Emergence of currents as a transient quantum effect in nonequilibrium systems

Er'El Granot, Avi Marchewka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Most current calculations are based on equilibrium or semi-equilibrium models. However, except for very special scenarios (like ring configuration), the current cannot exist in equilibrium. Moreover, unlike with equilibrium scenarios, there is no generic approach to confront out-of-equilibrium currents. In this paper we used recent studies on transient quantum mechanics to solve the current, which appears in the presence of very high density gradients and fast transients. It shows that the emerging current appears instantaneously, and although the density beyond the discontinuity is initially negligible the currents there have a finite value, and remain constant for a finite period. It is shown that this nonequilibrium effect can be measured in real experiments (such as cooled rubidium atoms), where the discontinuity is replaced with a finite width (hundreds of nanometers) gradient.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032110
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2011


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