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PHYSICS BY FRANK A. WILCZEK School of Natural Science Institute for Advanced Studies Princeton, NJ " The Aharonov-Bohm effect describes the fact that the behavior of charged particles in quantum mechanics depends not only on the electric and magnetic fields, but also on the vector potentials. The effect controls fractional quantum statistics, dominates the interaction of matter with cosmic strings; and supplies new, essentially quantal observables for black holes. At a more down-to-earth level

Frank Wilczek

PHYSICS

BY FRANK A. WILCZEK
School of Natural Science
Institute for Advanced Studies
Princeton, NJ

" The Aharonov-Bohm effect describes the fact that the behavior of charged particles in quantum mechanics depends not only on the electric and magnetic fields, but also on the vector potentials. The effect controls fractional quantum statistics, dominates the interaction of matter with cosmic strings; and supplies new, essentially quantal observables for black holes. At a more down-to-earth level, it manifests itself in a whole series of fascinating experiments on the behavior of matter in the “mesoscale.” To be specific pure solids of micron size at low temperature exhibit the wave nature of the underlying electrons in a direct way that until recently was more usually associated with single atoms. A nice elementary introduction to the basic Aharonov-Bohm effect and some of these experimental manifestations has just appeared.

Y. Imry, RA. Webb, “Quantum interference...

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