loading page

On the wave-particle duality of a Hertzian dipole
  • Steffen Kühn
Steffen Kühn

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile


A Hertzian dipole is a small antenna that emits radio waves. In this article, the interaction of a Hertzian dipole with the field reflected from the environment is analyzed. The study shows that a single Hertzian dipole can behave like a quantum object: in particular, it can interfere with itself at a double slit, owing to a ponderomotive force. Therefore, it cannot reach every location behind a double slit with the same probability, and the probability distribution for the location of an impact on a screen behind the double slit may show a clear interference pattern. This effect disappears if one of the slits is closed, or if the system of the Hertzian dipole, double slit and standing wave is disturbed by external influences. Both particle interference and the collapse of the wave function are considered to be effects that cannot be explained by classical physics. However, Hertzian dipoles can be tangible objects moving on classical trajectories, and their location and velocity can be measured simultaneously at any time. Thus, the Hertzian dipole provides an example of how central features of quantum mechanics can be explained by means of classical physics.