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Lowest energy state with infinite and finite potential

  1. Oct 12, 2013 #1
    Hello everyone and thanks for reading my post.

    I have a problem with an electron, which actually is confined into a region 0 ≤ x≤ L with infinite potential around it, and its energy in the ground state is 0.38eV. Then on the x > L region the potential is 5eV and the energy of the lowest eigenstate is 0.32eV. What causes that difference?

    Thanks for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The different potential causes a difference.

    In the second case, the wavefunction will extend a bit into the x>L-region. This is similar to a larger potential well, so the ground state has a lower energy.
  4. Oct 14, 2013 #3
    I think the difference happen as a result of the TUNNELLING of the electron into the potential barrier.
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