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Infinite Potential Well Lesson


Shodor > CSERD > Resources > Activities > Infinite Potential Well Lesson

  Lesson  •  Materials  •  Lesson Plan


Lesson Plan - Infinite Potential Well

Audience

The potential well activity is designed for use in an undergraduate level course in physics or mathematics.

In an upper level undergraduate mathematics course, this activity could be used to illustrate eigenvalue problems in applied mathematics.

In a lower level undergraduate physics course, this activity could be used to introduce Schrodinger's equation and particle wave duality.

In an upper level undergraduate course in modern physics or quantum mechanics, this activity could be used to introduce numerical solutions to Schrodinger's equation. In this case, it might be appropriate to require students to build their own model rather than using the one supplied.

Solutions

Depending on whether the goal for the students is to practice their numerical integration skills, they may be required to create their own model, or they may use the model provided for them.

The solutions which match the boundary conditions should be sinusoidal waves with a period of $n^2 E_0$, where $E_0 = \frac{\hbar^2 \pi^2}
{8 m a^2}$.

Any other energy levels will fail to match the boundary conditions.


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