Department or Administrative Unit
The classical vibrational metastable states in a one-dimensional two-mass system are investigated experimentally and theoretically via the transmission of a coherent wave packet propagating through the system. The Fourier transform of the vibrational signal recorded in between the masses reveals resonant excitations by the coherent wave packet. The time-resolved spectrum indicates that the lifetime of a metastable state of higher frequency is longer than that of lower frequency, which is in contrast with the quantum mechanical double-barrier system. This study, which is easily accessible to physics majors, also demonstrates quantum resonant tunneling in a very simple classical way.
Makela, M., Parmley, S., & Yu, R. (1997). Metastable states in classical and quantum systems. American Journal of Physics, 65(7), 653–657. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.18622
American Journal of Physics
© 1997 American Association of Physics Teachers