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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Wave function: what does “1% chance of finding the particle in this area” mean

Say I have 1 electron in some quantum state Defined by some wave function, and it's doing its thing fluctuating the probabilities of where it might be. What if I put a measuring device in an area ...
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2answers
304 views

Why are electron wavefunctions standing waves?

How can I convince myself that wavefunctions of electrons on molecular orbitals are indeed standing waves? Is it a consequence of the fact that electrons don't drift away from the molecule? In other ...
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25 views

Dirac equation in the presence of a defect

The 1D Dirac equation in the presence of a defect is described by a position dependent mass term known as a "kink" or "soliton". It is sign changing and tends to a constant at positive and negative ...
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1answer
112 views

In interpretations of QM where the wave function is real, what does that mean?

In a lot of interpretations of Quantum Mechanics they believe that the wave function is "real". But what does that mean? Are they saying that the wave function of an elementary particle ...
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527 views

Physical meaning of quantum operators

Let's say we have a wavefunction $\psi$ and a measurement operator $\hat A$. I understand how eigenvalues and eigenvectors of $\hat A$ describe the possible outcomes of the measurement. I also ...
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102 views

How do you determine the symmetry of spatial wave functions?

I have been reading about the ways to determine the ground of state of an atom. There are three Hund's rules in determining which electronic state is a ground state. And the second rule says you need ...
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2answers
174 views

Rectangular potential barrier

Take the usual rectangular potential barrier, that is: $$V(x)=0 \: \text{if} \: x<0 \: \text{or}\: \: x>a$$ $$V(x)=V_0 \: \text{if} \: 0\leq x \leq a.$$ I've looked at several notes and books ...
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1answer
152 views

How can the wave function contain all information of a system?

During my quantum mechanics lectures and in literature I sometimes hear that "the wave function, $\Psi$, contains all information of the system". This has made me feel rather puzzled so I hope you ...
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266 views

Wavefunctions in different Hilbert spaces

The state of a quantum system is represented by a wavefunction usually in some specific Hilbert space, .e.g of position, spin, momentum etc. But before deciding in which of these bases to decompose ...
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721 views

State of a system in Quantum Mechanics and state vectors

I'm taking a course in Quantum Mechanics and there is something I'm not being able to fully understand. On more elementary courses on Quantum Mechanics I've been told that the idea of Quantum ...
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1answer
37 views

Need help on understanding mechanical wave function [closed]

My textbook states that, equation 1 : y(x=0,t) = Acos($\omega$t) = Acos(2$\pi$ft), which I understand. However the book goes deeper stating also that, t-$\frac{x}{v}$, and $\frac{x}{v}$-t I am ...
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1answer
47 views

Fourier expansion and transform - what about the phase of the waves that i am adding?

Say we have a wave on the surface of the water and we want to describe it as a sum of other waves. So we use Fourier expansion to add waves of different wavelengths. For simplicity, say we have to ...
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52 views

Definition of linear response kernel in terms of wavefunctions (Parr/Yang)

I'm trying to understand the derivation of the linear response kernel in Parr/Yang's "Density-functional theory of atoms and molecules". First some background information: We look at a system of $N$ ...
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2answers
84 views

Using slope=0 technique to find most likely spherical shell

In this PDF http://riedo.gatech.edu/Teaching/Modern_Physics/hw/HW3_2010_MP_SOL.pdf problem#1, the instructor solves the question of which spherical shell (what radius $r$) has the greatest ...
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1answer
60 views

Barycenter and relative coordinates for schroedinger equation of the hydrogen atom

Heyho, i just realized i am not sure how one gets from: $\Big(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m_e} \Delta_{r_e} - \frac{\hbar^2}{2M_P} \Delta_{r_p} +V(r) \Big)\Psi(r_e,r_p) = E \Psi(r_e,r_p)$ to: ...
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2answers
555 views

Schroedinger equation for hydrogen atom

I have got a problem understanding the meaning of the Laplace operator in the Schrödinger equation for the hydrogen atom. $$\Big(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m_e} \Delta_{r_e} - \frac{\hbar^2}{2M_P} \Delta_{r_p} ...
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3answers
479 views

Bound states of the $V(x)=\pm \delta'^{(n)}(x)$ potential?

The $\delta(x)$ Dirac delta is not the only "point-supported" potential that we can integrate; in principle all their derivatives $\delta', \delta'', ...$ exist also, do they? If yes, can we look for ...
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4answers
385 views

Physical intuition behind negative values for wave function?

