The quantum motion of nuclei, generally ignored in the physics of sliding friction, can affect in an important manner the frictional dissipation of a light particle forced to slide in an optical lattice. The density matrix-calculated evolution of the quantum version of the basic Prandtl–Tomlinson model, describing the dragging by an external force of a point particle in a periodic potential, shows that purely classical friction predictions can be very wrong. The strongest quantum effect occurs not for weak but for strong periodic potentials, where barriers are high but energy levels in each well are discrete, and resonant Rabi or Landau–Zener tunneling to states in the nearest well can preempt classical stick–slip with nonnegligible efficiency, depending on the forcing speed. The resulting permeation of otherwise unsurmountable barriers is predicted to cause quantum lubricity, a phenomenon which we expect should be observable in the recently implemented sliding cold ion experiments.

Frictional lubricity enhanced by quantum mechanics / Zanca, Tommaso; Pellegrini, Franco; Santoro, Giuseppe E.; Tosatti, Erio. - In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. - ISSN 0027-8424. - 115:14(2018), pp. 3547-3550. [10.1073/pnas.1801144115]

Frictional lubricity enhanced by quantum mechanics

Zanca, Tommaso;Pellegrini, Franco;Santoro, Giuseppe E.;Tosatti, Erio
2018-01-01

Abstract

The quantum motion of nuclei, generally ignored in the physics of sliding friction, can affect in an important manner the frictional dissipation of a light particle forced to slide in an optical lattice. The density matrix-calculated evolution of the quantum version of the basic Prandtl–Tomlinson model, describing the dragging by an external force of a point particle in a periodic potential, shows that purely classical friction predictions can be very wrong. The strongest quantum effect occurs not for weak but for strong periodic potentials, where barriers are high but energy levels in each well are discrete, and resonant Rabi or Landau–Zener tunneling to states in the nearest well can preempt classical stick–slip with nonnegligible efficiency, depending on the forcing speed. The resulting permeation of otherwise unsurmountable barriers is predicted to cause quantum lubricity, a phenomenon which we expect should be observable in the recently implemented sliding cold ion experiments.
2018
115
14
3547
3550
http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/115/14/3547
Zanca, Tommaso; Pellegrini, Franco; Santoro, Giuseppe E.; Tosatti, Erio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11767/87907
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