Huichao Wang, Steven Tomsovic
Semiclassical methods are extremely important in the subjects of wave packet and coherent state dynamics. Unfortunately, these essentially saddle point approximations are considered nearly impossible to carry out in detail for systems with multiple degrees of freedom due to the difficulties of solving the resulting two-point boundary value problems. However, recent developments have extended the applicability to a broader range of systems and circumstances. The most important advances are first to generate a set of real reference trajectories using appropriately reduced dimensional spaces of initial conditions, and second to feed that set into a Newton-Raphson search scheme to locate the exposed complex saddle trajectories. The arguments for this approach were based mostly on intuition and numerical verification. In this paper, the methods are put on a firmer theoretical foundation and then extended to incorporate saddles hidden from Newton-Raphson searches initiated with real trajectories. This hidden class of saddles is relevant to tunneling-type processes, but a hidden saddle can sometimes contribute just as much as or more than an exposed one.