A complex scalar field that describes a quantum mechanical system. The square of the modulus of the wave function gives the probability of the system to be found in a particular state.

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Switching Parity in a Superconductor

I've got a pretty simple question that's been bothering me for a while. This is the issue. Suppose we have a superconductor with phase $\phi$, and we change this to $\phi+2\pi$. One would think that ...
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4answers
144 views

Is it possible to reconstruct the Hamiltonian from knowledge of its ground state wave function?

Is it possible to "construct" the Hamiltonian of a system if its ground state wave function (or functional) is known? I understand one should not expect this to be generically true since the ...
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1answer
42 views

Quantization of energy in semi-infinite well

Consider an electron with total energy $E>V_2$ in a potential with $$V(x)= \begin{cases} \infty & x< 0 \\ V_1 & 0< x< L \\ V_2 & x>L \end{cases} $$ ...
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1answer
62 views

Schrödinger's Equation with multi-part potential

I have this potential $$V(x) = \left\{ \begin{array}{ll} \infty & \mbox{if } x < -a \\ \frac{V_o}{a}x & \mbox{if } -a \leq x \leq a \\ V_o & \mbox{if } x \geq a \ \end{...
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What is a standing wave?

I'm a highschool sophomore, bear this is mind when answering this question, in other words, the answer doesn't need to be in total layman terms, but it should be understandable by an applied ...
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106 views

Linear combination of eigenstates problem [closed]

Let's say that we have a system such that $$\Psi(x,0)=\frac{\sqrt3}{2}\phi_1(x)+\frac12\phi_2(x)$$ where both $\phi(x)$ are eigenfunctions of the Hamiltonian operator. I want to find $\Psi (x,t)$ ...
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2answers
105 views

Does a wave function describe the motion of electrons or atoms?

I took the course of quantum mechanics a while ago. I do not quite remember all the detail on how to derive the wave function for hydrogen but I still remember the general picture. I think the text ...
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1answer
51 views

When does a wavefunction get re-created after a collapse? [closed]

Maybe another way of asking this would be, "When is decoherence un-done for a particle?" Example: Consider that we shoot an electron from a gun. Whilst in transit the electron is just a probability ...
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1answer
46 views

Most probable radius of hydrogen in its ground state [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding how we do this. I know we must find the probability density function and then we can optimise it to find the most probable radius. I thought we would just take the ...
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1answer
47 views

Examples of Matrix Product State(s)

Matrix product states(MPS) is a way of representing a (many-body) wavefunction. The method has been described in, https://arxiv.org/abs/1008.3477 However, would it be possible to see a concrete ...
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48 views

Why pressure standing waves have different nodes location with respect to the corresponding displacement waves?

In acoustics the pressure wave has a $\pi/2$ phase difference with the displacement wave. But I do not understand how this leads to a different position of nodes of pressure inside a tube with ...
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49 views

Infinite square well - periodic boundaries

If we have an infinite square well, I can follow the usual solution in Griffiths but I now want to impose periodic boundary conditions. I have $\psi(x) = A\sin(kx) + B\cos(kx)$ with boundary ...
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1answer
75 views

Applying angular momentum operator [closed]

How are the algebraic steps to applied the angular momentum operator defined as: $$\hat{L}=-i\hbar[r\times\nabla]$$ to $$\Psi=a~ \psi_{431}$$ where the $\psi_{nlm}$ are the eigenfunctions of the time ...
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54 views

Expectation value of an Observable and Eigenstates

I am learning about Quantum Mechanics at the moment and I was wondering about Eigenfunctions and Observables. The question I would like to ask is, If a wavefunction is not an eigenstate of an ...
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1answer
25 views

Why must the separation constant be real in a time dependent wave function?

I'm not sure if I'm asking this right. I'm reading ''Introduction to Quantum Mechanics'' by Griffiths and in the chapter 2 exercises he asks to prove that the separation constant, $E$, must be real. ...
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54 views

Rotating fermion and spin structure on manifold

We know that doing a 2$\pi$ rotation would give a minus sign to wavefunctions of electrons. Since electrons are spin $1/2$ objects. How is this related to the spin structure on the manifold in which ...
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29 views

Conditions to find standing waves harmonics

I came up with a doubt on standing waves conditions. The type of question I find difficult to answer is of the following type. Consider a rope. I do not know if the rope is fixed at both end or at ...
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1answer
36 views

Situations in which there is path difference interference or formation of standing waves [closed]

I came up with a doubt about standing waves and path difference in general. Consider these two different cases as examples. If I have a rope fixed at one end and I make the free end oscillating, I ...
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69 views

How to plot numerically the wave functions according to the Hamiltonian?

