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Course on Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Problem Set 1: Academic Year 2011-2012

pages and problems clearly.

Which of the following operators acting on functions is a linear operator?

(By ψ 0 (x) we mean the derivative with respect to x.)

1. O1 ψ(x) = x3 ψ(x)

2. O2 ψ(x) = xψ 0 (x)

3. O3 ψ(x) = λψ ∗ (x)

4. O4 ψ(x) = eψ(x)

5. O5 ψ(x) = ψ 0 (x) + a

Consider the following wave-packets for a non-relativistic free-particle in

one-dimension: Z +∞

dk

ψ(x, t) = √ φ(k)ei(kx−Ek t/h̄) (1)

−∞ 2π

where Ek = h̄2 k 2 /2m, and the weight functions are either i a Lorentzian

φ(k) = C/(Γ2 + (k − k0 )2 ) or ii a decaying exponential φ(k) = De−|k−k0 |/Γ

(here C and D are appropriate normalization constants, while Γ controls the

width in k-space of the function φ(k)). Calculate, for both choices, the wave-

function at time t = 0, i.e., the Fourier transform of the corresponding φ(k) and

observe the very different behaviour for large x. Calculate, for both choices,

the uncertainties ∆x and ∆p. Notice how difficult would be the calculation of

the wave-packets for t > 0 (the k-integrals become very complicated), contrary

to the Gaussian case we did in class.

Problem 3: Current density for one-dimensional wavefunctions

Calculate the probability-density current J(x) for: a) a wavefunction of the

form ψ(x) = Aeikx + Be−ikx , b) a wavefunction of the form ψ(x) = u(x)eikx

with u(x) a real function. c) a real wavefunction of the form ψ(x) = Ae−k|x| ,

with k > 0.

2

a infinite box

Calculate the uncertainty in position

q

∆x = hψn |(x − hψn |x|ψn i)2 |ψn i ,

tential outside the box). Calculated also the uncertainty in momentum ∆p,

using the fact that hpi = 0 and p2 = 2mH. Calculate the product ∆x∆p for

general n.

Problem 5: Particle in a box with twisted boundary conditions

Solve the problem of a particle in a one-dimensional box in [0, L] assuming

now, as boundary conditions, that ψ(L) = eiφ ψ(0), with φ ∈ [0, 2π) an arbi-

trary real phase, rather than ψ(0) = ψ(L) = 0 as for the case done in class

(corresponding to an infinite potential outside the box). Observe what happens

to the spectrum and the degeneracies of each level by varying φ ∈ [0, 2π].

Problem 6: Particle in a finite square well

Solve the Schrödinger problem for a particle in a one dimensional potential

which is equal to −V0 < 0 in a region [−a, a] and zero outside of it. Do both

the bound state case, −V0 < E < 0 and the scattering state case, E ≥ 0.

Study in particular the number of bound state as a function of the depth V0

of the well. Study also the transmission amplitude as a function of E for a

particle approaching the well from the left with a wavefunction eikx + rk e−ikx .

Problem 7: Transmission through a square barrier

Solve the Schrödinger problem for a particle in a one dimensional potential

which is equal to +V0 > 0 in a region [−a, a] and zero outside of it. Concen-

trate in particular on the region 0 < E < V0 and calculate the transmission

amplitude as a function of E for a particle approaching the barrier from the

left with a wavefunction eikx + rk e−ikx .

Problem 8: Time-evolution for a particle in a infinite box

Suppose a particle is in an infinite well located in [−a, +a] and is initially

prepared in the state

1

ψ(x, t = 0) = √ (φ1 (x) + φ2 (x)) ,

2

where φ1,2 (x) are the lowest two eigenstates for the particle in the box. Write

down the solution ψ(x, t) of the Schrödinger equation at all later times t,

and evaluate on it the expectations values: a) hψ(t)|x|ψ(t)i, b) hψ(t)|p|ψ(t)i,

c) hψ(t)|x2 |ψ(t)i, d) hψ(t)|p2 |ψ(t)i = 2mhψ(t)|H|ψ(t)i. How are the average

position and momentum depending on t? How is the average energy depending

on t? How are the uncertainties in x and p depending on t?

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