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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Where does the wave function of the universe live? Please describe its home

Where does the wave function of the universe live? Please describe its home. I think this is the Hilbert space of the universe. (Greater or lesser, depending on which church you belong to.) Or maybe ...
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357 views

Schrödinger equation in position representation

$$ \DeclareMathOperator{\dif}{d \!} \newcommand{\ramuno}{\mathrm{i}} \newcommand{\exponent}{\mathrm{e}} \newcommand{\ket}[1]{|{#1}\rangle} \newcommand{\bra}[1]{\langle{#1}|} ...
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3answers
717 views

Historical background of wave function collapse

I wonder what were the main experiments that led people to develop the concept of wave function collapse? (I think I am correct in including the Born Rule within the general umbrella of the collapse ...
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249 views

A quantum particle which is almost at rest but whose position is random!

Assume a particle is given by a quantum state which is constructed in such a way that it is equally probable to find it anywhere in an fixed interval $(0,L)$ but has arbitrarily low velocity. The ...
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57 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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89 views

Orthogonality of summed wave functions

Problem. I know that the two wave functions $\Psi_1$ and $\Psi_2$ are all normalized and orthogonal. I now want to prove that this implies that $\Psi_3=\Psi_1+\Psi_2$ is orthogonal to ...
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167 views

Virial theorem and variational method: an exercise (re-edited)

I have a hydrogen atom, knowing that its Hamiltonian has been modified turning the standard potential $$ V_{0}(r) = -\frac{Z}{r} $$ into $$ V(r) = -\frac{g}{r^{\frac{3}{2}}} $$ with $g$ a positive ...
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424 views

Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization from the WKB approximation

How can one prove the Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization formula $$ \oint p~dq ~=~2\pi n \hbar $$ from the WKB ansatz solution $$\Psi(x)~=~e^{iS(x)/ \hbar}$$ for the Schroedinger equation? With $S$ the ...
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225 views

Why must $\Psi (x,t)$ go to zero faster than $\frac{1}{\sqrt{|x|}}$?

Why must $\Psi (x,t)$ go to zero faster than $\frac{1}{\sqrt{|x|}}$ as $|x|$ goes to $\infty$? According to Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, it must. I don't understand why, and this is ...
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275 views

Projection of states after measurement

Continuing from the my previous 2-state system problem, I am told that the observable corresponding to the linear operator $\hat{L}$ is measured and we get the +1 state. Then it asks for the ...
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54 views

Effect of pressure increase on electron orbital wave functions

One of my nuclear physics exercises was to find out if increasing the pressure of a sample of $^{7}\textrm{Be}$ would increase the chance of electron capture to $^{7}\textrm{Li}$ occur. My reasoning ...
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Understanding the Wave Function and Excited States

A wave function is an infinite dimensional vector space, how can it "live" in $\mathbb{R}^3$? Given the equation that is built like: $$\Psi (x,t) = \sum ^{\infty} _{n=1} c_n \psi _n (x) e^{-i E_n t / ...
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244 views

Young's double slit

Am I right to think the (general) probability distribution of photon in a double slit experiment at the screen has the form $|\psi|^2 = c e^{\alpha x^2}\cos^2(\beta x)$? (Due to the superposition of ...
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402 views

Is the wave function of a particle re-created after a measurement stops?

Yeah, I haven't quite understood, or been told, what happens to, for example an electron and it's wavefunction, when you stop to measure it? I mean, an electron has a wave function describing it's ...
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524 views

When Eigenfunctions/Wavefunctions are real?

When the Hamiltonian is Hermitian(i,e. beyond the effective mass approximation), generally under which conditions the eigenfunctions/wavefunctions are real? What happens in 1D case like the finite ...
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316 views

Can a wavefunction be solved to any arbitrary precision, given enough computer time?

I learned that the wavefunction for the hydrogen atom can be solved analytically (we did the derivation in class), but that for more complicated atoms it is "impossible" to solve and that only ...
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703 views

Simple Quantum Mechanics question about the Free particle, (part1)

I am reading Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by David Griffiths and I am in Ch2 page 59. He starts out writing the time dependent Schrödinger equation and the solution for $\psi(x,t)$ for the free ...
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367 views

Is this interpretation of $\psi=\frac{1}{\sqrt{\pi a^{3}}}e^{-r/a}$ correct?

Apologies if this is stating the obvious, but I'm a non-physicist trying to understand Griffiths' discussion of the hydrogen atom in chapter 4 of Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. The wave equation ...
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574 views

Is the free electron wavefunction stable?

The wavefunction of a free electrons is variously described as a plane wave or a wave packet. I am fairly happy with the wave packet, as it is localised. But if we change to the electron's rest ...
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2k views

What does $\Psi^*$ mean in Schrodinger's formulation of Quantum Mechanics?

I am not a physics student. In one of my courses, some fundamental concepts of Quantum mechanics were needed, so I was going through them when I stumbled upon this. It says $$\text{probability} = ...
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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: ...
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151 views

How does a unique electron probability distribution correspond to one wavefunction?

I'm reading the Wikipedia article on DFT, and it says that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the ground state particle density $$n_0(\vec{r}) = N \int \text{d}^3 r_2 \int \text{d}^3 r_3 ...
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263 views

Why do we must initially assume that the wavefunction is complex?

The sound waves are real, and they can interfere, so corresponding apparat may be used in quantum mechanics. We also may use the time dependence in a form of orthogonal matrix multiplying the initial ...
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193 views

Can the expectation value of the square of momentum be negative?