It is often difficult to analytically solve the Schrodinger equation, and so we need to obtain a solution numerically. An example plot is shown below. Here, the wave functions for a three junction ...
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75 views

How to understand permutations of particles in Quantum Mechanics?

I'm studying identical particles in Quantum Mechanics and I'm having a hard time to understand the idea of permutations of particles from a mathematical standpoint. From one intuitive point of view ...
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1answer
32 views

Normalisation of angular wave function: particle in a circular box

For a particle in a circular box (with radius $R$) with zero potential inside the circle and infinitely high potential outside of the circle, the Schrödinger equation in polar coordinates is: $$-\...
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38 views

Applicability of wavefunction matching when Hamiltonian (not just potential) varies

A simple tunnelling calculation can be performed for a potential step by calculating the eigenfunctions for the Hamiltonian on either side of the step and matching the wavefunctions (and using ...
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30 views

How can an orbital be recognised from the wavefunction notation?

I am a student and was working up the exercises in my book when I came across a problem that required me to identify the orbital given by $ \psi_{3,2,1}\,.$ What I can work out is that the sub-shell ...
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1answer
41 views

Protocol for solving time independent Schrodinger equation

Just a short question about the protocol for solving the time-independent Schrodinger equation for different potentials and the reasons for accepting and rejecting solutions. Take for example the ...
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2answers
188 views

Gauge transformation of vector potential multiplies wavefunction by phase

Consider an electron in an electromagnetic field with scalar and vector potentials $\phi, \mathbf{A}$. Suppose for simplicity that $\mathbf{A}$ is time independent. Suppose also that we know the ...
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1answer
51 views

Can a quantum mechanical system have more than one wave-function?

I was told that a quantum mechanical system is completely determined by its wave function. But superposition principle says that given two wave functions of some system, a linear combination of them ...
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2answers
110 views

Why does a electric Potential have to be real, but not a Potential in quantum mechanics?

So I had this Problem when I had to learn about classical electromagnetism: Why is it, that we use complex numbers when calculating stuff, but in the end only the real part is important (for example ...
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3answers
137 views

Can a physical wavefunction be non-smooth (its first derivative is discontinuous)?

Here's an argument that might support the statement that such a non-smooth wavefunction is not physical: You cannot add a finite number of smooth functions to get a non-smooth function. By fourier ...
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39 views

Energy Conservation in Changing Potential Well

If you prepare a particle in a basis state, $|n\rangle$ of an infinite potential well of length $L$, the energy of that state will be $\langle E\rangle = E_n$, with zero variance. If you then ...
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52 views

How can we justify identifying the Dirac delta function with the eigenfunction of position? [duplicate]

I can think of at least two different ways to understand eigenfunctions of operators in quantum mechanics. But neither one seems to provide a good explanation for why we take the position-basis ...
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1answer
61 views

Solution for Schrödinger equation for constant box potential?

It is known that in a box potential, when we set $V = 0$ inside and $V = \infty$ on the boundaries, the solution to the equation $$ - \frac{\hbar}{2m} \bigg( \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2} + \frac{ \...
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1answer
66 views

Does the Hamiltonian time-evolution operator actually change the state of the system?

According to my understanding of things, the time evolution operator in QM looks something like this, $$U = \exp(-iHt/\hbar)$$ Which acts on the state vector / wave-function of the system to ...
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2answers
84 views

Where does the position operator come from?

In quantum mechanics the momentum and energy operators appear in Schroedinger's equation. In fact in the derivation of Schroedinger's equation from the classical wave equation the momentum operator ...
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1answer
54 views

Finding the velocity of a given wavepacket [closed]

I've been given a wave packet, that is moving from right to left toward a (known) potential, which has in time $t = 0$ has the form: $$ψ(x, t = 0) = Ae^{−c(x−x_0)^2}e^{ik_0x}$$ and I need to ...
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2answers
226 views

Can we write the wave function of the living things? If yes then how? [closed]

In quantum mechanics we studied that everything has a wave function associated with it.My question is can we write down the wave functions of things. Then how we can write down the wave functions of ...
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1answer
46 views

How can an atom be in an ensemble of energy states?

