Measurement of the negative kinetic energy of tunneling particles

Yakir Aharonov, Sandu Popescu, Daniel Rohrlich, Lev Vaidman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The phenomenon of barrier penetration, such as tunnelling through a potential barrier, is an outstanding example of quantum behavior. Quantum particles can be found in regions where a classical particle coidd never go. since it would have negative kinetic energy. But in quantum theory, too, the eigenvalues of kinetic energy cannot be negative. How, then, can a quantum particle" tunnel"? The apparent paradox is resolved by noting that the wave function of a tunnelling particle only partly overlaps the forbidden region.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationProc. 4th Int. Symp. Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, Tokyo
StatePublished - 1992


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