Quantum tunneling under the influence of an environment with nearly degenerate spectrum is considered. We first give a general derivation of the zero point motion formula in the sudden tunneling limit. The effects of a finite excitation energy of the environment are then considered by a perturbation method. Examples of linear oscillator coupling and rotational coupling show that the finite excitation energy can be represented by a dissipation factor and reduces the tunneling probability estimated in the limit of sudden tunneling. These examples clearly show that the applicability of the sudden tunneling approximation is governed by the details of the coupling as well as the relative time scales of the tunneling and the environmental degrees of freedom. We discuss some applications to heavy-ion fusion reactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics