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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215 views

Single quantum particle in beam splitter, with different systems located in each channel

Suppose a quantum mechanical particle enters a beam-splitter, which sends its wave packets into two mutually orthogonal channels, $C_a$ and $C_b$. Suppose that $C_a$ also contains System A, with ...
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17 views

Is there a “natural” way to interpolate between a set of bound state wave functions?

Consider for example the Coulomb potential, $-Z/r$, for which there exist a set of bound states with energy $\epsilon_n := {-Z^2 \over 2 n^2}$ (in Hartree). If I want the "wavefunctions" for some ...
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1answer
157 views

How can energy be negative in a finite square well?

Say if the potential $V(x) < 0$ in the well but the sides or the scattered states its zero potential, anyways How is that the energy in the well is less than zero? Is it because the potential ...
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2answers
35 views

Notation of complex valued atomic orbitals

Atomic orbitals are usually labeled $1s$, $2p_x$, $2p_x$, $2p_z$ and so on. These wave functions are defined to be real valued. The original wave functions are complex valued. The $2p_x$ orbital is ...
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56 views

Expectation value of the Hamiltonian [closed]

How to calculate expectation value of the Hamiltonian for hydrogen atom? $$\langle H \rangle_{\alpha l} \equiv \frac{\langle \psi_{\alpha l m}|H(r)| \psi_{\alpha l m}\rangle} {\langle \psi_{\alpha l ...
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41 views

How to rewrite a wave function in terms of spheical harmonics

I'm given a wave function for a particle, in three variables (spherical coordinates): $ψ=ψ(r, θ, φ) = re^{-r/a}sin(θ)sin(φ)$. I'm tasked with rewriting $ψ$ in terms of spherical harmonics which are ...
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1answer
66 views

What's the microscopic and macroscopic effect of wavefunction dispersion?

In Quantum Mechanics (Merzbacher 2nd ed.), problem 2.1 asks us to derive the time evolution of a one-dimensional Gaussian wavefunction (formula given for $t=0$), assuming the velocity is in the $+x$ ...
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62 views

Energy of hydrogen atom - Schrodinger equation [closed]

The wavefunction of the electron in the hydrogen atom is $ k* exp(-r/a)$ (k is the normalization constant), but it does not take n into account, whereas the solution of Schrödinger's equation ...
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1answer
91 views

Clarification about two forms of the wave function

The wave function in the position representation is $\langle\ x\rvert\psi\rangle$ = $ \psi (x) $ , where $ \psi (x) $ are the continuous coefficients that multiply the orthonormal basis vectors, i.e, ...
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1answer
90 views

How to calculate the frequency of oscillation of superposition states [closed]

Been working on this question for a while and I'm not sure how to go about it. Could someone point me in the right direction, particularly for the frequency question. The question is as follows: A ...
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1answer
44 views

Why wavefunction is sometimes multiplied by the radius to get probability density?

When solving 1d particle in a box, the probability density is said to be proportional to $|\psi|$, but when solving 3d orbitals, the probability density is said to be proportional to $|\psi|^2 r^2$. ...
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59 views

Two fermions with total spin 1 antisymmetric wave function? [closed]

How can I prove, that two fermions with a total spin of 1 must have an antisymmetric wave function?
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54 views

Can we measure the energy of one of several identical particles?

Suppose we have a many-particle system described via a many-particle wavefunction that involves single-particle states $\lvert\lambda_{a}\rangle$, $\lvert\lambda_{b}\rangle$, ...
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45 views

Wave packets in Dirac equation

Gaussian wave packets remain Gaussians after evolution in case of the Schrodinger equation. It is a very useful property of these wave packets. I don't think the same is true for a Gaussian wave ...
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1answer
93 views

Derivation of group velocity using Fourier transform

The aim is to determine the group velocity of a wave packet with the general form $$\Psi\left(x,t\right)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi}}\int_{-\infty}^{\infty} \phi\left(x\right)e^{i\left(kx-\omega ...
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0answers
25 views

Why can a free particle not exists in a stationary state? [duplicate]

In normalising the complete wavefunction of a free partcile; $V(x)=0$ we arrive at $\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\Psi_{k} ^\dagger\Psi_{k}dx=|A|^{2}\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}dx=|A|^{2}\left(\infty\right)$ ...
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20 views

For a quantum free particle, would it be possible to relate the wavefunction $a_E(E)$ in energy basis and $a_p(p)$ in momentum basis?

