Visualizing Particle-in-a-Box Wavefunctions using Mathcad©
Edmund L. Tisko
Department of Chemistry
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Omaha, NE 68182
United States
mail to: etisko@mail.unomaha.edu

Using the built-in differential equation solvers and graphical capabilities of Mathcad, students can visualize the wavefunctions of the particle-in-a-box potential. Seeing the wavefunction allows students a way of understanding the quantization of bound particles. Also, the step potential and barrier potential can be examined thus allowing students to see how applying the mathematical requirements of the wavefunction result in the quantum mechanical phenomenon of tunneling. The instructor notes include graphics from Mathcad that illustrate the some of the peculiar features of the simple particle-in-a-box, the step potential and the double well barrier potential.
Editor's Commentary
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics, Quantum Chemistry, Theoretical Chemistry
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
Particle-in-a-box.pdf Read-Only Document
PIB Instructor.nb JCE Instructor version, Mathematica. Mathematica
PIBStudent.nb JCE Student version, Mathematica Mathematica
Instructor Notes.PDF Instructor Notes
pibStudent2001i.mcd JCE Student version, Mathcad 2001i. Mathcad 2001i
pibInstructor2001i.mcd JCE Instructor version, Mathcad 2001i. Mathcad 2001i
pibInstructor6.mcd JCE Instructor version, Mathcad 6. Mathad 6
pibInstructor8.mcd JCE Instructor version, Mathcad 8. Mathcad 8
pibStudent6.mcd JCE Student version, Mathcad 6. Mathcad 6
pibStudent8.mcd JCE Student version, Mathcad 8. Mathcad 8
pib_instructor_nb.pdf Instructor Notes for Mathematica.
pib.pdf Inatructor Notes for Mathcad.
pibStudent_nb.pdf Student Notes for Mathematica.
pibStudent.pdf Student Notes for Mathcad.
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Tisko, E. L. J. Chem. Educ. 2003, 80, 581.
Comments to: Edmund L. Tisko
©Copyright 2003 Journal of Chemical Education