experiments:aharonov-bohm

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experiments:aharonov-bohm [2017/11/15 10:54] jakobadmin [Student] |
experiments:aharonov-bohm [2018/05/06 11:56] (current) jakobadmin [Abstract] |
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- | ====== The Aharonov-Bohm Experiment ====== | + | ====== Aharonov-Bohm Experiment ====== |

- | <tabbox Why is it interesting?> | ||

- | <tabbox Layman> | + | <tabbox Intuitive> |

+ | The Aharonov-Bohm experiment is basically a [[experiments:double_slit_experiment|double-slit experiment]] with an added solenoid. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | [{{ :experiments:aharonov-bohm.png?nolink|Image by Stevenj at the English language Wikipedia published under the [[http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/|CC-BY-SA-3.0 licence]]}}] | ||

+ | | ||

+ | | ||

+ | The magnetic field B is contained //entirely// inside the solenoid. In addition, the solenoid is shielded to keep the electrons out. Therefore, the electrons cannot “feel” B at all. Yet it makes a difference whether the B field is on or not. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | The electrons “know” if a B field is there | ||

+ | because, when they meet again at the screen, the interference | ||

+ | pattern is different depending on whether there is a current flowing through the | ||

+ | solenoid or not (i.e., when B = 0 ). | ||

+ | | ||

+ | This can be understood by noting that while the B field on the outside is zero, the magnetic potential $A$ is not. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | The effect of this magnetic potential is quite different from the effect of the B field. A B field pushes the electrons around. In contrast, the magnetic potential only changes the phase of the electrons. However, such a change of phase has an important effect, since it alters the interference | ||

+ | pattern at the screen. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | This way, the Aharonov-Bohm experiment shows that the magnetic potential is also important and not just a mathematical tool. | ||

- | <note tip> | + | [{{ :experiments:aharonovbohm.png?nolink |Source: https://edoc.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17735/1/Atala_Marcos.pdf}}] |

- | Explanations in this section should contain no formulas, but instead colloquial things like you would hear them during a coffee break or at a cocktail party. | + | |

- | </note> | + | |

| | ||

- | <tabbox Student> | + | <tabbox Concrete> |

+ | The magnetic field is only nonzero in the interior of the solenoid. However, the associated vector potential can be nonvanishing | ||

+ | also outside. Since the magnetic fields is zero outside, the value of $\vec{A}$ outside the solenoid has to be | ||

+ | pure gauge, i.e. a gauge transformation of $\vec{A}=0$: $\vec{\nabla}\times\vec{A}=\vec{0}$. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | This is important because the region outside the solenoid is not simply connected | ||

+ | the vector potential cannot be gauged to zero everywhere, only patchwise. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | We denote | ||

+ | by $\Psi_{1}^{(0)}$ and $\Psi_{2}^{(0)}$ the wave functions for the two electron beams without the solenoid. The total | ||

+ | wave function when we switch the magnetic field on is | ||

+ | \begin{eqnarray} | ||

+ | \Psi&=&e^{ie\int_{\Gamma_{1}}\vec{A}\cdot d\vec{x}}\Psi_{1}^{(0)}+ | ||

+ | e^{ie\int_{\Gamma_{2}}\vec{A}\cdot d\vec{x}}\Psi_{2}^{(0)} \nonumber \\ | ||

+ | &=&e^{ie\int_{\Gamma_{1}}\vec{A}\cdot d\vec{x}}\left[\Psi_{1}^{(0)} | ||

+ | +e^{ie\oint_{\Gamma}\vec{A}\cdot d\vec{x}}\Psi_{2}^{(0)}\right] | ||

+ | \label{eq:extra_phase} . | ||

+ | \end{eqnarray} | ||

+ | Here $\Gamma_{1}$ and $\Gamma_{2}$ denote two curves surrounding the solenoid | ||

+ | from different sides. In addition, $\Gamma$ is any closed loop surrounding it. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | We can see here that the relative phase between the two beams going different paths, gets an additional contribution that depends on the value of the vector potential | ||

