Europhys. Lett.
Volume 66, Number 2, April 2004
Page(s) 164 - 170
Section General
Published online 01 April 2004
Europhys. Lett., 66 (2) , pp. 164-170 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10202-4

Observation of ${4\pi}$-periodicity of the spinor using neutron resonance interferometry

W. H. Kraan1, S. V. Grigoriev1, 2 and M. Th. Rekveldt1

1  Interfacultair Reactor Instituut TU Delft - Mekelweg 15, 2629 JB Delft, Netherlands
2  Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute - Gatchina 188350, Russia

(Received 12 November 2003; accepted in final form 13 February 2004)

A polarised neutron beam is passed through a gradient resonance flipper. By the amplitude of their RF field, such flippers can be set at flip probability $\rho=0$, 1, or $\frac{1}{2}$. At $\frac{1}{2}$, the neutron wave splits into a flipped and a non-flipped part with different precession. We measure the polarisation after a spin-echo (SE) setup with each precession arm made up of 2 such flippers. Offset from SE is made by varying the static fields in one flipper while the other flippers stay unchanged. This shows up as a periodic behaviour of the polarisation. With incoming polarisation parallel to the static field in the flippers -set at $\rho=\frac{1}{2}$- this period is twice the period measured for both $\rho=0$ and 1 and with polarisation perpendicular to the static field. In the latter experiments both components of the spinor are affected, whereas in the former experiment we create spin states in which only one spinor component in one state is affected. Hence, this experiment demonstrates explicitly the ${4\pi}$-periodicity of the spinor.

03.65.Vf - Phases: geometric; dynamic or topological.
03.75.Dg - Atom and neutron interferometry.
61.12.Ld - Neutron diffraction.

© EDP Sciences 2004