Volume 115, Number 4, August 2016
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||The Physics of Elementary Particles and Fields|
|Published online||22 September 2016|
Double-slit experiment in momentum space
1 CFTP, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa - av. Rovisco Pais 1, P-1049-001, Lisboa, Portugal
2 Helmholtz Institut Jena - D-07743 Jena, Germany
3 Theoretisch-Physikalisches Institut, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena - D-07743 Jena, Germany
4 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt - D-38116 Braunschweig, Germany
5 Technische Universität Braunschweig - D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Received: 25 July 2016
Accepted: 31 August 2016
Young's classic double-slit experiment demonstrates the reality of interference when waves and particles travel simultaneously along two different spatial paths. Here, we propose a double-slit experiment in momentum space, realized in the free-space elastic scattering of vortex electrons. We show that this process proceeds along two paths in momentum space, which are well localized and well separated from each other. For such vortex beams, the (plane-wave) amplitudes along the two paths acquire adjustable phase shifts and produce interference fringes in the final angular distribution. We argue that this experiment can be realized with the present-day technology. We show that it gives experimental access to the Coulomb phase, a quantity which plays an important role in all charged particle scattering but which usual scattering experiments are insensitive to.
PACS: 13.60.Fz – Elastic and Compton scattering / 12.20.-m – Quantum electrodynamics / 41.75.Ht – Relativistic electron and positron beams
© EPLA, 2016
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