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Quantum interference experiments with large molecules
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33.It is interesting to compare the de Broglie wavelength of the fullerene with its actual size: The buckyball has a diameter of about 1 nm, which is 350 times larger than its de Broglie wavelength. Our interference experiments clearly show that the concept of the de Broglie wavelength is not merely academic for objects with dimensions much larger than their wavelengths but can actually be demonstrated.
34.Our gratings were provided by Professor Henry Smith and Dr. Tim Savas of MIT.
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39.This effect has also been described in the context of He diffraction in R. E. Grisenti, W. Schöllkopf, J. P. Toennies, G. C. Hegerfeldt, and T. Köhler, “Determination of atom-surface van der Waals potentials from transmission-grating diffraction intensities,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 1755–1758 (1999).
40.The van der Waals interaction scales like with the distance r between molecule and grating walls. For the scaling even starts to change into a behavior at distances beyond 20 nm, due to the finite (retarded) signaling time between the molecule and its mirror image;
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