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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In the Double Slit Experiment, does the measuring device collapse the wave function?

PLEASE READ Many physicist say that the measuring device collapses the electron wave function because it is firing photons in order to measure the electron position. So, what collapses the electron ...
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143 views

Deriving a Useful Solution of the free Schrödinger equation [closed]

How does one derive the fact that $$\psi(t,x) = (\tfrac{2 \pi \hbar t}{m})^{-d/2}\int_{\mathbb{R}^d} e^{im\tfrac{(x-y)^2}{2\hbar t}}\psi_0(y)dy$$ is a solution of the time-dependent free ...
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4answers
162 views

Projection of wavefunction onto basis function

I am given to believe that one way that one would could represent a wavefunction is by the expansion $$\Psi(x) = \Sigma_n \Psi_n(x) = \Sigma_n f_n\phi_n(x) \tag{1}$$ where $\{\phi_n (x) \}$ is an ...
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1answer
149 views

Is the expression $S=K \log(\Psi)$ appearing in Schrödinger's first paper well defined?

I am currently reading Schrödinger's papers and happen to have some questions that maybe some expert in the field could clarify for me. Like what happens with $$S = K \log(\Psi)$$ when $\Psi<0$. ...
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2k views

Variational Derivation of Schrodinger Equation

In reading Weinstock's Calculus of Variations, on pages 261 - 262 he explains how Schrodinger apparently first derived the Schrodinger equation from variational principles. Unfortunately I don't ...
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143 views

Why does the electron wave function collapse in a double slit experiment?

Did the electron wave function collapse in the double slit experiment due to being observed, OR is it that the electron wave function collapsed because the instrument used to measure it physically ...
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2answers
117 views

Rectangular window $\psi$ wave-function and the calculus of $\langle p^2\rangle$ for it

I'm currently considering a rectangular window $\psi$ function: $$ \psi(x) = \begin{cases}\left(2a\right)^{-1/2}&\text{for } |x|<a \\ 0&\text{otherwise.} \end{cases} $$ I am interested in ...
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38 views

Exercise about Bethe Ansatz for $N=3$ particles on a ring of length $L$

Suppose there are $3$ bosons living on a 1-dimensional ring of length $L$. The Hamiltonian is given by $$H=-\sum_{i=1}^3\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x_i^2}+\sum_{1\leq j<k\leq ...
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94 views

Classical Limit of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

The classical harmonic oscillator obeys an arcsine law in that the distribution of positions of the particle over a single time cycle is proportional to $\frac{1}{\sqrt{A^2-x^2}}$, $A$ being the ...
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49 views

Does Clairaut's Theorem apply to the Wave Function?

In Griffiths Intro to Quantum Mechanics, I came across a problem that asks the student to prove one of the consequences of the Ehrenfest theorem: $$\frac{d \langle p \rangle}{dt} = \left\langle - ...
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2answers
93 views

Calculation of $\langle p\rangle$ and $\langle p^2\rangle$ for wave function [closed]

Given the wave function $$\psi(x)=A\exp\left[-a \left(\frac{mx^{2}}{\hbar}+it\right)\right]$$ I would like to calculate $\sigma_{p}$. \begin{align}\langle p\rangle &=\int ...
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40 views

Is the associated Laguerre polynomial $L_1^1(x)$ equal to $-1$ or $2 - x$?

I've been reading a book by Normand M. Laurendeau, Statistical Thermodynamics: Fundamentals and Applications, about hydrogen orbitals and in it is an equation that explains how to calculate the ...
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2answers
102 views

Bra-ket of products

I was trying to solve the following problem. (Lifted from Modern Quantum Chemistry: Introduction to Advanced Electronic Structure Theory by Szabo and Ostlund) I came across across a solution for ...
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2answers
123 views

How do you determine the “phase” of a hydrogen eigenfunction?

I've been reading the wikipedia article on the atomic orbitals of hydrogen. They have a nice collection of diagrams, such as this one for n,l,m = 3,1,1 This is apparently showing the wavefunction, ...
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97 views

Is hydrogen atom in a box solvable analytically?

Schrödinger's equation for hydrogen atom in free space can be easily solved by switching to center of mass frame, introducing reduced mass and separating variables in the resulting 3D problem. But ...
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596 views

Schrödinger equation in position representation

We start from an abstract state vector $ \newcommand{\ket}[1]{|{#1}\rangle} \ket{\Psi}$ as a description of a state of a system and the Schrödinger equation in the following form $$ ...
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38 views

Finite vs. infinite systems, band structure and wave functions

Why do we need a finite system to find the find the wave function and a infinite system to find the band structure?
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3answers
706 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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1answer
50 views

Is there a mathematical explanation for why there occur bound states if the effective potential falls below zero?

Usually in physics textbooks, if the effective potential of the radial schroedinger equation $$-\frac{d^2}{dr^2}u(r) + \frac{\ell(\ell+1)}{r^2}u(r) + V(r)u(r) = E u(r)$$ falls below zero in some ...
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2answers
734 views

Can the chance of finding a particle diminish over time?

Let's assume we have a wave function described by a wave equation and it is a function of space and time $\psi : \mathbb{R}^4 \rightarrow \mathbb{C}$. This function needs to be normalized, so if I ...
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67 views

Simplest fermionic normalized quantum many-particle wavefunction in position representation

What is the simplest fermionic normalized quantum many-particle wavefunction, expressed in the first-quantized position representation, that you can think of? The normal single-particle examples don't ...
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Differences between wavefunction, probability and probability density?

I am trying to understand the differences between wavefunction, probability and probability density. There are different definitions on the internet. For example: ...
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What does the quantum state of a system tell us about itself?

In quantum mechanics, quantum state refers to the state of a quantum system. A quantum state is given as a vector in a vector space, called the state vector. The state vector theoretically ...
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66 views

What happens to the Hamiltonian of the wave function after measurement?

As I understand it, the Hamiltonian is the kinetic plus the potential energy of the wave function. When a measurement is done what happens to the kinetic and potential energy? Does it dissipate? Is ...
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137 views

Physical meaning of linear combination of possible states in infinite well

The solution of infinite well, positioned from $x=0$ $x=l$, is $$ \Psi_n(x,t)= \sqrt{\frac{2}{l}}\sin\left(\frac{n\pi}{l}x\right)e^{iE_nt} $$ But the most general solution of this problem is : $$ ...
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Am I missing a trick to solving a 3D potential well problem?

I was playing around with a 3-D potential $V$ such that $V_{(r)} = 0$ for $r<a$, and $V_{(r)} = V_0>0$ otherwise. By using the Schrödinger Equation, I showed that: ...
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100 views

Must the wavefunction be analytic?

In order to show the preservation of normalization of the wave function (in one dimension for now), one shows that the time differential is zero, which entails the following step: $$ ...
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51 views

Question on wave function of hydrogen

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2013/may/23/quantum-microscope-peers-into-the-hydrogen-atom http://io9.com/the-first-image-ever-of-a-hydrogen-atoms-orbital-struc-509684901 they are claimed to ...
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5answers
529 views

Hilbert space vs. Projective Hilbert space

Hilbert space and rays: In a very general sense, we say that quantum states of a quantum mechanical system correspond to rays in the Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$, such that for any $c∈ℂ$ the state ...
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35 views

What is the physical significance of the two integration constants that appear in the ladder operator decomposition of the Quantum Hamiltonian?

If I have a simple one dimensional Hamiltonian of the form \begin{align} H = V - \partial_x^2 \end{align} and if I know one zero energy state solution $H\psi_0=0$ then I can use the Wronskian to ...
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127 views

Is it accurate to say “a wavefunction is a function of particle positions or momenta”?

Something has been bothering me for a while. I encounter this kind of statement everywhere: While a single particle is described by a wave function $\Psi({\vec r};t)$, a system of two particles, ...
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437 views
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197 views

Given a wave function $\psi(x)$, is there always a potential $V(x)$ such that $\psi(x)$ is an eigenstate?

