Scattering and tunnelling
Scattering and tunnelling

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Scattering and tunnelling

3 Scattering: a stationary-state approach

3.1 Overview

Scattering calculations using wave packets are so laborious that they are generally done numerically, using a computer. However, in many cases, scattering phenomena can be adequately treated using a procedure based on stationary states. This approach can give valuable insight into the scattering process without the need for computer simulations.

Session 3 introduces the stationary-state approach to scattering. The discussion is mainly confined to one dimension, so a stationary-state solution to the Schrödinger equation can be written in the form

where (x) satisfies the appropriate time-independent Schrödinger equation at energy E. The first challenge is to find a way of interpreting stationary-state solutions that makes them relevant to an inherently time-dependent phenomenon like scattering.

SM358_1

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