- #1

- 18

- 0

I can see the equations that disprove it (textbook) but i can't see any REASONS persay.

Thanks.

You are using an out of date browser. It may not display this or other websites correctly.

You should upgrade or use an alternative browser.

You should upgrade or use an alternative browser.

- #1

- 18

- 0

I can see the equations that disprove it (textbook) but i can't see any REASONS persay.

Thanks.

- #2

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

Gold Member

2022 Award

- 6,735

- 2,424

The reasons for that a electron CAN tunnel are due to the equations, why are the equations not valid when they say when an electron CAN'T tunnel? That is my ultimate question to you.

Of course, infinity does not exists in reality either.

- #3

- 277

- 2

You can think of electrons getting through finite potential barriers as them borrowing enough energy to squeeze through without anyone noticing. For an infinite barrier, they would have to borrow an infinite amount of energy... that's no good.

- #4

- 1,518

- 4

- #5

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

Gold Member

2022 Award

- 6,735

- 2,424

Waht, the OP's question was WHY is the probability zero when the well is infinite high.

- #6

- 277

- 2

My understanding (though very possibly incorrect) was what allowed it to have a finite probability density past the barrier was due to "borrowing" energy.

- #7

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

Gold Member

2022 Award

- 6,735

- 2,424

My understanding (though very possibly incorrect) was what allowed it to have a finite probability density past the barrier was due to "borrowing" energy.

Where in the derivation of the Schrodinger equation and tunneling does borrowing energy comes in? (nowhere. I have derived that equation..)

From and old thread about a similar topic, posted ZapperZ, one of the mentors of this forum (and hence one of the most educated)

"As far as the "negative KE" thing, I can see how that might come about since we typically define the total energy E as E=PE + KE. Since in the barrier, E is less than PE, one would tend to think that KE is negative here. However, again, this may not be the right picture. Remember that all we care about is the wave vector "k" in the wavefunction. For a free particle in 1D, it is just exp(ikx). k here is defined as being proportional to sqrt(E-PE). Depending on the sign of E-PE, one and re-adjust k to be either real or imaginary, resulting in either a propagating wave, or a decaying wave. This is all that matters. It makes it an added complication to try and equate this to "KE", which in itself is not well-defined in the barrier (remember, v or p is again an observable that we don't know of in the barrier)."

- #8

- 36,018

- 4,723

I can see the equations that disprove it (textbook) but i can't see any REASONS persay.

Thanks.

You need to be a bit careful here. The nature of the infinite barrier makes a difference.

Whenever you try to figure out something like this, it is always useful to write down the schrodinger equation for each region, and then do the boundary conditions. You'll see the reason mathematically why the wavefunction "dies down" to zero at the boundary for the infinite barrier.

However, this is NOT TRUE for a delta function barrier, which has an infinite height but infinitely small width. Here, if you do the math carefully, you'll find that across the delta function barrier, the wavefunction has a "derivative jump", i.e. while the wavefunction is continuous, its derivative across the delta function barrier isn't.

Zz.

- #9

- 76

- 0

Where in the derivation of the Schrodinger equation and tunneling does borrowing energy comes in? (nowhere. I have derived that equation..)

A little off-topic, but... Is the Schrodinger equation derived? I thought it was basically fundamental (with the exception of the Dirac equation), and chosen as an axiom because its results are compatible with experimental data, not because it results from some other more fundamental mathematics.

If it is derived, in what book may I find its derivation?

Last edited:

- #10

- 277

- 2

- #11

- 76

- 0

- #12

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

Gold Member

2022 Award

- 6,735

- 2,424

Well you can derive the Shcrödinger equation from the postulates of QM. Remember that QM has certain postulates that are the Quantum mechanical commutators, which is the classical Poission brackets, but times (-i/hbar). From this, you can derive the shrodinger equation.

Just as E=mc^2 can be derived from the postulates of Special relativity.

Also, the Dirac equation is indeed derived.

lzkelley: You don't sum the K and U to get E, you operate on the state. You 'count' different in QM.

An exercise: Find the ground state wave function of a system (an electron):

V(x) = + infinity for x < 0

V(x) = 0 for 0<x< a, where a is 3 nm

V(x) = 1eV for x> a

Find also the kinetic energy of the particle in a region x>a

The kinetic energy is given by applying the Kinetic Hamiltonian, [tex] \frac{-\hbar^2}{2m_e}\frac{d^2}{dx^2} [/tex]

Just for fun, nothing else :)

Last edited:

- #13

Homework Helper

- 2,593

- 5

Which equations are we talking about?

The reasons for that a electron CAN tunnel are due to the equations, why are the equations not valid when they say when an electron CAN'T tunnel? That is my ultimate question to you.

Of course, infinity does not exists in reality either.

- #14

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

Gold Member

2022 Award

- 6,735

- 2,424

Which equations are we talking about?

I don't know, the Schrödinger equation and the wave functions that it produces?

- #15

- 277

- 2

And i said its founded on E = K + U, founded means that's the basis. Just like QM is "founded" on Schrody, Heisi, and the Broge.

- #16

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

Gold Member

2022 Award

- 6,735

- 2,424

And i said its founded on E = K + U, founded means that's the basis. Just like QM is "founded" on Schrody, Heisi, and the Broge.

So the quantum mechanical commutators are postulated from a postulated / semi derived Schrodinger equation?

Where can I read that historical treatment?

Where can I also read about the tunneling particles energy borrowing?

- #17

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

Gold Member

2022 Award

- 6,735

- 2,424

- #18

- 36,018

- 4,723

Zz.

Share:

- Replies
- 0

- Views
- 453

- Replies
- 4

- Views
- 321

- Replies
- 4

- Views
- 543

- Replies
- 54

- Views
- 1K

- Replies
- 2

- Views
- 490

- Replies
- 14

- Views
- 913

- Replies
- 9

- Views
- 1K

- Replies
- 8

- Views
- 844

- Replies
- 3

- Views
- 524

- Replies
- 6

- Views
- 707