How do I introduce Schrödinger equation during the quantum mechanics course?

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Abstract

In this paper I explain how I usually introduce the Schrödinger equation during the quantum mechanics course. My preferred method is the chronological one. Since the Schrödinger equation belongs to a special case of wave equations I start the course with introducing the wave equation. The Schrödinger equation is derived with the help of the two quantum concepts introduced by Max Planck, Einstein, and de Broglie, i.e. the energy of a photon E = ℏω and the wavelength of the de Broglie wave λ = h/p. Finally, the difference between the classical wave equation and the quantum Schrödinger one is explained in order to help the students to grasp the meaning of quantum wavefunction Ψ(r, t). A comparison of the present method to the approaches given by the authors of quantum mechanics textbooks as well as that of the original Nuffield A level is presented. It is found that the present approach is different from those given by these authors, except by Weinberg or Dicke and Wittke. However, the approach is in line with the original Nuffield A level one.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025012
JournalPhysics Education
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • De Broglie wave
  • Neutron diffraction
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Schrödinger equation
  • Wave equation

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