Ever since Stern and Gerlach (SG) confirmed the existence of the spin and the magnetic moment which accompanies it, as well as the force a magnetic gradient may apply on it, a fierce debate ensued over the feasibility of a SG interferometer (SGI). In such a SGI, a particle with a spin (e.g. a neutral atom) is put into a superposition of two spin states which are macroscopically separated and recombined in space. The fundamental enigma was whether such a macroscopic separation of the partial wavepackets will introduce a large dispersion of phases within the individual wavepackets. Heisenberg and Wigner  thought that this was an impossibility due to the very fundamental nature of quantum mechanics. Bohm  said that fantastic accuracy will be required. Englert, Schwinger and Scully  made an analogy to the Humpty-Dumpty (HD) rhyme and named this impossibility the HD effect. Similar to broken glass, it was thought that extra-ordinary circumstances are required in order to put HD back together again, in a way that would enable all the quantum phases to be accurately restored so that an interference pattern may be observed.
|State||Published - 12 May 2013|
|Event||2013 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe and International Quantum Electronics Conference, CLEO/Europe-IQEC 2013 - Munich, Germany|
Duration: 12 May 2013 → 16 May 2013
|Conference||2013 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe and International Quantum Electronics Conference, CLEO/Europe-IQEC 2013|
|Period||12/05/13 → 16/05/13|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics