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QUANTUM

MECHANICS

TOPICS

An Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics


One- Dimensional Wave Functions & Expectation
Values
The Particle Under Boundary Conditions
The Schrodinger Equation
The particle in a BOX
A particle in a Well of finite Height
Tunneling Through a Potential Energy Barrier
The Scanning Tunneling Microscope
The Simple Harmonic Oscillator
Text Book
PHYSICS for Scientists and Engineers
with Modern Physics (6th ed)
By Serway & Jewett
MIT- MANIPAL

BE-PHYSICS-QUANTUM MECHANICS-201011

AN INTERPRETATION OF QUANTUM MECHANICS

Experimental evidences proved that both matter and


electromagnetic radiation exhibit wave and particle
nature

depending

on

the

phenomenon

being

observed.
Making a conceptual connection between particles
and waves,
have

for an electromagnetic radiation, we

the probability per unit volume of finding a

photon in a given region of space at an instant of time


as

Probabilit
y
V

E2

Taking the analogy between electromagnetic radiation


and matter-the probability per unit volume of finding
the particle is proportional to the square of the
amplitude of a wave representing the particle, even if
the amplitude of the de Broglie wave associated with a
particle is generally not a measureable quantity.

The amplitude of the de Broglie wave associated with a


particle is called probability amplitude, or the wave
function, and is denoted by .

In general, the complete wave function for a system


depends on the positions of all the particles in the
system and on time and can be written as
(rj,t) = (rj) eit ,
where rj is the position vector of the jTH particle in the
system.
For any system in which the potential energy is timeindependent and depends only on the positions of
particles within the system, the important information
about the system is contained within the space part
of the wave function.

The wave function

contains within it all the

information that can be known about the particle.


||2 is always real and positive, and is proportional to the
probability per unit volume, of finding the particle at a
given point at some instant.

If represents a single

particle, then ||2 -called the probability density- is the


relative probability per unit volume that the particle will
be found at any given point in the volume.

One-Dimensional

Wave

Functions

and

Expectation Values
=

Wave function for a particle moving


along the x axis
P(x) dx = ||2 dx is the probability to find
the particle in the infinitesimal interval dx
around the point x. The probability of finding
the particle in the arbitrary interval a x b is

Pab

2 dx

The probability of a particle being in the interval


a x b is the area under the probability density curve
from a to b.
The total probability of finding the particle is

1.

Forcing this condition on the wave function is called


normalization:

dx 1

The wave equation satisfied by is the Schrodinger


equation and can be computed from it.

All the

measureable quantities of a particle, such as its energy


and momentum, can be derived from a knowledge of .

Eg, the average position at which one expects to find the


particle

after

many

measurements

is

called

expectation value of x and is defined by the equation

x x dx

The expectation value of any function f(x) associated


with the particle is

f (x) f (x) dx

the

The

important

mathematical

features

of

physically reasonable wave function (x) for


a system are
(x) may be a complex function or a real

(i)

function, depending on the system;


(ii) (x), must be finite, continuous and single
valued every where;
(iii) The space derivatives of , must be finite,
continuous and single valued every where;
(iv)

must be normalizable.

Wave function

It is the variable quantity characterizing the matter


waves

( x, y , z , t )

Is denoted by

which contains

all the measurable information about the particle.


Probability density ,I I2 = I * I
Orthogonalised condition, means certainty of

2
I

I
absence of particle at a given
time.dxdydz 0

Normalized condition,

means certainty of the

2
presence of particle at a givenI
time.
I dxdydz 1

[1] A particle wave function is given by the


equation (x) = A e

ax2

(A)What is the value of A if this wave function


is normalized?
(B) What is the expectation value of x for this
particle?
Solution:

e use normalization condition

dx 1

Ae

ax )

dx 1

2 ax 2

dx 1

2 ax

dx A

2 ax

dx A

2 A2 e 2 ax dx 1
0

2 1
1
2 A

2
2
a

2 ax 2

dx 1

e
0

2 ax 2

1
dx
2 2a

2a
A

1/ 4

or Expectation Value We use

x x dx

Ae
A

xe

xe

ax 2

2 ax 2

xe

2 ax 2

xAe

ax 2

dx

dx

2 ax 2

dx xe

dx xe
0

x 0

2 ax 2

2 ax 2

dx

dx

[2] A free electron has a wave function


i(5.0 1010 x)

( x) A e

where x is in meters. Find (a) its de Broglie


wavelength, (b) its momentum, and (c) its
kinetic energy in electron volts.
Solution:
i(5.0 1010 x)

