Zwitters: particles between quantum and classical

Research paper by C. Wetterich

Indexed on: 23 Nov '11Published on: 23 Nov '11Published in: Quantum Physics


We describe both quantum particles and classical particles in terms of a classical statistical ensemble, characterized by a probability distribution in phase space. By use of a wave function in phase space both can be treated in the same quantum formalism. The different dynamics of quantum and classical particles resides then only from different evolution equations for the probability distribution. Quantum particles are characterized by a specific choice of observables and time evolution of the probability density. All relations for a quantum particle in a potential, including interference and tunneling, can be described in terms of the classical probability distribution. We formulate the concept of zwitters - particles for which the time evolution interpolates between quantum and classical particles. Experiments can test a small parameter which quantifies possible deviations from quantum mechanics.