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Quantum Mechanics Question 1-D Well

  1. Mar 9, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Light of various wavelengths is shined on a collection of "quantum wires" all of the same length. Each 'wire' consists of an electron trapped in a carbon nanotube, which we approximate as a 1-D infinite potential well of a width equal to the length of the wire.

    It is observed that the longest wavelength that is absorbed by the collection of wires (corresponding to an electronic excitation in each wire), is 0.44 mm. What is the length of each wire?

    2. Relevant equations

    En = (h^2/(8mL^2))n^2
    E = hc/lamda

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Ok, so I actually know the answer to this question. It is 20 nanometers. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, though. Here is what I did:

    First calculate the energy being absorbed:

    E = hc/lamda = 1240 / (.44*10^6) = .0028182

    Then I use that to find L, the length of the wire (width of the potential well):

    E1 = (h^2/(8mL^2))1^2
    L^2 = (1.505/(4*.0028182))
    L = (1.505/(4*.0028182))^.5 = 11.555 nm

    The answer should be 20 nm, where and how did I go wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2009 #2
    Did I post this in the wrong forum? I see a lot of quantum mechanics in the advanced physics forum.
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