Momentum Eigenstates

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This Demonstration shows the motions of nonrelativistic one-dimensional momentum eigenfunctions. The time-dependent Schrödinger equation for a free particle in one dimension is given by . The eigenfunctions are , with a continuum of momentum eigenvalues , and energy eigenvalues . The energy eigenvalues are two-fold degenerate except for . The degeneracy corresponds to left-to-right motion when and right-to-left motion when .

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For simplicity, we set . Plots are shown for the real and imaginary parts of as blue and purple sinusoidal curves, respectively. A three-dimensional representation is also shown.

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Contributed by: S. M. Blinder (February 2012)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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Reference

[1] S. M. Blinder, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2004 pp. 31–32.



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