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

Height for the particle in a box

  1. Dec 4, 2005 #1
    why is the height for the particle in a box expressed in eV and not in meters?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2005 #2
    Because it's an energy barrier instead of a wall.
  4. Dec 4, 2005 #3
    so the original assumption was that the particle got blocked in a box by energy barriers?
  5. Dec 4, 2005 #4
    Yes. It could be an electric potential for example.
  6. Dec 4, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I've seen a lot of people get confused by this. When you see a graph for the potential of a 1-d box, keep in mind that its a 1-d problem. The particle only has an x-coordinate. The height represented is the magnitude of the potential energy. Likewise, when you see a graph for the wavefunction of a particle in a 1-d box, don't thing of this as showing the hieght of the particle versus the horizontal displacement. The particle does not have a hieght: it is a 1-d problem! The hieght represents the value of the wavefunction at the given displacement. This hieght squared is proportional to the probability of the particle being found in a small region around the point.
  7. Dec 5, 2005 #6
    thank you very much for clearing that up! :)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook