A Critical Reexamination of the Electrostatic Aharonov-Bohm Effect

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Walstad, Allan
preprint description
This paper undertakes a critical reexamination of the electrostatic version of the famous Aharonov-Bohm effect (“eAB”). The main conclusions are as follows: 1. Aharonov and Bohm’s 1959 exposition is invalid because it does not consider the wavefunction of the entire system, including the source of electrostatic potential. 2. Although the authors attempted, in a 1961 paper, to demonstrate that consideration of the entire system would not change their result, they inadvertently assumed the desired outcome in their analysis. 3. An oft-cited observation claim cannot be accepted as such, because the experimental results are easily explained on the basis of electrostatic fields acting along the interfering particle paths, contrary to the defining premise of eAB. 4. An interference effect similar to eAB might be realized, but the magnitude of the effect would depend critically on the details of interactions within the experimental apparatus.