Springer, 1989. - 152 pp. The Aharonov-Bohm effect is a quantum-mechanical phenomenon wherein the motion of a charged particle is influenced by the existence of electromagnetic fields in regions which the particle does not enter. The influence of those remote fields is carried in the theory by the four-vector potential, which appears in the Hamiltonian and therefore in the Schroedinger equation. This phenomenon is counter-intuitive for majiy physicists because it has no classical analog and because it challenges the conventional perception that the physical quantities in electromagnetism are carried by the local Maxwell fields, not by the potentials. In this treatise, the authors give an account of the experiments and of the fundamental theoretical questions that they illuminate. The intended audience includes students who have learned the elements of quantum mechanics and physicists interested in fundamental questions. In Part One, Peshkin introduces the Aharonov-Bohm effect under the assumptions of standard quantum theory. The emphasis here is on the fundamental questions which are addressed directly by the experimental results and on other elementary aspects of the theory that appear especially clearly in the present context. In Part Two, Tonomura gives a brief review of the diverse ideas that have been put forward during the protracted debate about the reality and meaning of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, followed by a detailed account of the experiments which finally settled most of those questions. The review is intended to give a flavor of the controversy rather than to do justice to every point of view.
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