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Jauch-Piron system of imprimitivities for phonons. II. The Wigner function formalism

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In 1932 Wigner defined and described a quantum mechanical phase space distribution function for a system composed of many identical particles of positive mass. This function has the property that it can be used to calculate a class of quantum mechanical averages in the same manner as the classical phase space distribution function is used to calculate classical averages. Considering the harmonic vibrations of a system ofn atoms bound to one another by elastic forces and treating them as a gas of indistinguishable Bose particles, phonons, the primary objective of this paper is to show under which circumstances the Wigner formalism for classical particles can be extended to cover also the phonon case. Since the phonons are either strongly or weakly localizable particles (as described in a companion paper), the program of the present approach consists in applying the Jauch-Piron quantum description of localization in (discrete) space to the phonon system and then in deducing from such a treatment the explicit expression for the phonon analogue of the Wigner distribution function. The characteristic new features of the “phase-space” picture for phonons (as compared with the situation in ordinary theory) are pointed out. The generalization of the method to the case of relativistic particles is straightforward.

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Banach, Z., Piekarski, S. Jauch-Piron system of imprimitivities for phonons. II. The Wigner function formalism. Int J Theor Phys 32, 23–37 (1993).

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  • Wigner Function
  • Identical Particle
  • Wigner Distribution
  • Harmonic Vibration
  • Quantum Description