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

Harmonic Oscillator Question

  1. Feb 25, 2012 #1
    Hello everybody,
    I was revising for my quantum mechanics course and I was wondering why when we approximate the bond of a diatomic molecule with a harmonic approximation we write the Van der Waals type of potential for the ground and excited states as positive? Here is a picture of what a V VS r diagram would usually look like. My question is why do we always let the potential acquire positive values instead of the generic form of a Van der Waals potential that would typically have both negative and positive values?
    WATER_56720_2_En_28_Fig3_HTML.jpg
     
  2. jcsd
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

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