Illustrating the Bohr Correspondence Principle©
Glenn V. Lo
Nicholls State University
Thibodoux, LA 70310
United States
mail to: phsc-gL@mail.nich.edu

The goal of this document is to introduce the Bohr Correspondence Principle (BCP) in an activity immediately following the traditional lecture on the solution of the Schrodinger equation for the particle-in-a-1D-box (PIB) problem. An incomplete three-part Mathcad document is provided to the students (BCPstudent2001.mcd). In part 1, students relate nodal features of the wavefunction to the quantum number (n) and are graphically reminded of the mathematical basis of quantization. Part 2 focuses on the interpretation of the square of the wavefunction as probability density; students are led to the conclusion that Quantum Mechanics (QM) and Classical Mechanics (CM) agree at large n. Part 3 illustrates that QM can be interpreted to agree with CM in a case that is adequately described by Kinetic Molecular Theory, which is based on CM. Students verify that n for an average He molecule in a 1-dm box at 298K is, indeed, large. A completed version of the document (BCPfaculty2001.mcd) is available for teachers.

The Mathcad documents were written using Mathcad 8 and can be used with higher versions of Mathcad. The pdf file is the same for all versions. The author makes use of hidden areas in the documents. These areas contain additional information or mathematical treatments as suppliments. The regions can be locked if instructors want to keep these regions hidden from students. Consult the user manual or help for details on locking regions.
Editor's Commentary
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics, Quantum Chemistry
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
BCPstudent2001.mcd JCE Mathcad 2001 Computational Document Mathcad 2001
BCPstudent8.mcd JCE Mathcad 8 Computational Document Mathcad 8
BCPfaculty2001.mcd JCE Mathcad 2001 Computational Document Mathcad 2001
BCPfaculty8.mcd JCE Mathcad 8 Computational Document Mathcad 8
BCPstudent2001.pdf Mathcad 2001 Read-Only Document
BCPfaculty2001.pdf Mathcad 2001 Read-Only Document
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Lo, G. V., J. Chem. Educ. 2002, 79, 1377.
Comments to: Glenn Lo at phsc-gL@mail.nich.edu
©Copyright 2002 Journal of Chemical Education