Effect of chaos on relativistic quantum tunneling

Xuan Ni, Liang Huang, Ying-Cheng Lai, Louis M. Pecora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We solve the Dirac equation in two spatial dimensions in the setting of resonant tunneling, where the system consists of two symmetric cavities connected by a finite potential barrier. The shape of the cavities can be chosen to yield both regular and chaotic dynamics in the classical limit. We find that certain pointer states about classical periodic orbits can exist, which suppress quantum tunneling, and the effect becomes less severe as the underlying classical dynamics in the cavity is chaotic, leading to regularization of tunneling dynamics even in the relativistic quantum regime. Similar phenomena have been observed in graphene. A physical theory is developed to explain the phenomenon based on the spectrum of complex eigenenergies of the non-Hermitian Hamiltonian describing the effectively open cavity system. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2012

Original languageEnglish
Article number50007
Number of pages6
JournalEurophysics Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


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