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Electric-field imaging using polarized neutrons



Y.- Y. Jau, Daniel S. Hussey, Thomas R. Gentile, Wangchun Chen


We experimentally demonstrate that electrically neutral particles, neutrons, can be used to directly visualize the electrostatic field inside a target volume that can be physically isolated or occupied. Electric field images are obtained using a spin-polarized neutron beam with a recently developed polarimetry method for polychromatic beams that permits detection of a small angular change in spin orientation. This Letter may enable a new diagnostic technique sensitive to the structure of electric potential, electric polarization, charge distribution, and dielectric constant by imaging spatially dependent electric fields in objects that cannot be accessed by other probes.
Physical Review Letters


electric field, imaging, neutrons, polarimetry, polarized


Jau, Y. , Hussey, D. , Gentile, T. and Chen, W. (2020), Electric-field imaging using polarized neutrons, Physical Review Letters, [online],, (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created September 10, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021