Tunneling, a key element of quantum mechanics, is when a particle that meets an apparently insurmountable barrier passes through it and ends on the other side. Finally, a number of experiments carried out by physicists from Griffith University, Lanzhou University, Australian National University, Drake University, and Korea's Institute for Basic Science have determined the tunneling delay, which is also the time it takes for an electron to come out or ionize from a hydrogen atom.
"In the classic world, Newton's physical laws are the great physical bodies that obey," said co-lead author Professor Robert Sang of the Center for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University.
If you lean on a wall, it pushes back the wall so you don't go through it. But when you go down to the microscopic level, things behave quite differently. This is where the laws of physics change from classical to quantum. "
Professor Sang and colleagues have conducted experiments on the Australian Attosecond Science Facility over three years, measuring how long it takes to make a particle go through this wall.
" We use the simplest atom atomic water, and we have found out that there is no delay in what we can measure, "said Professor Song.
The researchers set up an experiment where they used one of the light's properties and turned it into a clock
By sending a light pulse to interact with a hydrogen atom, it sets the conditions so that the lonely electron from that atom can tunnel through a barrier.
"There is a well-defined point where we can start the interaction, and there is a point where we know where that electron should come out if it is instantaneous, "says professor song.
" So everything else that varies from that time, we know it is t the bait longing to go through the barrier. This is how we measure how long it takes. "
" It seemed to agree with the theory of experimental uncertainty that was consistent with immediate tunneling. "
The tunneling time measured by the team did not appear to be more than 1.8 atos, much less than some theories had predicted.
" We now know that the tunneling time must be less than 1.8 attos – which is one billionth of a billionth of a second, "co-authored author Dr. Igor Litvinyuk, also from Griffith University's Center for Quantum Dynamics.
" It's hard to understand how short it is, but it's taking an electron about "A hundred attose seconds to convert a nucleus into an atom." "Previous tests used other more complicated atoms containing more or more electrons," he explained.
"To explain the interactions between different electrons, they used different approximate models. And out of those models they unpacked the times. "
" Our model used no approaches because we didn't have to worry about electronically-electronic interactions. "
" In one of these experiments, they also measure the relative time delay between two species of atoms and not the time delay of a single atom.
The results appear from the journal Nature .
] U. Satya Sainadh et al . hydrogen Nature published online March 18, 2019; doi: 10.1038 / s41586-019-1028-3