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Title: Quantum temporal probabilities in tunneling systems

We study the temporal aspects of quantum tunneling as manifested in time-of-arrival experiments in which the detected particle tunnels through a potential barrier. In particular, we present a general method for constructing temporal probabilities in tunneling systems that (i) defines ‘classical’ time observables for quantum systems and (ii) applies to relativistic particles interacting through quantum fields. We show that the relevant probabilities are defined in terms of specific correlation functions of the quantum field associated with tunneling particles. We construct a probability distribution with respect to the time of particle detection that contains all information about the temporal aspects of the tunneling process. In specific cases, this probability distribution leads to the definition of a delay time that, for parity-symmetric potentials, reduces to the phase time of Bohm and Wigner. We apply our results to piecewise constant potentials, by deriving the appropriate junction conditions on the points of discontinuity. For the double square potential, in particular, we demonstrate the existence of (at least) two physically relevant time parameters, the delay time and a decay rate that describes the escape of particles trapped in the inter-barrier region. Finally, we propose a resolution to the paradox of apparent superluminal velocities for tunnelingmore » particles. We demonstrate that the idea of faster-than-light speeds in tunneling follows from an inadmissible use of classical reasoning in the description of quantum systems. -- Highlights: •Present a general methodology for deriving temporal probabilities in tunneling systems. •Treatment applies to relativistic particles interacting through quantum fields. •Derive a new expression for tunneling time. •Identify new time parameters relevant to tunneling. •Propose a resolution of the superluminality paradox in tunneling.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22220782
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Annals of Physics (New York); Journal Volume: 336; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; CORRELATION FUNCTIONS; PARITY; POTENTIALS; PROBABILITY; QUANTUM FIELD THEORY; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; TUNNEL EFFECT