For questions about probability, probability theory, probability distributions, expected values and related matters. Purely mathematical questions should be asked on Math.SE.

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Differences between probability density and expectation value of position

The expression $\int | \Psi\left(x\right)|^2dx$ gives the probability of finding a particle at a given position. If wave function gives the probabilities of positions, why do we calculate ...
2
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2answers
802 views

Differences between wave function and set of orthonormal wave functions?

I'm reading a QM book. It first says for wave function: "The state of a physical system (or particle) is completely specified by an entity associated with it called a wave function, Ψ , that in ...
3
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5answers
570 views

About the definition of expectation value in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics, the expectation value of a observable $A$ is defined as $$\int\Psi^*\hat A\Psi$$ But in probability theory the expectation is a property of a random variable, with respect to a ...
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0answers
81 views

Help with deriving an asymptotic expression

Note: I don't know if this is the best place for this question, because it is very specific. However, I'm not sure of a better place to go (apart from one of the other SE's). If you have a ...
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1answer
57 views

How many state configurations are possible for $N$ particles in completely different states?

How many state configurations are possible for $N$ particles in completely different states? I cannot remember if the total number of state configurations for $N$ particles in completely different ...
2
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5answers
2k views

Proof of Liouville's theorem: Relation between phase space volume and probability distribution function

I understand the proof of Liouville's theorem to the point where we conclude that Hamiltonian flow in phase-space is volume preserving as we flow in the phase space. Meaning the total derivative of ...
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4answers
10k views

Differences between wavefunction, probability and probability density?

I am trying to understand the differences between wavefunction, probability and probability density. There are different definitions on the internet. For example: ...
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1answer
51 views

Why does the probability of obtaining a value of a measurement follow from Dirac's general assumption?

In Dirac's The Principle of Quantum Mechanics he makes the general assumption that "if the measurement of the observable $\xi$ for the system in the state corresponding to $|x\rangle$ is made a large ...
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0answers
120 views

Probability and the propagator

Due to the Wiki article, "...In quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, the propagator gives the probability amplitude for a particle to travel from one place to another in a given time, or to ...
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1answer
145 views

From where randomness comes from and why it exists? [closed]

I recently began to study statistics and probability and I have two questions: Where does randomness come from? What is the source of randomness? Why does the randomness exist? Is it possible to ...
0
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0answers
104 views

Quantum mechanics and probability

I've done an intro course on QM and I'm now hoping to understand exactly how to use probability theory rigorously in solving problems. My question is: How do I do the same thing, or the closest thing ...
0
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2answers
56 views

Modeling Quantum Aspects with Probability

This is a question I've had a while about quantum theory. Many times when I look at books and equations about this subject matter I see that the use many concepts in probability. (Correct me if Im ...
3
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1answer
141 views

How does determinism manifest out of QFT?

Classical electrodynamics is deterministic. QED is indeterministic, or probabilistically random. Yet they agree with each other? What am I missing?
3
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1answer
292 views

Probability of measuring momentum [closed]

Suppose we have this wavefunction: $$ \psi = A \left( cos(kx) + cos (2kx) \right) $$ I have to find the possible results of measurement of momentum and their probabilities. Attempt For a momentum ...
3
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0answers
362 views

Moments of a Distribution via Laplace Transforms and Wick Rotations [closed]

On a mathematical level, the statistical mechanical partition function is just a Laplace transform of the microcanonical probability distribution, i.e. it's moment generating function. Understanding ...
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7answers
1k views

Mathematically possible vs physically probable outcomes

A good buddy of mine and I have had a friendly debate about the origins of the current state of our universe (namely; Earth and life on Earth) and have fundamentally disagreed in our stances with ...
0
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1answer
132 views

Change of variables in calculating the integral of multivariable differential entropy

I have already asked this question in math.SX but here might be more proper. So I decided to put a copy here and delete the one which is not the one that got an answer: I know that for one ...
5
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2answers
572 views

Is it really impossible to calculate in advance the result of throwing dice?

