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Question about neutrons.

  1. Jun 27, 2011 #1
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/3525
    I was reading this article about the neutron drop experiment.
    And it says " According to the researchers, these heights correspond to the peaks in a standing wave created when the de Broglie wave of the neutron interferes with its reflection from the mirror. The first peak agreed well with theory, but the researchers still need to confirm the presence of the higher peaks. "
    What does it mean when they say that the neutron interacts with its reflection from the mirror. Is this something to do with method of images or maybe reflected and transmitted wave.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2011 #2
    It is behaving like it has wave-like properties, although that's not the primary purpose of the experiment. Only waves can interact with reflection. Reflection pertains to waves, not particles.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  4. Jun 27, 2011 #3
    so the neutron is interfering with itself?
     
  5. Jun 27, 2011 #4
    That's the way I understand it. When a light or sound or water wave reflects of a barrier, it goes through a compicated self-interference interaction. I don't remember the technical details, but it must do so in order to change its vector. I'm sure an expert will be here to give a better answer.

    But basically the neutron is behaving somewhat wave-like.
     
  6. Jun 28, 2011 #5
    And when they say the neutrons are at discrete peaks and not a continuum. When the neutrons arrive at their peaks do they move in steps. Like the same thing as an electron moving to the next orbital. It moves from the first orbital to the next orbital without ever being in be-tween.
     
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