Reconciling semiclassical and Bohmian mechanics. II. Scattering states for discontinuous potentials

Corey Trahan, Bill Poirier

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In a previous paper [B. Poirier, J. Chem. Phys. 121, 4501 (2004)] a unique bipolar decomposition, ψ= ψ1 + ψ2, was presented for stationary bound states ψ of the one-dimensional Schrödinger equation, such that the components ψ1 and ψ2 approach their semiclassical WKB analogs in the large action limit. Moreover, by applying the Madelung-Bohm ansatz to the components rather than to ψ itself, the resultant bipolar Bohmian mechanical formulation satisfies the correspondence principle. As a result, the bipolar quantum trajectories are classical-like and well behaved, even when ψ has many nodes or is wildly oscillatory. In this paper, the previous decomposition scheme is modified in order to achieve the same desirable properties for stationary scattering states. Discontinuous potential systems are considered (hard wall, step potential, and square barrier/well), for which the bipolar quantum potential is found to be zero everywhere, except at the discontinuities. This approach leads to an exact numerical method for computing stationary scattering states of any desired boundary conditions, and reflection and transmission probabilities. The continuous potential case will be considered in a companion paper [C. Trahan and B. Poirier, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 034116 (2006), following paper].

Original languageEnglish
Article number034115
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


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