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Double-well potential

  1. Sep 9, 2010 #1
    Could someone articulate what a "double-well" potential is, in this context:

    An electrostatic map (of a protein) reveled two regions of positive potential surrounded by negative potential. This structure may provide a local double-well potential for mobile electron transfer within the protein
     
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  3. Sep 9, 2010 #2

    Redbelly98

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  4. Sep 9, 2010 #3
    Thanks. I'm trying to understand this in the context of quantum tunneling, superposition.

    Could you say that the electron can be predicted to occupy both wells, and that this is superposition-- implying that the protein, which can be in one of two confirmations depending on the location of the mobile electron, can also exist in both confirmations simultaneously?

    Thanks
     
  5. Sep 9, 2010 #4

    Redbelly98

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    Yes. I don't know how much quantum you have had, but the simple explanation is that each wavefunction that corresponds to an energy level will occupy both wells. Even if the particle is known to be in one well at some time, after a while it will have a significant probability of being in the other well too.
     
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