Quantum Mechanics with MATLAB
SCHRODINGER is a set of MATLAB files which provide moderately accurate
numerical solutions of a number of standard problems familiar from many
introductory texts on Quantum Mechanics. They give the student an
interactive access to the solutions with graphical display of the
This is not a substitute for a textbook, it is a device for solving standard types of problems with a speed which will allow an interactive study of the effect of changes of the parameters. The algorithms are chosen for simplicity and speed, not optimal accuracy or stability. Calculations using matrix arguments, one of the key features of MATLAB, is used wherever possible for maximal speed.
There is a short manual in postscript form which gives some comments on the quantum mechanical problems and on the algorithms, and a list of references. The documentation for each problem is rudimentary, but I have tried to give literature references when this is possible. I have also tried to set defaults for most variable parameters. In other places the user has to guess on the basis the uncertainty relation and the spectrum of a square well. There is also some help in the M-files.
The correctness and accuracy of the algorithms defined in the M-files should not be taken for granted. You are welcome to improve on them, especially if you will share the results.
The files should run on any computer with the MATLAB 6 program installed and a graphical interface. Almost everything should be compatible with MATLAB 4.2. SCHRODINGER has been tested on a PowerMac 7600/120 and on a PC running Linux.
The speed of solution evidently depends on the platform, but it can be adapted to your computer through the choice of the number of lattice points and basis functions, by editing the M-files if necessary. The time needed for most of the solutions are intended to be at most a few tens of seconds on a PowerMac or PC.
You can start the session by executing the file start.m, then making choices pressing buttons, in menus or in the command window. Short descriptions of the M-files are given in the file Contents. You can also use the help function.
If you have trouble downloading the files, other questions, corrections, improvements or objections,
mail me at
A sample output from the schrodinger program.
Related material from the Web
A Portrait of Erwin Schrödinger
More bibliographic info from the history of quantum physics can be found in the
The quantum age begins from the MacTutor archive.
Jan 18, 2004