College Park, Maryland      June 6 - 10 , 2004

MP45: Inherited Tunneling in Supercritical Water.

D. Homouz, G.F. Reiter (Physics Department, University of Houston), P. Platzman (Bell Labs-Lucent Technologies)

It has been observed in Neutron Compton Scattering measurements on supercritical water, that the momentum distribution of the proton appears to be consistent with the tunneling of the proton along the hydrogen bond over a distance of .3 . While there has been ample evidence of tunneling motion perpendicular to the bond observed by other means, this result was puzzling because of the stiffness of the bond, and the lack of any obvious geometrical interpretation. Using path integral Monte-Carlo methods, we show that tunneling motion perpendicular to the bond, when coupled to much stiffer harmonic motion along the bond, can show up in the momentum distribution as an apparent tunneling motion along the bond direction, with the apparent tunneling distance being characteristic of the transverse motion.

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