2D Wave-Particle Simulations (Mathematica 4.2, 1/15/05; C++ version: 5/16/07) The left animation shows the quantum mechanical probabilty distribution of an electron as it passes through two narrow slits. The electron itself is much smaller than its probability distribution cloud, which is dispersed over a large area, creating an interference pattern. As soon as the actual location of the electron itself is detected, then its probability distribution cloud will become small again. The color represents the complex phase. The following Mathematica code uses the Crank-Nicolson method with time-splitting to solve the Schrödinger wave equation:

`(* runtime: 10 seconds, V is the potential energy *)`

<< LinearAlgebra`Tridiagonal`; n = 55; dx = 1.0/(n - 1); hbar = m = 1; dt = m dx^2/hbar; a = I hbar/dt; b = hbar^2/(4 m dx^2); blist = Table[b, {n - 1}];

psi = Table[Module[{p = {x - 0.25, y - 0.5}}, Exp[I {100, 0}.p - p.p/(2 0.14^2)]], {y, 0, 1, dx}, {x, 0, 1, dx}];

V = Table[If[0.48 < x < 0.52 && ! (0.4 < y < 0.475 || 0.525 < y < 0.6), 10000, 0], {y, 0, 1, dx}, {x, 0, 1, dx}];

Do[psi = Table[TridiagonalSolve[blist, a - 2b - V[[All, j]]/2, blist, (a + 2b + V[[All, j]]/2)psi[[All, j]] - b Table[psi[[i, Min[n, j + 1]]] + psi[[i, Max[1, j - 1]]], {i, 1, n}]], {j, 1, n}]; psi = Table[TridiagonalSolve[blist, a - 2b - V[[i,All]]/2, blist, (a + 2b + V[[i, All]]/2)psi[[All, i]] - b Table[psi[[j, Min[n, i + 1]]] + psi[[j, Max[1, i - 1]]], {j, 1, n}]], {i, 1, n}]; Show[Graphics[RasterArray[Map[(x = Min[Abs[#]^2, 1];Hue[Arg[#]/(2Pi), Min[1, 2(1 - x)], Min[1, 2x]]) &, psi + V, {2}]], AspectRatio -> 1]], {40}];

In case you’re wondering how TridiagonalSolve works:

`TridiagonalSolve[a_, b_, c_, r_] := Module[{n = Length[r], p, q}, p = q =Table[0, {n}]; {p[[1]], q[[1]]} = {c[[1]], r[[1]]}/b[[1]]; Do[{p[[i]], q[[i]]} = {If[i < n, c[[i]], 0], r[[i]] - a[[i - 1]]q[[i - 1]]}/(b[[i]] - a[[i - 1]]p[[i - 1]]), {i, 2, n}]; Do[q[[i]] -= p[[i]]q[[i + 1]], {i, n - 1, 1, -1}]; q];`

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