Neutron Interferometry and Quantum Mechanics

  • Helmut Rauch
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 144)


Since the invention of perfect crystal neutron interferometry this technique has become an important tool for the realization of many textbook experiments of quantum mechanics. Widely separated coherent beams of thermal neutrons are produced and superposed by dynamical Bragg diffraction from a properly shaped perfect crystal. The observed interference patterns show the characteristic coherence properties of matter waves which are influenced by the individual particle and by ensemble properties. The verification of the 4π-periodicity of spinor wave functions and the accomplishment of the spin-superposition experiment on a macroscopic scale becomes feasible by this technique. The influence of gravity and of the Earth’s rotation on the wave function become visible at a level of a massive elementary particle. All results are in agreement with the formulation of quantum mechanics but, nevertheless, they stimulate discussion about its interpretation. The particle-wave dualism becomes obvious on a macroscopic scale and with a beam of massive particles.


Interference Pattern Perfect Crystal Beam Path Coherent Beam Zeeman Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aharonov, Y., Susskind L., 1967, Phys. Rev.158, 1237ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alefeld, B., Badurek, G., Rauch, H., 1981, Z.Physik B41, 231ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Arif, M., Kaiser, H., Werner, S.A., Cimmino, A., Hamilton, W.A., Klein, A.G., 1985, Phys. Rev. A31,1203ADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Atwood, D.K., Home, M.A., Shull, C.G., Arthur, J., 1984, Phys.Rev. Lett. 52, 1673ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Badurek, G., Rauch, H., Zeilinger, A., 1980, in “Neutron Spin Echo” (Ed.F. Mezei) Springer Verlag 1980, Lect. Notes in Physics 128, 136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Badurek, G., Rauch, H., Summhammer, J., 1983, Phys.Rev.Lett.51, 1015ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bauspiess, W., Bonse, U., Graeff, W., 1976, Appl.Cryst.9, 68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bernstein, H.J., Phillips, A.V., 1981, Sci.Amer.245, 123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bernstein, H. J., 1967, Phys.Rev.Lett. 18, 1102ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bernstein, H.J., 1985, Nature 315, 42ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bonse, U., Wroblewski, T., 1983, Phys.Rev.Lett.51, 1401Google Scholar
  12. Bonse, U., Graeff, W., Teworte, R., Rauch, H., 1977, phys.stat.sol.(a), 43, 487ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bonse, U., Rumpf, A., 1984, Acta Cryst. A40, C-359Google Scholar
  14. Colella, R., Overhauser, A.W., Werner, S.A., 1975, Phys.Rev.Lett. 34, 1472Google Scholar
  15. Dewdney, C., 1985, Phys.Lett.109A, 377ADSGoogle Scholar
  16. Eder, G., Zeilinger, A., 1976, Il Nuovo Cim.34B, 76ADSGoogle Scholar
  17. Gähler, R., Klein, A.G., Zeilinger, A., 1981, Phys.Rev.A23, 1611Google Scholar
  18. Greenberger, D.M., Atwood, D.K., Arthur, J., Shull, C.G., Schlenker, 1981, Phys.Rev.Lett.47, 751ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Greenberger, D.M., 1983, Rev.Mod.Physics 55, 875ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Horne, M.A., Zeilinger, A., 1979, “Neutron Interferometry” (Eds. U. Bonse & H. Rauch) Clarendon Preis, Oxford, p.350Google Scholar
  21. Horne, M.A., Zeilinger, A., Klein, A.G., Opat, G.I., 1983, Phys.Rev.A28,1ADSGoogle Scholar
  22. Kaiser, H., George, E.A., Werner, S.A., 1984, Phys.Rev.A29, 2276Google Scholar
  23. Klein, A.G., Opat, G.I., Cimmino, A., Zeilinger, A., Treimer, W., Gähler, R., 1981, Phys.Rev.Lett. 46, 1551Google Scholar
  24. Klein, A.G., Opat, G.I., 1976, Phys.Rev.Lett.37, 238ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Klein, A.G., Werner, S.A., 1983, Rep.Progr.Physics 46, 259ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Klein, A.G., Kearney, P.D., Opat, G.I., Cimmino, A., Gähler, R., 1981, Phys.Rev.Lett.46, 959ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Koester, L., 1965, Z.Physik, 182, 328ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Maier-Leibnitz, H., Springer, T., 1962, Z.Physik, 167, 386ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mezei, F., 1972, Z.Physik 255, 146ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Page, L.A., 1975, Phys.Rev.Lett.35 Google Scholar
  31. Petraschek, D., 1976, Acta Phys.Austr.45, 217Google Scholar
  32. Ramsey, N.F., 1983, “The Neutron and its Applications”, (Ed.P. Schofield), Inst.of Physics Conf.Series No.64, p.5, Bristol and LondonGoogle Scholar
  33. Rauch, H., Treimer, W., Bonse, U., 1974, Phys.Lett.A47, 369ADSGoogle Scholar
  34. Rauch, H., 1979, in “Neutron Interferometry” (Ed.U. Bonse a. H. Rauch), Clarendon Press, Oxford, p.161Google Scholar
  35. Rauch, H., Kischko, U., Petraschek, D., Bonse, U., 1983, Z.Physik, B51, 11ADSGoogle Scholar
  36. Rauch, H., Tuppinger, D., 1985, Z.Physik A322, 427ADSGoogle Scholar
  37. Rauch, H., Summhammer, J., 1984, Phys.Lett.104A, 44ADSGoogle Scholar
  38. Rauch, H., Petrascheck, D., 1978, in “Neutron Diffraction” (Ed.H. Dachs), Top.Current Physics 6,303, Springer Verlag 1978Google Scholar
  39. Rauch, H., Zeilinger, A., Badurek, G., Wilfing, A., Bauspiess, W., Bonse, U., 1975, Phys.Lett.54A, 425ADSGoogle Scholar
  40. Rauch, H., Wilfing, A., Bauspiess, W., Bonse, U., 1978, Z.Physik B29, 281ADSGoogle Scholar
  41. Reynolds, A.W.Mc., 1951, Phys. Rev. 83, 233Google Scholar
  42. Sears, V.F., 1978, Can.J.Physics, 56, 1261ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shull, C.G., Atwood, D.K., Arthur, J., Home, M.A., 1980, Phys.Rev.Lett, 44, 765ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Staudenmann, J.L., Werner, S.A., Colella, R., Overhauser, A.W., 1980, Phys. Rev. A21, 1419ADSGoogle Scholar
  45. Summhammmer, J., Badurek, G., Rauch, H., Kirschko, U., Zeilinger, A., 1983, Phys.Rev.A27, 2523ADSGoogle Scholar
  46. Werner, S.A., Staudenmann, J.L., Colella, R., 1979, Phys.Rev.Lett.42, 1103ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Werner, S.A., Colella, R., Overhauser, A.W., Eagen, C.F., 1975, Phys. Rev. Lett. 35, 1053ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wigner, E.P., 1963, Am.J.Phys.31, 6MathSciNetADSMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zeilinger, A., Gähler, R., Shull, C.G., 1984, Proc.Int.Symp.Foundation of Quantum Mechanics, Tokyo, Phys.Soc.Japan, p.289Google Scholar
  50. Zeilinger, A., Shull, C.G., Horne, M.A., Squires, G.L., in “Neutron Interferometry” (Eds.U. Bonse a. H. Rauch), Clarendon Press, Oxford 1979, p.48Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut Rauch
    • 1
  1. 1.Atominstitut der Österreichischen UniversitätenViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations