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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Why is the expectation value of ground state electron momentum zero?

I have a normalized energy eigenfunction for the ground state of Hydrogen which is $$ \Psi(r) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{\pi a_0^3}}\exp\left(-\frac{r}{a_o}\right), $$ where $a_o$ is the Bohr radius, I have ...
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4answers
131 views

What does “spread of momentum” actually mean?

I was reading Feynman's lecture in which Feynman invoked his own way of explaining the uncertainty principle using single-slit experiment. There I found: To get a rough idea of the spread of ...
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2answers
45 views

Why does a plane wave leave the position of the particle unspecified?

I'm covering a book on QM, and just started recently and I'm stuck at understanding something. It says that we can describe the state of motion of a particle with an infinite plane wave equation: ...
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1answer
79 views

Why is the full eigenfunction a product of eigenfunctions and not a sum?

For example suppose there is a two electron system. Why is the full eigenfunction a product of the spatial eigenfunction and spin-wave-function for the two electron system?
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25 views

What are the conditions of wave function continuity when solving for Dirac Spinors as done in “Klein paradox” paper by Novoselov?

In the paper "Chiral tunneling and Klein paradox" paper by Katsnelson, Novoselov, and Geim, they use the wave function for Dirac spinors. What are the conditions for continuity of the wave function ...
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140 views

Triangular barrier in infinite potential well

Suppose I am looking to solve the wavefunction for the following 1D potential: $$U(x) = \begin{cases}V_0\frac{a-|x|}{a}&\quad\text{for}\quad|x|<a ...
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1answer
72 views

Tip of a spreading wave-packet: asymptotics beyond all orders of a saddle point expansion

This is a technical question coming from mapping of an unrelated problem onto dynamics of a non-relativistic massive particle in 1+1 dimensions. This issue is with asymptotics dominated by a term ...
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61 views

The delta function as an eigenfunction of the position operator explanation

$\delta (\textbf{r})$ can be interpreted as a wavefunction. [...] It is non-vanishing only for $\textbf{r}=0$. [...] $\delta(\textbf{r})$ is an eigenfunction of the position operator with ...
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86 views

Normalization of wave function meaning…?

I just have one question. I'm doing a problem where I'm told to normalize a wave function, which is split up into two regions, namely where $r \leq r_0$ and $r > r_0$. My question is, why am I ...
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1answer
43 views

Probability density function of a particle for computation [closed]

I'm writing a program, part of which relies on a particle being able to change location similar to a how a real particle would behave (pardon my physics). For example, on a grid of 100x100, a ...
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1answer
85 views

How does one normalize this wavefunction? [closed]

Here is the question: So I could write $ N = \dfrac{1}{{\sqrt{<Ψ|Ψ>}}} $, right? Considering the parentheses in the exponential term, it looks like a good idea to switch to spherical polar ...
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5answers
708 views

Is the wave function objective or subjective?

Here is a question I am curious about. Is the wave function objective or subjective, or is such a question meaningless? Conventionally, subjectivity is as follows: if a quantity is subjective then ...
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77 views

Eigenstate vs collapsed wave function

An eigenstate, or determinate state, is a state where the measurement of some observable always yields the same result. This means that the standard deviation of the observable is zero. If a ...
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2answers
121 views

Why do wave functions need to be normalized? Why aren't the normalized to begin with? [duplicate]

Before I started studying quantum mechanics, I thought I knew what normalization was. Just pulling off Google, here's a definition that matches what I've understood normalization to mean: ...
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5answers
305 views

Why do we need a wave function?

Assuming our only aim is to solve double slit experiment (or other problems that can be mapped into that). Knowing that electron does some strange thing not expected of a particle, we need a function ...
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0answers
168 views

Problems while numerically computing band structure using k.p theory

I want to use k.p theory to numerically compute the band structure of a bulk semiconductor. The band I like to include are the lowest conduction band (cb), the heavy-hole (hh), the light-hole (lh) and ...
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1answer
64 views

Fermions in a well

I have two identical fermions in an infinite potential well. They are non-interacting. How should I show that the first excited state is four-fold degenerate? Is the wavefunction just the ...
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2answers
358 views

Can expectation value be imaginary?

