Journal of Low Temperature Physics

, Volume 67, Issue 5–6, pp 323–330

Influence of dissipation on the prefactor in the expression of the decay rate of a metastable state

  • Yu. N. Ovchinnikov
  • A. Barone

DOI: 10.1007/BF00710346

Cite this article as:
Ovchinnikov, Y.N. & Barone, A. J Low Temp Phys (1987) 67: 323. doi:10.1007/BF00710346


The influence of dissipation on the prefactor in the expression of the decay probability of a metastable state via macroscopic quantum tunneling is discussed. It is shown that under experimental conditions, because of the small number of levels in the well, such a correction is of paramount importance. Moreover, the full coincidence is shown between the expression of the decay probability derived from usual quantum mechanics and that obtained by the functional integral method in the limit of zero viscosity. The whole discussion, though of wide generality, is referred to a Josephson junction as a physical model, for which some conclusions of experimental interest are drawn.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu. N. Ovchinnikov
    • 1
  • A. Barone
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto di Cibernetica del Consiglio Nazionale delle RicercheNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Fisica Nucleare, Struttura della Materia e Fisica ApplicataUniversità di NapoliNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Landau Institute for Theoretical PhysicsAcademy of Sciences of USSRMoscowUSSR

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