and wave representations and adjust parameters like wavelength, slit width, and particle speed.

### 5. Double-Slit Experiment:

Include a double-slit experiment scenario in your simulation. This is where the wave-particle duality becomes most apparent. Users can observe how particles behave when passing through two slits, creating an interference pattern on the screen.

### 6. Visualization:

Use the canvas to visualize the behavior of particles and waves. You can draw particle trajectories, wavefronts, and interference patterns to help users understand the concept better.

## Educational Benefits

A JavaScript HTML5 applet simulation model for wave-particle duality offers several educational benefits:

1. **Visual Understanding:** Visualizing complex concepts helps learners grasp them more easily. The simulation makes it clear how particles and waves behave in different scenarios.

2. **Interactive Learning:** Interactivity engages users and allows them to experiment with different parameters, promoting a deeper understanding.

3. **Accessible:** Online simulations are accessible to anyone with a web browser, making them available for self-study or classroom use.

4. **Concept Reinforcement:** Students and enthusiasts can use the simulation to reinforce their understanding of wave-particle duality through hands-on experimentation.

## Conclusion

The concept of wave-particle duality challenges our fundamental understanding of the nature of matter and energy. Through the use of a JavaScript HTML5 applet simulation model, we can bridge the gap between abstract theory and tangible understanding. Such simulations empower learners to explore and appreciate the beauty and complexity of quantum mechanics, making science more accessible and engaging for all.




Other Resources by Jana Legerská Interactive Visualisation for Teaching a Quantum Double Slit Experiment found MPTL26


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