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Quantum rainbows in positron transmission through carbon nanotubes

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Here we report the results of the theoretical investigation of the transmission of channeled positrons through various short chiral single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT). The main question answered by this study is "What are the manifestations of the rainbow effect in the channeling of quantum particles that happens during the channeling of classical particles?" To answer this question, the corresponding classical and quantum problems were solved in parallel, critically examined, and compared with each other. Positron energies were taken to be 1 MeV when the quantum approach was necessary. The continuum positron-nanotube potential was constructed from the thermally averaged Molière's positron-carbon potential. In the classical approach, a positron beam is considered as an ensemble of noninteracting particles. In the quantum approach, it is considered as an ensemble of noninteracting wave packages. Distributions of transmitted positrons were constructed from the numerical solutions of Newton's equation and the time-dependent Schrödinger equation. For the transmission of 1-MeV positrons through 200-nm long SWCNT (14; 4), in addition to the central maximum, the quantum angular distribution has a prominent peak pair (close to the classical rainbows) and two smaller peaks pairs. We have shown that even though the semiclassical approximation is not strictly applicable it is useful for explanation of the observed behavior. In vicinity of the most prominent peak, i.e., the primary rainbow peak, rays interfere constructively. On one of its sides, rays become complex, which explains the exponential decay of the probability density in that region. On the other side, the ray interference alternates between constructive and destructive, thus generating two observed supernumerary rainbow peaks. The developed model was then applied for the explanation of the angular distributions of 1-MeV positrons transmitting through 200 nm long (7, 3), (8, 5), (9, 7), (14, 4), (16, 5) and (17, 7) SWCNTs. It has been shown that this explains most but not all rainbow patterns. Therefore, a new method for the identification and classification of quantum rainbows was developed relying only on the morphological properties of the positron wave function amplitude and the phase function families. This led to a detailed explanation of the way the quantum rainbows are generated. All wave packets wrinkle due to their internal focusing in a mutually coordinated way and are concentrated near the position of the corresponding classical rainbow. This explanation is general and applicable to the investigations of quantum effects occurring in various other atomic collision processes.




Ćosić, M., Petrović, S., & Nešković, N. (2019). Quantum rainbows in positron transmission through carbon nanotubes. Atoms, 7(1).

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