I am learning some basic solid state physics idea, like density of state ...etc. For particle in a 1D box, E = n^2 (pi)^2 (h_bar)^2 / 2mL^2 But why it is written as E = (h_bar)^2 k^2 /2m does it means that energy eigenvalue E is related to momentum k ? I guess it is not because momentum is not eigenstate. But what is this expression talking about anyway ? what is the physical meaning of this k ?