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Items tagged with "interferometer"

September 23, 2015

Twisting Neutrons

 It’s easy to contemplate the wave nature of light in common experience.  White light passing through a prism spreads out into constituent colors; it diffracts from atmospheric moisture into a rainbow; light passing across a sharp edge or a diffraction grating creates an interference pattern.  It’s harder to fathom the wave behavior of things usually thought of as particles, such as electrons and atoms.  And yet these matter waves play a role in physics and in technology.  For example, electron beams, manifested as waves, provide an important form of microscopy.