Decoherence induced by Smith-Purcell radiation
EZEQUIEL ALVAREZ AND FRANCISCO D. MAZZITELLI
PHYSICAL REVIEW A - ATOMIC, MOLECULAR AND OPTICAL PHYSICS
American Physical Society
Lugar: College Park, MD 20740-3844, EEUU; Año: 2008 vol. 77 p. 321131 - 321131
The interaction between charged particles and the vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field induces decoherence, and therefore affects the contrast of fringes in an interference experiment. In this article we show that if a double slit experiment is performed near a conducting grating, the fringe visibility is reduced. We find that the reduction of contrast is proportional to the number of grooves in the conducting surface, and that for realistic values of the parameters it could be large enough to be observed. The effect can be computed and understood in terms of the Smith-Purcell radiation produced by the surface currents induced in the conductor.