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Lecture 24

Quantum Mechanics – IV

30.10.2015

Initial conditions in classical physics Initial and boundary conditions in quantum physics contd… contd… Particle in a box (infinite square well) V = 0 (particle is completely free)

Particle doesn’t exist at all in the region

x > a and x < 0

So, the time independent Schrӧdinger equation is contd…

The equation is similar to simple harmonic oscillator. The solution is thus of the form where A and B are arbitrary constants fixed by the boundary conditions of the problem.

Boundary conditions is that the wave function is continuous, i.e.,   (A = 0 trivial solution)

(k = 0 trivial solution)

contd… So, the energy of such a particle in the box is given by   Inside the well, the solutions are (the phase of A carries no physical significance, hence is taken as positive) The time-independent Schrodinger equation has an infinite set of solutions (one for each positive integer n).

contd…

Plot the ground state, first and second excited states   Important properties of the wave function:

1. They are alternately even and odd, with respect to the center of the well:

ψ 1 is even, ψ 2 is odd, ψ 3 is even, and so on. 2. As you go up in energy, each successive state has one more node (zero- crossing): ψ 1 has none (the end points don't count), ψ 2 has one, ψ 3 has two, and so on. 3. They are mutually orthogonal, in the sense that   contd…

We can combine orthogonality and normalization into a single statement:  contd…

4. They are complete, in the sense that any other function, f(x), can be expressed as a linear combination of them: This represents Fourier series for f(x), and the fact that "any" function can be expanded in this way is sometimes called Dirichlet's theorem.

The coefficients c orthonormality of and integrate.

n can be evaluated by Fourier's trick, which exploits the : Multiply both sides of the above equation by ,   Thus, the stationary states are given by

contd… and the most general solution is  Above equation gives

And using the Fourier's trick, we get Given the initial wave function ψψψψ (x, 0), we first compute the expansion coefficients c n , and then obtain ψψψψ (x, t).

Example: A particle in the infinite square well has the initial wave function for some constant A . Outside the well, of course, ψ = 0. Plot ψ(x, 0). Find ψ (x, t). Normalize the wave function, contd…  so that,