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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
5answers
440 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

How to know if a wave function is physically acceptable solution of a Schrödinger equation?

How does one decide whether a wave function is a physically acceptable solution of the Schrödinger equation? For example: $\tan x$ , $\sin x$, $1/x$, and so on.
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Hydrogen radial wave function infinity at $r=0$

When trying to solve the Schrödinger equation for hydrogen, one usually splits up the wave function into two parts: $$\psi(r,\phi,\theta)= R(r)Y_{l,m}(\phi,\theta).$$ I understand that the radial ...
4
votes
2answers
504 views

Why does $\ell=0$ correspond to spherically symmetric solutions for the spherical harmonics?

In quantum mechanics why do states with $\ell=0$ in the Hydrogen atom correspond to spherically symmetric spherical harmonics?
3
votes
1answer
691 views

Transmission and reflection

What is the transmission amplitude of a wavefunction $\phi(x)=e^{ikx}(\tanh x -ik)$? I would have thought that it is $\tanh x -ik$ since this is the factor associated with the forward travelling ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Is there a way to prove that a bound state wavefunction can always be chosen real for an arbitrary potential in Quantum Mechanics?

As we can prove many things that always (at least in introductory quantum mechanical problems) apply using an arbitrary potential (like that $E>V_{\rm min}$ or else the solutions are ...
2
votes
2answers
286 views

Quick question on sketching wavefunction in well

Usually for an infinite well, the sketch for n=3 level is this: Now I think if one side of the potential barrier is higher, the particle will be more likely to spend time on the left side than ...
0
votes
2answers
316 views

Why is $ \psi = A \cos(kx) $ not an acceptable wave function for a particle in a box?

Why is $ \psi = A \cos(kx) $ not an acceptable wave function for a particle in a box with rigid walls at $x=0$ and $x=L$ where $$ k = \frac {(2mE)^{1/2}} {\hbar} \, ?$$ I had plugged the wave ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Normalization of Momentum Eigenfunctions: the number of particles

After finding the eigenfunctions $u_p(x)=Ce^{ipx/\hbar}$ of the momentum operator just like in this UCSD lecture notes, one seeks to normalize them, so one first tries: ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Periodic boundary condition on a Wave Function of a Particle in a Box

Until now, solving the Schrodinger Equation for a particle in a box was relatively easy because the boundaries conditions imposed zero value on the wave function at the boundaries. But now I must find ...
0
votes
1answer
362 views

Help me to visualize this wave equation in time, to which direction it moves?

The wave is $\bar{E} = E_{0} sin(\frac{2\pi z}{\lambda} + wt) \bar{i} + E_{0} cos(\frac{2 \pi z}{\lambda}+wt) \bar{j}$ Let's simplify with $z = 1$. Now the xy-axis is defined by parametrization ...
35
votes
6answers
3k views

Does Heisenberg's uncertainty under time evolution always grow?

Recently there have been some interesting questions on standard QM and especially on uncertainty principle and I enjoyed reviewing these basic concepts. And I came to realize I have an interesting ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a direct physical interpretation for the complex wavefunction?

The Schrodinger equation in non-relativistic quantum mechanics yields the time-evolution of the so-called wavefunction corresponding to the system concerned under the action of the associated ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a wave function in simple language?

In my textbook it is given that 'The wave function describes the position and state of the electron and its square gives the probability density of electrons.' Can someone give me a very ...
7
votes
3answers
192 views

What do the wave functions associated to the Fock states of each mode of a bound state system mean?

$\renewcommand{\ket}[1]{\left \lvert #1 \right \rangle}$ Consider a string of length $L$ under tension and clamped on each end. This system is described by the wave equation and has a set of modes. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the Schrodinger Equation really mean?

I understand that the Schrodinger equation is actually a principle that cannot be proven. But can someone give a plausible foundation for it and give it some physical meaning/interpretation. I guess ...
1
vote
4answers
609 views

Why complex functions for explaining wave particle duality?

I have this very bad habit of going to the scratch, discarding all the developments of a theory and worldly knowledge, and ask some fundamental (mostly stupid and naive, as some may say) questions as ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Particle in a 1-D box and the correspondence principle

Consider the particle in a 1-d box, we know very well the solutions of it. I'd like to see how the correspondence principle will work out in this case, if we consider position probability density ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Wave function and Dirac bra-ket notation

Would anyone be able to explain the difference, technically, between wave function notation for quantum systems e.g. $\psi=\psi(x)$ and Dirac bra-ket vector notation? How do you get from one to the ...
6
votes
3answers
589 views

Could quantum mechanics work without the Born rule?

Slightly inspired by this question about the historical origins of the Born rule, I wondered whether quantum mechanics could still work without the Born rule. I realize it's one of the most ...
3
votes
2answers
266 views

Wavefunctions in different Hilbert spaces

The state of a quantum system is represented by a wavefunction usually in some specific Hilbert space, .e.g of position, spin, momentum etc. But before deciding in which of these bases to decompose ...
3
votes
5answers
642 views

How does a Wavefunction collapse?

I have been wondering and researching... How does a wavefunction collapse into one state?More specifically, what conditions cause a wavefunction for a quantum particle to collapse? Does this have to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Coupled quantum harmonic oscillator

Given the following Hamiltonian for two identical linear oscillators with spring constant $k$ and interaction potential $\alpha x_1x_2$; I was asked to find the expectation value $\langle ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
489 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
579 views

The formal solution of the Schrodinger equation

Consider the Schrödinger equation (or some equation in Schrödinger form) written down as $$ \tag 1 i \partial_{0} \Psi ~=~ \hat{H} \Psi . $$ Usually, one likes to write that it has a formal solution ...
7
votes
1answer
420 views

What is the wavefunction of the Young Double Slit experiment?

