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PHY 4604 Exam 1 Solutions
Monday October 3, 2005 (Total Points = 100)
Problem 1 (10 points): Circle true or false for following (1 point each).
(a) (True or False) One of the “breakthroughs” that lead to quantum mechanics was the idea of
associating differential operators with the dynamical variables.
(b) (True or False) The wave function Ψ(x,t) must vanish in a region of infinite potential.
(c) (True or False) It is possible for a free particle to have a definite energy.
(d) (True or False) In quantum mechanics particles can enter the “classically forbidden” region
where V
0
> E (i.e. KE < 0).
(e) (True or False) The operator (A
op
A
↑
op
) is hermitian.
Note is we let O = A
op
A
↑
op
then O
↑
= A
↑
op
 A
op
=  (A
op
A
↑
op
)= O.
(f) (True or False) If A
op
and B
op
are hermitian then A
op
B
op
is also hermitian.
Note is we let O = A
op
B
op
then O
↑
= A
↑
op
B
↑
op
= A
op
B
op
= O.
(g) (True or False) If P
op
is the parity operator, P
op
ψ(x) = ψ(x), then P
op
2
= 1.
(h) (True or False) Solutions of Schrödinger’s equation of the form ) ( ) ( ) , ( t x t x φ ψ = Ψ
correspond to states with definite energy E.
(i) (True or False) Solutions of Schrödinger’s equation of the form ) ( ) ( ) , ( t x t x φ ψ = Ψ
correspond to states in which the probability density
2
 ) , (  ) , ( t x t x Ψ = ρ is independent of time.
(j) (True or False) Schrödinger’s equation is valid for all velocities even when v → c.
Problem 2 (30 points): Consider an infinite square well defined by
V(x) = 0 for –L/2 < x < +L/2,
V(x) = +∞ otherwise.
We look for stationary states of the form
h /
) ( ) , (
t iE
n n
n
e x t x
−
= Ψ ψ . Parity is a
good quantum number in this problem since V(x) = V(x) and hence the
stationary state solutions are either even or odd under parity as follows:
) ( ) ( ) (
) ( ) ( ) (
x x x P
n n n
+ + +
+ + +
= − = ψ ψ ψ
) ( ) ( ) (
) ( ) ( ) (
x x x P
n n n
− − −
− − −
− = − = ψ ψ ψ
(a) (5 points). Calculate the (normalized) even parity wave functions ) (
) (
x
n
+
+
ψ and their
corresponding energies,
+
n
E .
V = +infinity V = +infinity
Infinite Square Well
L/2 +L/2 x
PHY4604 Exam 1 Solutions
Department of Physics Page 2 of 8
Answer: ) / ) 1 2 cos((
2
) (
) (
L x n
L
x
n
π ψ − =
+ +
+
,
2
2
2 2
2 2
) 1 2 (
2 2
− = =
+
+
+
n
mL m
k
E
n
n
π h
h
, where n
+
= 1, 2, 3, …
Solution: We look for solutions of the timeindependent Schrödinger equation
) ( ) ( ) (
) (
2
2
2 2
x E x x V
dx
x d
m
ψ ψ
ψ
= + −
h
or ) ( )) ( (
2 ) (
2 2
2
x x V E
m
dx
x d
ψ
ψ
− − =
h
with
h /
) ( ) , (
iEt
e x t x
−
= Ψ ψ . In the region –L/2 < x < L/2 for E > 0 and V(x) = 0 we have
) ( ) (
2 ) (
2
2 2
2
x k x
mE
dx
x d
ψ ψ
ψ
− = − =
h
with
2
2
h
mE
k = and
m
k
E
2
2 2
h
=
The most general solution is
ikx ikx
Be Ae x
− +
+ = ) ( ψ .
The even parity solution have ψ(x) = ψ(x) and hence A = B and hence
) cos( 2 ) ( ) (
) (
kx A e e A x
ikx ikx
= + =
− + +
ψ
The boundary condition at x = L/2 is
) 2 / cos( 2 0 ) 2 / (
) (
kL A L = =
+
ψ , which implies that kL/2 = (n
+
1/2)π,
where n
+
= 1, 2, 3, … Thus,
) / ) 1 2 cos(( 2 ) (
) (
L x n A x
n
π ψ − =
+ +
+
.
The normalization is determined by requiring that
1 2
4
) 2 sin(
2 ) 1 2 (
4
) ( cos
) 1 2 (
4
) / ) 1 2 (( cos 4  ) ( 
2
) (
) (
2
) (
) (
2
2
2 /
2 /
2 2
2 /
2 /
2 ) (
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
= =

.

