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Homework 1

Narayanan Kurur

February 1, 2014

1. What are the results of operating on the following functions with the operator d/dx and
d2 /dx2 : (a) exp(− ax2 ), (b) cos(bx ), (c) exp(ikx )? Which functions are eigen functions of
these operators? What are the corresponding eigen values?
d exp(− ax2 ) 2 2
Solution: (a) (i) dx = −2ax exp(− ax2 ); (ii) d expdx(−2 ax ) = −2a exp(− ax2 ) (−2ax2 + 1)
bx 2 cos bx d2
(b) (i) d cos
dx = −b sin bx; (ii) d dx 2 = −b2 sin bx; cos bx is an eigenfunction of dx 2 with

an eigenvalue of −b2
ikx 2 ikx d2
(c) (i) dedx = ikeikx ; (ii) ddxe 2 = −k2 eikx ; eikx is an eigen function of dx d
and dx 2 with
2
eigenvalue of ik and −k respectively.

2. Which of the following operators are linear? (a) d/dx; (b) ; (c) exponentiation; (d)
integration.
Solution: An operator, Op, ˆ is linear if it satisfies the relation Op ˆ ( a f ( x ) + bg( x ) =
ˆ ˆ d
aOp f ( x ) + bOpg( x ). Of the operators given, dx and integration satisfy the relation given

above and are linear. You can verify that and exponentiation are not linear. For
√ √ √
example, we know that 3 + 2 6= 3 + 2, and similarly for exponentiation.

3. In algebra it can be easily shown that ( P + Q)( P − Q) = P2 − Q2 . What is the value of


( P + Q)( P − Q) if P and Q are operators? Under what conditions will this result be
equal to P2 − Q2 .
Solution: For operators P and Q, ( P + Q)( P − Q) = P2 − PQ + QP − Q2 . If PQ = QP,
that is, [ P, Q] = 0, then ( P + Q)( Q − P) = P2 − Q2

4. Find [z3 , d/dz] and [d2 /dx2 , ax2 + bx + c].


d d d 3 d 2
Solution: [z3 , dz ] = z3 dz − dz z = 3z2 and, similarly, [ dx 2
2 , ax + bx + c ] = 2a

5. Prove by induction that [ x̂ n , p̂ x ] = ih̄n x̂ n−1 and that [ x̂, p̂nx ] = ih̄n p̂nx −1 where n is a positive
integer.
Solution: Given the result from the previous problem, this result is easily proved.

6. Which of the following functions cannot be solutions of the Schrödinger equation for all
values of x? Why not? (a) A sec( x ); (b) A tan( x ); (c) A exp( x2 ); (d) A exp(− x2 ).
Solution: (a) No; diverges at x = (2n + 1)π/2; (b) No; diverges at x = (2n + 1)π/2; (c)
No; diverges at x = ∞; (d) Yes.

7. Normalize the following wave functions to unity: (a) sin(nπx/L) for the range 0 x L, (b)
c, a constant in the range − L x L, (c) exp(−r/a0 ) in three dimensions, (d) x exp(−r/2a0 )
in three dimensions.
RL
Solution: (a) A2 0 sin2 ( nπx 2L
L ) dx = A 2
L
(b) A2 − L c2 dx = A2 c2 2L
R
R∞ 
2r

2 dr π sin θ dθ 2π dφ; Note the volume elements
(c) A2
R R
0
exp − a0 r 0 0
R∞   Rπ 3 R 2π
(d) Substituting x = r sin θ cos φ, we get A2 0 exp − 2r 4 2
a0 r dr 0 sin θ dθ 0 cos φ dφ

