Quantum Bound States

Quantum Bound States Screenshot
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  • Quantum Particles
  • Potential Wells
  • Waves
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  • Quantum Particles
  • Potential Wells
  • Waves
  • Probability Density


Explore the properties of quantum "particles" bound in potential wells. See how the wave functions and probability densities that describe them evolve (or don't evolve) over time.

Sample Learning Goals

  • Visualize wave functions, probability densities, and energy levels for bound states in various potentials.
  • Describe how multiple representations used for wave functions relate to one another.
  • Explain what is and is not time-dependent for an energy eigenstate and a superposition state.
  • Predict how the curvature and amplitude of the wave function and the spacing of the energy levels depends on the shape of the potential and the mass of the particle.
  • Gain an intuition for how band structure results in a lattice of many wells.
  • Gain an intuition for how to go from the microscopic potential of a single atom to the macroscopic potential of a solid.
Version 1.08

Teacher Tips

Download teacher tips PDF Overview of sim controls, model simplifications, and insights into student thinking ( PDF ).

Teacher-Submitted Activities

How do PhET simulations fit in my middle school program? This contribution was designed by PhET. Sarah Borenstein MS Other Biology
Earth Science
MS and HS TEK to Sim Alignment Elyse Zimmer MS
Other Biology
Tutorial J. Mathias Weber Grad
potential well lab Tim Paglione UG-Adv Lab
Spinometer Chris Mounce UG-Adv Demo

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Design Team Third-party Libraries Thanks To
  • Chris Malley (developer)
  • Sam McKagan (lead)
  • Kathy Perkins
  • Carl Wieman
  • Interviewer: Sam McKagan