Quantum wave-packet revivals in circular billiards

R. W. Robinett, S. Heppelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We examine the long-term time dependence of Gaussian wave packets in a circular infinite well (billiard) system and find that there are approximate revivals. For the special case of purely [Formula Presented] states (central wave packets with no momentum) the revival time is [Formula Presented] where [Formula Presented] is the mass of the particle, and the revivals are almost exact. For all other wave packets, we find that [Formula Presented] and the nature of the revivals becomes increasingly approximate as the average angular momentum or number of [Formula Presented] states is increased. The dependence of the revival structure on the initial position, energy, and angular momentum of the wave packet and the connection to the energy spectrum is discussed in detail. The results are also compared to two other highly symmetrical two-dimensional infinite well geometries with exact revivals, namely, the square and equilateral triangle billiards. We also show explicitly how the classical periodicity for closed orbits in a circular billiard arises from the energy eigenvalue spectrum, using a WKB analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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