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Bound particle, quantum mechanics, conceptual question

  1. Sep 27, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Problem as written in text (Eisberg, 2nd): If a particle is not bound in a potential, its total energy is not quantized. Does this mean the potential has no effect on the bahavior of the particle? What effect would you expect it to have?

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution

    Well the question seems very strange to me, perhaps I am not getting it. But according to me, if a particles is not subject / bound in a potential, then its energy is not quantized. Clearly, however, if a particle has a potential, it affects the particles motion. So I suppose the answer Iḿ thinking of is: yes, it does have an effect on the particle and that effect serves to place boundaries on the motion of said particle. Any suggestions on this problem? I might be looking at this question classically, so my idea might not apply. Anyway, any suggestios or ideas would really help. Thanks in advance guys.
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2011 #2

    Dick

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