\

+
−
=
−
=
− =
−
− −
+
−
− −
+
−
+
−
+
+
+
+
+
+
∫
∫ ∫
L A
y y
n
L A
dy y
n
L A
dx L x n A dx x
n
n
n
n
L
L
L
L
n
π
π
π
π
π π
π ψ
.
Hence L A 2 / 1 = and
) / ) 1 2 cos((
2
) (
) (
L x n
L
x
n
π ψ − =
+ +
+
.
The even parity energy levels are given by
2
2
2 2
2 2
) 1 2 (
2 2
− = =
+
+
+
n
mL m
k
E
n
n
π h
h
, where n
+
= 1, 2, 3, …
(b) (5 points). Calculate the (normalized) odd parity wave functions ) (
) (
x
n
−
−
ψ and their
corresponding energies,
−
n
E .
Answer: ) / 2 sin(
2
) (
) (
L x n
L
x
n
π ψ
− −
−
= ,
2
2
2 2
2 2
) 2 (
2 2
−
= =
−
−
n
mL m
k
E
n
n
π h
h
, where n

= 1, 2, 3, …
Solution: The odd parity solution have ψ(x) = ψ(x) and hence A = B and hence
) sin( 2 ) ( ) (
) (
kx A e e A x
ikx ikx
= − =
− + −
ψ ,
where I dropped the i to make it real. The boundary condition at x = L/2 is
PHY4604 Exam 1 Solutions
Department of Physics Page 3 of 8
) 2 / sin( 2 0 ) 2 / (
) (
kL A L = =
−
ψ , which implies that kL/2 = n

π,
where n

= 1, 2, 3, … Thus,
) / 2 sin( 2 ) (
) (
L x n A x
n
π ψ
− −
=
− .
The normalization is determined by requiring that
1 2
4
) 2 sin(
2 2
4
) ( sin
2
4
) / 2 ( sin 4  ) ( 
2
) (
) (
2
) (
) (
2
2
2 /
2 /
2 2
2 /
2 /
2 ) (
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
= =

.

\

− = =
=
−
− −
−
−
− −
−
−
−
−
−
−
+
+
+
+
∫
∫ ∫
L A
y y
n
L A
dy y
n
L A
dx L x n A dx x
n
n
n
n
L
L
L
L
n
π
π
π
π
π π
π ψ
.
Hence L A 2 / 1 = and
) / 2 sin(
2
) (
) (
L x n
L
x
n
π ψ
− −
−
=
.
The even parity energy levels are given by
2
2
2 2
2 2
) 2 (
2 2
−
= =
−
−
n
mL m
k
E
n
n
π h
h
, where n

= 1, 2, 3, …
(c) (3 points). What is the state of lowest energy (i.e. ground state) and what is its energy, E
0
. Is
it a parity even or parity odd state.
Answer:
2
2 2
0
2mL
E
π h
= (even parity)
Solution: The state of lowest energy is the parity even n
+
= 1 state with energy
2
2 2
0
2mL
E
π h
= and the wave function is given by
) / cos(
2
) (
) (
1
L x
L
x π ψ =
+
.
(d) (3 points). What is the state with the 2
nd
lowest energy (i.e. 1
st
excited state) and what is its
energy, E
1
. Is it a parity even or parity odd state?
Answer:
2
2 2
1
2
mL
E
π h
= (odd parity)
Solution: The next lowest energy is the parity odd n

