We have measured the scattering angle dependence of cross sections for ionization in p+H2 collisions for a fixed projectile energy loss. Depending on the projectile coherence, interference due to indistinguishable diffraction of the projectile from the two atomic centers was either present or absent in the data. This shows that, due to the fundamentals of quantum mechanics, the preparation of the beam must be included in theoretical calculations. The results have far-reaching implications on formal atomic scattering theory because this critical aspect has been overlooked for several decades.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy