Quantum tunneling- Superhero powers?

Quantum tunneling- Superhero powers?

Imagine that you are walking and encounter a barrier, such as a hill or a wall. The only way to make it to the other side is to climb over it or break it. But what if you had the same super-powers as quantum particles?

The strange laws of quantum mechanics allow particles to sometimes bust through barriers like they are not there, even if the particles cannot climb over whatever is in their path (like a superhero!). However, the challenge of tunneling through these barriers increases as the roadblocks get taller, making it so that fewer particles can break through. Klein tunneling, however, is a special case of quantum tunneling that’s a game-changer.

It effectively makes barriers transparent, opening up portals that allow particles to pass through, even when incredibly tall walls stand in their way. In other words, if a door or wall is thin enough, the particles can travel through it. 

The particle- usually a subatomic or quark particle such as an electron or photon- can become a wave and focus a great deal of energy on the barrier, ultimately negating it. 

A non-zero chance that the particle can be found inside the barrier also exists. However, this only noticeably works for subatomic particles, as the chance for macroscopic objects to do this is very, very low- small enough to be ignored.

-Praneel Midha

Sources

http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/quantum_tunneling.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/quirky-quantum-tunneling-observed/

Watch this youtube video to understand more:

https://youtu.be/cTodS8hkSDg

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