Light and matter diffraction from the unified viewpoint of Feynman’s Sum of all Paths

  • Marcelo Arelgo Universidad Nacional de La Plata. CONICET
  • Maria de los Angeles Fanaro UNCPBA


In this work, we present a pedagogical strategy to describe the diffraction phenomenon based on a didactic adaptation of the Feynman’s path integrals method, which uses only high school mathematics. The advantage of our approach is that it allows to describe the diffraction in a fully quantum context, where superposition and probabilistic aspects emerge naturally. Our method is based on a time-independent formulation, which allows modelling the phenomenon in geometric terms and trajectories in real space, which is an advantage from the didactic point of view. A distinctive aspect of our work is the description of the series of transformations and didactic transpositions of the fundamental equations that give rise to a common quantum framework for light and matter. This is something that is usually masked by the common use, and that to our knowledge has not been emphasized enough in a unified way. Finally, the role of the superposition of nonclassical paths and their didactic potential are briefly mentioned.


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How to Cite
ARELGO, Marcelo; FANARO, Maria de los Angeles. Light and matter diffraction from the unified viewpoint of Feynman’s Sum of all Paths. European Journal of Physics Education, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 2, may 2018. ISSN 1309-7202. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 sep. 2023. doi:
Classroom Physics