Observing the spin of a free electron

Garraway, B M and Stenholm, S (1999) Observing the spin of a free electron. Physical Review A, 60 (1). pp. 63-79. ISSN 10502947

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Long ago, Bohr, Pauli, and Mott argued that it is not, in principle, possible to measure the spin components of a free electron. One can try to use a Stern-Gerlach type of device, but the finite size of the beam results in an uncertainty of the splitting force that is comparable with the gradient force. The result is that no definite spin measurement can be made. Recently there has been a revival of interest in this problem, and we will present our own analysis and quantum-mechanical wave-packet calculations which suggest that a spin measurement is possible for a careful choice of initial conditions.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Barry Garraway
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:46
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22128

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