Given any unit norm wave function $\psi(x)$ which is in the Hilbert space, can we always find a $V(x)$ such that the $\psi(x)e^{-i\omega t}$ is a solution of the corresponding Schrödinger equation? (I ...
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0answers
62 views

Fermion 1D Hubbard Model ground state in the U = 0 limit

I am trying to determine the ground state of the 1D fermionic Hubbard model at half-filling of $2L$ sites with $L$ electrons with spin-$\uparrow$ and $L$ electrons with spin-$\downarrow$ in the $U=0$ ...
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1answer
51 views

Electron wave function question?

In interpretations of Quantum Mechanics that are Psi Ontic, in which the wave function is REAL ( Objective collapse theories, MWI, ect), does the wave function still physically spread to infinity? I ...
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63 views

Introductory Quantum, trouble with this boundary condition and potential

Working on problem 2.40 from Griffiths but can't seem to understand the first boundary condition. We are given the potential $V(x) = \left\{\begin{matrix} \infty & x < 0\\ ...
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3answers
509 views

Wave/particle-duality as result of taking different limits of a QFT

There is an account on dualities in quantum field theories and string theories by Polchinski from last week http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.5704 At the end of page 4, he writes the wave/particle ...
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1answer
116 views

Electron distribution around atom when moving

I do not have much experience on this but if an atom has some electrons around nucleus and the atom itself it is moving at some speed does that affect the distribution of electrons around? I am ...
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36 views

Finding a basis for minimal representation of a wavefunction (extracting symmetries)

I asked something like this on Math StackExchange, but now that I think about it, this probably belongs better over here. I want to find all linear operators (non necessarily hermitian) $\{\hat{A}\}$ ...
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1answer
82 views

Quantum Mechanical Wave Functions

Are wave functions, such as those used in the Schroedinger equation just 'guessed' and verified, or are there other theories which tell us the mathematical description of the wave function for ...
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2answers
62 views

Why don't we have particles whose wavefunctions are symmetric wrt one exchange operator and anti-symmetric wrt other exchange operator?

Consider a system with $n$ identical particles. Let the wavefunction of the system be $\psi(r_1,\ldots, r_2)$. Let $P_{a,b}$ represent the exchange operator which exchanges particle $a$ with particle ...
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1answer
113 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 ...
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5answers
271 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?
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1answer
194 views

Are wave functions real physical objects? [duplicate]

Are wave functions (ex. electron waves) real physical objects or just mathematical tools?. Some researchers say that they have proof that they are real objects. Here's [the link] ...
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1answer
65 views

What is the implication that the Schrodinger equation be solved by both real and imaginary part of the wave function? [closed]

Suppose $\psi = \psi_{real} + i \psi_{imag}$ be the wave function, then both $\psi_{real}$ and $\psi_{imag}$ can be used to solve the Schrodinger's equation This can be demonstrated by plugging ...
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1answer
99 views

How to minimize the wavepacket dispersion?

This is a final exam problem. Here is what I can remember: We know that if an electron's wavefunction starts out as a narrow wavepacket, and moving in a region of constant potential, then the ...
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47 views

wavefunction and contextuality

According to the French philosopher Michel Bitbol, the "deep-lying connection between the contextual character of observables, and the wave-like form of probability distributions was demonstrated ...
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1answer
118 views

What is the energy of a Gaussian wave packet?

Suppose we have a potential barrier situation, that is $V(x)$ is zero everywhere except on the interval $[-a,a]$, where it is equal to some $V_0 > 0$. Introduce some Gaussian shaped wave packet to ...
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1answer
119 views

Should the differential of a wavefunction have a time partial derivative?

In chapter 1 of Griffths' QM text, he shows that $\frac{\mathrm{d}}{\mathrm{d}t}\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}|\Psi|^2\,\mathrm{d}x=0$ by noting $$\begin{align} ...
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343 views

Wave function in quantum mechanics

I was wondering about something while studying quantum mechanics. If the wave function collapses when measuring a particle and assumes a single position, how do we know that it was a wave in the first ...