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Working out Zero-Point Energy and ration of potential to kinetic for a particle.

  1. May 17, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Consider a particle with mass, m moving in one dimensional potential U=kx^2/2 as in a mass-spring system. The total energy of the particle is

    E= (p^2/2m) + (kx^2/2)

    Classically, the absolute minimum of the enrgy, E=0 is acheived when p=0 and x=0. In quantum mechanics however, the momentum, p and the co-ordinate x cannot simulataneously have certain valus. Using the heisenberg uncertainty relation:

    a)Calculate the minimum possible value of energy, E. This lowest possible energy, which is not zero, is called zero-point energy.
    b)What is the ratio of kinetic to the potential enrgy of the particle in a state of minimal total energy


    2. Relevant equations
    Delta x delta p = hbar / 2 <---Hesinberg Uncertainty Principle



    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm completely lost, with all the remaining 4 questions of my work which i'm posting.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2009 #2

    malawi_glenn

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    I don't think that one can be completely lost, never.

    If one has no idea, then one usually make a competent guessing, try it.
     
  4. May 19, 2009 #3

    tiny-tim

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    help plzzzz!

    :smile: I'm completely lost. :confused:

    Which thread am I supposed to be in? :cry:
     
  5. May 19, 2009 #4

    malawi_glenn

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    Re: help plzzzz!

    You have to provide an attempt to solution :rolleyes:

    Please make a new thread if you want to ask a question
     
  6. May 19, 2009 #5

    tiny-tim

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    Re: help plzzzz!

    Well, I the last thing I remember is turning left at the Library, and heading towards Special & General Relativity :smile:

    after that it's all a blur :redface:

    do you think I travelled faster than light? :confused:
     
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