Demonstration of systematic im provements in application of the variational method to weakly bound potentials
In applying the variational method, we demonstrate that, with careful study of the general features of the trial wave functions, we can achieve systematic improvements in calculating the eigenvalues of quantum mechanical systems. We apply five different sets of trial wave functions to calculate the ground state and first excited state energies of weakly bound potentials, such as V (x) = |x|, |x| and ln (|x|). We demonstrate that accurate results can be obtained through a thorough understanding of the asymptotic behaviours. With proper adjustments, we show how to improve trial wave functions. Finally, by calculating to the fifth excited states, we compare the exact and variational results with those obtained from the semi-classical method, and discuss the merits of the different approaches.