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Wave Packet Scattering from Time-Varying Potential Barriers in One Dimension



Robert M. Dimeo


We summarize a method of solution of the time-dependent Schrodinger equation that incorporates adsorbing boundary conditions and a method for extracting the reflection and transmission probabilities for wave packets interacting with time-dependent potential barriers and then apply it to four systems of interest: a rectangular barrier that moves with constant velocity, an oscillating rectangular barrier, a locally-periodic barrier with an amplitude modulated by a traveling wave, and a locally-periodic potential with an amplitude modulated by a standing wave. Visualizations of the reflection phenomena are presented with an emphasis on understanding these systems from their dynamics. These calculations have relevance to non-stationary neutron optics experiments which are discussed briefly.
American Journal of Physics


quantum mechanics, dynamics, wave packets, neutron scattering, visualization, computational physics, numerical methods


Dimeo, R. (2014), Wave Packet Scattering from Time-Varying Potential Barriers in One Dimension, American Journal of Physics, [online], (Accessed July 13, 2024)


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Created February 1, 2014, Updated June 2, 2021