Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Nuclear physics

Neutrons with a twist

Neutrons do not normally have orbital angular momentum. But the demonstration that a beam of neutrons can acquire this property, 23 years after it was shown in photons, offers the promise of improved imaging technologies. See Letter p.504

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Orbital angular momentum of neutrons.


  1. See all news & views


  1. Clark, C. W. et al. Nature 525, 504–506 (2015).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Allen, L., Beijersbergen, M. W., Spreeuw, R. J. C. & Woerdman, J. P. Phys. Rev. A 45, 8185–8189 (1992).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Beijersbergen, M. W., Allen, L., van der Veen, H. E. L. O. & Woerdman, J. P. Opt. Commun. 96, 123–132 (1993).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Mair, A., Vaziri, A., Weihs, G. & Zeilinger, A. Nature 412, 313–316 (2001).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Wang, J. et al. Nature Photon. 6, 488–496 (2012).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Leach, J. et al. Science 329, 662–665 (2010).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. He, H., Friese, M. E. J., Heckenberg, N. R. & Rubinsztein-Dunlop, H. Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 826–829 (1995).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Uchida, M. & Tonomura, A. Nature 464, 737–739 (2010).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Harris, J. et al. Nature Phys. 11, 629–634 (2015).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Bazhenov, V. Y., Vasnetsov, M. & Soskin, M. S. JETP Lett. 52, 429–431 (1990).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Bolduc, E., Bent, N., Santamato, E., Karimi, E. & Boyd, R. W. Opt. Lett. 38, 3546–3549 (2013).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  12. Verbeeck, J., Tian, H. & Schattschneider, P. Nature 467, 301–304 (2010).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Robert W. Boyd.

Related audio

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Particle physics: Matter and antimatter scrutinized

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Boyd, R. Neutrons with a twist. Nature 525, 462–463 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing