The Aharonov-Bohn Effect is Real Physics not Ideal Physics

  • Michael Berry
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 144)


The more celebrated of the two effects described by Aharonov and Bohm (1959) is that the behaviour of a quantum charged particle is modified by magnetic flux φ threading a region from which the particle is excluded. They solved Schrödinger’s equation for the scattering of a plane wave of particles by a thin infinite impenetrable cylinder containing a solenoid generating Ф(considered as concentrated onto a single flux line), and showed, as have later analyses for cylinders that are not thin, or for different geometries (e.g. tori) that observable properties do depend on Ф. More precisely, they depend on the quantum flux parameter
$$ \alpha \, \equiv \,q\,\Phi /h $$
where q is the charge, the dependence on α being periodic with period unity. A thorough review of the theory of the Aharonov–Bohm (AB) predictions, and experiments carried out to test them, has been written by Olariu and Popescu (1985).


Ideal Physic Correct Boundary Condition Reflection Boundary Condition Period Unity Impenetrable Wall 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Berry
    • 1
  1. 1.H.H.Wills Physics LaboratoryBristolUK

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