Algebraically Self-Consistent Quasiclassical Approximation on Phase Space

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The Wigner-Weyl mapping of quantum operators to classical phase space functions preserves the algebra, when operator multiplication is mapped to the binary "*" operation. However, this isomorphism is destroyed under the quasiclassical substitution of * with conventional multiplication; consequently, an approximate mapping is required if algebraic relations are to be preserved. Such a mapping is uniquely determined by the fundamental relations of quantum mechanics, as is shown in this paper. The resultant quasiclassical approximation leads to an algebraic derivation of Thomas-Fermi theory, and a new quantization rule which - unlike semiclassical quantization - is non-invariant under action transformations of the Hamiltonian, in the same qualitative manner as the true eigenvalues. The quasiclassical eigenvalues are shown to be significantly more accurate than the corresponding semiclassical values, for a variety of 1D and 2D systems. In addition, certain standard refinements of semiclassical theory are shown to be easily incorporated into the quasiclassical formalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1226
Number of pages36
JournalFoundations of Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000


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