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Was the particle in a box analogy a recent one?

  1. Jan 4, 2010 #1
    Did the 'particle in a box' calculations come about when all those famous quantum physicists were forumlating the basics of quantum mechanics?

    It's the first thing taught in nearly all qm courses, but when was it first considered/published?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2010 #2
    Unfortunately I don't have an info on the particle in a box specifically. But my guess is that it wasn't the first problem solved with quantum mechanics. When QM was still in its infancy and the formalism wasn't yet developed, one of the first problems that was approached was the hydrogen atom (i.e. one electron in a Coulomb potential). I once saw a chemistry textbook which had a fully non-calculus derivation of the energy levels of the hydrogen electron. So it's possible to solve the problem just by imposing the usual quantization conditions.
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