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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Calculating the Probability Current of a Travelling Wave

Calculate the probability current density vector $\vec{j}$ for the wave function : $$\psi = Ae^{-i(wt-kx)}.$$ From my very poor and beginner's understanding of probability density current it is : ...
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1answer
102 views

Apply the Heisenberg Equation to the Hamiltonian [closed]

$\frac{d}{dt}$$\hat{H}$ = $\frac{i}{\hbar}$$[\hat{H},\hat{H}]$ +$\frac{\partial{\hat{H}}}{\partial{t}}$ That's as far as I've got. I do not know much about the Heisenberg equation or even what it ...
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3answers
136 views

Expectation Values and Derivation of Heisenberg Equation?

Consider a system of particles with wave function $\psi$(x) (x can be understood to stand for all degrees of freedom of the system; so, if we have a system of two particles then x should represent ...
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1answer
97 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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1answer
51 views

Wave function - Working towards Orthonormal solution

As you can see below, the two pages attached describe how to obtain the final solution of orthonormality. I do not completely follow the discussion but I will talk you through what I DO understand ...
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1answer
55 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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2answers
89 views

Quantum Expectation Values

I'm having trouble understanding the motivation for the definition of the expectation of a self adjoint operator $A$: $$\langle A \rangle _\psi=\int_{\mathbb{R}}\psi^*A\hspace{0.2cm} \psi ...
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0answers
47 views

KdV equation and classical linear wave equation

Like we know, the standard form of KdV equation is $$u_{t}-6uu_{x}+u_{xxx}=0,\tag{1}$$ where this equation describes a solitary wave propagation and $u=u(x,t)$. On the other hand, we know the ...
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1answer
232 views

What happens to the wave function after applying the D'Alembert operator?

Is the result of applying the D'Alembert operator on a wave function always zero? Or are there exceptions?
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6answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
51 views

Free particle Schrödinger Equation

Some sources give the free-particle solution to Schrödinger equation as $$\psi(x,t) =Ae^{i(kx-\omega t)} + Be^{-i(kx+\omega t)}$$ while some sources give it as $$\psi(x,t) =Ae^{i(kx-\omega t)}$$ ...
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1answer
268 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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2answers
755 views

What is probability current in quantum mechanics?

What is probability current in quantum mechanics? Why define such a thing? I mean the meaning of probability current. I know the formula for it but I just don't get the idea of a flow of probability ...
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4answers
579 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 ...
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1answer
48 views

Reflection of an evanescent matter wave within a finite barrier?

To my understanding if I have a finite barrier with potential $V(x)>E$, then to the left of the barrier, the wavefunction can be represented as two exponentials: $$\psi= e^{(ik_{left} x)} + ...
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3answers
221 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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1answer
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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4answers
406 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 ...
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2answers
80 views

Momentum Operator in Quantum Mechanics

1) What is the difference between these two momentum operators: $\frac{\hbar}{i}\frac{\partial}{\partial x}$ and $-i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x}$? How are these two operators the same? My ...
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0answers
88 views

Difference between expectation values of $L^2$, $L_z$ and measuring $L^2$, $L_z$

I was given with this hydrogen radial wavefunction $$ R_{21} =\left(\sqrt{\frac{1}{3}}Y^0_1 + \sqrt{\frac{2}{3}}Y^1_1\right) $$ and was asked to find a) What are the expectation values of the ...
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1answer
136 views

Expectation value of energy from the position state of hydrogen atom [closed]

I was given with the position state of hydrogen atom: $$ R_{21} =\left(\sqrt{\frac{1}{3}}Y^0_1 + \sqrt{\frac{2}{3}}Y^1_1\right) $$ I am getting confused about getting the expectation value of ...
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2answers
232 views

The formal solution of the Schrodinger equation

Let's have Schrodinger equation (or some equation in Schrodinger form) $$ \tag 1 i \partial_{0} \Psi ~=~ \hat{H} \Psi . $$ One likes to write that it has formal solution $$ \tag 2 \Psi (t) ~=~ ...
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1answer
182 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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1answer
189 views

Correspondence between wave function and state vector

I am confused with connection between state $| \psi \rangle$ of a quantum system and corresponding wave function $\psi(x)$ (at a given time). I have been told that for every state $| \psi \rangle$ we ...
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0answers
22 views

Learning about group velocity, phase velocity and particle velocity [duplicate]

I am studying quantum physics and I would like to know a bit more in detail about group velocity, particle velocity and phase velocity. Can you guys suggest some books/online resources where I can ...
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1answer
67 views

Confusion about state of a quantum system

I am confused with the concept of state of a quantum system. First postulate of QM ussualy says that the wave function of the system contains all information about the state of the system. But reading ...
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1answer
53 views

