Tuesday 21 March 2017

Controlled double-slit electron diffraction (2013)

A more recent version of the double-slit electron diffraction experiment, from 2013, is Controlled double-slit electron diffraction by Roger Bach, Damian Pope, Sy-Hwang Liou and Herman Batelaan New Journal of Physics 15 (2013) 033018

In this paper, the authors are arguing that the results they present are the first true implementation of an electron double slit experiment.

The general perception is that the electron double-slit experiment has already been performed. This is true in the sense that Jonsson demonstrated diffraction from single, double, and multiple (up to five) micro-slits, but he could not observe single particle diffraction, nor close individual slits. In two separate landmark experiments, individual electron detection was used to produce interference patterns; however, biprisms were used instead of double slits. First, Pozzi recorded the interference patterns at varying electron beam densities. Then, Tonomura recorded the positions of individual electron detection events and used them to produce the well known build-up of an interference pattern. It is interesting to point out that the build up of a double-slit diffraction pattern has been called ‘The most beautiful experiment in physics’, while the build-up for a true double-slit has, up to now, never been reported.

No doubt they will not be the last authors to claim they are the first.