Students use a pre-written Mathematica notebook or a Geogebra applet to explore how the shape of the effective potential function changes as the various parameters (angular momentum, force constant, reduced mass) are varied.
Download and run this Mathematica notebook or this Geogebra applet.
You have four different sliders that control the values of four parameters \(k\), \(\ell\), \(\mu\), and \(E\).
Answer the following questions:
group Small Group Activity
30 min.
assignment Homework
Consider a mass \(\mu\) in the potential shown in the graph below. You give the mass a push so that its initial angular momentum is \(\ell\ne 0\) for a given fixed value of \(\ell\).
group Small Group Activity
10 min.
face Lecture
5 min.
assignment Homework
The function \(\theta(x)\) (the Heaviside or unit step function) is a defined as: \begin{equation} \theta(x) =\begin{cases} 1 & \textrm{for}\; x>0 \\ 0 & \textrm{for}\; x<0 \end{cases} \end{equation} This function is discontinuous at \(x=0\) and is generally taken to have a value of \(\theta(0)=1/2\).
Make sketches of the following functions, by hand, on axes with the same scale and domain. Briefly describe, using good scientific writing that includes both words and equations, the role that the number two plays in the shape of each graph: \begin{align} y &= \theta (x)\\ y &= 2+\theta (x)\\ y &= \theta(2+x)\\ y &= 2\theta (x)\\ y &= \theta (2x) \end{align}
group Small Group Activity
120 min.
assignment Homework
In a solid, a free electron doesn't see” a bare nuclear charge since the nucleus is surrounded by a cloud of other electrons. The nucleus will look like the Coulomb potential close-up, but be screened” from far away. A common model for such problems is described by the Yukawa or screened potential: \begin{equation} U(r)= -\frac{k}{r} e^{-\frac{r}{\alpha}} \end{equation}
face Lecture
120 min.
phase transformation Clausius-Clapeyron mean field theory thermodynamics
These lecture notes from the ninth week of Thermal and Statistical Physics cover phase transformations, the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, mean field theory and more. They include a number of small group activities.assignment Homework
See also the following more detailed problem and solution: Effective Potentials: Graphical Version
An electron is moving on a two dimension surface with a radially symmetric electrostatic potential given by the graph below:
assignment Homework
(Synthesis Problem: Brings together several different concepts from this unit.) Use effective potential diagrams for other than \(1/r^2\) forces.
Consider the frictionless motion of a hockey puck of mass \(m\) on a perfectly circular bowl-shaped ice rink with radius \(a\). The central region of the bowl (\(r < 0.8a\)) is perfectly flat and the sides of the ice bowl smoothly rise to a height \(h\) at \(r = a\).