Decay of metastable states close to the threshold
I Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Hamburg - D-20355 Hamburg, Germany
Accepted: 23 April 1997
The relaxation of a string trapped into a metastable state is considered within the framework of continuum elastic field theory. The decay rate is calculated for the case of an applied field close to the threshold one. A variational ansatz is proposed in order to solve the problem at low temperatures, where the relaxation process is dominated by quantum tunneling. The quantum rate is determined quantitatively and discussed in the light of recent experiments.
PACS: 74.60.Ge – Flux pinning, flux creep, and flux-line lattice dynamics / 74.50.+r – Proximity effects, weak links, tunneling phenomena, and Josephson effects / 05.40.+j – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, and Brownian motion
© EDP Sciences, 1997