2 Scattering: a wave-packet approach
Session 2 discusses the scattering of a particle using wave packets. We shall restrict attention to one dimension and suppose that the incident particle is initially free, described by a wave packet of the form
This is a superposition of de Broglie waves, with the function corresponding to momentum px = k and energy Ek = 2k2/2m, where k = 2/λ is the wave number. The momentum amplitude function A(k) determines the blend of de Broglie waves in the initial free wave packet, but when the wave packet encounters a change in the potential energy function, the blend of de Broglie waves changes, and scattering takes place.