Volume 18, Issue 1
A Model of a Quantum Particle in a Quantum Environment: A Numerical Study

Raffaele Carlone and Rodolfo Figari & Claudia Negulescu


Commun. Comput. Phys., 18 (2015), pp. 247-262.

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  • Abstract

We define and investigate, via numerical analysis, a one dimensional toymodel of a cloud chamber. An energetic quantum particle, whose initial state is a superposition of two identical wave packets with opposite average momentum, interacts during its evolution and exchanges (small amounts of) energy with an array of localized spins. Triggered by the interaction with the environment, the initial superposition state turns into an incoherent sum of two states describing the following situation: or the particle is going to the left and a large number of spins on the left side changed their states, or the same is happening on the right side. This evolution is reminiscent of what happens in a cloud chamber where a quantum particle, emitted as a spherical wave by a radioactive source, marks its passage inside a supersaturated vapour-chamber in the form of a sequence of small liquid bubbles arranging themselves around a possible classical trajectory of the particle.

  • History

Published online: 2018-04

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