It is well known that for the nonrelativistic hydrogen atom it is possible to separate the Schrödinger equation in parabolic as well as spherical coordinates. The eigenfunctions obtained in these coordinate systems are each a suitable basis set in the absence of an electric field, but only the parabolic states, the Stark eigenfunctions, retain their character in the presence of a weak field. The properties of coherent superpositions of these Stark states are investigated and the motion of the resulting wave packet described. It is shown that a properly constituted superposition will mimic classical motion. It is also shown that the constant energy separation between adjacent Stark states of a given principal quantum number leads to periodic motion. In general, they split into distinct “clumps” of probability, but revive to form a single packet after each period. It is, however, possible to construct a packet that maintains its shape for all time.

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