So a positive and a positive wave function create a bonding orbital where the probability of finding an electron is summed while a positive and a negative create an anti-bonding orbital with a lower ...
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1answer
138 views

Is the photon's wave function the same as an electromagnetic wave(light)? [duplicate]

The first that i have been taught in Quantum Mechanics is the photoelectric phenomenon. Without analyzing it, it concludes that when we shine light at the circuit(roughly speaking), the work required ...
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2answers
106 views

Do quantum wave functions curve spacetime before they are measured

Do wave functions cause spacetime curvature before they are measured, or would curvature only happen upon measurement? I guess the question becomes, do quantum wavefunctions carry energy while they ...
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1answer
190 views

Probability and double slit

if a beam of identical particles at random distances from each other (or exactly 1/2 lambda between each other) travelling with the same v towards a double sllit do not interfere with each others wave ...
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2answers
316 views

Why is $ \psi = A \cos(kx) $ not an acceptable wave function for a particle in a box?

Why is $ \psi = A \cos(kx) $ not an acceptable wave function for a particle in a box with rigid walls at $x=0$ and $x=L$ where $$ k = \frac {(2mE)^{1/2}} {\hbar} \, ?$$ I had plugged the wave ...
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1answer
238 views

Width of a 1 dimensional box with same ground state energy as hydrogen atom [closed]

I am trying to find the width $L$ of a one-dimensional box for which the ground state energy of an electron in the box equals the absolute value of the ground state of a hydrogen atom. No ...
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2answers
89 views

How can a solution of the time-independent Schrödinger equation evolve in space?

I understand that if the Hamiltonian does not depend on the time, the Schrödinger Equation becomes separable, so you get $$ H \psi(x) = E \psi(x) $$ and $$ \Psi(x,t) = ...
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1answer
51 views

Potential energy function for high energy continuum?

For the hydrogen atom the quantised energy levels are: $$E_n = \frac{- 13.6 eV}{n^2}\quad\text{with}\quad n = 1,2,3...$$ One peculiar property of this quantisation is that for large $n$ the energy ...
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367 views

Confusion about 1-forms as introduced in “Gravitation” (Kip S. Thorne,…)

In the book Gravitation in chapter 2, paragraph 5, they introduce the concept of 1-forms by thinking about the momentum 4-vector differently. They first introduce the de Broglie 1-form as follows (I ...
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2answers
239 views

How to predict bound states in a 1 D triangular well?

Assume we have a (single) particle in a potential well of the following shape: For $x \leq 0$, $V = \infty$ (Region I) For $x \geq L$, $V = 0$ (Region III) For the interval $x > 0$ to $x < ...
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1answer
145 views

Schrodinger's equation with negative sign

In time dependent Schrodinger's equation as given in Schrodinger's lecture (Four Lectures on Wave mechanics, Blackie & Son, 1949, pg22) he arrives at $$\nabla^2\psi-\frac{4 \pi m ...
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351 views

What do “ℜe” and “A*” mean?

What do "$\mathfrak{Re}$" and "A*" mean in the following equation (taken from James Binney and David Skinner's QM lecture notes, equation 1.12), \begin{align} p(S\text{ or ...
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1answer
52 views

Why do the two amplitudes need to match together through the region between the boxes?

This is an excerpt from Feynman's lectures 3; Suppose we think of the situation in Fig. 7–3, which has two boxes held at the constant potentials $ϕ_1$ and $ϕ_2$ and a region in between where ...
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119 views

Why can the probability function for a particle in an infinite square well be larger than 1?

For a particle in a one dimensional infinite potential well of width $L$ the probability function is: $$P_n(x)=\left(\frac{2}{L}\right)\sin^2\left(\frac{n\pi x}{L}\right)$$ for $0\leq x\leq L$. The ...
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1k views

Electron as a standing wave and its stability

1. When it was an era of classical mechanics we used to believe in the Bohr's atomic model. It interpreted electrons as particles (although I couldn't understand how come Bohr who interpreted ...
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3answers
207 views

Wave Function concept

What do we mean when we say wave function of electron? Does it mean wave nature of electrons? I am really confused.Without clearing this confusion i cannot proceed to molecular orbital theory.I am ...
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1answer
269 views

Semi-infinite / Asymmetric potential well

I'm asked to come up with an ansatz and solve for the coefficients of a asymmetric infinite potential well, where: $$ V = \begin{cases} \infty \text{ for } x< 0 \\ V_0 \text{ for } 0 \leq x \leq L ...
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3answers
1k views

Born Interpretation of Wave Function

I have just started Griffiths Intro to QM. I was studying Born's interpretation of Wave function and it says that the square of the modulus of the wave function is a measure of the probability of ...
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2answers
87 views

Where does the factor of $x$ come from in this formula for expectation value?