( x) A e
( x) Ae

i ( 5.01010 x )

A cos(5.0 X 1010 x) Ai sin(5.0 X 1010 x)

A cos(kx) Ai sin( kx)


2
k

(a )

2
2
10

1.26 x10 m
10
k
5 x10
34

(b)

h 6.626.x10
24
p

5
.
27
x
10
kg.m / s
10
1.26 x10

P 2 (5.27 x10 24 ) 2
17
(c ) K

1.52 x10 J 95.5eV


31
2m 2 x9.11x10

THE SCHRDINGER EQUATION


The appropriate wave equation for matter waves was
developed by Schrdinger. Schrdinger equation as it
applies to a particle of mass m confined to moving
along

axis and interacting with its environment

through a potential energy function U(x) is

U
2
2m dx
2

Where E is a constant equal to the total energy of the


system (the particle and its environment).

THE SCHRDINGER EQUATION

U
2
2m dx
2

The above equation is referred to as the

dimensional,

time-independent

Schrdinger

equation.
Application of Schrdinger equation to the
[1] Particle in a box
[2]Particle in an infinite square well.

one-

PARTICLE IN A BOX (INFINITE)

In figure (a), a particle of mass m and velocity v, confined to


bouncing between two impenetrable walls separated by a
distance L is shown.

Figure (b) shows the potential energy

function for the system.

U(x) = 0,

for

0 < x < L,

And U (x) = , for x < 0, x > L


Since U (x) = , for x < 0, x > L ,
(x) =0 in these regions.
Also (x =0) =0 and (x =L) =0.
Only those wave functions that satisfy these boundary
conditions are allowed.
In the region 0 < x < L, where U = 0, the Schrdinger
equation takes the form

d2
dx 2

2m
E
2

0,

d
2mE
2
2
k , where k 2 or k
2
dx

2mE

The most general form of the solution to the above


equation is (x) = A sin(kx) + B cos(kx) where A and B
are

constants

determined

by

the

boundary

normalization conditions.
Applying the first boundary condition,
i.e., at x = 0, = 0
leads to
0 = A sin 0 + B cos 0
or B = 0 ,
and at x = L , = 0 ,
0 = A sin(kL) + B cos(kL) = A sin(kL) + 0 ,

and

since A 0 , sin(kL) = 0 .

kL =

n ;

2
k

( n = 1, 2, 3, ..)

2mE
,

or


L n
2

k L

2mE
L n

Each value of the integer n corresponds to a


quantized energy value, En , where

En

h2 2

n Where n = 1, 2 , 3 ..
2
8 mL

h
The lowest allowed energy (n 1), E1
2
8 mL

This is the ground state energy for the particle in a box.


Excited states corresponds to n = 2, 3, 4 ---- have
energies given by 4E1 , 9E1 , 16E1 ---.
Energy level diagram for a
particle confined to a onedimensional box of length L.
The lowest allowed energy is
E1 = h2/8mL2.
According to quantum mechanics, the particle can never
be at rest.

The corresponding wave functions are


(x) = A sin(kx) + B cos(kx)
B=0 and k=n /L A=?

n ( x)

n x
A sin

To find the constant A, apply normalization condition

dx 1

n x
0 A sin L dx 1
2

or

2n x
A 1 cos
dx
L

0
2

A2
2

A2
0 dx 2

2nx
0 cos L dx 1
L

A
2

x]
0

A L
sin 2n
2 2n
xL
2

A2

= 1
0

2
A =
L

L 0 =
2 1

we get , n x

2
n x
sin

L
L

The first three allowed states for a particle confined to a onedimensional box are shown next.

Fig. (a) The wave functions

Fig.

(b)

The

probability

for n = 1, 2, and 3.

densities for n = 1, 2, and 3.

Quantum Mechanics II
A careful analysis of the process of
observation in atomic physics has
shown that the subatomic particles
have

no

meaning

as

isolated

entities, but can only be understood


as interconnections between the
preparation of an experiment and
the subsequent measurement.
- Erwin Schrdinger

Erwin Schrdinger (18871961)

Opinions on Quantum Mechanics


I think it is safe to say that no one
understands quantum mechanics.
Do not keep saying to yourself, if
you can possibly avoid it, But how
can it be like that? because you
will get down the drain into a
blind alley from which nobody has
yet escaped. Nobody knows how it
can be like that.
- Richard Feynman
Those who are not shocked when
they

first

mechanics

come
cannot

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) understood it.

