Analogy Between Quantum Mechanics and Optics

  • Zhuangqi Cao
  • Cheng Yin


In order to study the propagation of matter wave in the presence of a given potential profile, we begin with the Maxwell equations describing the behavior of electromagnetic waves. After specializing in the case of a simple three-layer structure, we derived the scalar wave equation, which is a close analogy with the Schrödinger equation. This allows us to take advantage of many well-established results from waveguide optics. Restricting ourselves to one dimension in this chapter, we make several comparisons of the two fundamental equations and relate some (perhaps) similar concepts in the two subjects.


Scalar wave equation Schrödinger equation Optical waveguide Quantum well Barrier tunneling Harmonic oscillator 


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press, Shanghai and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhuangqi Cao
    • 1
  • Cheng Yin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of IoT EngineeringHohai University, ChangzhouChangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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