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Entropy 2018, 20(6), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/e20060451

Atom-Diffraction from Surfaces with Defects: A Fermatian, Newtonian and Bohmian Joint View

Department of Optics, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Pza. Ciencias 1, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Quantum Mechanics – David Bohm Centennial Perspectives)
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Abstract

Bohmian mechanics, widely known within the field of the quantum foundations, has been a quite useful resource for computational and interpretive purposes in a wide variety of practical problems. Here, it is used to establish a comparative analysis at different levels of approximation in the problem of the diffraction of helium atoms from a substrate consisting of a defect with axial symmetry on top of a flat surface. The motivation behind this work is to determine which aspects of one level survive in the next level of refinement and, therefore, to get a better idea of what we usually denote as quantum-classical correspondence. To this end, first a quantum treatment of the problem is performed with both an approximated hard-wall model and then with a realistic interaction potential model. The interpretation and explanation of the features displayed by the corresponding diffraction intensity patterns is then revisited with a series of trajectory-based approaches: Fermatian trajectories (optical rays), Newtonian trajectories and Bohmian trajectories. As it is seen, while Fermatian and Newtonian trajectories show some similarities, Bohmian trajectories behave quite differently due to their implicit non-classicality. View Full-Text
Keywords: atom-surface scattering; bohmian mechanics; matter-wave optics; diffraction; vortical dynamics atom-surface scattering; bohmian mechanics; matter-wave optics; diffraction; vortical dynamics
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Sanz, Á.S. Atom-Diffraction from Surfaces with Defects: A Fermatian, Newtonian and Bohmian Joint View. Entropy 2018, 20, 451.

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