Negative flow of energy in a mechanical wave

  • A. Matulis
  • A. Acus
Keywords: wave, dispersion, energy, backflow, 1D lattice, oscillator


A classical system, which is analogous to the quantum one with a backflow of probability, is proposed. The system consists of a chain of masses interconnected by springs and attached by other springs to fixed supports. Thanks to the last springs the cutoff frequency and dispersion appears in the spectrum of waves propagating along the chain. It is shown that this dispersion contributes to the appearance of a backflow of energy. In the case of the interference of two waves, the magnitude of this backflow is an order of magnitude higher than the value of probability backflow in the mentioned quantum problem. The equation of Green’s function is considered and it is shown that the backflow of energy is also possible when the system is excited by two consecutive short pulses. This classical backflow phenomenon is explained by the branching of energy flow to local modes that is confirmed by the results for the forced damped oscillator. It is shown that even in such a simple system the backflow of energy takes place (both instantaneous and average).
Mathematical and Computational Physics