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What's a firm/good definition of an "attractive" potential?

  1. Feb 26, 2016 #1
    What makes an attractive potential "attractive"? I've just started learning about 1D S.E.'s with delta potentials and see the phrase frequently but am having trouble discerning a good, clear definition of what that means.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2016 #2


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    It's a potential which allows the existence of bound states. If a potential allows only scattering states, it's called "repulsive".
  4. Feb 26, 2016 #3


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    Maybe these figures help a little to visualize it:
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