Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Finding a Wave Function

  1. Dec 5, 2004 #1
    On My Last Straw Trying to Find a Wave Function

    I am horribly confused as how to I can actually find a wave function for any given problem. The specific wave function I am trying to find right now is that of a neutron passing through a double slit apparatus. Here is how I have the problem set up thus far:

    d= spacing between slits= 1.00 x 10^-3 m (or 1.oo mm)
    L= distance between slit apparatus and the detector array = 10.0 m
    y= distance on detector array from major maximum (the one in the middle)
    m= # of high intensity bands away from middle with the middle one at m=0
    v= velocity of the neutron = .400 m/s
    w= mass of neutron= 1.67 x 10^-27 kg
    h=Planck's constant = 6.63 x 10^-34 Js

    I know that the wave function should demonstrate where the destructive interference is going on by being zero when y=(m+.5)(hL/vwd). It should also show the bright spots as maximums and minimums at y=(mhL)/(vwd). I figured that since wave functions are a lot like amplitude functions, this will be a cosine function. My best guess is ... what's that pitchfork sign? ... anyway, that the wave function equals cos(2(pi)ywv/h). Sorry, I don't know how to put a pi in the equation. :uhh:
    This cosine function maxes at y=0, which is good; that is what the interference pattern does. But a lot of trig functions could do that, and I cannot justify why mine is a good one. Is it a wave function that describes this neutron? If it is, why? If not, how do I find a function that does?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2004
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted