De Broglie wave phase shifts induced by surfaces closer than 25 nm

Alexander D. Cronin, John D. Perreault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Four atom optics experiments that each serve to measure atom-surface interactions near nanofabricated gratings are presented here. In these experiments atoms in a beam travel within 25 nm of a material grating bar, and the analysis incorporates phase shifts for the atomic de Broglie waves due to interactions betwen Na atoms and silicon nitride surfaces. One atom diffraction experiment determines the van der Waals coeficient C3 = 2.7 ± 0.8 meV nm3, and one atom interferometer experiment determines C 3 = 4 ± 1 meV nm3. The results of all four experiments are consistent with the Lifshitz prediction that is explicitly calculated here for Nasilicon nitride to be C3 = 3.25 meV nm 3. The four atom optics experiments and review of van der Waals theory are complemented by similar experiments using electron beams and analysis of image-charge effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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