Is there an electron wind?

L. D. Marks*, J. P. Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The question of whether there is any momentum transfer to a specimen during electron diffraction, as dictated by Newton's third law, is discussed. It is pointed out that there must be momentum and energy transfer during "elastic" scattering. Even though what is normally considered as "elastic" scattering is in fact inelastic, electron density systems are insensitive to the changes in energy. Therefore the energy changes during diffraction do not prevent coherent interference phenomena such as electron holography and high-resolution electron microscopy. The momentum transfer, in effect, introduces an electron wind which can, mechanically, alter the specimen; the wind is equivalent to a storm with gusts of up to 300 km/h. Experimental evidence in support of this is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-422
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation


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