Wave_Functions_and_Probability_Manual

# Wave_Functions_and_Probability_Manual - PHYS 3320 Week 2...

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PHYS 3320 Week 2 Tutorial – Wave functions and probability Goals this week : 1. Developing intuition about the time dependence, and complex nature of, the spatial wave function, including stationary states and superposition states (LG: Math/phys connection, checking) 2. Visualization of | ψ| 2 , including: it is real, normalized, carries information about location of particle (LG: Visualization) 3. Interpretation of matrix elements, and their time dependence (LG: Math/phys connection, checking solutions) 4. Intuition about <x>, <x 2 >, and σ for simple spatial distributions (including value, and time dependence, and fact that <x> is not necessarily "where the particle is likely to be") (LG: Math/phys, checking) 5. First pass at developing intuition about "probability current" (LG: Math/phys, building on earlier work) Tutorial Summary : Students consider the time dependence of ψ , | ψ | 2 , <x>, and σ for stationary states, superposition states, and simple "wave packet" 1-D situations. This is their first encounter with the idea that overall complex phase is not physical, but relative complex phase can result in "sloshing". We are developing an intuition of the physical meaning of <x>, and σ. This is also a first pass at developing an intuition about "probability current" by establishing an analogy with 1D electrical current. Reflection after administering the tutorial We were impressed at how difficult such a simple Tutorial was. This is normally the case with Tutorials, and perhaps one of their greatest benefits for

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• Fall '08
• STEVEPOLLOCK
• Probability theory, Steve Pollock, Copyright University of Colorado, Steven Pollock, Steven Pollock Contact

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Wave_Functions_and_Probability_Manual - PHYS 3320 Week 2...

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