Novel quantum effect found: Spin-rotation coupling


Credit: Laurent Thion/ILL

Imagine a dancer en pointe, spinning on her own axis while dancing on a rotating carousel. She might injure herself when both rotations add up and the angular momentum is transferred. Are similar phenomena also present in quantum mechanical systems?

After years of preparation, a team at the TU Wien managed to conduct an experiment in which the spin of a neutron traverses through a region with a rotating magnetic field. A special kind of coil had to be developed to produce this rotating magnetic field. Although the neutron spin does not carry any mass and can only be described quantum mechanically, it exhibits an inertial property. These results have now been published in Nature Partner Journal Quantum Information.
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