A poem by Dr. James D. Livingston

Put an electron in a box
And walls constrain its
Its wavelength has to match the width
So energy must quantize

The 's are limited to sines
The k's controlled by L
Rules are strict for electrons in
A deep potential well

Outside the well, the rules are loose
And waves can travel free
But waves are bound inside the box
If low in energy

If V 's the depth of the well you're in
The moral's clear to see
If you want your waves to wash the world
Your E must exceed your V !

(image from HyperPhysics)


Learn more about some of the terms mentioned above:
Explanation of a
particle in a one-dimensional box, A very cool applet for a particle in a one-dimensional box, Another applet for a particle in a box (nicely shows how different wavelengths are absorbed depending on the box size -- note the color of the light going out the right side), Applet for a particle in a two-dimensional box

Suggest additional or better links .. Return to homepage