Is it really impossible to calculate in advance the result of throwing dice? After all, the physics of dice throwing is in the world of classical mechanics, rather than quantum mechanics.
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0answers
1k views

tritium beta decay - probability of being in 1s state

Hydrogen-like wavefunctions have the form: $$R_{10} = \left(\frac{Z}{a_0}\right)^{\frac{3}{2}} 2\space e^{-\frac{Zr}{a_0}}$$ $$Y_{00} = \frac{1}{\sqrt {4\pi}} $$ where $a_0 = \frac{4\pi \epsilon_0 ...
3
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5answers
789 views

Is there any operator behind probability, in quantum mechanics?

In Quantum mechanics, the probability of finding a particle at position $x$ is given by $|\psi(x)|^2$, where $\psi$ is the wave function. Wonder what is the operator which gives this probability? Is ...
26
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7answers
2k views

Why is the application of probability in QM fundamentally different from application of probability in other areas?

Why is the application of probability in quantum mechanics (QM) fundamentally different from its application in other areas? QM applies probability according to the same probability axioms as in other ...
3
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0answers
496 views

Probability density of Klein-Gordon equation

This may, perhaps, stir some healthy debate; at least I am having some "fun" thinking about it, hopefully I can solicit some outside views too. It is often regarded that the Klein-Gordon equation ...
4
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0answers
96 views

Reference for stochastic processes which helps moving from a basic level to a measure theory one

I'm looking for a reference (books, notes, lectures) which helps a physicist to understand the language of measure theory in the context of stochastic processes (in particular markov chains). I've ...
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3answers
283 views

Intuition/derivation behind the probability current definition

The definition is: $${\bf{j}} = \frac{\hbar}{2mi} (\psi^* \nabla \psi - \psi \nabla \psi^*)$$ However: Where ever I have looked, the above "pops out of nowhere". I was wondering how can I obtain ...
2
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1answer
239 views

Reflection Probability for Different Potentials - Quantum Mechanics

My question is above. Firstly, I don't actually know whether it is true or not (!). Secondly, if I were to try to prove it, then I have very little idea how to. The potential steps that I have ...
2
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1answer
129 views

Deriving probability distributions from the Wigner distribution

I know that I can calculate the probability distributions of $x$ and $p$ from the Wigner quasiprobability distribution, and I can calculate the probability distributions of other operators by ...
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0answers
156 views

Quantum Rigid Rotor Perturbation

As the title says, I have a rigid rotor with a perturbation given below $$H=\frac{L^2}{2I}-\alpha B L_z.$$ So I know that the eigenvalues of $H$ will be $\ell(\ell+1)/2I -\alpha B m$ where $m$ is our ...
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2answers
654 views

Interpreting the Partition Function and Free Energy Mathematically

Given that The partition function in statistical mechanics tells us the number of quantum states of a system that are thermally accessible at a given temperature ...
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6answers
1k views

Why was quantum mechanics regarded as a non-deterministic theory?

It seems to be a wide impression that quantum mechanics is not deterministic, e.g. the world is quantum-mechanical and not deterministic. I have a basic question about quantum mechanics itself. A ...
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1answer
482 views

What do matrices in the Gaussian orthogonal ensemble look like?

I've been reading a fair amount about quantum chaos, and random matrix theory comes up a lot. I get that they're looking at the distribution of eigenvalues from an ensemble of random matrices, but I ...
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1answer
174 views

Why don't we need to normalize wavefunction to find probability distribution?

Consider an unormalized wavefunction of a rotor at $t = 0$, a combination of $n=0$ and $n=2$ states: $$\psi(\phi) = 3 - 2 \cos (2\phi).$$ Find the probability distribution in angle. The ...
2
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3answers
360 views

Probability distribution in phase space and Liouville's theorem?

We can define a probability distribution over phase space (say 1D) $\rho(x,p)$ such that, for example, $$\langle x\rangle = \int x \rho(x,p) dxdp$$ etc. It can be shown here that such a distribution ...
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0answers
147 views

Ising model. What is large fluctuations of magnetization?