I was solving a problem and the result of the expectation value of an operator came out to be $-\frac{\hbar}{4}$ $i$. Is this result possible? It seems counter intuitive.
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3answers
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38 views

What's the relation between molecular orbitals and electron density?

The way molecular orbitals are drawn represent the "encapsulated" space in which the wave function has a significant amplitude. How do I obtain from this the electron density? Is there a fundamental ...
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1answer
3k views

How to find the wavefunction that solves an infinite square well with a delta function well in the middle?

Solutions for the wavefunction in an infinite square well with a delta function barrier in the middle are easily found online (see here for an example). I am wondering what the wavefunction is for an ...
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88 views

What is the necessity of wave packet in studying matter wave?

I am new to this realm of physics. I have literally understood the matter wave, wave function; read the trapped electron in an infinite potential-well. But what I didn't understand is the concept of ...
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5answers
262 views

Normalizing the solution to free particle Schrödinger equation

I have the one dimensional free particle Schrödinger equation $$i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial t} \Psi (x,t) = -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2} \Psi (x,t), \tag{1}$$ with ...
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120 views

Relation between Wave equation of light and photon wave function?

Suppose in our double slit experimental setup with the usual notations $d,D$, we have a beam of light of known frequency $(\nu)$ and wavelength $(\lambda)$ - so we can describe it as $$ξ_0 = ...
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1answer
28 views

How do I interpret the math relating to diffraction?

The following is a quote from the Haifa Lectures (Mendel Sachs) But if both slits are open, the wave function for the electron penetrating screen S1 is the superposition of states, $(\psi_1 + ...
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1answer
237 views

Why does the wave function have to be continuous? [duplicate]

When solving one dimensional problems in quantum mechanics it is often assumed that the first derivative of the wave function is contineous. What justifies this assumption?
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29 views

Inverse Fourier Transfrom of a wavefunction

I was reading about how a Fourier transform yields the wave-function expressed in terms of the momenta which constitute it, i.e. the wave-function in momentum space. I'm not so good at calculus yet ...
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2answers
133 views

Wave functions as $x$ goes to infinity

This problem emerged when I was going through some QM exercises: I've been asked to find the commutator $[A,B]$ where $A,B$ are defined as $$A\psi(x)=x\frac{\partial }{\partial x}\psi(x),$$ ...
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1answer
65 views

If I want to determine a particle's momentum or position, do I get this information from the wave function?

I am confused about how one measures the dynamical variables (eg position) of a particle. I thought the wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ was the probability amplitude and $|\Psi(x,t)|^2$ represents the ...
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1answer
137 views

Position and momentum expectation values for the stationary states of the infinite square well [closed]

I'm really lost in figuring out how to solve the integral for the expectation value of $x$ and $x^2$ $$\int_0^a x \sin(\frac{n\pi}ax)^2 dx $$ This equation is from the $n$th stationary state ...
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2answers
57 views

$\newcommand{\b}[1]{\langle#1\rangle}$Is the expectation of an operator written as $\b{\psi|\hat A|\psi}$ or as $\b{\psi|\hat A|\psi}/\b{\psi|\psi}$?

I had presumed that the expectation of an operator is written as $\b{\hat A} = \b{\psi|\hat A|\psi}$, but some online reference insists on dividing the entire expression by $\b{\psi|\psi}$. Since ...
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0answers
39 views

Is it ever appropriate to write $| \phi(t)>$

I am trying to solve the Schrodinger's wave equation $\hat H |\psi(x,t)> = E|\psi(x,t)>$ using separation variables so that $\psi(x,t) = \psi(x)\phi(t)$ Solving the equation involves the step ...
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1answer
41 views

In the Double Slit Experiment, does the measuring device collapse the wave function?

PLEASE READ Many physicist say that the measuring device collapses the electron wave function because it is firing photons in order to measure the electron position. So, what collapses the electron ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Deriving a Useful Solution of the free Schrödinger equation [closed]

How does one derive the fact that $$\psi(t,x) = (\tfrac{2 \pi \hbar t}{m})^{-d/2}\int_{\mathbb{R}^d} e^{im\tfrac{(x-y)^2}{2\hbar t}}\psi_0(y)dy$$ is a solution of the time-dependent free ...
3
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4answers
146 views

Projection of wavefunction onto basis function

I am given to believe that one way that one would could represent a wavefunction is by the expansion $$\Psi(x) = \Sigma_n \Psi_n(x) = \Sigma_n f_n\phi_n(x) \tag{1}$$ where $\{\phi_n (x) \}$ is an ...
4
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1answer
145 views

Is the expression $S=K \log(\Psi)$ appearing in Schrödinger's first paper well defined?

