Quantum particles interacting with potential barriers are ubiquitous in physics, and the question of how much time they spend inside classically forbidden regions has attracted interest for many decades. Recent developments of new experimental techniques revived the issue and ignited a debate with often contradictory results. This motivates the present study of an exactly solvable model for quantum tunneling induced by a strong field. We show that the tunneling dynamics can depart significantly from the scenario in which the barrier-traversal time is zero or very small. However, our findings do not support the idea of a well-defined tunneling time either. Our numerically exact results should help in finding a consensus about this fundamental problem.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics