Aharonov-Bohm Day at Stony Brook

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

The Aharonov-Bohm effect, also called the Ehrenberg-Siday-Aharonov-Bohm effect, is both fascinating and fundamental. It delineates a fundamental difference between quantum and classical physics, through the way that fields and potentials act on matter. Moreover, it has found fundamental connections to the mathematics of line bundles in modern differential geometry. Since the first paper by Yakir Aharonov and David Bohm in 1959, it has been the subject of application, controversy, and debate for over forty years. Numerous experiments have exhaustively confirmed the predicted phase shift in interfering charged and magnetic particles; but no experiment to date has explicitly tested for the presence of classical forces.

This mini-symposium will bring together experimentalist Herman Batelaan from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and theorist Tim Boyer of the City University of New York, who will together propose an experiment to test Boyer's prediction that the Aharonov-Bohm effect is due to classical electromagnetic lag forces. We hope to have many of the participating physicists in related fields, to play the role of antagonists to Batelaan and Boyer. The event will begin with a tutorial talk on the fundamentals of the Aharonov-Bohm and Aharonov Casher effects, to bring the audience up to speed. Following the tutorial, and before the three follow up talks, there will be time for informal discussion between all participants and guests. Because of the tutorial talk, and the intrinsically simple and elegant nature of the physics behind Aharonov-Bohm, undergraduate students in physics and related fields are also welcome and encouraged to attend.

Tentative Program

   12:50 pm - Alfred S. Goldhaber (Stony Brook) - "Tutorial on the Aharonov-Bohm effect."
1:50 pm - Lunch and discussion among guests and participants.
2:50 pm - Daniel C. Cole (Boston University) - "Conventional quantum physics regarding Boyer's classical understanding of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, and the relation of this work to a broader view of quantum theory." [abstract]
3:30 pm - Timothy H. Boyer (CCNY) - "Unresolved Classical Electromagnetic Aspects of the Aharonov-Bohm Phase Shift." [abstract]
4:30 pm - Break between talks (15 minutes).
4:45 pm - Herman Batelaan & Adam Caprez (UNL) - "Testing the dispersionless nature and macroscopic limit of the Aharonov-Bohm effect." [abstract]
6:00 pm - End of scheduled talks; continue over dinner with speakers and guests.

Speakers and other Participants

  • Timothy H. Boyer (City College of the CUNY)
  • Herman Batelaan (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
  • Adam Caprez (University of Nebraska - Lincoln)
  • Alfred S. Goldhaber (Stony Brook)
  • Daniel C. Cole (Boston University)

  • Harold J. Metcalf (Stony Brook)
  • Thomas H. Bergeman (Stony Brook)
  • Maaneli Derakhshani (Stony Brook)
  • John Noé (Stony Brook)
  • William D. Linch (Stony Brook)
  • Robert P. Crease (Stony Brook)
  • Patrick Grim (Stony Brook)
  • Anthony Philips (Stony Brook)
  • George Sterman (Stony Brook)

Location & Contact Information

The symposium will be held in Room S-141 in the Physics Building on the Stony Brook campus. [map] There is no registration fee, but space is limited. If you would like to attend, please notify all three of the following by email:

  • Harold Metcalf                   hmetcalf [at] notes.cc.sunysb.edu
  • Tom Bergeman                   thbergeman [at] notes.cc.sunysb.edu
  • Maaneli Derakhshani         maaneliD [at] yahoo.com

References for further reading

Click here for a list of articles and web sites related to the Aharonov-Bohm effect.


We would like to thank: Stony Brook University Department of Physics & Astronomy, Stony Brook University Math Club, and the AMO seminar. Special thanks also to Dr. John Noé and Maaneli Derakhshani for designing and constructing this webpage.