Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Quantum backflow for a free-particle hermite wave packet

Strange, Paul (2024) Quantum backflow for a free-particle hermite wave packet. Physica Scripta, 99 . Article Number 025017. ISSN 0031-8949. E-ISSN 1402-4896. (doi:10.1088/1402-4896/ad1ada) (KAR id:104663)

PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English

Download this file
[thumbnail of Strange_2024_Phys._Scr._99_025017.pdf]
Request a format suitable for use with assistive technology e.g. a screenreader
PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of bflow2.pdf]
Official URL:


Quantum backflow is the unexpected effect that wavepackets consisting of only positive momentum components can apparently move in the negative direction. This is usually described in terms of the backflow constant, which is a dimensionless quantity describing least upper bound on the amount of probability that can flow backwards during a given time interval. Backflow is usually calculated for wavepackets that can be written as a sum of positive momentum plane waves. Here we present a calculation of the backflow constant using the localised free particle hermite wavefunctions where equal weights of positive and negative momentum eigenfunctions occur. The resulting backflow constant is substantially smaller than the accepted value. The reasons for this are discussed and finally we draw conclusions about the calculation of backflow more generally.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1088/1402-4896/ad1ada
Uncontrolled keywords: quantum backflow; free particle; hermite polynomials
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC174.12 Quantum theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Paul Strange
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2024 11:13 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2024 11:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.