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Institute of Optics

Fractional revivals in a hydrogen circular orbit wave packet

The following animation shows the motion of a circular orbit wave packet strobed once every Kepler period. The wave packet is a Gaussian superposition of 21 circular states (n=l) centered about n=360. The motion is shown for 120 Kepler periods.

Fractional Revivals

The strobing shows us the formation of fractional revivals of the wave packet. Here we can see the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th order revivals when the wavefuction of the electron becomes localized in many separate but coherent wave packets. Note that at a time equal to n/3 times the Kepler period, the wave packet revives in what has been called a "full revival". This revival is 180 degrees out of phase with the original wave packet. More information on the fractional revivals of the circular orbit wave packet can be found in the paper:

Classical and quantum mechanical dynamics of quasiclassical state of a hydrogen atom
Z. Dacic Gaeta and C. R. Stroud, Jr.
Phys. Rev. A 42, 6308-6313 (1990)


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Web page maintained by
Hideomi Nihira ( nihira@optics.rochester.edu ).
Last modified 13 September 2006