Influence of dissipation on quantum tunneling in macroscopic systems

A. O. Caldeira, A. J. Leggett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A quantum system which can tunnel, at T=0, out of a metastable state and whose interaction with its environment is adequately described in the classically accessible region by a phenomenological friction coefficient, is considered. By only assuming that the environment response is linear, it is found that dissipation multiplies the tunneling probability by the factor exp[-A(q)2], where q is the "distance under the barrier" and A is a numerical factor which is generally of order unity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-214
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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