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Course: PHYSICS 6210, Spring 2007
School: AIU Online
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6210/Spring Physics 2007/Lecture 34 Lecture 34 Relevant sections in text: 5.6 Time-dependent perturbation theory (cont.) We are constructing an approximation scheme for solving i h i d cn (t) = e h (En Em )t Vnm (t)cm (t), dt m Vnm = n|V (t)|m . For simplicity we shall suppose (as is often the case) that the initial state is an eigenstate of H0 . Setting | (0) = |i , i.e., taking the initial state to be one...

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6210/Spring Physics 2007/Lecture 34 Lecture 34 Relevant sections in text: 5.6 Time-dependent perturbation theory (cont.) We are constructing an approximation scheme for solving i h i d cn (t) = e h (En Em )t Vnm (t)cm (t), dt m Vnm = n|V (t)|m . For simplicity we shall suppose (as is often the case) that the initial state is an eigenstate of H0 . Setting | (0) = |i , i.e., taking the initial state to be one of the unperturbed energy eigenvectors, we get as our zeroth-order approximation: (0) cn (t) cn = ni . (1) We get our rst-order approximation cn (t) by improving our approximation of the right-hand side of the dierential equations to be accurate to rst order. This we do by (0) using the zeroth order approximation of the solution, cn in the right hand side of the equation. So, we now approximate the dierential equation as i h i d cn (t) e h (En Ei )t Vni (t), dt with solution (0) (1) cn (t) cn + cn (t) = ni + i 1t dt e h (En Ei )t Vni (t ). i 0 h Successive approximations are obtained by iterating this procedure. We shall only deal with the rst non-trivial approximation, which denes rst-order time-dependent perturbation theory. We assumed that the system started o in the (formerly stationary) state |i dened by H0 . Of course, generally the perturbation will be such that |i is not a stationary state for H , so that at times t > 0 the state vector will change. We can still ask what is the probability for nding the system in an eigenstate |n of H0 . Assuming that n = i this is P (i n, i = n) = | i 1t dt e h (En Ei )t Vni (t )|2 . h 0 This is the transition probability to rst-order in TDPT. The probability for no transition is, in this approximation, P (i i) = 1 P (i n, i = n). n =i 1 Physics 6210/Spring 2007/Lecture 34 TDPT is valid so long as the transition probabilities are all much less than unity. Otherwise, our approximation begins to fail. The transition probability for i n is only non-zero if there is a non-zero matrix element Vni connecting the initial and nal states. Otherwise, we say that the transition is forbidden. Of course, it is only forbidden in the leading order approximation. If a particular transition i n is forbidden in the sense just described, then physically this means that the transition may occur with very small probability compared to other, nonforbidden transitions. To calculate this very small probability one would have to go to higher orders in TDPT. Example: time-independent perturbation As our rst application of TDPT we consider what happens when the perturbation V does not in fact depend upon time. This means, of course, that the true Hamiltonian H0 +V is time independent, too (since we assume H0 is time independent). If we can solve the energy eigenvalue problem for H0 + V we can immediately write down the exact solution to the Schrdinger equation and we dont need to bother with approximation methods. But o we are assuming, of course, that the problem is not exactly soluble. Now, in the current example of a time-independent perturbation, could we use the approximate eigenvalues and eigenvectors from time independent perturbation theory to get approximate solutions to the Schrdinger equation. This turns out to be equivalent to the results we will obtain o below using time dependent perturbation theory. Its actually quite a nice exercise to prove this, but we wont bother. Assuming V is time independent, the integral appearing in the transition probability can be easily computed and we get (exercise) 4|Vni |2 (En Ei )t sin2 . 2 2 h (En Ei ) Assuming this matrix element Vni does not vanish, we see that the transition probability oscillates in time. The amplitude of this oscillation is small provided the magnitude of the transition matrix element of the perturbation is small compared to the unperturbed energy dierence between the initial and nal states. This number had better be small or the perturbative approximation is not valid. P (i n, i = n) = Let us consider the energy dependence of the transition probability. The amplitude of the temporally oscillating transition probability decreases quickly as the energy of the nal state diers from the energy of the initial state. The dominant transition probabilities occur when En = Ei , i = n. For this to happen, of course, the states |n and |i must correspond to a degenerate or nearly degenerate eigenvalue. When En Ei we have 1 P (i n, i = n, En = Ei ) = 2 |Vni |2 t2 . h 2 Physics 6210/Spring 2007/Lecture 34 Because of the growth in time, our approximation breaks down eventually in this case. Still, you can see that the transition probability is peaked about those states such that En Ei , with the peak having height proportional to t2 and width proportional to 1/t. Thus as the time interval becomes large enough the principal probability is for transitions of the energy conserving type, En Ei . For shorter times the probabilities for energy non-conserving transitions are less negligible. Indeed, the probability for a transition with an energy dierence E at time t is appreciable once the elapsed time satises t h , E as you can see by inspecting the transition probability. This is just a version of the timeenergy uncertainty principle expressed in terms of the unperturbed stationary states. One sometimes characterizes the situation by saying that one can violate energy conservation by an amount E provided you do it over a time interval t such that tE . h All this talk of energy non-conservation is of course purely gurative. The true energy, represented by H0 + V is conserved, as always in quantum mechanics when the Hamiltonian is time independent. It is only because we are considering the dynamics in terms of the unperturbed system, using the unperturbed energy dened by H0 , that we can speak of energy non-conservation from the unperturbed point of view. You can see, however, why slogans like you can violate conservation of energy if you do it over a short enough time might arise and what they really mean. You can also see that such slogans can be very misleading. 3
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Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244
Rutgers - MATH - 640:244