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Section 9.2: Exploring Classical and Quantum Scattering
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This Exploration stresses the similarities and differences between a classical electromagnetic wave incident on a change (an increase or decrease) of index of refraction and a quantum-mechanical plane wave incident on a change (an increase or decrease) in potential energy. Use the check boxes to switch between classical and quantum-mechanical waves to see the result of the sum of the incident and reflected electromagnetic waves in Region I. Restart.
Answer the following questions for both the case of n1 < n2 and n1 > n2 and V1 < V2 and V1 > V2.
- What is the phase of the reflected wave relative to the incident wave in the classical and quantum-mechanical cases?
- What happens to the amplitude of the wave in Region II for the classical and quantum-mechanical cases?
- As n2 >> n1 and as V2 >> V1, what does the superposition of the incident and reflected waves look like in the classical and quantum-mechanical cases?
- What happens to the wavelength and speed of the electromagnetic wave in Region II as compared to Region I? What happens to the curviness and the momentum of the quantum-mechanical plane wave in Region II as compared to Region I?
Note that the quantum-mechanical case is considered in detail beginning in Section 9.4.