Quantum Revivals

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Quantum revivals are recurrent forms of wave packets [1] that, in the course of their evolution, return to their initial form after a certain "revival time". This Demonstration shows the propagation of a particle in a one-dimensional box of length 1 with Dirichlet boundary conditions. The coordinate runs on the horizontal axis and the vertical axis is . The probability density has interesting fractal properties [2] due to the wave function's self-interference resulting from the boundary conditions. Revivals of this type appear in many fields of physics.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (August 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The wave function can be represented by the infinite series


which is approximated by terms.


[1] M. V. Berry, I. Marzoli, and W. Schleich, "Quantum Carpets, Carpets of Light," Physics World, 14(6), 2001 pp. 39–44.

[2] M. V. Berry, "Quantum Fractals in Boxes," Journal of Physics: A Mathematical and General, 29, 1996 pp. 6617–6629. doi:10.1088/0305-4470/29/20/016.

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