So I was reading this pdf and in sections 3.2.3 it states theres is an atom with |$\psi_{o}\rangle$ which is a linear combination of two energy eigenstates (a ground |0$\rangle$ and excited state |1$\...
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Schrödinger's interpretation of his wave function before Born

The below shows some excerpt from Feynman's lecture notes. 21–4 The meaning of the wave function When Schrödinger first discovered his equation he discovered the conservation law of Eq. (21....
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3answers
217 views

Can Schrödinger Equation be derived from Huygens' Principle?

Notes of Enrico Fermi start from an analogy between mechanics and optics and with 4 pages he derives the Schrödinger equation. In all my courses, I have seen as an axiom - this is how wave-particles ...
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20 views

Can someone explain what the wave function is? [duplicate]

I've been doing she research I don't really understand what a wave function is. I used to think it was the de Broglie's wavelength but I've soon found otherwise. Just a simple and clear explanation ...
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45 views

Wavefunctions “adapted” to the perturbation ? Relation to Faraday effect

I came accross the following statement in a book: If one wants to switch on a magnetic field, one must first choose the appropriate complex unperturbed wave functions (that are "adapted" to the ...
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67 views

Wavefunction of electron in 3D infinite well with non-zero potential

Consider an electron moving in a potential $V$ defined by $$V(x,y,z) = \left \{ \begin{array}{ll} \alpha(x^2 + y^2) & 0 \leq z \leq a \\ \infty & \text{otherwise} \end{array} \right. $$ ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Schrödinger-Pauli Equation Solutions

The Schrödinger-Pauli equation is the non-relativistic limit of the Dirac equation, and therefore describes spin-1/2 particles in an external electromagnetic field. It is given by: $$\left[\frac{1}{...
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1answer
70 views

Is there one wavefunction per field? [closed]

Is the big picture of quantum field theory that: There are fields (EM, electron, Higgs, gravity, etc.) A field can be described by a wavefunction indicating the probability density of 1 or more '...
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1answer
101 views

Dirac Equation in RQM (as opposed to QFT) is written in which representation?

In introductory Quantum Mechanics treatments it is common to see the Schrödinger's equation being written, simply as: $$-\dfrac{\hbar^2}{2m}\nabla^2\Psi(\mathbf{r},t)+V(\mathbf{r})\Psi(\mathbf{r},t)=...
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1answer
83 views

Eigenstates of position and momentum operators in QM

In Griffiths pages 103-105 "Introduction to Quantum Mechanics" 2nd editiion he states that the eigenfunctions of the position and momentum operators are $$g_y(x) = \delta(x-y)$$ where the eigenvalue ...
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5answers
194 views

Where does $\hat{P}\psi(x) = -i\hbar \partial_x \psi(x)$ come from?

It's a very basic question, where does the relation $$\hat{P}\psi(x) = -i\hbar \partial_x \psi(x)$$ for any square integrable $\psi(x)$ come into existence? Some texts I found states that the above ...
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1answer
42 views

Mathematical definition of wavefront in case of non harmonic waves

What is the general mathematical definition of wavefront? Wavefront is the surface where, at fixed time, the phase is constant But for non-harmonic waves we cannot talk about phase as the ...
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5answers
198 views

What happens when two wavefunctions meet?

Apologies for the over-broad question(s), but I'm having a hard time finding out where to look to answer these myself: If a particle is a wavefunction describing a probability amplitude distributed ...
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1answer
139 views

Modern interpretation of wave-particle duality

As far as I understand, in the early days of quantum theory there was quite a lot of debate over how to interpret what it meant for a quantum mechanical object to exhibit both wave-like and particle-...
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2answers
92 views

Does uncertainty exist without consciousness? [closed]

How can uncertainty exist without conscious beings calling something uncertain? When you look at the uncertainty principle, it only makes sense if consciousness collapses, disturbs, interfere's with ...