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Archive for April 12th, 2011

Quantum tunneling

This week I have been explaining quantum tunneling in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory for my class. It is a fun subject and when I was educated in it a few details were left out. Happily nowadays its easier to find that information. I’m particularly happy with the description of this set of phenomena in the book by Tom Banks: “Modern Quantum Field Theory” , where he actually goes very carefully about how instantons and such are related to the WKB approximation in quantum mechanics, so that one has a rather strong intuitive sense of how these ideas interpolate between the abstract Euclidean formulation of the path integral and a phenomenon that we can understand in other ways.

 

The rest of this article is a rant on technical details without equations. Now that I have advertised where I’m getting my information from, I could stop here. However…

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