Representation of the resonance of a relativistic quantum field theoretical Lee-Friedrichs model in Lax-Phillips scattering theory

Y. Strauss, L. P. Horwitz

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The quantum mechanical description of the evolution of an unstable system defined initially as a state in a Hilbert space at a given time does not provide a semigroup (exponential) decay, law. The Wigner-Weisskopf survival amplitude, describing reversible quantum transitions, may be dominated by exponential type decay in pole approximation at times not too short or too long, but, in the two channel case, for example, the pole residues are not orthogonal, and the evolution does riot correspond to a semigroup (experiments on the decay of the neutral K-meson system strongly support the semigroup evolution postulated, by Lee, Oehme and Yang, and Yang and Wu). The scattering theory of Lax and Phillips, originally developed for classical wave equations, has been recently extended to the description of the evolution of resonant states in the framework of quantum theory. The resulting evolution law of the unstable system is that of a semigroup, and the resonant state is a well-defined junction in the Lax-Phillips Hilbert space. In this paper we apply this theory to a relativistically covariant quantum field theoretical form of the (soluble) Lee model. We construct the translation representations with the help of the wave operators, and show that the resulting Lax-Phillips S-matrix is an inner function (the Lax-Phillips theory is essentially a theory of translation invariant sitbspaces). In the special case that the S-matrix is a rational inner function, we obtain the resonant state explicitly and analyze its particle (V, N, θ) content. If there is an exponential bound, the general case differs only by a so-called trivial inner factor, which does not change the complex spectrum, but may affect the wave function of the resonant state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-694
Number of pages42
JournalFoundations of Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000


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