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Quantum mechanics for the nucleus?

  1. Jan 20, 2013 #1
    How come I never see any equivelant of the particle in the box or harmonic oscillator counterparts for modeling of the atomic nucleus? I'm still a bit new to QM, but the only thing I ever see are QM descriptions of electrons, electron orbitals, electron spins, electron quantum entanglement, electron double slit, etc. Nothing ever for protons, gluons, etc., except for the nuclear shell model maybe, but nothing in-depth even on that. Can you even apply the Shrodinger equation to a proton? I've never seen it. Any references would be great.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    You can do this, but the nuclear potential is not as easy as the coulomb potential, and you do not get analytic solutions for the eigenstates.
    It is even worse if you look inside the proton, with the strong interaction and its self-interaction you need quantum field theory for an appropriate description.
  4. Jan 20, 2013 #3
    it will be better to use dirac eqn since proton is spin 1/2 but it only applies to structurelss particle like electron so it will not give useful results.
  5. Jan 20, 2013 #4


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    Believe me, any book on nuclear physics will provide an answer to your question, in great detail.
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