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Cesa, Alexandre; Martin, John and Struyve, Ward (2016): Chaotic Bohmian trajectories for stationary states. In: Journal of Physics A-Mathematical and theoretical, Vol. 49, No. 39, 395301

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In Bohmian mechanics, the nodes of the wave function play an important role in the generation of chaos. However, so far, most of the attention has been on moving nodes;little is known about the possibility of chaos in the case of stationary nodes. We address this question by considering stationary states, which provide the simplest examples of wave functions with stationary nodes. We provide examples of stationary wave functions for which there is chaos, as demonstrated by numerical computations, for one particle moving in three spatial dimensions and for two and three entangled particles in two dimensions. Our conclusion is that the motion of the nodes is not necessary for the generation of chaos. What is important is the overall complexity of the wave function. That is, if the wave function, or rather its phase, has a complex spatial variation, it will lead to complex Bohmian trajectories and hence to chaos. Another aspect of our work concerns the average Lyapunov exponent, which quantifies the overall amount of chaos. Since it is very hard to evaluate the average Lyapunov exponent analytically, which is often computed numerically, it is useful to have simple quantities that agree well with the average Lyapunov exponent. We investigate possible correlations with quantities such as the participation ratio and different measures of entanglement, for different systems and different families of stationary wave functions. We find that these quantities often tend to correlate to the amount of chaos. However, the correlation is not perfect, because, in particular, these measures do not depend on the form of the basis states used to expand the wave function, while the amount of chaos does.

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