Wave Packet Spreading in an Infinite Square Well

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As a wave packet spreads in an infinite square well, it moves "back and forth" in a way similar to a classical trajectory.

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



The solution of the Schrödinger equation ()

with boundary conditions is of the form


where is the length of the well and represents the initial wave packet with mean wavenumber and variance .


[1] I. Marzoli, F. Saif, I. Bialynicki-Birula, O. M. Friesch, A. E. Kaplan, and W. P. Schleich, "Quantum Carpets Made Simple." arXiv:quant-ph/9806033.

[2] R. C. O'Connell, "A Foray into Quantum Dynamics." arXiv:quant-ph/0212092.

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