Getting Stuck in Energy Wells
In This Chapter
Understanding potential wells
Working with infinite square wells
Determining energy levels
Trapping particles with potential barriers
Handling free particles
What’s that, Lassie? Stuck in an energy well? Go get help! In this chapter, you get to see quantum physics at work, solving problems in one dimension. You see particles trapped in potential wells and solve for the allowable energy states using quantum physics. That goes against the grain in classical physics, which doesn’t restrict trapped particles to any particular energy spectrum. But as you know, when the world gets microscopic, quantum physics takes over.
The equation of the moment is the Schrödinger equation (derived in Chapter 2), which lets you solve for the wave function, ψ(x), and the energy levels, E:
Looking into a Square Well
A square well is a potential (that ...