The energy for a free particle has continuous energy eigenvalues $E$. Let $u(E,x)$ be its energy eigenstates in position basis. Its wavefunction $\psi(x,t)$ can be expressed as \begin{align} ...
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51 views

How can we fix the constant of the energy eigenstates of a quantum free particle such that they satisfy the orthonormality condition?

For a quantum free particle, the momentum and energy eigenstates are compatible. The constants of the momentum eigenstates are fixed by their orthonormality. Similarly, how can we fix the constant for ...
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1answer
87 views

Tricky particle in an infinite potential well question

For a particle in an infinite square-well potential in an energy eigenstate, the probability distribution relating to outcomes of position measurements vanishes outside the square well and takes a ...
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50 views

In quantum descriptions of atoms why are observables (which we derive from the wave function) attributed to electrons?

For example the orbital angular momentum, for the hydrogen atom. Is this the total angular momentum of the atom(electron and proton) or just the electron? I am asking because, I am learning about how ...
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3answers
85 views

Complex conjugate of hydrogen ground state wave function [closed]

For hydrogen atom ground state we know . I want to know the complex conjugate of .
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1answer
78 views

Physical interpretation of the constant coefficient appearing in solution to the Schrodinger equation

The product solution to the Schrodinger's equation is $$\Psi_{n} \left ( x,t \right )=\psi\left ( x \right )\phi\left ( t \right )$$ By superposition, the solution becomes $$\Psi \left ( x,t ...
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1answer
55 views

Quantum Backaction Question

Question about quantum back action in hypothetical scenario: We know that, at $t_0$, a certain kind of particle, with spin initially prepared to be “spin right” in the x basis, goes through a ...
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58 views

Infinite square well physical interpretation

In quantum mechanics, the description of the infinite square well is given with the potential energy defined as $$V(x) = \begin{cases} 0 & \text{if } 0 \leq x \leq a,\\ \infty & ...
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1answer
97 views

Finite two-dimensional potential square well [closed]

I'm trying to solve the Schrodinger equation $$ -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\nabla^2 \psi+V(x,y)\psi(x,y)=E\psi(x,y) \tag{1}$$ for the finite two dimensional potential square well, that is, where ...
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31 views

Probability of measuring an observable $P$ in state $f$, computation [duplicate]

I have state vector $$f(x)=e^{-|x|+ix}$$ and observable $$P=-i\frac {d} {dx} $$ probability that measurement of $P$ in state $f$ will be in $[-1,1]$ I am stuck on this step. I dont know how to take ...
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43 views

Energy Expectation Value

I had an assignment question in which I was asked to calculate the expectation value of energy, $\langle E\rangle (t),$ and in the solution to it, the following was stated: \begin{align*} \langle ...
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2answers
60 views

Transmission and reflection amplitudes for delta potential Schrodinger equation

I hope this question is not too straightforward for this Q&A site. I have been reading a set of notes in which the transmission and reflection amplitudes for the delta potential Schrodinger ...
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1answer
42 views

Why is the wave function an element of the function space? [closed]

The general wave function is of the form $$\Psi \left ( x,y,z,t \right )=\psi \left ( x,y,z \right )T\left ( t \right )$$ Solving via separation of variables and finding the product solutions ...
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1answer
334 views

How is it possible to pull out derivatives of a wavefunction?

In an early derivation, the following equation was stated: $$\frac\partial{\partial t}\lvert\psi\rvert^2 = \frac{i\hbar}{2m}\biggl(\psi^*\frac{\partial^2\psi}{\partial x^2} - ...
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4answers
137 views

Is there a reason why probability density is written as $\psi^*\psi$ instead of $\psi\psi^*$?

As the title states, I see $|\psi|^2$ written as $\psi^*\psi$ instead of $\psi\psi^*$. Are both correct or is there a reason behind it? As far as I'm aware, the only time I see this sort of ordering ...
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1answer
184 views

Ground state of a particle in a ring - angular momentum is 0, but it is 'rotating' anyway?

Particle in 1D ring is a textbook problem, but there is one thing I don't understand - if the ground state is considered to have zero angular momentum, then its energy is also zero. And the ...
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1answer
86 views

Do wave functions really belong to $L^2$ space, or do we need to restrict our physical Hilbert space even further?

