I'm looking for feedback on my answer to the following question (if my proof has holes in it, etc.) In particular, I've tacitly assumed that ψ is real. Does this extend naturally to complex ψ? Or don't I have to worry about that?(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Problem 2.2from Griffiths' Intro to QM:

Show thatEmust exceed the minimum value ofV(x) for every normalizable solution to the time-independent Schrodinger equation. What is the classical analog to this statement?Hint: Rewrite Equation 2.4 in the form

[tex]\frac{d^2\psi}{dx^2} = \frac{2m}{\hbar^2} [V(x) - E]\psi;[/tex]

if [itex]E < V_\text{min}[/itex], then ψ and its second derviative always have the same sign—argue that such a function cannot be normalized.

My attempt:

Assume both [itex]E < V_\text{min}[/itex] and ψ is normalizable. Then, as stated in the question, ψ and [itex]\frac{d^2\psi}{dx^2}[/itex] always have the same sign. Moreover, normalizability requires that

[tex]\lim_{x \rightarrow \infty} \psi = 0

\qquad \text{and} \qquad

\lim_{x \rightarrow -\infty} \psi = 0.[/tex]

ψ cannot be zero everywhere (which is not normalizable), and must therefore either have a non-zero global maximum or a non-zero global minimum (or both). Moreover, since ψ asymptotes to zero at both ends, we can say that ψ must have either a positive global maximum, or a negative global minimum (or both).

Suppose ψ has a positive global maximum at [itex]x=x_\text{max}[/itex] . Then [itex]\psi(x_\text{max})[/itex] is positive, and because [itex]E<V_\text{min}[/itex], so is [itex]\frac{d^2}{dx^2}\psi(x_\text{max})[/itex]. But [itex]\frac{d^2}{dx^2}\psi(x_\text{max})[/itex] must be negative, since it is a local (as well as a global) maximum. Contradiction.

Similarly (by exchanging all ‘maximum’s with ‘minimum’s and all ‘positive’s with ‘negative’s), ψ cannot have a negative global minimum. This contradiction allows us to say that if [itex]E<V_\text{min}[/itex], then ψ is not normalizable. QED

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# Proof that E > V(x) in TISE?

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