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Open Access item Causal trajectories description of atom diffraction by surfaces

Authors:Sanz, Ángel S.
Borondo, Florentino
Miret-Artés, Salvador
Keywords:Atom diffraction, Atom-surface scattering, Quantum trajectories, Bohmian Mechanics, Surface Physics, Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, deBroglie-Bohm Theory, Quantum Hydrodynamics
Issue Date:15-Mar-2000
Publisher:American Physical Society
Citation:Physical Review B 61, 7743 (2000)
Abstract:The method of quantum trajectories proposed by de Broglie and Bohm is applied to the study of atom diffraction by surfaces. As an example, a realistic model for the scattering of He off corrugated Cu is considered. In this way, the final angular distribution of trajectories is obtained by box-counting, which is in excellent agreement with the results calculated by standard S-matrix methods of scattering theory. More interestingly, the accumulation of quantum trajectories at the different diffraction peaks is explained in terms of the corresponding quantum potential. This non-local potential "guides" the trajectories causing a transition from a distribution near the surface, which reproduces its shape, to the final diffraction pattern observed in the asymptotic region, far from the diffracting object. These two regimes are homologous to the Fresnel and Fraunhofer regions described in undulatory optics. Finally, the turning points of the quantum trajectories provide a better description of the surface electronic density than the corresponding classical ones, usually employed for this task.
Description:9 pages, 7 figures -- PACS numbers: 79.20.Rf, 03.65.Sq, 03.65.Bz
Publisher version (URL):http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevB.61.7743
Appears in Collections:(CFMAC-IFF) Artículos

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