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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Particle in a one dimensional box conditions

Why does the wave function have to be $C^1(\mathbb{R})$ for a finite square well but not for an infinite square well? For an infinite square well with boundaries at $x=0$ and $x=L$, we have ...
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153 views

details for the double slit experiment

In the double slit experiment with electrons, are all electrons going through the slits? If the electron gun is directed between two slits, than it should hit the central part between the slits, isn't ...
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330 views

What is a 'turning point' in WKB and why does it fail at that point?

What is meant by a classical turning point in quantum mechanics and why does the WKB approximation fail at that point?
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1answer
98 views

Is de Broglie matter wave a mass or a particle hypothesis?

I'm having difficulty understanding de Broglie matter wave hypothesis. It is a mass or a particle hypothesis? According to de Broglie a particle with mass $m$ moving at a constant speed has an ...
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1answer
57 views

How to calculate the expectation value of position vector?

$$\psi (\vec{x})=Ae^{-(1/4a^2)|\vec{x}-\vec{x}_0|^2}e^{i\vec{p}_0\cdot \vec{x}/\hbar}$$ The wave function is like this, then how is the expectation value of position vector (not position) calculated? ...
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42 views

How to solve infinite square well with exponential solution (of oscillatory type)?

Given a potential well of $V = 0$ on the interval $(0,L)$ and $V = \infty$ outside the well, I am working to solve the Time Independent Schrodinger Equation $$\dfrac{d^2}{dx^2} \psi= ...
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32 views

Valence bond wavefunction of nitrogen

Could someone explain to me how one finds the valence bond wavefunction of an atom? Take nitrogen for example, I know both nitrogen molecules have a valence-electron configuration of 2s22p1x2p1y2p1z ...
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2answers
74 views

Position space wave function of an electron

In Wikipedia I find the wave function of a free particle to be $$ \Psi(\vec{r},t) = A\,e^{i(\vec{k}\vec{r}-\omega t)}$$ This is is a plane wave moving in the direction of $\vec{k}$ with speed (phase ...
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252 views

General question about the potential barrier problem: Why does $\exp( kx)$ diverge when $x>0$ in the case when $E < V(x)$?

For the two images below, the first potential barrier has particles approaching it where $E > V_o$ & the second has a particle that has $E < V_o$, where $E$ is the energy of the particles ...
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1answer
63 views

QM: Why is there a minus sign on the Energy operator when using complex conjugate?

I understand how they get the first equation. But I have no idea why there is a minus sign on the second equation: This is from a derivation for the probability density current found here: ...
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1answer
94 views

Is there something wrong with quantizing two times in second quantization?

Second quantization is sometimes considered to be a bad name, because a single quantization is enough. For electrons, we can either start from a many body viewpoint and introduce field operators or we ...
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1answer
67 views

Help in solving Schrödinger equation for Hydrogen

I have almost finished getting the solution to the Schrödinger equation for the hydrogen atom (got the theta and phi component equations), but am stuck on the r component equation. Can anyone help me ...
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1answer
49 views

How do I take take the partial derivatives of the general solution to the TDSE for a free particle? [closed]

Consider the general solution to the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for a free particle \begin{align*} \Psi(x,t) &=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi}}\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} \phi(k) e^{i\left(\hbar ...
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1answer
36 views

Can someone clarify what should and should not be an operator in my verification of the 1D solution to the SE for a free particle?

I just worked out the 1D free particle solution to the Schrödinger equation. My wave function was \begin{equation} \psi(x,t) = Ae^{i(px-Et)/\hbar} \end{equation} So I plugged this into both sides ...
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1answer
3k views

Plane wave expansion in cylindrical coordinates

I am trying to solve scattering problem in 2D and got to expand the wave function in cylindrical system which comes out to be Hankel function. Can you tell me how to expand the plane wave $\exp(i ...
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4answers
186 views

Derivation of Schrödinger equation - free particle

I learn quantum physics from Alonso-Finn's book (Amazon link), there's one step of Schrödinger equation for a free particle that I couldn't understand. $$ \frac{\mathrm{d^{2}\Psi } }{\mathrm{d} ...
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1k views

Electrons - What is Waving?

If an electron is a wave, what is waving? So many answers on the internet say "the probability that a particle will be at a particular location"... so... the electron is a physical manifestation of ...
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3answers
124 views

Justifying the notation $\langle x\ |\ \psi\rangle$ [duplicate]

I came across this expression: $$\langle x\ |\ \psi\rangle=\psi(x)$$ How can it be justified? I understand the LHS as an inner product, and the RHS just as a function of the parameter $x$.
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9answers
2k views

“Reality” of EM waves vs. wavefunction of individual photons - why not treat the wave function as equally “Real”?

In thinking how to ask this question (somewhat) succinctly, I keep coming back to a Microwave Oven. A Microwave Oven has a grid of holes over the window specifically designed to be smaller in ...
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3answers
105 views

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
136 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
52 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
83 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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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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179 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
74 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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69 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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2answers
104 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
59 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
86 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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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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86 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
141 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
321 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
176 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
90 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
394 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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1answer
39 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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2answers
94 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
360 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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2answers
164 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
269 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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1answer
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
135 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
67 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
149 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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61 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 ...