= 1 state with energy
2
2 2
1
2
mL
E
π h
= and the wave function is given by
) / 2 sin(
2
) (
) (
1
L x
L
x π ψ =
−
.
(e) (14 points). Suppose that a particle in this infinite square well has the initial wave function at
t = 0 given by
¹
´
¦
= Ψ
A
x
0
) 0 , (
4 / 4 /
4 /  
L x L
L x
≤ ≤ −
>
where A is a constant. Determine the normalization A. If a measurement of
the energy of this state is made at a later time t, what is the probability that
the measurement will yield the ground state energy, E
0
? What is the
probability that it will yield the 1
st
excited state energy, E
1
?
V = +infinity V = +infinity
Infinite Square Well
L/2 +L/2 x
Ψ(x,0)
PHY4604 Exam 1 Solutions
Department of Physics Page 4 of 8
Answer:
L
A
2
= ,
81 . 0
8
2
0
≈ =
π
P
, 0
1
= P
Solution: The normalization is determined by requiring that
1 2 /  ) 0 , ( 
2
4 /
4 /
2
4 /
4 /
2
= = = Ψ
∫ ∫
− −
L A dx A dx x
L
L
L
L
.
Hence
L
A
2
= . The overlap of Ψ(x,0) with
) / cos(
2
) (
) (
1
L x
L
x π ψ =
+
is given by
π π π π
π π
π
π
π
π
2 2
2
2 2
) sin(
2
) cos(
2
) / cos(
2
) / cos( ) 0 , (
2
4 /
4 /
4 /
4 /
4 /
4 /
2 /
2 /
1
=

.

\

=

.

\

=

.

\


.

\

=
= Ψ =
+
−
+
−
+
−
+
−
∫
∫ ∫
y dy y
L
L
dx L x
L
dx L x x
L
c
L
L
L
L
The probability of measuring the ground state energy E
0
is
81 . 0
8
 
2
2
1 0
≈ = =
π
c P
Ψ(x,0) has even parity and hence it has no overlap with the odd parity state
) / 2 sin(
2
) (
) (
1
L x
L
x π ψ =
−
.
We can check by doing the integral,
0 ) cos(
2
) sin(
2
) / 2 sin(
2
) / 2 sin( ) 0 , (
2
4 /
4 /
4 /
4 /
4 /
4 /
2 /
2 /
1
= 
.

\

− = 
.

\


.

\

=
= Ψ =
+
−
+
−
+
−
+
−
−
∫
∫ ∫
π
π
π
π
π π
π π
y dy y
L
L
dx L x
L
dx L x x
L
c
L
L
L
L
The probability of measuring the 1
st
excited state energy E
1
is
0  
2
1 1
= =
−
c P .
Problem 3 (30 points): Suppose that particles with energy E > V
0
enter from the
left and travel to the right and encounter both a deltafunction potential and a step
function potential at x = 0 as follows:
¹
´
¦
+
=
) (
0
) (
0
x V
x V
αδ
0
0
≥
<
x
x
where V
0
and α are positive (real) constants. Let
E
V
r
0
1− = and
E
m
R
2
h
α
= .
(a) (5 points) Calculate the quantum mechanical reflection probability, P
R
, and express your
answer in terms of r and R.
V0
+αδ(x)
DeltaFunction + Step
E
x = 0 x
PHY4604 Exam 1 Solutions
Department of Physics Page 5 of 8
Answer:
2 2
2 2
) 1 (
) 1 (
R r
R r
P
R
+ +
+ −
=
Solution: We look for solutions of the timeindependent Schrödinger equation
) ( ) ( ) (
) (
2
2
2 2
x E x x V
dx
x d
m
ψ ψ
ψ
= + −
h
or ) ( )) ( (
2 ) (
2 2
2
x x V E
m
dx
x d
ψ
ψ
− − =
h
with
h /
) ( ) , (
iEt
e x t x
−
= Ψ ψ . In the region x < 0 (left region) for E > 0 and V(x) = 0 we have
) ( ) (
2 ) (
2
2 2
2
x k x
mE
dx
x d
ψ ψ
ψ
− = − =
h
with
2
2
h
mE
k = and
m
k
E
2
2 2
h
=
The most general solution is
ikx
L
ikx
L L
e B e A x
− +
+ = ) ( ψ ,
In the region x > 0 (right region) we have
iqx
R
iqx
R R
e B e A x
− +
+ = ) ( ψ , where rk
V E m
q =
−
=
2
0
) ( 2
h
Since there are no particles entering from the right in the “right” region we set B
R
= 0. The
boundary conditions at x = 0 are
) 0 ( ) 0 (
R L
ψ ψ = which implies that (1) A
L
+ B
L
= A
R
.
Also,
) 0 (
2 ) ( ) (
2 R
x
L
x
R
m
dx
x d
dx
x d
ψ
α ψ ψ
ε ε
h
= −
− = + =
which implies
R L L R
A
m
ikB ikA iqA
2
2
h
α
= + −
or (2)
( )
R R L L
A iR r A
k
m
i
k
q
B A + = 
.

