Free course

Scattering and tunnelling

Free statement of participation on completion

Scattering is fundamental to almost everything we know about the world, such as why the sky is blue. Tunnelling is entirely quantum-mechanical and gives rise to such phenomena as nuclear fusion in stars. Scattering and tunnelling is a free course that investigatyes examples and applications of both these fascinating concepts.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the meanings of key terms and use them appropriately
  • describe the behaviour of wave packets when they encounter potential energy steps, barriers and wells
  • describe how stationary-state solutions of the Schrödinger equation can be used to analyse scattering and tunnelling
  • for a range of simple potential energy functions obtain the solution of the time-independent Schrödinger equation and use continuity boundary conditions to find reflection and transmission coefficients
  • present information about solutions of the time-independent Schrödinger equation in graphical terms.