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New Perspectives on the Aharonov-Bohm Effect

El Demery, Mostafa (2013) New Perspectives on the Aharonov-Bohm Effect. n/a.

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The Aharonov-Bohm effect is a quantum mechanical effect, that is, has no classical counterpart. The effect was predicted in 1959 in a seminal paper of Y. Aharonov and D. Bohm [AB59] in which they demonstrated that a beam of electrons is affected by the existence of the electric/magnetic field even though electrons travel through field-free regions. Aharonov and Bohm carried out two hypothetical experiments to support their claim that potentials are more fundamental than fields and they are responsible of the effect. Since then, the debate has arisen around whether potentials are mathematical tools or fundamental entities in physics. Different arguments have been set to explain the results predicted by Aharonov and Bohm and experimentally confirmed. Amongst these arguments, the first argument adopted by Aharonov and Bohm was that potentials are physically significant. Many have claimed that fields do have non-local features, i.e. action at a distance. Others have claimed that topological effects
may interpret the effect in which potentials are modeled as connections in higher-dimensional fiber bundle geometries. The most recent argument has been proposed by Vaidman [Vai12] who claimed that the the composite system is represented by one state, an entangled state, and due to the electromagnetic interactions part of this state is changed, hence, the total state. In the present essay, I will discuss the latter argument as well as reviewing some other arguments.

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Item Type: Other
El Demery,
Additional Information: This essay has been submitted to the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge as a fulfilment of the degree of Master of Advanced Studies (MASt).
Keywords: Aharonov-Bohm effect, physically significant potentials.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Mr. Mostafa El Demery
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2013 14:01
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2013 14:03
Item ID: 9826
Journal or Publication Title: n/a
Publisher: n/a
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 3 May 2013

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