A mechanical wave system to show waveforms similar to quantum mechanical wavefunctions in a potential
Faletič, Sergej (Author)

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Interviews with students suggest that even though they understand the formalism and the formal nature of quantum theory, they still often desire a mental picture of what the equations describe and some tangible experience with the wavefunctions. Here we discuss a mechanical wave system capable of reproducing correctly a mechanical equivalent of a quantum system in a potential, and the resulting waveforms in principle of any form. We have successfully reproduced the finite potential well, the potential barrier and the parabolic potential. We believe that these mechanical waveforms can provide a valuable experience base for introductory students to start from. We aim at showing that mechanical systems that are described with the same mathematics as quantum mechanical, indeed behave in the same way. We believe that even if treated as a purely wave phenomenon, the system provides much insight into wave mechanics. This can be especially useful for physics teacher and others who often need to resort to concepts and experience rather than mathematics when explaining physical phenomena.

Keywords:teaching, quantum mechanics, potential, waves, wavefunction
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FMF - Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Number of pages:9 str.
Numbering:Vol. 36, art. no. 035023
ISSN on article:0143-0807
DOI:10.1088/0143-0807/36/3/035023 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:2813028 This link opens in a new window
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:European journal of physics
Shortened title:Eur. j. phys.
Publisher:Instite of Physics
COBISS.SI-ID:25430528 This link opens in a new window

Secondary language

Keywords:kvantna mehanika, poučevanje, potencial, valovanje, valovna funkcija

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