I am beginning to study quantum mechanics and I got stuck right at the beginning. I am trying to prove that the time derivative of the expected value of momentum of a particle is the (negative) ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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103 views

Guess the wave function in a given potential

Are there any techniques in guessing the ground state wave function in any given potential? For example, for a given potential like $$ \frac{1}{1-x^2}$$ or $$ \frac{1}{1-x^3}~?$$ I know wave ...
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1answer
213 views

Analogy to Fourier transform in spherical coordinates with boundary at a certain radius

Suppose, we have a wavefuction $\phi(\vec{x})$ which is restricted in a sphere, with the spherical boundary condtion $$\phi(\vec{x}=R)=\phi_0.$$ How can I do the 'Fourier transformation' as the case ...
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2answers
88 views

Measurement of energy apparently violating the position-momentum Uncertainty Principle in a potential that does not depend on distance?

I am taking a beginning course in QM and I have learnt that the measurement of energy collapses the wavefunction of a particle to one of its energy eigenstates. But some misconceptions regarding this ...
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104 views

Normalisation of free particle wavefunction

The wavefunction $\Psi(x,t)$ for a free particle is given by $$\Psi(x,t) = A e^{i(kx-\frac{\hbar k}{2m}t)}$$ This wavefunction is non-normalisable. Does this mean that free particles do not exist in ...
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46 views

Additional quantum states of the infinite square well

The quantum states $\psi(x)$ of the infinite square well of width $a$ are given by $$\psi(x) = \sqrt{\frac{2}{a}}\sin\Big(\frac{n \pi x}{a}\Big),\ n= 1,2,3, \dots$$ Now, I understand $n \neq 0$, as ...
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92 views

Difference for boundary condition, particle in a box

When solving the simple problem of a free particle in a box of volume $V = L^3$, we can impose either periodic boundary conditions $\psi(0) = \psi(L)$ and $\psi '(0)= \psi'(L)$ either strict boundary ...
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3answers
101 views

Modern explanation of the Young experiment with Quantum Field Theory?

In the Young double slit experiment it is possible to detect the arrival of individual photons as well as an interference pattern. It doesn't makes much sense to me that something could be either a ...
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1answer
93 views

Bound states of Dirac Delta function in infinite well

If there is a potential of $-\alpha\delta(x)$ for $-a<x<a$ and $\infty$ elsewhere, and the energy of the system is less than 0, then I'm trying to find the wave function. From the Schrodinger ...
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0answers
32 views

How come an electron's wave function being nonzero at far distances doesn't mean it can travel faster than light? [duplicate]

I think the wave function of a free electron is nonzero almost everywhere. In particular there are regions of space arbitrarily far away where the electron has positive probability of being found. If ...
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1answer
84 views

What happens to the wave function of a particle immediately after measuring its energy?

For this question, I will be adhering to the Copenhagen interpretation (since that's what I've learned in university so far). For the sake of brevity/clarity, also, assume the Hamiltonian here has ...
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1answer
50 views

Antisymmetry requirement for the total wavefunction

My understanding is that if we are dealing with a system of two electrons, the total wavefunction needs to be antisymmetric only when the two electrons have same value of n and l ( i.e. they are ...
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2answers
54 views

Measurement of position after collapse of a wavefunction

Suppose I have a wavefunction which collapses to a certain eigenstate after a measurement of energy. In that state, I perform a calculation of position and obtain a certain position value, say $x_0$. ...
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43 views

Showing two wavefunctions are proportional to one another [duplicate]

I am struggling to answer the following question: Let ψ₁(x) and ψ₂(x) be normalisable energy eigenfunctions for a particle of mass m in one dimension moving in a potential V(x). Suppose that ψ₁ and ...
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1answer
108 views

Schrodinger equation violates mathematics?

By the Hamiltonian formalism of quantum mechanics, given a quantum system in a state $\Psi$ in a Hilbert space $\mathcal H$, the state will instantaneously evolve in time according to ...
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2answers
118 views

How do we decide whether an electron orbital has a non-zero or zero probability of lying inside the nucleus of an hydrogen atom?

How do we decide whether an electron orbital has a non-zero or zero probability of lying inside the nucleus of an hydrogen atom? It is mostly from the radial function, as to what I think but how ...
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36 views

Is the wavefunction of particles inside a gas spread or localized?

For an individual free particle that starts localized, the wave function packet spreads over time, so the particle becomes less localized. Suppose now that we have a gas of those particles inside a ...