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Potential Well - a theoretical question

  1. Nov 14, 2012 #1
    So imangine a potential well that looks like this: --_--
    where the 1st and the third line have a potential U and the 2nd line has U=0.

    A wavefunction is coming from the left with E>U.

    When the wave function hits the first potential change(where the ΔU = negative), does some of the wavefunction get reflected back? In other words, can a wavefunction that faces a negative change in potential get reflected back?

    (and if so, can a wavefunction that faces no change in potential get reflected? I feel like if a wavefunction has a chance getting reflected off a negative potential, then it would have a higher chance getting reflected off no change in potential... but this does not seem right)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor


    The amount of reflection decreases as the "depth" of the well decreases, and becomes zero when the "depth" becomes zero, that is, when the well disappears.
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