Unresolved Classical Electromagnetic Aspects of the Aharonov‐Bohm Phase Shift
- Conference date: 11–16 June 2007
- Location: Växjö (Sweden)
The long‐standing controversy regarding the Aharonov‐Bohm phase shift is reviewed. The shifts of both optical and particle interference patterns are summarized. It is pointed out that a line of electric dipoles and a line of magnetic dipoles (a long solenoid) both produce experimentally observed phase shifts similar to that produced by introducing a rectangular block of glass behind one slit of a double‐slit interference pattern; the double‐slit pattern is shifted while the single‐slit envelope remains undisplaced. The quantum explanation for the magnetic interference pattern shift introduced by Aharonov and Bohm in 1959 involves completely different ideas from those suggested by a semiclassical analysis. Experiments planned by Caprez, Barwick, and Batelaan should clarify the connections between classical and quantum theories in connection with the Aharonov‐Bohm phase shift.
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