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 Adiabatic Approximation
Two kinds of motions with different frequencies: ωslow << ωfast

 Berry phase:

The Aharonov-Bohm Effect

In classical electrodynamics, potentials (ϕ and A) are not directly measurable. The

physical quantities are the fields, Indeed, you can do a

gauge transformation where Λ is any function of

position and time, without any effect on the fields (see today’s homework).

In quantum mechanics, however, potentials play a more essential role, for Hamiltonian is
expressed in ϕ and A, not E and B: . Nevertheless, the theory
is still said-to-be invariant under gauge transformation.

For a long time, it has been taken granted that in regions where E and B are zero, there
could not be any electromagnetic influences.

However, Aharonov and Bohm showed that vector potential A can affect quantum
behavior of a charged particle, when it moves through a region where the fields are zero.

Consider a particle constrained to move in a circle of radius b. Along the axis runs a

solenoid of radius a (< b), carrying a steady electric current I.

The magnetic field is uniform inside the solenoid and zero

outside, but the vector potential A is not zero. In fact,

with the convenient gauge condition

. is the magnetic flux through the solenoid.

There is no charge on the solenoid so the scalar potential ϕ is zero. The Hamiltonian is

For a fixed ρ = b, the wavefunction depends only on φ. Using , we

have . Therefore,

Defining , , and , one gets .

The solutions are: . Therefore, . The periodic boundary

condition at ϕ = 2π requires that . Hence,

Interestingly, the solenoid lifts the twofold degeneracy of the moving particle.

More generally, consider a particle moving through a region where B = , but A

is not zero. The time-dependent Schrodinger equation reads

Let us define where and O is an arbitrary reference point

(this requires that ). Next, I will show . You will show


Putting this into , we get

Now is the AB Effect. Consider an experiment in which a beam of electrons is split in
two, and passed either side of a solenoid, before recombined (see figure to the left).
The beams are kept away from the
solenoid so B = 0 but
is not
zero. One can use a double
slit shown to the right to
realize this experimentally.

The solenoid is not charged so V in the region is a constant. From our previous

discussion, the two beams arrive with different phases:

. The total phase difference is thus

Aharonov-Bohm effect is a special case of Berry phase

Suppose the charged particle is confined in a box centered at R by a potential V(r – R).

The Schrodinger equation reads .

Let where .

We have shown .


Note that is only a function of r – R.

Now, let us calculate the Berry phase . One can show

and in agreement

with Aharonov and Bohm.

 Measurable physical effect exists in regions when the field is

precisely zero, but the potential is not.

 Aharonov-Bohm (AB) effect is a special case of the Berry phase.


Problem 1: Gauge transformation

Show that the potentials (where Λ is an arbitrary real

function of position and time) yield the same fields as ϕ and A.

Problem 10.7

Reading for Class 25
Ch 11. Scattering
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Partial wave
11.3 Phase shifts

Damien West will give the lecture, as I

have to be at NSF on Thursday & Friday.

Results of Exam 2



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