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Homework Help: Potention in one dimension Help

  1. Oct 11, 2009 #1
    Can anyone help me with a problem. Please just answer whatever you can. Thanks. I have not started the problem because I dont know where to begin. I can solve physics problems but i just cant seem to start any of them off.

    A classical particle of mass m moves in the presence of the following potential in one dimension:

    V (x) = V0 [e^(-2γx) - 2e^(-γx) ]

    (a) Find the minimum of the potential V and sketch the graph of V.

    (b) Find the points of return depending on the energy. For which energies is the motion of m bounded?

    (c) Expand V around its minimum up to second order and find corresponding approximation for the period of the oscillation.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Part (a) is just basic high school calculus. Surely you know how to find the minimum (or maximum) of a function?

    For part (b), what is the definition of a "point of return"? What is true of the total energy for a bounded motion?

    For part (c), just use a Taylor expansion (again, basic calculus!). Compare your result to the potential of a harmonic oscillator and use that to find the period.
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