Europhys. Lett.
Volume 68, Number 4, November 2004
Page(s) 473 - 479
Section The physics of elementary particles and fields
Published online 22 October 2004
Europhys. Lett., 68 (4), pp. 473-479 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10232-4

Critical macroscopic quantum effects in quantum nucleation

J.-Q. Liang1, W.-M. Liu2, H. J. W. Müller-Kirsten3, Y.-H. Nie1 and D. K. Park4

1  Institute of Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics Shanxi University, Taiyuan - Shanxi, 030006, PRC
2  National Laboratory for Magnetism, Institute of Physics Chinese Academy of Sciences - Beijing 100080, PRC
3  Department of Physics, University of Kaiserslautern 67653 Kaiserslautern, Germany
4  Department of Physics, Kyung Nam University - Masan 631-701, Korea

received 7 January 2004; accepted in final form 20 September 2004
published online 22 October 2004

It is shown that a characteristic feature of quantum nucleation viewed as a decay process of metastable states is that the theoretical temperature dependence of the nucleation rate indicates a sharp first-order phase transition of the crossover from the quantum tunneling regime to the thermal hopping regime. We, furthermore, demontrate that the experimentally observed temperature dependence of the phase separation of supersaturated $\chem{{}^{3}He}$- $\chem{{}^{4}He}$ liquid mixtures at low temperatures can be understood by the first-order phase transition of quantum nucleation.

11.15.Kc - Classical and semiclassical techniques.
03.65.Sq - Semiclassical theories and applications.
05.70.Fh - Phase transitions: general studies.

© EDP Sciences 2004