PHYS 3320
Week 6
Tutorial – Energy and the art of sketching wave functions
Goals this week
:
1.
Developing intuition about the curvature and general behaviours of wave
functions for bound states.
(LG: Math/phys connection, sketching, checking)
2.
Classical limit of wave functions (large n) allows physical interpretation of
wavelength and amplitude.
(LG: Math/phys connection, sketching, checking)
3.
Use of symmetry, and node counting, to assist in sketches in double well
situations (LG: symmetry)
Tutorial Summary
:
Students sketch bound states in progressively more interesting and
unfamiliar situations
. We develop the idea that increasing energy increases # of nodes,
that KE corresponds to "curvature" (and what curvature
looks like
on sketches), we
emphasize boundary conditions and continuity. We examine the impact of boundary
conditions on energy eigenvalues. We use the double well to build on these ideas, adding
the element of symmetry and antisymmetry, and paving the way for understanding issues
of energy degeneracy.
Reflection after administering the tutorial
Specific comments and difficulties observed:
Page 1: Some students wanted to work out the formulas from scratch (since in class our
well ran from 0 to L), but considering the time for this Tutorial, I pushed them, in this
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 Fall '08
 STEVEPOLLOCK
 Energy, LG, wave function, wave functions, Steven Pollock, Steven Pollock Contact

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