No Time at the End of the Tunnel
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Modern atto-second experiments seek to provide an insight into a long standing question: “how much time does a tunnelling particle spend in the barrier?” Traditionally, quantum theory relates this duration to the delay with which the particle emerges from the barrier. The link between these two times is self-evident in classical mechanics, but may or may not exist in the quantum case. Here we show that it does not, and give a detailed explanation why. The tunnelling process does not lend itself to classical analogies, and its duration cannot, in general, be guessed by observing the behaviour of the transmitted particle.