I have never seen the wavefunction for this experiment and would like to know how to derive it using the Schrodinger equation. I specifically want to see how the electron wave function leaves the ...
7
votes
5answers
878 views

Quantum Wave Mechanics

I am studying QM-I these days. Now, I just think of the wave function as just a mathematical function that defines the state of the particle at an instant and from it you can extract various ...
7
votes
1answer
439 views

Virial theorem and variational method: a question

I have an hydrogenic atom, knowing that its ground-state wavefunction has the standard form $$ \psi = A e^{-\beta r} $$ with $A = \frac{\beta^3}{\pi}$, I have to find the best value for $\beta$ ...
5
votes
2answers
500 views

Ground state of Spherical symmetric potential always have $\ell=0$?

I was given a problem where I have a spherically symmetric potential (the exact form is not relevant to this question, I think - but anyway is it 0 for $r\in[a,b]$ and $\infty$ everywhere else) and I ...
5
votes
3answers
368 views

No well-defined frequency for a wave packet?

There are similar questions to mine on this site, but not quite what I am asking (I think). The de Broglie relations for energy and momentum $$ \lambda = \frac{h}{p}, \\ \nu = E/h .$$ equate a ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Vector representation of wavefunction in quantum mechanics?

I am new to quantum mechanics, and I just studied some parts of "wave mechanics" version of quantum mechanics. But I heard that wavefunction can be represented as vector in Hilbert space. In my eye, ...
5
votes
5answers
8k views

Confused over complex representation of the wave

My quantum mechanics textbook says that the following is a representation of a wave traveling in the +$x$ direction:$$\Psi(x,t)=Ae^{i\left(kx-\omega t\right)}\tag1$$ I'm having trouble visualizing ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Born Interpretation of Wave Function

I have just started Griffiths Intro to QM. I was studying Born's interpretation of Wave function and it says that the square of the modulus of the wave function is a measure of the probability of ...
4
votes
4answers
194 views

Isn't the 'slit' in a double-slit experiment also a wave?

I'm new to QM so excuse my naivety. I was watching an online MIT QM course that described the double-slit experiment (with electrons) when it occurred to me that I have a question. In the video, the ...
4
votes
1answer
383 views

Majorana wavefunction

I'm trying to compute the wavefunction for a Majorana state in an nanowire/superconductor hybrid system, like arXiv: Majorana Fermions and a Topological Phase Transition in ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

How do we find the number of bounded states in this potential?

for the potential $$V(x)=-\frac{1}{1+\frac{x^2}{m^2}}$$ we can approximate the wave function and bounded state accurately for $x << m$ as simple harmonic oscillator, so what are we gonna do if ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

A Simple Explanation for the Schrödinger Equation and Model of Atom? [closed]

I tried reading the Wikipedia article to no avail - I simply cannot understand the Schrödinger Equation (what does each of the variables mean, especially the wave function), and the Schrödinger Model ...
2
votes
4answers
355 views

Does the wave nature of a particle refer to the wave function?

In quantum mechanics when we talk about the wave nature of particles are we referring in fact to the wave function? Does the wave function describes the probability of finding a particle (ex: ...
1
vote
1answer
356 views

Boundary Conditions in a Step Potential

I'm trying to solve problem 2.35 in Griffith's Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (2nd edition), but it left me rather confused, so I hope you can help me to understand this a little bit better. The ...
1
vote
0answers
111 views

Find Equation of Motion given Hamiltonian

So I am given a harmonic oscillator in an electric field. At $t=0$, we are given that the oscillator is in the ground state. The Hamiltonian is: $$H=\hbar \omega[a^{\dagger}a+\frac12+\kappa ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How to prove dp/dt = -dV/dx? Quantum mechanics [closed]

I got this problem from a book called Introduction to quantum mechanics, griffin 2nd edition. and I did not get why the solution says first term integrates to zero, integration by parts twice?! ...
8
votes
2answers
736 views

Was uncertainty principle inferred by Fourier analysis?

I would like to know: did Heisenberg chance upon his Uncertainty Principle by performing Fourier analysis of wavepackets, after assuming that electrons can be treated as wavepackets?
5
votes
5answers
449 views

How do we know that electron wave function extends to infinity?

Why do physicists assume this? Is it a proven fact that wave function extends to infinity or just a theory? Would it make sense if they didn't extend to infinity?
5
votes
3answers
748 views

How can particles travel in a straight line?

A particle can be set off in a certain direction by giving them momentum. Momentum is a vector, so the particle heads off in a specific direction. But the wave function of the particle allows it to ...
5
votes
2answers
858 views

Can we impose a boundary condition on the derivative of the wavefunction through the physical assumptions?

Consider the Schrödinger equation for a particle in one dimension, where we have at least one boundary in the system (say the boundary is at $x=0$ and we are solving for $x>0$). Sometimes we want ...
4
votes
2answers
266 views

What is the physical reason behind linearity of Schrodinger's equation?

What is the physical reason for Schrodinger equation to be linear? Though in physics many interactions or dynamics are found non linear.
3
votes
2answers
142 views

Time evolution of a wavepacket

I do not understand why if $H\psi = E\psi$, then the time-evolution of the wavefunction is given by $e^{-iEt/h}\psi(x)$.
3
votes
2answers
27k views

What is the difference between the Bohr model of the atom and Schrödinger's model?

What is the difference between the Bohr model of the atom and The solution of the Schrödinger equation for the hydrogen atom? Are there any difference between definition of the electric potential ...