Europhys. Lett.
Volume 70, Number 6, June 2005
Page(s) 712 - 718
Section General
Published online 18 May 2005
Europhys. Lett., 70 (6), pp. 712-718 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10523-8

Resonant and non-resonant tunneling through a double barrier

V. S. Olkhovsky1, E. Recami2, 3 and A. K. Zaichenko1

1  Institute for Nuclear Research, NANU - Kiev-28, Ukraine
2  Facoltà di Ingegneria, Università Statale di Bergamo - Bergamo, Italy
3  INFN, Sezione di Milano - Milano, Italy

received 2 July 2004; accepted in final form 20 April 2005
published online 18 May 2005

An explicit expression is obtained for the phase-time corresponding to tunneling of a (non-relativistic) particle through two rectangular barriers, both in the case of resonant and in the case of non-resonant tunneling. It is shown that the behavior of the transmission coefficient and of the tunneling phase-time near a resonance is given by expressions with "Breit-Wigner type" denominators. By contrast, it is shown that, when the tunneling probability is low (but not negligible), the non-resonant tunneling time depends on the barrier width and on the distance between the barriers only in a very weak (exponentially decreasing) way: This can imply in various cases, as well known, the highly superluminal tunneling associated with the so-called "generalized Hartman Effect": but we are now able to improve and modify the mathematical description of such an effect, and to compare more in detail our results with the experimental data for non-resonant tunneling of photons. Finally, as a second example, the tunneling phase-time is calculated, and compared with the available experimental results, in the case of the quantum-mechanical tunneling of neutrons through two barrier-filters at the resonance energy of the set-up. Our analysis appears to explain satisfactorily both sets of experiments.

03.65.-w - Quantum mechanics.
03.65.Xp - Tunneling, traversal time, quantum Zeno dynamics.
03.65.Ta - Foundations of quantum mechanics; measurement theory.

© EDP Sciences 2005