Abstract

A phase-space formulation of the filtering process of a quantum state is developed that models both quantum interference and delayed-choice experiments without reference to the controversial wave–particle duality concept and without any explicit model of the interaction between the particles and the measuring apparatus. Quantum particles are considered as localized and indivisible concentrations of energy and/or mass, their probability amplitude in phase space being described by the Wigner distribution function. The “wave” or “particle” nature emerges in experiments in which the interference term of the Wigner distribution function is present or absent, respectively. The Wigner distribution function is modified by filtering devices that act on the quantum wave function throughout the setup, from its generation to its final detection.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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