Measurement of a confinement induced neutron phase.

Abstract:

:Particle physicists see neutrons as tiny massive particles with a confinement radius of about 0.7 fm and a distinct internal quark gluon structure. In quantum mechanics, neutrons are described by wave packets whose spatial extent may become ten orders of magnitude larger than the confinement radius, and can even reach macroscopic dimensions, depending on the degree of monochromaticity. For neutrons passing through narrow slits, it has been predicted that quantization of the transverse momentum component changes the longitudinal momentum component, resulting in a phase shift that should be measurable using interferometric methods. Here we use neutron interferometry to measure the phase shift arising from lateral confinement of a neutron beam passing through a narrow slit system. The phase shift arises mainly from neutrons whose classical trajectories do not touch the walls of the slits. In this respect, the non-locality of quantum physics is apparent.

journal_name

Nature

journal_title

Nature

authors

Rauch H,Lemmel H,Baron M,Loidl R

doi

10.1038/nature00773

keywords:

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2002-06-06 00:00:00

pages

630-2

issue

6889

eissn

0028-0836

issn

1476-4687

pii

nature00773

journal_volume

417

pub_type

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