My background is in mathematics. I have studied the Ising model in $\mathbb{Z}^2$. The main model of statistical mechanics. Yesterday, I was reading the preliminary notes of the book Statistical ...
4
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1answer
166 views

Is there a known equation for evolution of classical particle probability density?

Suppose we have some very imprecise knowledge of classical particle's coordinates and momentum: what we can only tell is the probability density to find it in some point of phase space. This is ...
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3answers
1k views

What is a linear probability density function?

In the following question, what is meant by linear probability density function? Is it a uniformly distributed variable or triangularly distributed? Thanks in advance. The kinetic energy of any ...
0
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3answers
714 views

Why is $|\Psi|^2$ the probability density?

I am starting with Quantum Mechanics, learning online. I can't seem to find the reason for $|\Psi|^2$ being the probability density of finding an electron. They've just taken it for granted ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Kolmogorov-Smirnov test vs Chi-squared test

What is the difference between the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and the Chi-squared test? When should we use one instead of the other? I was reading this article, and I got confused a lot. It is hard to ...
2
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2answers
4k views

Calculating the most probable radius for an electron of a hydrogen atom in the ground state

This link describes a method for determining the most probable radius of an electron for a Hydrogen atom in the ground state. It states that : The radial probability density for the hydrogen ...
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2answers
95 views

Calculating the Probability Current of a Travelling Wave

Calculate the probability current density vector $\vec{j}$ for the wave function : $$\psi = Ae^{-i(wt-kx)}.$$ From my very poor and beginner's understanding of probability density current it is : ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Can electrons coincidentally flow along a circuit to cause current?

My understanding of circuits which are not supplied an e.m.f. is that the electrons randomly just flow about in random directions, and since there's so many of them, probability dictates that any ...
3
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2answers
238 views

Free-particle solution to Schrödinger Equation

The free particle solution in stationary state (with definite energy) to the Schrödinger equation is $$\psi(x,t) =Ae^{i(kx-\omega t)} + Be^{-i(kx+\omega t)}$$ Since the energy is definite, and ...
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2answers
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What is probability current in quantum mechanics?

What is probability current in quantum mechanics? Why define such a thing? I mean the meaning of probability current. I know the formula for it but I just don't get the idea of a flow of probability ...
3
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2answers
259 views

Does quantum randomness predicate an infinite number of realities?

I am a layman when it comes to physics and especially quantum mechanics. I have seen many documentaries on the subject, and often in these productions there is a physicist featured explaining the ...
6
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1answer
141 views

Random walks on resistive network

I have been referring to a paper http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0405135 to determine the effective resistance using random walks for an infinite square resistive lattice Though the author seems to ...
0
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2answers
114 views

Regarding derivation of Probability Current

The question for the full derivation of Probability Conservation -> Probability Current was already asked here: Probability current. I apologize for not retyping it out, but it's already beautifully ...
2
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0answers
77 views

Statistical Mechanics: Most probable orientation of grain particle in gas chamber?

I'm in an introductory statistical mechanics course, and we've been posed the following situation: Long-shaped dust particle (so imagine something like a grain of rice) is placed in a gas chamber (so ...
2
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1answer
296 views

In Feynman's “Random Walker” probability example, why is $D^2$ better for illustrating “wandering”?

Taken from Volume 1, Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Feynman Lectures on Physics. Feynman says that in describing random, equally-probable-backwards-or-forwards motion, that, We might therefore ask ...
3
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1answer
158 views

Why do we use $\psi$ instead of a straightforward probability?

What is the advantage/purpose of using $\psi$ for wavefunctions and getting the probability with $|\psi|^2$ as opposed to just defining and using the probability function?
2
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3answers
485 views

Probability density of electron orbital

Why the probability of density is higher in the area that is closer to the nucleus? I'm a high school student. I don't know much about wave functions.
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1answer
128 views

Entropy and probability

I read "The NEW world of Mr. Tompkins" and I'm not sure with one of the Gamow's equation. When he calculated the probability of entropy, he used this reasoning: "How likely is a situation that all the ...