Observation of a classical Cheshire cat in an optical interferometer

David P. Atherton, Gambhir Ranjit, Andrew A. Geraci, Jonathan D. Weinstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A recent neutron interferometry experiment claims to demonstrate a paradoxical phenomenon dubbed the "quantum Cheshire cat" [Nat. Commun. 5, 4492 (2014)]. We have reproduced and extended these results with an equivalent optical interferometer. The results suggest that the photon travels through one arm of the interferometer, while its polarization travels through the other. However, we show that these experimental results belong to the domain where quantum and classical wave theories coincide; there is nothing uniquely quantum about the illusion of this Cheshire cat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-881
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Observation of a classical Cheshire cat in an optical interferometer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this