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

3
votes
3answers
82 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

Energy and time evolution of a particle in a potential well

Hoping this is not a silly and stupid question let me ask for help in this problem. I have a particle in an infinite square well (the box is from 0 to a), in the state described by the function ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

Inexact measurement and wavefunction collapse

As is usually said, measurement of an observable $q$ leads to collapse of wavefunction to an eigenstate of the corresponding operator $\hat q$. That is, now the wavefunction in $q$ representation is ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Interpretation of Dirac equation states

In Pauli theory the components of two-component wavefunction were interpreted as probability amplitudes of finding the particle in particular spin state. This seems easy to understand. But when ...
7
votes
3answers
473 views

Superconducting Wavefunction Phase (Feynman Lectures)

In Volume 3, Section 21-5 of the Feynman lectures (superconductivity), Feynman makes a step that I can't quite follow. To start, he writes the wavefunction of the ground state in the following form ...
5
votes
5answers
697 views

Example of the time-independent Schrödinger equation having a complex solution?

We know $\Psi(x,t)$ is complex, but can $\Psi(x)$ be complex? I have seen particle in a box, well and harmonic oscillator. All have real solutions for time-independent Schrödinger equation. Hence, I ...
7
votes
4answers
290 views

Can we safely assume $\Psi(x,t) = \psi(x)e^{-i\omega t}$ always in QM?

In the particle in a box, harmonic oscillator and in Hydrogen Atom, we can safely assume $$\Psi(x,t) = \psi(x)e^{-i\omega t}.$$ So why not make it a postulate to consider the wave function to be ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Quantum eraser double slit experiment

In the quantum eraser double slit experiment, does the photon (or wavefunction) pass through one slit or both slits when different polarizers are placed over the slits?
7
votes
1answer
204 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 $\beta$ ...
6
votes
2answers
408 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
292 views

Comparison of 1D and 3D wave functions

When discussing the Schroedinger equation in spherical coordinates, it is standard practice in QM handbooks to point out that the radial part of the 3-dimensional wave equation bears a strong analogy ...
8
votes
2answers
182 views

How axiomatic is the symmetrization requirement (i.e. the Pauli principle)? (in QM)

I've so far always been told, that the symmetrization requirement is an axiom on the level of the Schrödinger equation and the statistical interpretation of the wave function (or it's absolute value). ...
3
votes
2answers
149 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?
1
vote
2answers
181 views

A difference between Plane Wave and Collimated?

Collimation is clearly in reference to ray($\vec{k}_{xy}$ vector) orientation unlike waterfront continuity( $\phi_{xy}$ phase shift) described by plane-wave. Not to say that one is not directly ...
3
votes
3answers
321 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Can the wavefunction of a system be reconstructed from density matrices of subsystems?

Suppose we have several interacting particles in pure state $\left|\psi\right>$. For each of particles we can extract density matrices via $$\rho_i(x_i,x_i^\prime)=\int ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

The influence of the expanding universe on the wave function

I was puzzled by a question on a physics fora about a possible connection between the expansion of the universe and the wave function. So, a photon's red shift tells us something about the expansion, ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

General wavefunction and Schrödinger Equation

I'm starting with quantum mechanics and the book I follow (Griffiths) first introduces the wavefunction as the probability density of the position of a 0-spin single particle. Later on I've realized ...
5
votes
3answers
248 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Can general wavefunctions be expressed as kets?

I am confused on bra-ket notation in quantum mechanics. My professor says that a ket is an eigenfunction of some operator. However, for some time now I thought a ket could represent a general ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Notation in Quantum Mechanics

When we write equations in QM, in certain places, the wave function is represented as $\psi(x,t)$, which is the wave function in position space, and in some other places, it is written as $\Psi(t)$. ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Probability in Quantum Mechanics: General

How do I find the most probable value of position of a (non-Gaussian) wave function? Is it the same value as the expectation value of the position? And is it true that the most probable value of ...
1
vote
2answers
126 views

Bloch wave function orthonormality?

there is this text book that is giving me a hard time for a while now: It shows that Bloch wave functions can be written as $$\Psi_{n\vec{k}}\left(\vec{r}\right) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{V}}e^{i\vec k \vec ...
4
votes
4answers
521 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Product of position eigenvectors at different times

I've been thinking about this, and it might sound like a stupid question, but I can't seem to find an answer anywhere, here goes: Whenever we calculate expecation-values between two position ...
1
vote
1answer
720 views

Ground State Wavefunction of Two Particles in a Harmonic Oscillator Potential

Question: Two identical, non-interacting spin-$1/2$ particles are in a 1D Harmonic Oscillator Potential. Their Hamiltonian is given by ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Phase shift in electromagnetic potential

In Aharonov-Bohm effect, how to derive that the wave function of a electric charge $q$ acquires a phase shift $\phi=\frac{q}{\hbar}\int \mathbf{A} \cdot d\mathbf{x}$ after travelling in the non-zero ...
5
votes
1answer
275 views

Boundary conditions from single-valuedness of spherical wavefunctions

This question is a follow-up to David Bar Moshe's answer to my earlier question on the Aharonov-Bohm effect and flux-quantization. What I forgot was that it is not the wavefunction that must be ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Does Schrödinger equation have dual-property with Heat equation?

