Appendix F

The Eckart Potential and its Propagator

Eckart (see references in Notes and Bibliography at the end of this appendix) introduced a one-dimensional, analytically solvable, quantum mechanical model, which is applicable to the study of chemical reactionss. The potential is given by


where the parameter κ provides the shape of the transition from the initial situation with energy U(−∞) to the final one with energy U(∞) = 0. A κ-value on the interval [−1,1] gives a smooth step, while other values yield a barrier or a well in the transition region (see Figure F.1).

The Green’s function satisfies the equation (Image = 1)


The introduction of dimensionless independent and dependent variables such that x = bq, E = k2/2Mb2, G(x, x′; E) = 2Mbg(q, q′; k2), U(x) = w(q)/2Mb2, a = 2Mb2U(−∞), and w(q) = a[1 + κ/(1 + eq)/(1 + eq) results in the equation


A solution u(z) to the homogeneous equation corresponding to Eq. (F.3) can conveniently be expressed in terms of the Gauss hypergeometric series F(z) of the auxiliary variable z = 1/(1 + eq). Thus,


Figure F.1:  Eckart potential for three ...

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