Exact upper bound on barrier penetration probabilities in many-body systems: Application to cold fusion

A. J. Leggett, G. Baym

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The rate of tunneling of nuclei to classically forbidden small relative separation, in a fully interacting quantum-mechanical many-body system in equilibrium, is rigorously bounded above by a value calculable in terms of the Born-Oppenheimer potential between the nuclei. In the cold-fusion problem, the bound can be related to the affinities of helium and deuterium atoms to the metal in question, and shows that the allowed rate of tunneling of deuterons is far too small to be consistent with inferred rates of fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-194
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume63
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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