D. Habs, M. M. Günther, M. Jentschel, and W. Urban, Refractive Index of Silicon at γ Ray Energies, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 184802 (2012)
For x rays the real part of the refractive index, dominated by Rayleigh scattering, is negative and converges to zero for higher energies. For γ rays a positive component, related to Delbrück scattering, increases with energy and becomes dominating. The deflection of a monochromatic γ beam due to refraction was measured by placing a Si wedge into a flat double crystal spectrometer. Data were obtained in an energy range from 0.18 MeV to 2 MeV. The data are compared to theory, taking into account elastic and inelastic Delbrück scattering as well as recent results on the energy dependence of the pair creation cross section. Probably a new field of γ optics with many new applications opens up.