I have experimental data that Schödinger equation maintains high frequencies, while heat equation low. Does Schrödinger equation have some duality property with heat equation?
-3
votes
2answers
61 views

Which number should I suppose to $a$ (width of well) and $m$ (mass of particle) in potential well problem? [closed]

I tried to plot a complete of state functions of potential well problem but graph was so weird. I thought a cause was variables a and ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Possible Outcomes from Measuring a Hydrogen Atom

A hydrogen atom is characterized by the wavefunction $$\mid \psi \rangle =\sqrt{\frac{2}{7}}\mid 4\,2\,1\rangle +\sqrt{\frac{1}{7}}\mid 2 \,1\,\bar{1}\rangle+\sqrt{\frac{4}{7}}\mid 3\,2\,0\rangle$$ ...
1
vote
2answers
189 views

Area under the graph of squared wave function

I was given a graph of square of the wave function of a hydrogen atom, against the distance of the electron from the nucleus (denoted by r). What I know is that the square of the wave function gives ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Modulus Square of the Gaussian Wave Packet for uncertainty in $p$

Upon evaluating the integral (2.67) and obtaining the complex valued equation given in box 2.4, the author performs the modulus square to obtain the Gaussian distribution (2.68). How does one go about ...
3
votes
2answers
272 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
224 views

Normalising a wavefunction where $\psi$ is equal to a sum of functions [closed]

The wavefunction $\psi(x)$ = $\phi_1(x)$ + $2\phi_2(x)$ + $3\phi_3(x)$ is to be normalised. The functions $\phi_1(x)$, $\phi_2(x)$, $\phi_3(x)$ are normalised eigenfunctions of a Hermitian operator ...
0
votes
2answers
272 views

A few parity questions for simple harmonic oscillator

I think I understand that the solution to the Schrodinger equation for the SHO is based on the Hermite polynomials (and the Guassian function). The solution set of all even Hermite polynomials are a ...
2
votes
3answers
137 views

Non-normalizable QM bound state in 4 spatial dimensions?

Edit 26/Sept/13: Fixed Typo in potential I'm solving the following (seemingly simple) quantum-mechanical problem in four spatial dimensions. In natural units ($\hbar^2/2m=1$), the Schrödinger ...
5
votes
3answers
685 views

Momentum of particle in a box

Take a unit box, the energy eigenfunctions are $\sin(n\pi x)$ (ignoring normalization constant) inside the box and 0 outside. I have read that there is no momentum operator for a particle in a box, ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Momentum representation of a function with discontinuous derivative [closed]

Consider the following wave packet $$\psi = Ce^{2\pi i p_0x/h}e^{-|x|/(2\Delta x)}$$ where $h$ is the Planck's constant and $C$ is the normalization constant. The derivative of this function is ...
2
votes
1answer
325 views

Wave function collapse

When we try to measure the position of a system, wavefunction collapses to form a spike. After a while, the wavefunction spreads again, and you take another measurement, the results will be different" ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

Orthonormality of Radial Wave Function

Is the radial component $R_{n\ell}$ of the hydrogen wavefunction orthonormal? Doing out one of the integrals, I find that $$\int_0^{\infty} R_{10}R_{21}~r^2dr ~\neq~0$$ However, the link below says ...
1
vote
1answer
328 views

Writing a Wavefunction as a Linear Combination of Eigenstates

We have the following wavefunction for the hydrogen atom: $$\psi(r,\theta,\phi)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{4\pi}}\frac{1}{(2a)^{3/2}}\frac{r}{a}e^{-r/2a}\sin(\theta)\sin(\phi)$$ where $a$ is the Bohr radius. ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Confusion about the probability cloud

What is the meaning of the electron probability cloud? I understood it to mean that the electron has a probability to be found in a certain postion before measurement, but now after reading ...
3
votes
5answers
619 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
255 views

Reconstruction of “wavefunction” phases from $|\psi(x)|$ and $|\tilde \psi(p)|$

Consider a "wavefunction" $\psi(x)$, which has a Fourier transform $\tilde \psi(p)$ Suppose that we know, for each $x$, $|\psi(x)|^2$, and that we know, for each $p$, $|\tilde \psi(p)|^2$. Have we ...
-1
votes
1answer
219 views

Why is the wave function complex? [duplicate]

Why should an equation (TDSE) in which first time derivative is related to second space derivative have a solution that contains $i$?The wave function is supposed to be complex, but I am unable to ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Measurement and wavefunction collapse. problematic time in quantum mechanics

Q: When does the wavefunction collapse? A: When a measurement is made. But when exactly is this? I have a question about the time at which a measurement can be considered to have occurred: what ...
0
votes
1answer
191 views

In Schrödinger equation, can we get $\Psi$ if we know $\varphi(n)$?

Let $A$ be a mechanical quantity and we know its eigenfunction $\varphi(n)$. Can we get its wave function $\Psi$, if we measure $A$ for many (maybe infinite) times at the same time?
1
vote
1answer
263 views

Tunnelling through a Dirac potential barrier

I am reading a QM book by Griffiths, which says it is possible for wave particle to tunnel through a barrier formulated by a Dirac function. This function is known to peak at infinity and also ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...