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Interference of more and more massive objects provides a spectacular confirmation of quantum theory. It is usually regarded as support for “wave–particle duality” and in an extension of this duality even as support for “complementarity”. We first give an outline of the historical development of these notions. Already here it becomes evident that they are hard to define rigorously, i.e. have mainly a heuristic function. Then we discuss recent interference experiments of large and complex molecules which seem to support this heuristic function of “duality”. However, we show that in these experiments the diffraction of a delocalized center-of-mass wave function depends on the interaction of the localized structure of the molecule with the diffraction element. Thus, the molecules display “dual features” at the same time, which contradicts the usual understanding of wave–particle duality. We conclude that the notion of “wave–particle duality” deserves no place in modern quantum physics.

Dying Experiments
(2022)

Designing experiments which delocalize ever more complex and more massive particles requires a quantitative assessment of new interferometer configurations. Here, we introduce a figure of
merit which quantifies the difference between a genuine quantum interference pattern and a classical shadow and use it to compare a number of near-field interferometer schemes. This allows us to identify the most promising setups for future tests of the quantum superposition principle, and to discuss the perspectives of interferometry with complex molecules and clusters.