Topology, Locality, and Aharonov-Bohm Effect with Neutrons

Phys. Rev. Lett. 74, 2847 – Published 10 April 1995
M. Peshkin and H. J. Lipkin


Recent neutron interferometry experiments have been interpreted as demonstrating a new topological phenomenon similar in principle to the usual Aharonov-Bohm (AB) effect, but with the neutron's magnetic moment replacing the electron's charge. We show that he new phenomenon, called scalar AB (SAB) effect, follows from an ordinary local interaction, contrary to the usual AB effect, and we argue that the SAB effect is not a topological effect by any useful definition. We find that SAB actually measures an apparently novel spin autocorrelation whose operator equations of motion contain the local torque in the magnetic field. We note that the same remarks apply to the Aharonov-Casher effect.


  • Received 22 July 1994
  • Published in the issue dated 10 April 1995

© 1995 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

M. Peshkin

  • Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439-4843

H. J. Lipkin

  • Department of Particle Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
  • and School of Physics and Astronomy, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

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