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T. Juffmann, S. Nimmrichter, M. Arndt, H. Gleiter, and K. Hornberger
New prospects for de Broglie interferometry
Found. Phys. 42, 98 (2012)


We consider various effects that are encountered in matter wave interference experiments with massive nanoparticles. The text-book example of far-field interference at a grating is compared with diffraction into the dark field behind an opaque aperture, commonly designated as Poisson's spot or the spot of Arago. Our estimates indicate that both phenomena may still be observed in a mass range exceeding present-day experiments by at least two orders of magnitude. They both require, however, the development of sufficiently cold, intense and coherent cluster beams. While the observation of Poisson's spot offers the advantage of non-dispersiveness and a simple distinction between classical and quantum fringes in the absence of particle wall interactions, van der Waals forces may severely limit the distinguishability between genuine quantum wave diffraction and classically explicable spots already for moderately polarizable objects and diffraction elements as thin as 100 nm.

(13 pages, 3 figures)   [pdf, journal, arXiv:1009.1569 ]

doi:10.1007/s10701-010-9520-5            (c) Springer 2011