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Free electrons

  1. Nov 2, 2009 #1
    Hi all

    Is a free electron (with momentum p = hbar k) still free if it is in an electric field? I.e., is the momentum is given as p = hbar k?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2009 #2
    No, it is not free any more. No, the kinetic momentum is different and may well be uncertain because there is no k any more. It depends on the form of the external electric field: uniform, Coulomb, etc., as well as on the problem you solve: stationary states or transitions.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  4. Nov 2, 2009 #3
    Hi there,

    Under the action of an electric field, the momentum of a free electron will vary.

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