Journal article

Signatures of unstable semiclassical trajectories in tunneling

It was found recently that processes of multidimensional tunneling are generally described at high energies by unstable semiclassical trajectories. We study two observational signatures related to the instability of trajectories. First, we find an additional power-law dependence of the tunneling probability on the semiclassical parameter as compared to the standard case of potential tunneling. The second signature is a substantial widening of the probability distribution over final-state quantum numbers. These effects are studied using a modified semiclassical technique which incorporates stabilization of the tunneling trajectories. The technique is derived from first principles. We obtain expressions for the inclusive and exclusive tunneling probabilities in the case of unstable semiclassical trajectories. We also investigate the 'phase transition' between the cases of stable and unstable trajectories across certain 'critical' values of energy. Finally, we derive the relation between the semiclassical probabilities of tunneling from the low-lying and highly excited initial states. This puts on firm ground a conjecture made previously in the semiclassical description of collision-induced tunneling in field theory.


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