\

+ = −
2
2
h
α
Adding (1) + (2) yields
( )
R L
A iR r A + + = 1 2 which implies
( ) iR r
A
A
L
R
+ +
=
1
2
And subtracting (1)(2) gives
( )
R L
A iR r B − − = 1 2 which implies
( )
( )
( ) iR r
A iR r
A iR r B
L
R L
+ +
− −
= − − =
1
1
1
2
1
.
The reflection probability is
2 2
2 2
2
2
) 1 (
) 1 (
 
 
R r
R r
A
B
P
L m
k
L m
k
R
+ +
+ −
= =
h
h
.
(b) (5 points) Calculate the quantum mechanical transmission probability, P
T
, and express your
answer in terms of r and R.
Answer:
2 2
) 1 (
4
R r
r
P
T
+ +
=
PHY4604 Exam 1 Solutions
Department of Physics Page 6 of 8
Solution: The transmission probability is
2 2 2
2
) 1 (
4
 
 
R r
r
A
A
P
L m
k
R m
q
T
+ +
= =
h
h
.
(c) (5 points) Show that P
T
+ P
R
= 1.
Solution: Adding P
R
and P
T
gives
1
) 1 (
) 1 (
) 1 (
4 ) 1 (
) 1 (
4
) 1 (
) 1 (
2 2
2 2
2 2
2 2
2 2 2 2
2 2
=
+ +
+ +
=
+ +
+ + −
=
+ +
+
+ +
+ −
= +
R r
R r
R r
R r r
R r
r
R r
R r
P P
T R
.
(d) (5 points) What is the transmission probability, P
T1
, for the case R = 0 (i.e. no delta
function)? What is P
T1
for the case V
0
/E = 3/4 (with R = 0)?
Answer:
889 . 0
9
8
) 1 (
4
2 / 1 2
1
≈ ÷ ÷ → ÷
+
=
= r
T
r
r
P
Solution: For R = 0 the transmission probability becomes
889 . 0
9
8
) 2 / 1 1 (
2
) 1 (
4
2 2 / 1 2
1
≈ =
+
÷ ÷ → ÷
+
=
= r
T
r
r
P
.
Note that V
0
/E = 3/4 implies that r = ½.
(e) (5 points) What is the transmission probability, P
T2
, for the case V
0
= 0 (i.e. no step)?
What is P
T2
for the case R = 2 (with V
0
= 0)?
Answer:
2
1
4
4
2 2
2
÷ ÷→ ÷
+
=
= R
T
R
P
Solution: For r = 0 the transmission probability becomes
2
1
4 4
4
4
4
2 2
2
=
+
÷ ÷→ ÷
+
=
= R
T
R
P
.
Note that V
0
= 0 implies that r = 1.
(f) (5 points) What is the overall transmission probability, P
T
, for the case V
0
/E = 3/4 and
R = 2? Does P
T
= P
T1
P
T2
?
Answer:
32 . 0
25
8
≈ ==
T
P
,
T T T
P P P ≠ ≈ = 44 . 0
9
4
2 1
.
Solution: For r = ½ and R = 2 the transmission probability becomes
32 . 0
25
8
4 4 / 9
2
) 1 (
4
2 , 2 / 1 2 2
≈ =
+
÷ ÷ ÷ → ÷
+ +
=
= = R r
T
R r
r
P
.
We that
T T T
P P P ≠ ≈ =

.

\


.

