Semiclassical stochastic mechanics for the Coulomb potential with applications to modelling dark matter

Neate, Andrew and Truman, Aubrey (2016). Semiclassical stochastic mechanics for the Coulomb potential with applications to modelling dark matter. Journal of Mathematical Physics, 57(5), article no. 052103.



Little is known about dark matter particles save that their most important interactions with ordinary matter are gravitational and that, if they exist, they are stable, slow moving and relatively massive. Based on these assumptions, a semiclassical approximation to the Schrödinger equation under the action of a Coulomb potential should be relevant for modelling their behaviour. We investigate the semiclassical limit of the Schrödinger equation for a particle of mass M under a Coulomb potential in the context of Nelson’s stochastic mechanics. This is done using a Freidlin-Wentzell asymptotic series expansion in the parameter ϵ=√ħ/M for the Nelson diffusion. It is shown that for wave functions ψ ∼ exp((R + iS)/ϵ2) where R and S are real valued, the ϵ = 0 behaviour is governed by a constrained Hamiltonian system with Hamiltonian Hr and constraint Hi = 0 where the superscripts r and i denote the real and imaginary parts of the Bohr correspondence limit of the quantum mechanical Hamiltonian, independent of Nelson’s ideas. Nelson’s stochastic mechanics is restored in dealing with the nodal surface singularities and by computing (correct to first order in ϵ) the relevant diffusion process in terms of Jacobi fields thereby revealing Kepler’s laws in a new light. The key here is that the constrained Hamiltonian system has just two solutions corresponding to the forward and backward drifts in Nelson’s stochastic mechanics. We discuss the application of this theory to modelling dark matter particles under the influence of a large gravitating point mass.

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