Quantum Interference of Force

Raul Corrêa, Marina F. B. Cenni, and Pablo L. Saldanha

Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Caixa Postal 701, 30161-970, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

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We show that a quantum particle subjected to a positive force in one path of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer and a null force in the other path may receive a negative average momentum transfer when it leaves the interferometer by a particular exit. In this scenario, an ensemble of particles may receive an average momentum in the opposite direction of the applied force due to quantum interference, a behavior with no classical analogue. We discuss some experimental schemes that could verify the effect with current technology, with electrons or neutrons in Mach-Zehnder interferometers in free space and with atoms from a Bose-Einstein condensate.

In our work, we investigate an interference effect on quantum particles that are under the action of a force. We show that, in certain circumstances, the quantum superposition of pushing a particle with doing nothing to it may result in this particle being pulled. Besides showing how this anomalous pull on a particle is a quantum interference effect - which is why we call it quantum interference of force - we discuss some feasible experimental schemes that could verify this strange phenomenon with electrons, neutrons, and atoms.

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Cited by

[1] Marina F. B. Cenni, Raul Corrêa, and Pablo L. Saldanha, "Effective electrostatic attraction between electrons due to quantum interference", Physical Review A 100 2, 022101 (2019).

[2] Raul Corrêa and Pablo L. Saldanha, "Apparent quantum paradoxes as simple interference: Quantum violation of the pigeonhole principle and exchange of properties between quantum particles", Physical Review A 104 1, 012212 (2021).

[3] M. S. Hosseini and S. A. Alavi, "Breit-Wigner distribution, quantum beats and GSI Anomaly", arXiv:1704.05762, (2017).

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