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The hydrogen anomaly problem in neutron Compton scattering
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Physics.
2018 (English)In: Physica Scripta, ISSN 0031-8949, E-ISSN 1402-4896, Vol. 93, no 3, article id 035801Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Neutron Compton scattering (also called 'deep inelastic scattering of neutrons', DINS) is a method used to study momentum distributions of light atoms in solids and liquids. It has been employed extensively since the start-up of intense pulsed neutron sources about 25 years ago. The information lies primarily in the width and shape of the Compton profile and not in the absolute intensity of the Compton peaks. It was therefore not immediately recognized that the relative intensities of Compton peaks arising from scattering on different isotopes did not always agree with values expected from standard neutron cross-section tables. The discrepancies were particularly large for scattering on protons, a phenomenon that became known as 'the hydrogen anomaly problem'. The present paper is a review of the discovery, experimental tests to prove or disprove the existence of the hydrogen anomaly and discussions concerning its origin. It covers a twenty-year-long history of experimentation, theoretical treatments and discussions. The problem is of fundamental interest, since it involves quantum phenomena on the subfemtosecond time scale, which are not visible in conventional thermal neutron scattering but are important in Compton scattering where neutrons have two orders of magnitude times higher energy. Different H-containing systems show different cross-section deficiencies and when the scattering processes are followed on the femtosecond time scale the cross-section losses disappear on different characteristic time scales for each H-environment. The last section of this review reproduces results from published papers based on quantum interference in scattering on identical particles (proton or deuteron pairs or clusters), which have given a quantitative theoretical explanation both regarding the H-cross-section reduction and its time dependence. Some new explanations are added and the concluding chapter summarizes the conditions for observing the specific quantum phenomena observed in neutron Compton scattering on protons and deuterons in condensed systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 93, no 3, article id 035801
Keyword [en]
neutron scattering, attosecond physics, quantum entanglement, quantum decoherence
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-343653DOI: 10.1088/1402-4896/aa9b6eISI: 000422898500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-343653DiVA, id: diva2:1205029
Available from: 2018-05-09 Created: 2018-05-09 Last updated: 2018-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, Erik B

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