The Aharonov—Bohm effect (for short: AB effect) is, quite generally, a non-local effect in which a physical object travels along a closed loop through a gauge field-free region and thereby undergoes a physical change. As such, the AB effect can be described as a holonomy. Its paradigmatic realization became widely known after Aharonov and Bohm's 1959 paper — with forerunners by Weiss [1] and Ehrenberg and Siday [2]. Aharonov and Bohm [3] consider the following scenario: A split electron beam passes around a solenoid in which a magnetic field is confined. The region outside the solenoid is field-free, but nevertheless a shift in the interference pattern on a screen behind the solenoid can be observed upon alteration of the magnetic field. The schematic experimental setting can be grasped from the following figure:

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Primary Literature

  1. 1.
    P. Weiss: On the Hamilton-Jacobi Theory and Quantization of a Dynamical Continuum. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. A 169, 102–19 (1938)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    W. Ehrenberg, R.E. Siday: The Refractive Index in Electron Optics and the Principles of Dynamics. Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. B 62, 8–21 (1949)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Y. Aharonov, D. Bohm: Significance of Electromagnetic Potentials in the Quantum Theory. Phys. Rev. 115(3), 485–491(1959)MATHCrossRefADSMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Y. Aharonov, A. Casher: Topological Quantum Effects for Neutral Particles. Phys. Rev. Lett. 53, 319–321(1984)CrossRefADSMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J.-S. Dowker: A Gravitational Aharonov—Bohm Effect. Nuovo. Cim. 52B(1), 129–135 (1967)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Anandan: Interference, Gravity and Gauge Fields. Nuovo. Cim 53A(2), 221–249 (1979)CrossRefADSMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. Stachel: Globally Stationary but Locally Static Space-times: A Gravitational Analog of the Aharonov—Bohm Effect. Phys. Rev. D 26(6), 1281–1290 (1982)CrossRefADSMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    H.R. Brown, O. Pooley: The origin of the spacetime metric: Bell's “Lorentzian pedagogy” and its significance in general relativity. In C. Callender and N. Huggett, editors. Physics meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale. (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2001)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    T.T. Wu, C.N. Yang: Concept of Nonintegrable Phase Factors and Global Formulation of Gauge Fields. Phys. Rev. D 12(12), 3845–3857 (1975)CrossRefADSMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    C.N. Yang: Integral Formalism for Gauge Fields. Phys. Rev. Lett. 33(7), 445–447(1974)CrossRefADSMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    R. Healey: On the Reality of Gauge Potentials. Phil. Sci. 68(4), 432–455 (2001)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    H. Lyre: Holism and Structuralism in U(1) Gauge Theory. Stud. Hist. Phil. Mod. Phys. 35(4), 643–670 (2004)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    N.G. van Kampen: Can the Aharonov-Bohm Effect Transmit Signals Faster than Light? Phys. Lett. A 106(1), 5–6 (1984)CrossRefADSMathSciNetGoogle Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. 14.
    M.A. Peshkin, A. Tonomura: The Aharonov—Bohm Effect. (Lecture Notes in Physics 340. Springer, Berlin 2001)Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    A. Tonomura: The Quantum World Unveiled by Electron Waves. (World Scientific, Singapore 1998)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holger Lyre
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of BielefeldGermany

Personalised recommendations