Hidden observables in neutron quantum interferometry

Atominstitut der Oesterreichischen Universitaeten, Stadionallee 2, 1020 Vienna, Austria; Institut Laue-Langevin, B.P. 156, 38042 Grenoble, France
Physica B Condensed Matter (Impact Factor: 1.28). 01/2006; DOI: 10.1016/j.physb.2006.05.184

ABSTRACT Neutron interferometry using monolithic perfect single crystals has become an important tool for fundamental, nuclear, and solid-state physics research. New features of quantum mechanics become measurable by means of neutron interferometry. Such features are quantum phases, which provide a more direct access to properties of wave functions and permit wave function reconstruction, and wave function engineering. Most recently, new experiments concerning off-diagonal and non-cyclic geometrical phases, confinement induced phases, and contextuality related experiments have been performed. These experiments show an intrinsic entanglement of different degrees of freedom of a single particle. Proper post-selection experiments yield to more quantum complete experiments and may help to make quantum mechanics less mystic. Unavoidable quantum losses may play an important role to explain the transition from the quantum to the classical world. All these investigations concern the heart of quantum mechanics and demonstrate the non-local feature of this theory.

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    ABSTRACT: The special and unique techniques of neutron interferometry have been used to observe a number of topological effects. These include the quantum mechanical phase shift of a neutron due to the Earth's rotation (the quantum analog of the Michelson–Gale–Pearson experiment with light), the phase shift of a particle carrying a magnetic moment (a neutron) encircling a line charge (the Aharonov–Casher effect) and the scalar Aharonov–Bohm effect, observed with a pulsed magnetic field solenoid and time-of-flight neutron detection. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Aharonov–Bohm paper, we provide an overview of the neutron interferometry technique and a description of these three historic experiments.
    Journal of Physics A Mathematical and Theoretical 08/2010; 43(35):354006. · 1.77 Impact Factor