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 Aharonov-Bohm (“AB”) effect. The 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. As originally proposed, the electrostatic AB effect does not exist. Perhaps surprisingly, this conclusion holds despite the relativistic covariance of the electromagnetic four-potential combined with the well-established magnetic AB effect. 3. 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. 4. Claimed observations of the electrostatic AB or an analogue thereof are shown to be mistaken.