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Advances in High Energy Physics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 687480, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/687480
Research Article

Neutron Interferometry at the National Institute of Standards and Technology

1Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
3National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA
4Physics and Engineering Physics Department, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
5Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
6Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 2Y5

Received 30 July 2014; Accepted 19 August 2014

Academic Editor: Guillaume Pignol

Copyright © 2015 D. A. Pushin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The publication of this article was funded by SCOAP3.

Abstract

Neutron interferometry has proved to be a very precise technique for measuring the quantum mechanical phase of a neutron caused by a potential energy difference between two spatially separated neutron paths inside interferometer. The path length inside the interferometer can be many centimeters (and many centimeters apart) making it very practical to study a variety of samples, fields, potentials, and other macroscopic medium and quantum effects. The precision of neutron interferometry comes at a cost; neutron interferometers are very susceptible to environmental noise that is typically mitigated with large, active isolated enclosures. With recent advances in quantum information processing especially quantum error correction (QEC) codes we were able to demonstrate a neutron interferometer that is insensitive to vibrational noise. A facility at NIST’s Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) has just been commissioned with higher neutron flux than the NCNR’s older interferometer setup. This new facility is based on QEC neutron interferometer, thus improving the accessibility of neutron interferometry to the greater scientific community and expanding its applications to quantum computing, gravity, and material research.