I've been solving a problem in quantum mechanics, and I was deriving the standard deviation of $P$, knowing that $\langle P\rangle=0$. Because $\Delta P=\sqrt{\langle P^2 \rangle - \langle P \rangle ...
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416 views

How to compute the expectation value $\langle x^2 \rangle$ in quantum mechanics?

$$\langle x^2 \rangle = \int_{-\infty}^\infty x^2 |\psi(x)|^2 \text d x$$ What is the meaning of $|\psi(x)|^2$? Does that just mean one has to multiply the wave function with itself?
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184 views

Expected value inequality

Why is $\langle p^2\rangle >0$ where $p=-i\hbar{d\over dx}$, (noting the strict inequality) for all normalized wavefunctions? I would have argued that because we can't have $\psi=$constant, but ...
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Speed of a particle in quantum mechanics: phase velocity vs. group velocity

Given that one usually defines two different velocities for a wave, these being the phase velocity and the group velocity, I was asking their meaning for the associated particle in quantum mechanics. ...
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207 views

Can a wave possess spin?

Since a matter wave is associated with a particle in quantum mechanics, does the wave spins? I mean, can we visualize the spinning of wave or is it possible that the wave spins?
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715 views

Infinite Wells and Delta Functions

In considering a delta potential barrier in an infinite well, I can just enforce continuity at the potential barrier-it doesn't have to go to zero. Why then does it need to go to zero at the walls of ...
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98 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?
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84 views

At what point is the spin determined in a Stern-Gerlach Apparatus

Consider a particle with spin that travels through a Stern Gerlach box (SGB), which projects the particle’s spin onto one of the eigenstates in the $z$-direction. The SGB defines separate trajectories ...
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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?
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719 views

Time Reversal Operator

I know that time reversal operator is an antiunitary operator. How does it work on wavefunctions? I believe in this way: $$T \psi (k,+)=e^{i\pi S_y/\hbar} K \psi (k,+) = \psi^*(-k,-),$$ but I am not ...
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761 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, ...
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848 views

Smoothness constraint of wave function

Is there anything in the physics that enforces the wave function to be $C^2$? Are weak solutions to the Schroedinger equation physical? I am reading the beginning chapters of Griffiths and he doesn't ...
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34 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 ...
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176 views

Harmonic Oscillator potential, proof that Gaussians remain Gaussians?

I read in several papers that for a Harmonic Oscillator Hamiltonian in the time dependent Schrödinger equation a Gaussian wave packet remains Gaussian. Unfortunately I could not find any proof for ...
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101 views

Connection between a simple matter wave and Heisenberg's uncertainty relation

When looking at the wave function of a particle, I usually prefer to write $$ \Psi(x,t) = A \exp(i(kx - \omega t)) $$ since it reminds me of classical waves for which I have an intuition ($k$ ...
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507 views

Even and Odd States of a 1D finite potential well

Is it possible for a particle trapped in a 1D finite potential well to evolve from a even state to an odd state and vice-versa? Why?
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445 views

wavefunction collapse and uncertainty principle

We all know that wavefunction collapse when it is observed. Uncertainty principle states that $\sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac {\hbar}{2}$. When wavefunction collapse, doesn't $\sigma_x$ become $0$?, as ...
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170 views

What does the appearance of a classical particle fundamentally reduce to?

I've been reading an article that describes what seems to be a classical particle as a regularity in the global wavefunction over a quantum configuration space: When you actually see an electron ...
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282 views

Formulation and probability of a wave-function [closed]

I have got this problem where I have been given the following wave function: $$\Psi = 0\quad\text{if}~|x| > a\quad\text{and}\quad A(a^2-x^2)\quad \text{if} \quad |x|< a$$ Now the first question ...
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424 views

Expectation values-Wavefunction

I'm a bit puzzled about an excercise in which I have to find the expectation values for position and momentum. Normally this should be pretty easy but in this case I just don't get the point. ...
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1answer
73 views

What methods exist for us to measure the position and momentum of atoms that make up molecules?

In this paper, Localization of an atom by homodyne measurement. A. M. Herkommer et al. Quantum Semiclass. Opt. 8 no. 1, p. 189 (1996) (paywalled). the authors are able to localize atoms using ...
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2answers
229 views

Interpretation of $e|\psi|^2$ as electron density

In solid state physics the electron density is often equated to $e|\psi|^2$. However, the Sakurai says (Chapter 2.4, Interpretation of the Wave Function, p. 101) that adopting such a view leads "to ...
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933 views

Finding $\psi(x,t)$ for a free particle starting from a Gaussian wave profile $\psi(x)$

Consider a free-particle with a Gaussian wavefunction, $$\psi(x)~=~\left(\frac{a}{\pi}\right)^{1/4}e^{-\frac12a x^2},$$ find $\psi(x,t)$. The wavefunction is already normalized, so the next thing to ...
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Is the electron wave function defined during photon emission

I have heard the term quantum leap to describe the (instantaneous?) transition from a higher energy orbital to a lower energy orbital. Yet, I understand that this transition time has now been ...
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183 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 ...
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Writing wave functions with spin of a system of particles

Suppose I have 2 fermions in a potential $V(x)$. Both particles are moving in one dimension: the $x$ axis. Then, neglecting the interaction between the particles, the spatial wave function of the ...
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543 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 ...