I am currently reading Schrödinger's papers and happen to have some questions that maybe some expert in the field could clarify for me. Like what happens with $$S = K \log(\Psi)$$ when $\Psi<0$. ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Variational Derivation of Schrodinger Equation

In reading Weinstock's Calculus of Variations, on pages 261 - 262 he explains how Schrodinger apparently first derived the Schrodinger equation from variational principles. Unfortunately I don't ...
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3answers
132 views

Why does the electron wave function collapse in a double slit experiment?

Did the electron wave function collapse in the double slit experiment due to being observed, OR is it that the electron wave function collapsed because the instrument used to measure it physically ...
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2answers
117 views

Rectangular window $\psi$ wave-function and the calculus of $\langle p^2\rangle$ for it

I'm currently considering a rectangular window $\psi$ function: $$ \psi(x) = \begin{cases}\left(2a\right)^{-1/2}&\text{for } |x|<a \\ 0&\text{otherwise.} \end{cases} $$ I am interested in ...
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0answers
32 views

Exercise about Bethe Ansatz for $N=3$ particles on a ring of length $L$

Suppose there are $3$ bosons living on a 1-dimensional ring of length $L$. The Hamiltonian is given by $$H=-\sum_{i=1}^3\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x_i^2}+\sum_{1\leq j<k\leq ...
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3answers
79 views

Classical Limit of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

The classical harmonic oscillator obeys an arcsine law in that the distribution of positions of the particle over a single time cycle is proportional to $\frac{1}{\sqrt{A^2-x^2}}$, $A$ being the ...
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0answers
49 views

Does Clairaut's Theorem apply to the Wave Function?

In Griffiths Intro to Quantum Mechanics, I came across a problem that asks the student to prove one of the consequences of the Ehrenfest theorem: $$\frac{d \langle p \rangle}{dt} = \left\langle - ...
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2answers
92 views

Calculation of $\langle p\rangle$ and $\langle p^2\rangle$ for wave function [closed]

Given the wave function $$\psi(x)=A\exp\left[-a \left(\frac{mx^{2}}{\hbar}+it\right)\right]$$ I would like to calculate $\sigma_{p}$. \begin{align}\langle p\rangle &=\int ...
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0answers
36 views

Is the associated Laguerre polynomial $L_1^1(x)$ equal to $-1$ or $2 - x$?

I've been reading a book by Normand M. Laurendeau, Statistical Thermodynamics: Fundamentals and Applications, about hydrogen orbitals and in it is an equation that explains how to calculate the ...
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2answers
90 views

Bra-ket of products

I was trying to solve the following problem. (Lifted from Modern Quantum Chemistry: Introduction to Advanced Electronic Structure Theory by Szabo and Ostlund) I came across across a solution for ...
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2answers
117 views

How do you determine the “phase” of a hydrogen eigenfunction?

I've been reading the wikipedia article on the atomic orbitals of hydrogen. They have a nice collection of diagrams, such as this one for n,l,m = 3,1,1 This is apparently showing the wavefunction, ...
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Is hydrogen atom in a box solvable analytically?

Schrödinger's equation for hydrogen atom in free space can be easily solved by switching to center of mass frame, introducing reduced mass and separating variables in the resulting 3D problem. But ...
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2answers
579 views

Schrödinger equation in position representation

We start from an abstract state vector $ \newcommand{\ket}[1]{|{#1}\rangle} \ket{\Psi}$ as a description of a state of a system and the Schrödinger equation in the following form $$ ...
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1answer
36 views

Finite vs. infinite systems, band structure and wave functions

Why do we need a finite system to find the find the wave function and a infinite system to find the band structure?
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684 views

Schrödinger's Equation and the depth of a finite potential well

Before I ask my question, I have to stress: I have absolutely no idea what the math is going on. I've read my textbook, several Wikipedia articles, scoured the internet, and don't feel anymore ...