+ | \begin{eqnarray} | ||

+ | U=\exp\left[ie\oint_{\Gamma}\vec{A}\cdot d\vec{x}\right]. | ||

+ | \label{eq:wilson} | ||

+ | \end{eqnarray} | ||

+ | | ||

+ | This way the presence of the magnetic field becomes visible through a changed interference pattern even though it is zero outside of the solenoid. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | Take note that the quantity $U$ is independent of the [[advanced_tools:gauge_symmetry:gauge_fixing|gauge]] we are working in. Moreover, take note that the value of $U$ does not change when we continuously deform our curve $\Gamma$ around the solenoid, as long as both path stay on opposite sides of the solenoid. | ||

+ | | ||

+ | ---- | ||

* The best explanation can be found here: http://gregnaber.com/wp-content/uploads/GAUGE-FIELDS-AND-GEOMETRY-A-PICTURE-BOOK.pdf at page 18ff | * The best explanation can be found here: http://gregnaber.com/wp-content/uploads/GAUGE-FIELDS-AND-GEOMETRY-A-PICTURE-BOOK.pdf at page 18ff | ||

+ | * See also https://www.dartmouth.edu/~dbr/topdefects.pdf | ||

+ | |||

+ | ---- | ||

<blockquote>For quite some time it was felt that such phase changes in the wavefunction | <blockquote>For quite some time it was felt that such phase changes in the wavefunction | ||

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R. G. Chambers in 1960) with results that confirmed the expectations of | R. G. Chambers in 1960) with results that confirmed the expectations of | ||

Aharonov and Bohm.<cite>page 6 in Topology, Geometry and Gauge Fields: Foundations by Naber</cite></blockquote> | Aharonov and Bohm.<cite>page 6 in Topology, Geometry and Gauge Fields: Foundations by Naber</cite></blockquote> | ||

- | | + | <tabbox Abstract> |

- | <tabbox Researcher> | + | |

- | <note tip> | ||

- | The motto in this section is: //the higher the level of abstraction, the better//. | ||

- | </note> | ||

- | | ||

- | <tabbox Examples> | ||

- | --> Example1# | + | The Aharonov-Bohm experiment can be understood nicely using [[advanced_tools:fiber_bundles|fiber bundles]]. A different path through around the solenoid leads to a different path through the fiber bundle and thus to a netto phase difference |

- | |||

- | <-- | ||

- | --> Example2:# | + | {{ :experiments:aharnovbohm.png?nolink&600 |}} |

+ | The gauge field $A$ is responsible that electrons moving on opposite sides around the solenoid also need to take different paths around the fiber bundle. In the picture above, the gauge field corresponds to the ramps that tell us how the phase factor of an electron changes as it moves through space. | ||

- | |||

- | <-- | ||

- | <tabbox FAQ> | + | ---- |

+ | | ||

+ | <blockquote> | ||

+ | Topologically, the solenoid is a defect. There are no | ||

+ | fields outside the solenoid so the energy density of the fields are zero and there is a true vacuum, however, the vector potential changes the topology of the vacuum. We are familiar with the gauge idea that the vector potential can be written as the gradient of some other function χ so that ∇ × ∇χ = 0 identically. We can calculate χ by integrating the vector potential outside the solenoid with respect to the azimuthal coordinate Aθ = 1 r ∂χ ∂θ = BR2 2r or χ = 1 2BR2 θ which we see is not a single valued function of θ, that is χ(θ) 6= χ(θ + 2π). **Functions that are not single valued can only exist in spaces that are not simply connected, or those that do not have trivial first homotopy group. We see that the manifold of the vacuum is thus the key to understanding the new physical result, and the topological defect gives us the intuition** | ||

+ | | ||

+ | <cite>http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dbr/topdefects.pdf</cite> | ||

+ | </blockquote> | ||

+ | | ||

+ | ---- | ||

+ | | ||

+ | * For the topology behind the Aharonov-Bohm effect, see section 10.5.3. in Geometry, Topology and Physics by Nakahara. | ||

| | ||

- | <tabbox History> | + | <tabbox Why is it interesting?> |

+ | The Aharonov-Bohm experiment demonstrated that that the gauge potential is not just a convenient mathematical notion, but physically real. | ||

</tabbox> | </tabbox> | ||

experiments/aharonov-bohm.1510739658.txt.gz · Last modified: 2017/12/04 08:01 (external edit)