Animations of the Schrodinger Equation
Honors Research Project by Scott Timmerman
with Professors Gerald Payne and Wayne Polyzou
1. Increase ones understanding of quantum mechanical ideas by giving some physical intuition into quantum phenomena.
2. Illustrate the inherent differences of classical mechanics and quantum mechanics.
In Quantum Mechanics our goal is often to find the wave function - . The wave function is a complex number, so its value is not of major importance, but the mod squared of psi - is a measureable quantity. represents the probability of finding a particle at position x for any time t. Classically it is easy to measure the momentum and position of particles and consequently, the probability of finding a particle is one at the exact position of the particle at the current time. However, in Quantum Mechanics, one cannot measure the position or momentum of a particle without changing the particles state and that would defeat the whole purpose of the measurement. All that is known is a probability of where the particle might be. I have created animations of which represent the probability for finding particles at different positions (x) when the particles are in different situations with different potentials.
Click on the headings underneath Project Summary to see the different animations.
I looked at three different cases of animations:
Click here for the PDF version of the project paper.
Click here for the PDF slides for my project presentation given on April 30, 2001
Click here for the Microsoft Word (.doc) Version of the slides