across

quantum

possibly

have

Quantum Dots
Trapping of particle
(electron) in the potential
well

A PARTICLE IN A WELL OF FINITE HEIGHT


(PARTICLE IN A SQUARE WELL POTENTIAL)

Potential energy diagram of


I

III

II
U

a well of finite height U and


length

L.

particle

is

trapped in the well. The


0

L
X

>L

U(x) = 0 ,

0 < x < L,

U (x) = U ,

x < 0, x

total

energy

of

the

particle-well system is less


than U

Particle

energy

permanently

bound

E < U ; classically the


in

the

potential

well.

particle is
However,

according to quantum mechanics, a finite probability exists


that the particle can be found outside the well even if E < U.
That is, the wave function is generally nonzero in regions I
and III.
In regions II, where U = 0, the allowed wave functions are
again sinusoidal. But the boundary conditions no longer
require that the wave function must be zero at the ends of
the well.

The Schrdinger equation outside the finite well in


regions I and III is:
2

d
2

dx

where

2m

(U E) C

2m
2
C
(U E)
2

General solution of the above equation is

( x) A eC x B e C x

A must be 0 in Region III and B must be zero in Region I,


otherwise, the probabilities would be infinite in those
regions. Solution should be finite.

ie., the wave functions outside the finite potential well


are

= A e C x for x < 0
I

= B eC x for x > L
III

where C

_
2 m (U E)

e- x as x - , B = 0 ,
e x as x , A = 0,

Schrodinger equation inside the square well potential


in region II, where U = 0 is

d2

II

dx2

2m
E
2
II

k2
General solution of the above equation is

II F

sin

2mE
2mE

x G cos


k
k

Results show that the wave function outside the


potential well decay exponentially with distance.
The boundary conditions require that,

so the wave function is smooth where the regions meet.


To determine the constants A, B, F, G, & the allowed
values of energy E, apply the four boundary conditions
and the normalization condition.

PARTICLE IN A POTENTIAL WELL OF FINITE


DEPTH
WAVE
FUNCTIONS

PROBABILITY DENSITIES

PARTICLE IN A INFINATE AND FINITE POTENTIAL WELL

In finite well, the particle has


certain

probability

found

outside the

of
well.

being
The

wavelengths that fit into finite


INFINITE DEPTH

potential

well are longer than

those in an infinite potential well


In finite well,
1]Particle momenta
since [ p = h/ ]
FINITE DEPTH

is lower

2]Energy levels for each n are


lower
compared to Infinite well

TUNNELING THROUGH A POTENTIAL ENERGY BARRIER

Consider a particle of energy E approaching a potential


barrier of height U, (E < U). Potential energy has a
constant value of U in the region of width L and is zero
in all other regions. This is called a square barrier and
U is called the barrier height. Since E < U, classically
the regions II and III shown in the next figure are
forbidden to the particle incident from left. But
according to quantum mechanics, all regions are
accessible to the particle, regardless of its energy.

TUNNELING THROUGH A POTENTIAL ENERGY BARRIER

Potential energy function and wave function for a particle


incident from the left on a barrier of height U and width L.
The wave function is sinusoidal in
exponentially decaying in region II.

regions I and III but

By applying the boundary conditions, ie

and its first

derivative must be continuous at boundaries (at x = 0 and x =


L), full solution to the Schrdinger equation can be found
which is shown in figure. The probability of locating the
particle beyond the barrier in region III is nonzero. The
movement of the particle to the far side of the barrier is called
tunneling or barrier penetration.
The probability of tunneling can be described with a
transmission coefficient T and a reflection coefficient R.

The

transmission

coefficient

represents

the

probability that the particle penetrates to the other


side of the barrier, and reflection coefficient is the
probability that the particle is reflected by the barrier.
Because the particles must be either reflected or
transmitted we have, R + T = 1.
An approximate expression for the transmission
coefficient, when T << 1 is

2CL

where C

whenT <<1
2 m (U

_ E)

This violation of classical physics is allowed by the


uncertainty principle.

The particle can violate classical

physics by E for a short time,

t ~ / E.
Some Applications of Tunneling - see the text book

Quantum Tunneling & Electron


Traps
Applications
Alpha decay
The Tunnel diode
The Scanning Tunneling
Microscope

THE SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE

Scanning Tunnelling
Microscope

STM tip
(photo taken with an SEM)

STM tips
Tips
Cut platinum iridium wires

Tungsten wire electrochemically etched


Tungsten sharpened with ion milling
Best tips have a point a few
hundred nm wide

Vibration Control
Coiled spring suspension with magnetic damping
Stacked metal plates with dampers between them

THE SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE

An
electrically
conducting
(positively charged) probe with a
very sharp edge is brought near the
surface to be studied
The empty space between the tip
and the surface represents the
barrier.
The tip and the surface are two
walls of the potential well.
If a voltage is applied between
surface and tip, electrons in the
atoms of the surface material can be
made to tunnel preferentially from
surface to tip to produce a tunneling
current. In this way the tip samples
the distribution of electrons just
above the surface.

