In this paper, we numerically study the ground and first excited states of the fractional Schrodinger equation in an infinite potential well. Due to the non-locality of the fractional Laplacian, it is challenging to find the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the fractional Schrodinger equation either analytically or numerically. We first introduce a fractional gradient flow with discrete normalization and then discretize it by using the trapezoidal type quadrature rule in space and the semi-implicit Euler method in time. Our method can be used to compute the ground and first excited states not only in the linear cases but also in the nonlinear cases. Moreover, it can be generalized to solve the fractional partial differential equations (PDEs) with Riesz fractional derivatives in space. Our numerical results suggest that the eigenfunctions of the fractional Schrodinger equation in an infinite potential well are significantly different from those of the standard (non-fractional) Schrodinger equation. In addition, we find that the strong nonlocal interactions represented by the fractional Laplacian can lead to a large scattering of particles inside of the potential well. Compared to the ground states, the scattering of particles in the first excited states is larger. Furthermore, boundary layers emerge in the ground states and additionally inner layers exist in the first excited states of the fractional nonlinear Schrodinger equation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/yanzhi-zhang/3/