Klein paradox


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Klein paradox

[′klīn ‚par·ə‚däks]
(quantum mechanics)
The paradox whereby, according to the Dirac electron theory, an electron can penetrate into a potential barrier which is greater than twice the rest energy of the electron (about 1 MeV) by making a transition from a positive energy state to a negative energy state, provided the potential change occurs over a distance on the order of a Compton wavelength or less.
References in periodicals archive ?
The spirit of the Klein Paradox discussed in Appendix A is that, if a region of free space is subjected to a sufficiently large positive potential, then an electron impinging on that region can extract energy from the negative-energy vacuum state.
The Klein Paradox demonstrates that a sufficiently strong positive free-space potential can expose a portion of the vacuum state to "attack" by free-space particles.
The "hole" theory of Dirac [7] that leads to the Dirac vacuum will be presented here along with the Klein paradox as the two are intimately related.
This scattering problem leads to the Klein paradox that is reviewed below.