# Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin method

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## Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin method

A special technique for obtaining an approximation to the solutions of the one-dimensional time-independent Schrödinger equation, valid when the wavelength of the solution varies slowly with position. It is named after G. Wentzel, H. A. Kramers, and L. Brillouin, who independently in 1926 contributed to its understanding in the quantum-mechanical application. It is also called the WKB method, BWK method, the classical approximation, the quasi-classical approximation, and the phase integral method. *See* Quantum mechanics, Schrödinger's wave equation

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

## Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin method

[′vent·səl ′krä·mərz brē′wan ‚meth·əd] (quantum mechanics)

Method of approximating quantum-mechanical wave functions and energy levels, in which the logarithm of the wave function is expanded in powers of Planck's constant, and all except the first two terms are neglected. Also known as phase integral method; WKB method.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.