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In this work, we discuss the resonance states of a quantum particle in a periodic potential plus static force. Originally this problem was formulated for a crystalline electron subject to the static electric field and is known nowadays as the Wannier-Stark problem. We describe a novel approach to the Wannier-Stark problem developed in recent years. This approach allows to compute the complex energy spectrum of a Wannier-Stark system as the poles of a rigorously constructed scattering matrix and, in this sense, solves the Wannier-Stark problem without any approximation. The suggested method is very efficient from the numerical point of view and has proven to be a powerful analytic tool for Wannier-Stark resonances appearing in different physical systems like optical or semiconductor superlattices.

The paper discusses the metastable states of a quantum particle in a periodic potential under a constant force (the model of a crystal electron in a homogeneous electric ,eld), which are known as the Wannier-Stark ladder of resonances. An ecient procedure to ,nd the positions and widths of resonances is suggested and illustrated by numerical calculation for a cosine potential.