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Time Evolution of Infinite Well Wave Functions

Keywords: Oscillations & Waves, Quantum Mechanics, Infinite Well, Time Evolution, Computer Visualization


Highlights of the activity

  1. This computer visualization activity is designed to help upper-division undergraduate students visualize stationary and non-stationary states.
  2. Students used Maple/Mathematica to animate wavefunctions consisting of linear combinations of eigenstates.
  3. The wrap-up discussion focuses on the solutions of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation.

Reasons to spend class time on the activity

Time evolution is an a major topic in most quantum mechanics courses. Students often have difficulty understanding what makes some states stationary and other states evolve with time. Students often have difficulty transforming solutions to the time-independent Schrödinger equation into time dependent solutions. This activity was designed for students to construct a solution to the time-dependent Schrödinger equation and then observe the state's time evolution.


Instructor's Guide

Authors: Janet Tate
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