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The problem is this:

A particle is represented by the wave function $\psi = e^{-(x-x_{0})^2/2\alpha}\sin kx$. Plot the wave function $\psi$ and the probability distribution $|\psi(x)|^2$.

This the problem 2.1 in the book Fundamental University Physics Volume III by Marcelo Alonso and Edward Finn. The thing is I don't know what values $k, \alpha$ and $x_{0}$ should have. Probably I don't know what $\psi$ really represents in this case.

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2 Answers

The real purpose of this exercise seems to be exactly finding out the meaning of $\alpha$, $k$ and $x_0$. So just try modifying them all one by one and see how this affects the wave function. For instance, you will see that a very small $\alpha$ will give you a narrow-peaked distribution, while a big $\alpha$ leads to a widely spread function.

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Then plot first with $x_0=0$, $\alpha=1$, and $k=1$.

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