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Homework Help: Find the probability of measuring a particle's energy E

  1. Nov 17, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I need to use the overlap rule to find the probability that a measurement of a particle's energy at time t=0 will give the ground state E0

    The normalized wave functions I have are:


    2. Relevant equations
    The overlap integral equation I am trying to use is:
    I've also got the standard integrals which may help:
    $$\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}e^{-x^2}dx=\sqrt{\pi}$$$$\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}e^{-x^2}e^{-ikx}dx=\sqrt{\pi}e^{-\frac {k^2}{4}}$$

    3. The attempt at a solution
    So far, I've gone through the following steps:
    $$p_x=\left|\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\left(\frac{2a}{\pi}\right)^{1/4}e^{+ax^2}\left(\frac{2a}{\pi}\right)^{1/4}e^{-ikx-ax^2}dx\right|^2$$$$p_x=\left|\frac {\sqrt{2a}}{\sqrt{\pi}} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}e^{+ax^2}e^{-ikx-ax^2}dx\right|^2$$$$p_x=\left|\frac {\sqrt{2a}}{\sqrt{\pi}} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}e^{-ikx}dx\right|^2$$
    But that's as far as I seem to be able to get. I've either done something wrong to get to here or I'm missing something from here on. My thoughts are I need to use one of the standard integrals but I can't seem to figure out how to. Can anyone offer any advice on how to proceed with this? Thanks
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2016 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    ##\psi_0## is real, so ##\psi_0^* = \psi_0##.
  4. Nov 17, 2016 #3
    Thank you so much! I can't believe I didn't spot that.
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