Aharonov-Bohm effect with an effective complex-valued vector potential

Ismael L. Paiva*, Yakir Aharonov, Jeff Tollaksen, Mordecai Waegell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction between a quantum charge and a dynamic source of a magnetic field is considered in the Aharonov-Bohm (AB) scenario. It is shown that, in weak interactions with a post-selection of the source, the effective vector potential is, generally, complex-valued. This leads to new experimental protocols to detect the AB phase before the source is fully encircled. While this does not necessarily change the nonlocal status of the AB effect, it brings new insights into it. Moreover, we discuss how these results might have consequences for the correspondence principle, making complex vector potentials relevant to the study of classical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053017
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • Aharonov-Bohm effect
  • pre- and post-selected systems
  • weak values


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