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Propagating wave correlations in complex systems

Creagh, Stephen C.; Gradoni, Gabriele; Hartmann, Timo; Tanner, Gregor


Timo Hartmann

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Professor of Applied Mathematics


We describe a novel approach for computing wave correlation functions inside finite spatial domains driven by complex and statistical sources. By exploiting semiclassical approximations, we provide explicit algorithms to calculate the local mean of these correlation functions in terms of the underlying classical dynamics. By defining appropriate ensemble averages, we show that fluctuations about the mean can be characterised in terms of classical correlations. We give in particular an explicit expression relating fluctuations of diagonal contributions to those of the full wave correlation function. The methods have a wide range of applications both in quantum mechanics and for classical wave problems such as in vibro-acoustics and electromagnetism. We apply the methods here to simple quantum systems, so-called quantum maps, which model the behaviour of generic problems on Poincaré sections. Although low-dimensional, these models exhibit a chaotic classical limit and share common characteristics with wave propagation in complex structures.


Creagh, S. C., Gradoni, G., Hartmann, T., & Tanner, G. (2016). Propagating wave correlations in complex systems. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 50(4), Article 45101.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 25, 2016
Publication Date Dec 23, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 27, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 27, 2017
Journal Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Print ISSN 1751-8113
Electronic ISSN 1751-8121
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 4
Article Number 45101
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at 10.1088/1751-8121/50/4/045101


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