\

= 44 . 0
9
4
2
1
9
8
2 1
.
PHY4604 Exam 1 Solutions
Department of Physics Page 7 of 8
Problem 4 (30 points): Consider bound states of a deltafunction potential at x = 0 combined
with an infinite step at x = L as follows:
¹
´
¦
∞ +
−
=
) (
) (
x
x V
αδ
L x
L x
≥
<
where α is a positive (real) constant.
(a) (15 points) Find the allowed bound state energies if ) /(
2
mL h = α and sketch
the wave functions. How many bound states are they?
Answer: There is one bound state with ) /( 317 . 0
2 2
0
mL E h − = .
Solution: We look for solutions of the timeindependent Schrödinger equation
) ( ) ( ) (
) (
2
2
2 2
x E x x V
dx
x d
m
ψ ψ
ψ
= + −
h
or ) ( )) ( (
2 ) (
2 2
2
x x V E
m
dx
x d
ψ
ψ
− − =
h
with
h /
) ( ) , (
iEt
e x t x
−
= Ψ ψ . In the region x < 0 (region 1) for E < 0 and V(x) = 0 we have
) ( ) (
2 ) (
2
2 2
2
x x
mE
dx
x d
ψ κ ψ
ψ
= − =
h
with
2
2
h
mE −
= κ and
m
E
2
2 2
κ h
− =
The most general solution is
x x
Be Ae x
κ κ
ψ
− +
+ = ) (
1
,
but ∞ ÷ ÷ → ÷
−∞ →
−
x
x
e
κ
and hence B = 0. In the region 0 < x < L (region 2) we have
x x
De Ce x
κ κ
ψ
− +
+ = ) (
2
,
and in the region x > L (region 3) we have
0 ) (
3
= x ψ ,
Since V = +∞. The boundary conditions at x = 0 are
) 0 ( ) 0 (
2 1
ψ ψ = which implies that (1) A = C + D.
Also,
) 0 (
2 ) ( ) (
1 2
1 2
ψ
α ψ ψ
ε ε
h
m
dx
x d
dx
x d
x x
− = −
− = + =
which implies
A
m
A D C
2
2
h
α
κ κ κ − = − −
or (2)
A
m
D C 
.

\

− = −
2
2
1
h κ
α
The boundary condition at x = L is
0 ) (
2
= L ψ which implies that 0 = +
− + L L
De Ce
κ κ
.
Thus,
L
Ce D
κ 2 +
− = and
L
e
A m
C
κ
κ
α
2 2
1
2
1
+
+

.

\

− =
h
and
x
V(x)
αδ(x)
V = +infinity
L
PHY4604 Exam 1 Solutions
Department of Physics Page 8 of 8
A
m
C

.

\

− =
2
1
h κ
α
and
A
m
D 
.

\

=
2
h κ
α
.
Thus.
L
e
m m
κ
κ
α
κ
α
2
2 2
1
+

.

\

− − =

.

\

h h
or
α
κ
κ
m
e
L
2
2
1
h
− =
−
Let L y κ 2 = and we have
cy e
y
− =
−
1 ,
where ) 2 /(
2
α mL c h = . For If ) /(
2
mL h = α then c = 0.5 the
energy is arrived at by solving y e
y
2
1
1− =
−
. Let f(y) = e
y
and g(y) = 1 – y/2 and plot the two functions. Using my
calculator I get y = 1.594 and
2
2
2
2 2
0
317 . 0
8 mL mL
y
E
h h
− = − = .
The wave function is
x
Ae x
κ
ψ
+
= ) (
1
and
L
x L x
x L x
e
e e e
A e e e C x
κ
κ κ κ
κ κ κ
ψ
2
2
2
2
1
) ( ) (
+
− + +
− + +
−
−
= − =
.
(b) (15 points) Find the allowed bound state energies if
) 4 /(
2
mL h = α and sketch the wave functions. How many
bound states are they?
Answer: There are no bound states.
Solution: If ) 4 /(
2
mL h = α then c = 2 the energy is arrived
at by solving y e
y
2 1− =
−
. Let f(y) = e
y
and g(y) = 1  2y
and plot the two functions. Now there is no solution and
hence there is no bound state. Note that y = 0 is not an
allowed solution since it implies that κ = 0 which implies
that
A x = ) (
1
ψ and A x = ) (
2
ψ ,
and hence ψ(x) is not renormalizable.
ψ(x)
1.0 0.0 1.0
x/L
1
0
1
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0
f(y)
g(y)
c = 1/2
1
0
1
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0
f(y)
g(y)
c = 2