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What happens to the Kinetic Energy during tunneling?

  1. Feb 16, 2007 #1
    I have seen the mathematical proof of how can a particle tunnel through a barrier of higher potential energy but I was unable to understand what happens to the particle during its motion in the barrier. Can you help me?

    Can this be one of the probable mechanism of teleportation on which I can work?:rolleyes:

    Please help!!!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2007 #2
    +1

    I am really struggling understanding what happens 'inside the barrier' also...
     
  4. Feb 17, 2007 #3

    Hurkyl

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  5. Feb 17, 2007 #4
    Thanks for helping me out! I have already properly understood the mathematics behind tunneling and don't doubt its accuracy. My Physics Professor always reminds us that quantum is not at all like classical physics but I still wished to know if in higher quantum physics( I am a beginner), there a topic regarding energy transitions during tunneling? Or is there a theoretical or even philosophical explanation to it.
     
  6. Feb 17, 2007 #5

    ZapperZ

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    What "energy transitions" during tunneling? In ballistic/elastic tunneling, there's no "energy transition" during tunneling.

    I often wish that people would show either specific example, or point exactly where in the theoretical description is the issue. It would make it SO much clearer.

    Zz.
     
  7. Feb 17, 2007 #6
    Thanks for responding to my post, sir. I just wished to know that when there exists a probablity of finding an electron in the barrier and beyond it then as E<V so what as such happens to the particle that it crosses the barrier. Is it because, at that moment the particle behaves like a wave and just like any other optical phenomenon it gets transmitted through the barrier considering it to be medium of higher refractive index. (For a person of your seniority if the question seems to be silly please still answer this question and clarify my doubts. I am doing my first course in Quantum Physics and am finding the course really interesting! :redface:)
     
  8. Feb 17, 2007 #7

    ZapperZ

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    You will note that at "ALL MOMENTS", not just within the barrier, the particle is being described by the solution to the Schrodinger equation. There's really nothing special about the particle inside the barrier. You still solve the SAME equation. If you can put a detector inside the barrier, you CAN detect it the same way as you would outside the barrier. There is absolutely nothing unique about being inside the barrier.

    Zz.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2007 #8
    Having a very deep rooted foundation of clasical physics in my school level I give a lot of significance to the KE. In Quantum Physics should we neglect the concern regarding -ve KE if the solution of the wave equation suggests so.

    If so why should I do that. Becuse the electron is being described as a wave?
     
  10. Feb 17, 2007 #9

    ZapperZ

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  11. Feb 18, 2007 #10
    Thanks sir, for the clarification. The article you wrote was really great! I think my question was just a hangover of the classical mechanics! The article has really helmed me in coming out of the hangover.
     
  12. Feb 19, 2007 #11

    ZapperZ

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    Keep in mind that if, after you have learned classical mechanics, and you did not find quantum mechanics to be really "weird", then you either haven't understood classical mechanics, or haven't learned quantum mechanics, or both. So the fact that you found quantum mechanics a bit strange is a GOOD THING. It means that you were paying attention.

    Hopefully, after you've understood more of it, and see how successful it is, QM will become more familiar and less foreign to you. Whether it becomes less "weird" is a matter of preferences.

    Zz.
     
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