Special Issue "Neutron Interferometry and Quantum Mechanics"
A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2022.
As already recognized in the 1970s, neutron interferometry, which makes use of the Bragg diffraction by successive slices cut from a single (perfect) crystal of silicon, provides a powerful tool for matter-wave interferences experiments testing fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics. These concepts include verification of the 4π spinor symmetry, spin-superposition law, topological (Berry) phases, various gravitational phase effects (COW phase, Sagnac and Fizeau effect), and single-particle entanglement.
Inside a neutron interferometer, a beam of massive particles is split by amplitude division (Mach–Zehnder type) via Bragg reflection (Laue configuration) at the first plate of a silicon perfect crystal interferometer. The coherently superposed sub-beams (partial wave functions) pass through different regions of space. During these space-like separations, typically a few centimeters, the neutron’s wave function is modified in phases (and amplitude), due to various kinds of nuclear, magnetic, electric, or gravitational interactions. The topic of neutron interferometry belongs to the wide field of self-interference. Interferometry without single crystals, applying magnetic fields instead (for instance neutron polarimetry or various spin-echo approaches), can test generalized measurement and preparation uncertainty relations, studies of quantum contextuality, and preparation of spin-orbit entanglement.
In this Special Issue of Symmetry, we will focus on recent neutron interferometric experiments and their applications aiming to study fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics. This Special Issue will cover many topics, such as intra-particle entanglement (Bell/Greenberger-Horne–Zeilinger tests), quantum contextuality (Kochen–Specker theorem), gravitational/inertial phase effects, Aharonov–Vaidman’s weak measurement/value procedure, or orbital angular momentum (OAM) states.
Dr. Stephan Sponar
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