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Foundations of quantum mechanics: experiment and theory

18 Jun 2024

Measurement of the Weak Value of Momentum

This experiment will attempt to measure the weak value of the momentum of a metastable argon atom as it passes through a two slit interferometer. The argon atoms are slowed and stored in a magneto-optical-trap (MOT) see photo below. Then they are released and dropped through the interferometer where the weak measurement will take place.

Standard quantum mechanics does not allow the momentum and position to be measured simultaneously but this does not forbid the measurement of the weak value of momentum and position. As stated above the weak value of momentum is identical to the Bohm momentum. A map of the weak values of momentum in the Bohmian analysis of the interferometer has a distinct pattern as shown in the figure above. Therefore this experiment could be seen as seeking the first evidence of the existence of the quantum potential as predicted by the Bohmian interpretation.