Particle-in-a-Box Dynamics©
Theresa Julia Zielinski
Department of Chemistry, Medical Technology, and Physics
Monmouth University
West Long Branch, NJ 07764-1898
United States
mail to: tzielins@monmouth.edu

David M. Hanson
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400
United States

The movement of an electron or excitation energy (an exciton) through space from one molecule (or part of a molecule) to another is a common and important process, e.g in photosyntheses, in enzyme-mediated redox reactions, as well as in semiconductors. Time-dependent quantum mechanics is needed to understand and describe such phenomena. This activity provides a very simple example of a quantum mechanical description of electron or exciton motion. The document is designed for use in Junior/Senior level quantum chemistry courses.Successful use of the document requires that students be familiar with expectation values and the physical interpretation given to a wave function, complex numbers and functions, and solution of the time-independent and time-dependent Schrodinger equations for a one-dimensional particle in a box. The document can be used by students in group study either in classs or as homework. Instructors can use the document for lecture demonstration and discussion. Clear goals and objectives focus student attention on the key question, electron or exciton motion. Ample questions and exercises further help students master the concepts. The document concludes with a set of reflection questions to help students retain concepts practiced while doing the exercise.
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Computational Chemistry, Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics, Quantum Chemistry
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
dynamics.pdf Read-Only Document
DynamicsMCD11.mcd JCE Computational Document. Requires Mathcad 11 or higher. Mathcad 11
ParticleDynamics.avi JCE Supplemental Animation.
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Hanson, D. M.; Zielinski, T. J. J. Chem. Educ. 2007, 84, 1232.
Comments to: Theresa Julia Zielinski, tzielins@monmouth.edu
©Copyright 2007 Journal of Chemical Education