8. Construct the squares of the following operators: (a) D̂φ( x ) = ∂φ( x )/∂x, (b) 4̂φ( x ) =
R1
−∂2 φ( x )/∂x2 , (c) Q̂φ( x ) = 0 dx 0 φ( x 0 ), (d) F̂φ( x ) = F ( x )φ( x ), (e) B̂φ( x ) = 31 φ( x ), (f)
P̂φ = φ3 − 3φ2 − 4, (g) Ĝφ( x ) = (d/dx + x )φ( x ). Which of these operators are linear?
∂2 φ ∂4 φ R1 R1 3
Solution: (a) ∂x2 ; (b) ∂x4 ; (c) 0 dx 00 0 dx 0 ; (d) F2 ( x )φ( x ); (e) 19 φ( x ); (f) (φ3 − 3φ2 − 4) −
d2 d
3 (φ3 − 3φ2 − 4) − 4; (g) dx2
+ 2x dx + x2 + 1)φ( x ). Operators a, b, c, e, and g are linear.
9. Write down the Schrödinger for the following systems: (a) a particle of mass m in a
cubical box of side a; (b) a particle of mass m in a spherical box of radius a; (c) a particle
of mass m moving on the x-axis subjected to a force directed towards the origin, of
magnitude proportional to the distance from the origin; (d) an electron moving in the
presence of a nuclear charge + Ze; (e) two electrons moving in the presence of a fixed
nucleus of charge + Ze.
2

Solution: (a) − 2m ∇2 ψ( x, y, z) = Eψ( x, y, z)
2

(b) − 2m ∇2 ψ(r, θ, φ) = Eψ(r, θ, φ)
(c) You are given that F = −kx, where x is theR displacement from equilibrium. Given that
F = − dVdx , we find that the potential V = − F dx = 1
2 kx 2 . So the Schrödinger equation is
2 2
h̄ d ψ( x )
− 2m + 12 kx2 ψ( x ) = Eψ( x ).
 dx22 
h̄ Ze2
(d) − 2m ∇2 − 4πe 0r
ψ(r, θ, φ) = Eψ(r, θ, φ)
 2 2

h̄ h̄ Ze2 Ze2
(e) − 2m ∇21 − 2m ∇22 − 4πe 0 r1
− − 4πe0 r2 ψ (r1 , θ1 , φ1 , r2 , θ2 , φ2 ) = Eψ (r1 , θ1 , φ1 , r2 , θ2 , φ2 )

10. Let s be the number of spots shown by a die thrown at random. (a) Calculate hsi. (b)
Calculate ∆s.
Solution: hsi = ∑i pi i, where pi is the probability of the die face showing i. The result is
hsi = 61 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6) = 21 = 3.5. Similarly hs2 i = 61 (1 + 4 + 9 + 16 + 25 + 36) =
p √6
15.166 and ∆s = hs2 i − hsi2 = 15.166 − 3.52 .

11. A particle is known to be in the state

( x − x0 )2
   
ip0 x
ψ( x, t) = A exp − exp exp (iω0 t)
4a2 h̄
R∞ −β 2 /2 √
(a) Determine A (You might find the following integral useful: −∞ e dβ = 2π).
(b) Determine the expectation value of position of the particle.
(c) What is the uncertainty in the position?
(d) What is the expectation value of the momentum? And its uncertainty?

Solution:
R∞ 2
(a) A2 a −∞ e−η /2 dη, where η = x−ax0 . Or, A2 = a√12π .
R∞ R∞ 2
(b) h x i = −∞ ψ∗ xψ dx = A2 a2 −∞ e−η 2(η + η0 ) dη, where η0 = xa0 . Notice that by
R∞ 2
symmetry −∞ e−η 2η dη = 0 because it is an integral of an odd function. So the
R∞ 2
result is aη0 A2 a −∞ e−η /2 dη = aη0 = x0
(c) (∆x )2 = h x2 i − h x i2 = a2 + x02 − x02 = a2
R∞ ∗ pˆ ψ dx.
R∞ ∗
R∞ 2
ψ dx = A2 a2 −∞ e−η 2 p0 + ih̄
 
(d) h p x i = −∞ ψ x Using pˆx = −ih̄ ∂x

, we get −∞ ψ −ih̄ ∂x

2a η) d
p0

12. A particle is in a state described by the wave function ψ = (cos χ) exp(ikx ) + (sin χ) exp(−ikx )
where χ is a parameter. What is the probability that the particle will be found with a
linear momentum (a) +kh̄, (b) −kh̄? What form would the waveunction have if it were
90% certain that the particle had linear momentum +kh̄?
√ √
Solution: (a) cos2 χ; (b) sin2 χ; (c) ψ = 0.9 exp(ikx ) + 0.1 exp(−ikx ).