Of Particular Significance

Added a short section to my Quantum Tunneling page

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 05/05/2014

To fill in another important detail that will be important later, I added a short section to the end of my article about quantum tunneling. Specifically, suppose you have an electron, placed in one of two traps, such that the electron can tunnel from one trap to the other.  What happens if one of the traps is deeper than the second?

This difference between the traps leads to a bias — the electron tends to end up in the deeper trap, because it is harder for it to tunnel back to the shallow trap than it is to tunnel into the deeper one.  This simple fact has implications for the entire universe, as I’ll describe in a few days.

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9 Responses

  1. I’m 18 and I fairly regularly watch at least some form of physics lectures online, and I was curious that if, indeed, in the equation e=mc^2, energy and mass are interchangeable, therefor allowing energy to possibly take on the characteristics of mass. If so, and for an extended enough period of time, one could use energy to create a bend in the space-time continuum at will, harnessing the powers of gravity and possibly the ability to create worm holes. How one would go about doing so would be a task greater than my mind.

    This also could explain, in some, how the formation of the early universe created mass. As of now, the theory states that one out of every 100 million energy pulses spawning matter and anti-matter lacked the anti-matter counterpart, thus breaking symmetry. If however, the extreme high temperature and pressure of the extremely young universe allowed an energy pulse of such great magnitude that a curvature so drastic was formed in the space-time continuum that any matter particles were ripped away from their anti-matter particles and matter was allowed to coalesce. If not in this fashion it could have still played a role in the early universe by being the cause of cosmic inflation which I watched a video on, on youtube.

    I’m probably speaking way out of my league; try not too judge me too harshly especially because none of the things I’ve said have any evidence to support it besides cosmic inflation and the equitation e=mc^2.

    Jonathan Napolitano

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  4. /The traps are made deeper or shallower by using a battery, which creates a voltage difference between the tip and the surface, resulting in an additional energy difference between the electrons in the tip and the electrons in the surface.
    Traps usually arise in solid materials with electrons jumping from one atom to another or between energy levels./

    In polarization of photons, Is it possible to “cripple” one Degrees of freedom, by shrinking the spacetime itself (gravitational waves) – so that making it more “heavy”, due to reduction in kinetic energy – which will “Tunnel” into more lowest energy level (deeper trap) ?
    But due to entanglement, the “wave function” of higher energy level have the “weight” to make photoelectric effect ?

  5. A single hydrogen nucleus wouldn’t necessarily be the only sized trap in nature.

    1. Actually I can’t think of any situation where a hydrogen nucleus would be a trap. Possibly an electron hopping between H2 molecules in solid hydrogen…

  6. Matt, how can one proton be different than another? Aren’t we talking about protons being the trap? One proton one electron.

    1. ‘protons ‘ are almost never a trap that can be tunneled out of\in to. The simplest system would be two protons and an electron, the H+ molecule and in that case the electron is shared.

      Traps usually arise in solid materials with electrons jumping from one atom to another or between energy levels. In this case both the atom in question and its environment can vary making it a ‘deeper’ or ‘shallower’ trap. Traps can also be made ‘proton free’, using lasers.

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