There is a popular article in Phys.org describing a highly interesting finding made by condensed matter physicist Doug Natelson and his colleagues at Rice and the University of Colorado Boulder. Light emissio associated with the tunnelling of electrons through a nano-scaled potential barrier between Gold electrodes has been observed. The intensity of emission is larger by factor 10,000 than predicted and this suggests new physics.
By definition tunnelling means that electrons get through the potential barrier without getting energy – classical picture would require this. Now it however seems that electron receives energy and the higher the barrier the larger energy is needed. Should one challenge the notion of tunnelling? Could it have a classical counterpart?
In TGD framework all quantum phenomena should have classical counterparts, also tunnelling. Therefore the tunnelling electron would actually get energy to get over the potential barrier classically.
- In zero energy ontology (ZEO) solving the basic problem of quantum measurement theory quantum states are superpositions of deterministic classical time evolutions, preferred extremals. Classical physics is exact part of quantum theory. The key prediction is that in ordinary, “big”, state function reductions (BSFRs) the arrow of time is changed. In small SFRs (SSFRs) – analogs of weak measurements – this does not happen. ZEO leads to a theory of self-organization in which energy feed to self-organizing system corresponds to dissipation for time reversed state associated with dissipating system.
- Tunnelling could mean in TGD framework that electrons make a BSFR reversing the arrow of time. In time reversed state they dissipate in reverse time direction: in standard time direction of observer they receive energy in standard time direction allowing them to get over the potential barrier. In the second BSFR bringing back the original arrow of time they would liberate the energy and the higher the barrier, the larger the liberated energy and the brighter the light emission. The tunnelling in this sense would be already self-organization phenomenon involving BSFR. Tunnelling in this sense is dynamical and does not exclude the possibility of the analog of wave-mechanical tunnelling as a non-dynamical process. The dynamical tunnelling could lead to asymptotic states in which particle is at both sides of the forbidden region or even in forbidden region but with classical energy so high that this is not forbidden anymore.
For ZEO see the article Some comments related to Zero Energy Ontology (ZEO). For TGD view about tunnelling in nuclear reactions see Solar Metallicity Problem from TGD Perspective
For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.
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