Basic Principles of STM

d~6

Bias voltage:
mV V range

Electrons tunnel between the tip and sample, a small current


I is generated (10 pA to 1 nA).

Iron Atoms on Copper

35 Xenon Atoms on Nickel

Interesting Images with STM

Xenon on Nickel
Single atom
lithography
Copper Surface

Quantum Corrals
Imaging the standing wave created by
interaction of species

Iron on Copper

Carbon Monoxide Man: CO on


Platinum

Graphite is a good example!

STM images of graphite

Structure of graphite

Quantum
Dots
The highly developed techniques used
to fabricate computer chips can be
used construct, atom by atom,
individual potential energy wells that
behave , in many respects, like
artificial atoms, called quantum dots
Have
promising
applications
in
electron
optics
and
computer
technology.

PROBLEMS

[1] An electron is confined between two impenetrable


walls 0.20 nm apart. Determine the energy levels for the
states n =1 ,2 , and 3.
SOLUTION: We have

En

h2 2

n
2
8 mL

n=1 E1= h2/8mL2 = 1.51 X 10-18J=9.42eV


n=2 E2=4E1=37.7eV
n=3 E2=9E1=84.8eV

[2] A 0.50 kg baseball is confined between two rigid walls

of a stadium that can be modeled as a box of length 100


m. Calculate the minimum speed of the baseball. If the
baseball is moving with a speed of 150 m/s, what is the
quantum number of the state in which the baseball will
be?
SOLUTION: We have

En

h 2

n
2
8 mL
2

For minimum speed corresponds to state n=1


E1= h2/8mL2 = 1.10 X 10-71J
Since E=K= mv2
v=(2K/m)= 6.63 x 10-36 m/s
(b) We expect the quantum no to be large since baseball is a
macroscopic object.
The K.E of the baseball is given by,
K= mv2= 5.62 x 103 J

h 2
n
2
8mL

En

E n 8mL2
h2

n=2.26 x 1037

[3]
(A) Using the simple model of a particle in a box to
represent an atom, estimate the energy (in eV) required to
raise an atom from the state n =1 to the state n =2. Assume
the atom has a radius of 0.10 nm and that the moving
electron carries the energy that has been added to the atom.
(B) Atoms may be excited to higher energy states by
absorbing photon energy. Calculate the wavelength of the
photon that would cause the transition from the state n =1
to the state n =2.

SOLUTION (A)
Using L=0.200nm, m=me=9.11 x 10-31 kg from prev problem

En

h2 2
n
2
8m L

En 9.4n 2 eV

Hence the Energy Diff between the states n=1 and n=2 is
E=E2 E1
=9.42(2)2 eV-9.42(1)2 eV
E=28.3eV
(B) E=hf=hc/,
=hc/E=1.24 eV/(28.3)

[4] A proton is confined to move in a one-dimensional box


of length 0.20 nm. (a) Find the lowest possible energy of the
proton. (b) What is the lowest possible energy for an electron
confined to the same box? (c) Account for the great
difference in results for (a) and (b)
Solution (a)Proton

h 2
n
2
8m L
2

En

(b) Electron

h 2
n
2
8m L

E1 8.22 x10

22

J 5.1x10

eV

En

E1 1.51x10 18 J 9.41 eV

(c) The electron has a much higher energy because it is much


less massive

[5] A 30-eV electron is incident on a square barrier of height


40 eV. What is the probability that the electron will tunnel
through the barrier if its width is (A) 1.0 nm? (B) 0.10 nm?
SOLUTION: We have
_

T e 2CL

where C

_
2m(U E )

(A) U-E=(40eV-30eV)=10eV=1.6 x 10-18J

2 CL 2

T e

2CL

2(9.11x10 31 kg )(1.6 x10 18 J )


9
(1.0 x10 m)
34
1.054 x10 J .s

32.4

8.5 x10 15

(B) For L=0.10nm, 2CL=3.24

T e

2CL

3.24

0.039

[6] An electron with kinetic energy E = 5.0 eV is incident on


a barrier with thickness L = 0.20 nm and height U = 10.0 eV
as shown in the figure. What is the probability that the
electron (a) will tunnel through the barrier? (b) will be
reflected?

