# Summarizing Tunneling

## Tunneling Summary

• Tunneling is a quantum mechanical process of potential energy barrier penetration. The concept was first applied to explain $$\alpha$$ decay, but tunneling is found to occur in other quantum mechanical systems.

## Glossary

### barrier penetration

quantum mechanical effect whereby a particle has a nonzero probability to cross through a potential energy barrier despite not having sufficient energy to pass over the barrier; also called quantum mechanical tunneling

### quantum mechanical tunneling

quantum mechanical effect whereby a particle has a nonzero probability to cross through a potential energy barrier despite not having sufficient energy to pass over the barrier; also called barrier penetration

### tunneling

a quantum mechanical process of potential energy barrier penetration

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