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Journal Article

Quantum versus classical dynamics in a driven barrier: The role of kinematic effects


Katifori,  Eleni
Max Planck Research Group Physics of Biological Organization, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Papachristou, P. K., Katifori, E., Diakonos, F. K., Constantoudis, V., & Mavrommatis, E. (2012). Quantum versus classical dynamics in a driven barrier: The role of kinematic effects. Physical Review E, 86(3): 036213. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.86.036213.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-1083-3
We study the dynamics of the classical and quantum mechanical scattering of a wave packet from an oscillating barrier. Our main focus is on the dependence of the transmission coefficient on the initial energy of the wave packet for a wide range of oscillation frequencies. The behavior of the quantum transmission coefficient is affected by tunneling phenomena, resonances, and kinematic effects emanating from the time dependence of the potential. We show that when kinematic effects dominate (mainly in intermediate frequencies), classical mechanics provides very good approximation of quantum results. In that frequency region, the classical and quantum transmission coefficients are in optimal agreement. Moreover, the transmission threshold (i.e., the energy above which the transmission coefficient becomes larger than a specific small threshold value) is found to exhibit a minimum. We also consider the form of the transmitted wave packet and we find that for low values of the frequency the incoming classical and quantum wave packet can be split into a train of well-separated coherent pulses, a phenomenon that admits purely classical kinematic interpretation.