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1 Denitions

We would like to solve the free Schrodinger equation

h

2

2m

1

r

d

2

dr

2

r

l(l + 1)

r

2

R(r) =

h

2

k

2

2m

R(r). (1)

R(r) is the radial wave function (x) = R(r)Y

m

l

(, ). By factoring out

h

2

/2m and dening = kr, we nd the equation

d

2

d

2

l(l + 1)

2

+ 1

R() = 0. (2)

The solutions to this equation are spherical Bessel functions. Due to some

reason, I dont see the integral representations I use below in books on math-

emtical formulae, but I believe they are right.

The behavior at the origin can be studied by power expansion. Assuming

R

n

, and collecting terms of the lowest power in , we get

n(n + 1) l(l + 1) = 0. (3)

There are two solutions,

n = l or l 1. (4)

The rst solution gives a positive power, and hence a regular solution at the

origin, while the second a negative power, and hence a singular solution at

the origin.

It is easy to check that the following integral representations solve the

above equation Eq. (2):

h

(1)

l

() =

(/2)

l

l!

i

+1

e

it

(1 t

2

)

l

dt, (5)

and

h

(2)

l

() =

(/2)

l

l!

i

1

e

it

(1 t

2

)

l

dt. (6)

1

By acting the derivatives in Eq. (2), one nds

d

2

d

2

l(l + 1)

2

+ 1

h

(1)

l

()

=

(/2)

l

l!

i

1

(1 t

2

)

l

l(l + 1)

2

+

2(l + 1)it

t

2

l(l + 1)

2

+ 1

dt

=

(/2)

l

l!

1

i

i

1

d

dt

e

it

(1 t

2

)

l+1

dt. (7)

Therefore only boundary values contribute, which vanish both at t = 1 and

t = i for = kr > 0. The same holds for h

(2)

l

().

One can also easily see that h

(1)

l

() = h

(2)

l

(

conjugate of the expression Eq. (5) and changing the variable from t to t.

The integral representation Eq. (5) can be expanded in powers of 1/.

For instance, for h

(1)

l

, we change the variable from t to x by t = 1 + ix, and

nd

h

(1)

l

() =

(/2)

l

l!

0

e

i(1+ix)

x

l

(2i)

l

1

x

2i

l

idx

= i

(/2)

l

l!

e

i

(2i)

l

l

k=0

l

C

k

0

e

x

x

2i

k

x

l

dx

= i

e

i

k=0

(i)

lk

(l + k)!

2

k

k!(l k)!

1

k

. (8)

Similarly, we nd

h

(2)

l

() = i

e

i

k=0

i

lk

(l + k)!

2

k

k!(l k)!

1

k

. (9)

Therefore both h

(1,2)

l

are singular at = 0 with power

l1

.

The combination j

l

() = (h

(1)

l

+ h

(2)

l

)/2 is regular at = 0. This can be

seen easily as follows. Because h

(2)

l

is an integral from t = 1 to i, while

h

(1)

l

from t = +1 to i, the dierencd between the two corresponds to an

integral from t = 1 to t = i and coming back to t = +1. Because the

integrand does not have a pole, this contour can be deformed to a straight

integral from t = 1 to +1. Therefore,

j

l

() =

1

2

(/2)

l

l!

1

1

e

it

(1 t

2

)

l

dt. (10)

2

In this expression, 0 can be taken without any problems in the integral

and hence j

l

l

, i.e., regular. The other linear combination n

l

= (h

(1)

l

h

(2)

l

)/2i is of course singular at = 0. Note that

h

(1)

l

() = j

l

() + i n

l

() (11)

is analogous to

e

i

= cos + i sin . (12)

It is useful to see some examples for low l.

j

0

=

sin

, j

1

=

sin

2

cos

, j

2

=

3

2

3

sin

3

2

cos ,

n

0

=

cos

, n

1

=

cos

2

sin

, n

2

=

3

2

3

cos

3

2

sin ,

h

(1)

0

= i

e

i

, h

(1)

1

= i

2

i

e

i

h

(1)

2

= i

3

2

3

3i

e

i

.

h

(2)

0

= i

e

i

, h

(2)

1

= i

2

+

i

e

i

h

(2)

2

= i

3

2

3

+

3i

e

i

.

(13)

2 Asymptotic Behavior

Eqs. (8,9) give the asymptotic behaviors of h

(1)

l

for :

h

(1)

l

i

e

i

(i)

l

= i

e

i(l/2)

. (14)

By taking linear combinations, we also nd

j

l

sin( l/2)

, (15)

n

l

cos( l/2)

. (16)

3 Plane Wave Expansion

The non-trivial looking formula we used in the class

e

ikz

=

l=0

(2l + 1)i

l

j

l

(kr)P

l

(cos ) (17)

can be obtained quite easily from the integral representation Eq. (10). The

point is that one can keep integrating it in parts. By integrating e

it

factor

3

and dierentiating (1 t

2

)

l

factor, the boundary terms at t = 1 always

vanish up to l-th time because of the (1 t

2

)

l

factor. Therefore,

j

l

=

1

2

(/2)

l

l!

1

1

1

(i)

l

e

it

d

dt

l

(1 t

2

)

l

dt. (18)

Note that the denition of the Legendre polynomials is

P

l

(t) =

1

2

l

1

l!

d

l

dt

l

(t

2

1)

l

. (19)

Using this denition, the spherical Bessel function can be written as

j

l

=

1

2

1

i

l

1

1

e

it

P

l

(t)dt. (20)

Then we use the fact that the Legendre polynomials form a complete set of

orthogonal polynomials in the interval t [1, 1]. Noting the normalization

1

1

P

n

(t)P

m

(t)dt =

2

2n + 1

n,m

, (21)

the orthonormal basis is P

n

(t)

n=0

2n + 1

2

P

n

(t)P

n

(t

) = (t t

). (22)

By multipyling Eq. (20) by P

l

(t

n=1

2l + 1

2

P

l

(t

)j

n

() =

1

2

1

i

n

1

1

e

it

n=0

P

l

(t

)P

l

(t)dt =

1

2

1

i

n

e

it

. (23)

By setting = kr and t

If the wave vector is pointing at other directions than the positive z-

axis, the formula Eq. (17) needs to be generalized. Noting Y

0

l

(, ) =

(2l + 1)/4 P

l

(cos ), we nd

e

i

kx

= 4

l=0

i

l

j

l

(kr)

l

m=l

Y

m

l

(

k

,

k

)Y

m

l

(

x

,

x

) (24)

4

4 Delta-Function Normalization

An important consequence of the identity Eq. (24) is the innerproduct of two

spherical Bessel functions. We start with

dxe

i

kx

e

i

x

= (2)

3

(

). (25)

Using Eq. (24) in the l.h.s of this equation, we nd

dxe

i

kx

e

i

x

=

l,m

,m

(4)

2

d

x

drr

2

Y

m

l

(

k

)Y

m

l

(

x

)Y

m

l

(

x

)Y

m

l

(

)j

l

(kr)j

l

(k

r)

=

l,m

(4)

2

drr

2

j

l

(kr)j

l

(k

r)Y

m

l

(

k

)Y

m

l

(

). (26)

On the other hand, the r.h.s. of Eq. (25) is

(2)

3

(

) = (2)

3

1

k

2

(k k

)(

)

= (2)

3

1

k

2

sin

(k k

)(

)(

). (27)

Comparing Eq. (26) and (27) and noting

l,m

Y

m

l

(

k

)Y

m

l

(

) = (

), (28)

we nd

0

drr

2

j

l

(kr)j

l

(k

r) =

2k

2

(k k

). (29)

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