Volume 84, Number 3, November 2008
Article Number 30003
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 17 October 2008
EPL, 84 (2008) 30003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/30003

The correspondence limit of the atomic elliptic state

R. Durran, A. Neate, A. Truman and F.-Y. Wang

Department of Mathematics, Swansea University - Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, Wales, UK, EU

received 30 July 2008; accepted in final form 19 September 2008; published November 2008
published online 17 October 2008

We consider the wave function for the atomic elliptic state using Nelson's stochastic mechanics. The Bohr correspondence limit is taken to reveal a limiting Nelson diffusion. We demonstrate that this limiting diffusion is a small random perturbation of a deterministic dynamical system in which trajectories converge to Keplerian motion on an ellipse. This shows how to derive Kepler's laws of motion in a quantum-mechanical setting. We show that the generator of the limiting Nelson diffusion has a spectral gap and thereby give an explicit rigorous estimate for the rate of convergence to the elliptical orbit. We discuss possible applications of these results to the long time limit of the quantum particle density for a semiclassical system in a Coulomb potential and also to the formation of planets from a protosolar nebula.

03.65.Sq - Semiclassical theories and applications.
03.65.Ge - Solutions of wave equations: bound states.
02.50.Ey - Stochastic processes.

© EPLA 2008