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PHY 102: Quantum Physics

Topic 4
Introduction to Quantum Theory
Wave functions

Significance of wave function

Normalisation

The time-independent Schrodinger Equation.

Solutions of the T.I.S.E


The de Broglie Hypothesis
In 1924, de Broglie suggested that if waves of wavelength
were associated with particles of momentum p=h/,
then it should also work the other way round.

A particle of mass m, moving with velocity v has


momentum p given by:

h
p mv

Kinetic Energy of particle

2 2 2 2
p h k
KE
2m 2m 2
2m

If the de Broglie hypothesis is correct, then a stream of


classical particles should show evidence of wave-like
characteristics
Standing de Broglie waves

Eg electron in a box (infinite potential well)


V= V= V= V=

V=0 V=0
Electron rattles to and fro Standing wave formed
Wavelengths of confined states

In general, k =n/L, n= number of


antinodes in standing wave

2L 3
;k
3 L
2
L;k
L

2L ; k
L
Energies of confined states

2
k n
2 2 2 2
E 2
2m 2mL

En n 2 E1

2 2
E1 2
2mL
Energies of confined states

En n E1
2
2 2
E1 2
2mL
Particle in a box: wave functions

From Lecture 4, standing wave on a string has form:

y ( x, t ) ( A sin kx) sin(t )

Our particle in a box wave functions represent


STATIONARY (time independent) states, so we write:

( x) A sin kx

A is a constant, to be determined
Interpretation of the wave function

The wave function of a particle is related to the probability


density for finding the particle in a given region of space:

Probability of finding particle between x and x + dx:


2
( x) dx

Probability of finding particle somewhere = 1, so we have


the NORMALISATION CONDITION for the wave
function:

( x)
2
dx 1

Interpretation of the wave function
Interpretation of the wave function
Normalisation condition allows unknown constants in the
wave function to be determined. For our particle in a box
we have WF:

nx
( x) A sin kx A sin
L
Since, in this case the particle is confined by INFINITE
potential barriers, we know particle must be located
between x=0 and x=L Normalisation condition reduces
to :
L

( x)
2
dx 1
0
Particle in a box: normalisation of wave functions

nx
L L

( x) A sin
2
dx 1 dx 1
2 2

0 0 L

2 nx
( x) sin
L L
Some points to note..

So far we have only treated a very simple one-dimensional


case of a particle in a completely confining potential.

In general, we should be able to determine wave functions


for a particle in all three dimensions and for potential
energies of any value

Requires the development of a more sophisticated


QUANTUM MECHANICS based on the SCHRDINGER
EQUATION
The Schrdinger Equation in 1-dimension
(time-independent)

d ( x)
2 2
2
V ( x ) ( x ) E ( x )
2m dx

KE Term
PE Term
Solving the Schrodinger equation allows us to calculate
particle wave functions for a wide range of situations (See
Y2 QM course).

Finite potential well

WF leakage, particle has finite probability of being found in barrier:


CLASSICALLY FORBIDDEN
Solving the Schrodinger equation allows us to calculate
particle wave functions for a wide range of situations (See
Y2 QM course).

Barrier Penetration (Tunnelling)

Quantum mechanics allows particles to travel through brick walls!!!!


Solving the SE for particle in an infinite potential wel

V ( x) 0 0xL

So, for 0<x<L, the time independent SE reduces to:

2 d 2 ( x) d 2 ( x) 2mE ( x)
2
E ( x) 2
2
0
2m dx dx

General Solution:

1/ 2 1/ 2
2mE 2mE
( x) A sin 2
x B cos 2
x

1/ 2 1/ 2
2mE 2mE
( x) A sin 2
x B cos 2
x

Boundary condition: (x) = 0 when x=0:B=0

1/ 2
2mE
( x) A sin 2
x

Boundary condition: (x) = 0 when x=L:

2mE
1/ 2
n 2 2 2

(0) A sin 2
L0 E 2
2mL
nx
( x) A sin
L
In agreement with the fitting waves in boxes treatment earlier..
Molecular Beam Epitaxy: Man-made potential wells for
Quantum mechanical engineering
Molecular Beam Epitaxy: Man-made potential wells for
Quantum mechanical engineering
Quantum Cascade Laser: Engineering with electron wavefunctions
Scanning Tunnelling Microscope: Imaging atoms