Exploring Quantum, Classical and Semi-Classical Chaos in the Stadium Billiard

Chris C. King


This paper explores quantum and classical chaos in the stadium billiard using Matlab simulations to investigate the behavior of wave functions in the stadium and the corresponding classical orbits believed to underlie wave function scarring. The simulations use three complementary methods. The quantum wave functions are modeled using a cellular automaton simulating a Hamiltonian wave function with discrete (square pixel) boundary conditions approaching the stadium in the classical limit. The classical orbits are computed by solving the reflection equations at the classical boundary thus giving direct insights into the wave functions and eigenstates of the quantum stadium. Finally, a simplified semi-classical algorithm is developed to show the comparison between this and the quantum wave function method.

Quanta 2014; 3: 16–31.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12743/quanta.v3i1.23

ISSN: 1314-7374