Uncertainty in the context of multislit interferometry

Johannes Christopher Garbi Biniok, Paul Busch, Jukka Kiukas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A pair of uncertainty relations relevant for quantum states of multislit interferometry is derived, based on the mutually commuting “modular” position and momentum operators and their complementary counterparts, originally introduced by Aharonov and co-workers. We provide a precise argument as to why these relations are superior to the standard Heisenberg uncertainty relation at expressing the complementarity between spatial localization and the appearance of fringes. We further support the argument with explicit computations involving wave functions specifically tailored to the interference setup. Conceptually developing the idea of Aharonov and co-workers, we show how the modular momentum should reflect the given experimental setup, yielding a refined observable that accurately captures the fine structure of the interference pattern.
Original languageEnglish
Article number022115
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review A
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2014


  • Uncertainty principle
  • Interferometry
  • Quantum measurement

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