Given the normalised ground-state wave-function: $$\Psi(x, t)=\begin{cases} \sqrt\frac{2}{d}\cos(\frac{\pi x}{d})e^\frac{-i\hbar\pi^2t}{2md^2} & \ \lvert x\rvert<\frac{d}{2}, \\ 0 & ...
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4answers
194 views

Isn't the 'slit' in a double-slit experiment also a wave?

I'm new to QM so excuse my naivety. I was watching an online MIT QM course that described the double-slit experiment (with electrons) when it occurred to me that I have a question. In the video, the ...
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24 views

Cancelling waves and preservation of energy

In quantum physics, a particle is "defined" by a wavefunction. If you would take 2 particles with the same wavefunction, and negate one of them. They would cancel each other other out. Take for ...
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28 views

Solutions to time-independent Schrödinger's equation with symmetrical (even) potential [duplicate]

A problem from Griffith's Introduction to Quantum Mechanics asks to prove the following: Given a symmetric potential $V(x)$ $(=V(-x))$, the solutions to the time-independent Schrödinger's equation ...
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1answer
739 views

What does a light wave look like (3d model)

What does a light wave look like? The only models I can seem to find online are 2D waves, they just look like sin() graphs. I have seen the models of the two components of "light waves" (electric ...
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2answers
750 views

What is the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum field theory?

I am most interested in interpretational differences due to the fact that quantum field theory is relativistic while quantum mechanics is not. By "Copenhagen interpretation" I mean a minimal ...
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2answers
201 views

What state the wave function collapses into after an inaccurate measurement?

I'm watching MIT online lectures Quantum Physics I (roughly from one hour mark in the video). The lecturer explains wave functions that describe "Stationary States" that consist of a single energy ...
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64 views

Transfer function of a space varying wave equation

$$\frac{\partial ^2 \psi}{\partial x^2}-\mu \epsilon \frac{\partial ^2 \psi}{\partial t^2}-\mu \sigma \frac{\partial \psi}{\partial t}=0$$ Is the wave electromagnetic wave equation in lossy, source ...
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1answer
158 views

The definition of the vacuum state of quantum field by path-integral

In the review Entanglement entropy of black holes by Sergey Solodukhin (arXiv:1104.3712, equation 13), I see a definition of vacuum state of quantum field by path integral over half of the total ...
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1answer
39 views

$\sqrt{\frac{\omega ^2}{c^2}-k_z^2}$ in cylindrical harmonics

The radial component of the solution of the wave equation in cylindrical coordinates is $$J_\nu \bigg(\rho\sqrt{\frac{\omega ^2}{c^2}-k_z^2}\,\,\bigg).$$ But I always thought that $\frac \omega c$ ...
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1answer
202 views

Plane wave expansion of cylindrical functions:Summation of the Hankel functions

I understand that; in cylindrical coordinates, the basic solutions of the Helmholtz equation are of the form Hankel function of integer order times a complex exponential term ...
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3answers
315 views

Constructing solutions to the time-dependent Schrödinger's equation

The following question is from David Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: Problem 2.13 A particle in the harmonic oscillator potential starts out in the state $$\Psi(x,0) = A[3 ...
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5answers
193 views

Does measurement change the evolution of wave function?

Basically any measurement is on wave function $|\psi\rangle$ is done by operator $X$ such that $X|\psi\rangle$ results observable $x$ with some probability. But what happens to $|\psi\rangle$? Does ...
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75 views

Does a free electron, one that's not either in an atom or a wire, have an associated wave-function?

Would a free electron, one that's not either in an atom or moving through a wire, but moving through empty space on its own, have an associated wave-function? Or, is an electron described as a ...
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1answer
95 views

Solution of the Radial Part of the Schroedinger Equation [closed]

The general Schroedinger Equation is: $$\left[-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\triangle +V(r,\vartheta,\varphi)\right]\psi_{nlm}=E\psi_{nlm}$$ When considering free waves, i.e. $V(r,\vartheta,\varphi)=0$ and a ...