Regarding derivation of Probability Current

The question for the full derivation of Probability Conservation -> Probability Current was already asked here: Probability current. I apologize for not retyping it out, but it's already beautifully ...
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1answer
120 views

Two ways of calculating the expectation value of momentum

The expectation value of momentum is given by: $$ \langle p\rangle = \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\psi^{*}(x)\left(-i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x}\right)\psi(x)dx $$ How can I show that the above ...
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1answer
60 views

Group velocity of localized wavepacket

This is a Homework problem so please feel free to not answer and just give pointers. A localized wavepacket is given as: $$\Phi(r,t=0 ) = \frac { e^{-\large\frac {r^2}{2s^2}} e^{\large\frac{i\pi ...
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1answer
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Probability current

Conservation of probability: Suppose a wavefunction has ${\partial \mathbb P \over \partial t} = -t f(x,t)$ and ${\partial j \over \partial x} = i f(x,t)$. How does it follow that ${\partial \mathbb P ...
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1answer
226 views

Probability current vs. direction of wave function

I did an exercise for my Quantum-Mechanics Lecture: Let $\hbar$=2m=1. A particle in 1 dimension has $j(x)=2\ Im(\overline{\psi} (x) \ \psi'(x))$ and it's to show that there are superpositions $\psi ...
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2answers
325 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 ...
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How does a complex wavefunction “hold” energy?

Feynmann Lectures Vol 3 Ch 8 Sec 6 describes how an ammonia molecule can have two definite energy states. If the amplitudes of the base states are $ C_1(t) ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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About the complex nature of the wave function?

1. Why is the wave function complex? I've collected some layman explanations but they are incomplete and unsatisfactory. However in the book by Merzbacher in the initial few pages he provides an ...
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2answers
108 views

Infinite well particle subject to additional time dep. potential

I am asked to find the wavefunction of the particle in a well subject to an additional potential $$V(x,t)=\frac{\pi x \hbar}{L}\delta(t).$$ I have already solved that ...
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442 views

Infinite and Finite Square Wells

For the infinite square well in the first region, outside the well: $$\frac{-\hbar^2}{2m}\frac{d^2 \psi}{dx^2} + V(x) \psi (x) = E \psi (x),$$ where you set $V = 0$. Rearranging gives $$\frac{d^2 ...
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0answers
42 views

Setting the normalization volume to 1

In graphene, free electrons can have the following wavefunctions (there are other options, with minus signs in various places, but this will serve as an example): ...
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2answers
107 views

Box normalisation and Particle in a box - Quantum Mechanics

I have been long itched by this issue of subtle difference between box-normalised free particle and infinite-dimensional potential well. Choosing a one dimensional case, the Hamiltonian in two cases ...
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1answer
104 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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1answer
219 views

Quantum harmonic Oscillator analytic method

I'm using a book from Griffiths, I got really stuck about how he arrived at the approximate solution, is it just by trying( trial solution method?), I really appreciate any help on this. ...
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1answer
148 views

Is $v(p)\exp(ipx)$ really the positron wave function?

In many textbooks the negative energy solution of the Dirac equation is quoted as describing the positron. Actually I don't understand this. For me $v(p)\exp(ipx)$ is the wave function of an electron ...
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1answer
442 views

Wave packets and the derivation of Schrodinger's equation

I studied in my class, that a plane progressive wave cannot be used to represent the wave nature of a particle as it is not square integrable. Also, the phase velocity can get above the value of $c$, ...
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1answer
99 views

Three dimensional wave packets in momentum space

I am given the 3D wave packet: $$\psi(x,y,z)=N\,\exp\left(\frac{-(x^2+y^2+2z^2)}{2a^2}\right).$$ I was asked to find N (easy enough). Then I was asked the probability that we measure $z$ greater than ...
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0answers
84 views

Momentum representation of a state

I am trying to figure out the momentum representation of the state which has the properties $$\langle \psi |\hat q |\psi \rangle=-q_0,$$ $$\langle\psi|\hat p|\psi \rangle=p_0, $$$$\Delta q\Delta ...
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2answers
274 views

Solving quantum radial equation for infinite potential spherical annulus for $l=0$

There is a mass $m$ in a potential such that $$ V(r) = \left\{ \begin{array}{lr} 0, & a \leq r \leq b\\ \infty, & \text{everywhere else} \end{array} \right. $$ ...
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Gaussian Probability Distribution?

The uncertainty principle states that, $$\sigma _{{x}}\sigma _{{p}}\geq {\frac {\hbar }{2}}.$$ It is mentioned from many sources that the probability distribution of the particle position and ...
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How does wave function collapse when I measure position?

Text books say that when you measure a particle's position, its wave function collapses to one eigenstate, which is a delta function at that location. I'm confused here. A measurement always have ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...