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I How are different potentials implemented experimentally?

  1. Jul 20, 2016 #1

    I'm wondering how different potentials, such as the Dirac-Delta potential, linear potential, quandratic potenial, etc., are implemented experimentally. I only understand how the Schrodinger equation is solved if these are the potentials and I'd like to have a better understanding of quantum physics by knowing how these are implemented experimentally.

    Also, if you guys can suggest some papers or books that I can read, I will really appreciate it.

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    They generally are not. These are simple potentials offered to get you used to using the schrodinger equation.

    But note: the linear potential is what you get in a wire attached to a battery.
  4. Jul 23, 2016 #3


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    As Simon says: these potentials are artificial. But extremely valuable nevertheless, because they can serve as useful approximations in countless practical cases. The quadratic potential for the harmonic oscillator is a first-order approach for almost any equilibrium situation (##F = -kx##) -- and as such will come back many times throughout any physicist's career. Delta functions mimic 'hard, small things', square wells help understand bound states, and so on.

    Any book on QM goes through these potentials, your choice is almost unlimited.
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