T e 2CL

where C

2 CL 2

_
2m(U E )

2(9.11x10 31 kg )(8.0 x10 19 J )


10
(2.0 x10 m)
34
1.055 x10 J .s

CL=4.58

A) T=e-4.58=0.0103, a 1% chance of transmission

) R=1-T=0.990, a 99% chance of reflection

Schrdinger's CAT

DEAD ? OR ALIVE ?
WILL SEE IN NEXT CLASS

THE SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE

An
electrically
conducting
(positively charged) probe with
a very sharp edge is brought
near the surface to be studied
The empty space between the
tip and the surface represents
the barrier.
The tip and the surface are two
walls of the potential well.
If a voltage is applied between
surface and tip, electrons in
the atoms of the surface
material can be made to tunnel
preferentially from surface to
tip to produce a tunneling
current. In this way the tip
samples the distribution of
electrons
just
above
the
surface.

THE SIMPLE HARMONIC OSCILLATOR

Quantum treatment of the vibrating charges (for eg.


vibrating charges in the walls of the cavity of a
blackbody emitting radiation) as simple harmonic
oscillators.
Particles (vibrating charges) is subject

to a linear

restoring force F = -(k x), where x is the position of the


particle relative to equilibrium (x = 0) and k is force
constant. The potential energy of the system is,
U = k x2 = m 2 x2
Where the angular frequency of vibration is

k /m

Its total energy E = K + U = k A2 = m 2 A2


Classically, the particle oscillates between the
points

x = A and

x = A,

where A is the amplitude

of the motion.
In the classical model, any value of E is allowed,
including E = 0, which is the total energy when
the Schrdinger
particle is inequation
rest at xfor
= 0.
The
this problem is

2 d2 1
2 2

x E
2
2m dx
2

The solution of the above equation is given by

C x2

Be

Where B is a constant determined from the normalization


condition.

m
where C
2

B e

and

(m / 2 ) x 2

1
2

The energy levels of a harmonic oscillator are quantized.


The energy for an arbitrary quantum number n is given by

The state n = 0 corresponds to the ground state, whose


energy is E0 = (); the state n = 1 corresponds to the first
excited state, whose energy is E1 = (3/2) , and so on.

Energy level diagram


for

simple

harmonic

oscillator,

U (x)

= E3

superimposed on the
potential

= E2

energy

= E1

function.

= E0

x
0
The levels are equally spaced with E = .
The ground state energy is E0 = ().

The classical and quantum mechanical probabiliti

-3 -2 -1

-3 -2 -1

m
x
2

m
x
2

-3 -2 -1

m
x
2

The blue curves represent the classical


2
n
probabilities and the red ones the quantum
probabilities
for a simple harmonic
oscillator.

In classical physics, probability densities are the greatest


near the endpoints of its motion where it has the least
kinetic energy. This is in sharp contrast to the quantum
case for small n. In the limit of large n, the probabilities start
to resemble each other more closely as shown in figure.

Planks equation for the energy levels of the oscillators


differs from the equation given by quantum harmonic
oscillator only in the term added to n. However this
additional term does not affect the energy emitted in a
transition.

QUESTIONS QUANTUM MECHANICS


[MARKS]
1.What is a wave function ? What is its physical
interpretation ?
[2]
2.What are the mathematical features of a wave
function?
[2]
3.By solving the schrdinger equation, obtain the wavefunctions for a particle of mass m in a one-dimensional
box of length L.
[5]
4.Apply the schrodinger equation to a particle in a onedimensional box of length L and obtain the energy
values of the particle.
[5]
5.Sketch the lowest three energy states, wavefunctions, probability densities for the particle in
a one-dimensional box.
[3]

QUESTIONS QUANTUM MECHANICS


[MARKS]
6.The wave-function for a particle confined to
moving in a one-dimensional box is
Use the normalization condition
on to show that

[2]

7.The wave-function of an electron is


Obtain an expression for the probability of
finding the electron between x = a and x = b.
[3]

[MARKS]
8.Sketch the potential-well diagram of finite
height U and length L, obtain the general
solution of the schrodinger equation for a
particle of mass m in it.
[5]
9.Sketch the lowest three energy states, wavefunctions, probability densities for the particle in
a potential well of finite height.
[3]
10.Give a brief account of tunneling of a particle
through a potential energy barrier.
[4]
11.Give a brief account of the quantum
treatment of a simple harmonic oscillator.
[5]