Time dependent resonance theory

A. Soffer, M. I. Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


An important class of resonance problems involves the study of perturbations of systems having embedded eigenvalues in their continuous spectrum. Problems with this mathematical structure arise in the study of many physical systems, e.g. the coupling of an atom or molecule to a photon-radiation field, and Auger states of the helium atom, as well as in spectral geometry and number theory. We present a dynamic (time-dependent) theory of such quantum resonances. The key hypotheses are (i) a resonance condition which holds generically (non-vanishing of the Fermi golden rule) and (ii) local decay estimates for the unperturbed dynamics with initial data consisting of continuum modes associated with an interval containing the embedded eigenvalue of the unperturbed Hamiltonian. No assumption of dilation analyticity of the potential is made. Our method explicitly demonstrates the flow of energy from the resonant discrete mode to continuum modes due to their coupling. The approach is also applicable to nonautonomous linear problems and to nonlinear problems. We derive the time behavior of the resonant states for intermediate and long times. Examples and applications are presented. Among them is a proof of the instability of an embedded eigenvalue at a threshold energy under suitable hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1128
Number of pages43
JournalGeometric and Functional Analysis
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analysis
  • Geometry and Topology


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