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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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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1k 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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642 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
59 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
457 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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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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435 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
92 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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102 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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206 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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296 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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220 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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369 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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23 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
70 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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75 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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235 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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73 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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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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274 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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432 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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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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516 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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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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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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115 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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283 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
165 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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518 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
123 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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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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439 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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331 views

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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277 views

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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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 ...
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72 views

Transition from coordinate space to momentum space for SHO

I am given that the ground state of the SHO in position space is given as $$\langle q|\psi_0\rangle=\frac{1}{a^{\frac12}\pi^{\frac14}}e^{-q/4a^2}$$ Where a is a constant with units of length. I am ...
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Particle in a higher-dimensional box with an attractive delta potential

Suppose you have a particle in the box $[0,L]^d$, with an attractive Dirac delta potential $-\delta_{\vec w}(x)$ at $\vec w$. How do you solve the Schroedinger equation for this system? In the case ...
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1answer
102 views

Does light or observation collapse wave functions? [duplicate]

I hear that observation is what causes the wave function collapse, but that doesn't make sense considering that an eye or camera is just a physical system with no particularly special properties. In ...
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130 views

Superposition and density matrix. What are these states?

I just wanted to understand the following. Let's stay with the harmonic oscillator in QM, just to have an example at hand. First, there are all the different states for $n=1,2,...$. (Let's call them ...
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QM 2D Gaussian wave packet translation

I've been reading a lot but cannot find an example of 2D Gaussian wave packet moving in a particular direction. I've done some of the math myself, in a 1D case, and then kind of guessed the ...
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1answer
792 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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1answer
85 views

Question on measuring expectation value of spin with time variation

I have a particle with the following wave function: $$\psi(t) = \frac12 |\uparrow \rangle e^{-i(\omega_1+\omega_2)t/\hbar} +\frac12 |\uparrow \rangle e^{-i(\omega_1-\omega_2)t/\hbar} ...
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Basic introductory quantum mechanics question [closed]

Given that $\psi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{32 \pi a_{0}^{3}}}(2-\frac{r}{a_0})exp(\frac{-r}{2a_0})$ is a wavefunction of the hydrogen atom, write down the probability density for r and calculate the ratio ...
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1answer
157 views

Spin state of electron after measurement

I have a system of two spin 1/2 particles in a superposition of spin states in the z-direction given by: $\psi = \frac{1}{2} |+ +\rangle + \frac{1}{2} |+ -\rangle + \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} |- -\rangle$ ...
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Quantum state with zero standard deviation of position operator

Is any quantum state $|\psi\rangle$ possible such that the standard deviation $\sqrt{\langle\psi|(\Delta\hat{x})^2|\psi\rangle}$ of the position operator $\hat{x}$ is zero? If not, why?
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Double slit experiment and entanglement

Just wondering, what would happen in this experiment. In the experiment you would first have two entangled particles. Then you fire one of the particles, lets say "Particle A", at a double slit ...
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Rydberg quasimolecules & stark states?

I found this image : on the internet and I traced it back to this article ,I wanted to use it as part of an architectural visualization for my project(architecture) but for this to happen I need to ...
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1answer
184 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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1answer
102 views

Angular momentum of hydrogen from $n,l,m$ values

Given a wavefunction for hydrogen $\psi(n,l,m)$ it is possible to calculate its associated energy from $E=-13.6/n^2$. Does a similar equation exist for $L^2$ and $L_z$? That is, if we are given the ...