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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How do you determine the degree of localization of a wavefunction?

Suppose that there is a wavefunction $\Psi (x,0)$ where 0 is referring to $t$. Let us also say that $a(k) = \frac{C\alpha}{\sqrt{\pi}}\exp(-\alpha^2k^2)$ is the spectral contents (spectral amplitudes) ...
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Loss of interference in single-photon Mach–Zehnder interferometer with detector in only one arm

I have read that if you have a Mach–Zehnder interferometer (doing a single-photon experiment) and put a non-destructive detector in only one of the two arms (connected to the first beam splitter), you ...
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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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Functionals of quantum states in QFT

Almost every book and article I can think of represents states of QFT using the Heisenberg picture of Hilbert space vectors, but Visser in "Lorentzian wormholes" does mention that you can also ...
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How do I figure out the probability of finding a particle between two barriers?

Given a delta function $\alpha\delta(x+a)$ and an infinite energy potential barrier at $[0,\infty)$, calculate the scattered state, calculate the probability of reflection as a function of ...
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130 views

Where are the worlds in many-worlds interpretation?

What does it mean in MWI for other universes to exist? Are they in some sector of spacetime beyond our cosmic horizon or is it more complicated? I'm not asking this on Philosophy SE because people ...
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Who is doing the normalization of wave function in the time evolution of wave function?

In the Schrodinger equation, at any given time $t$ we should jointly add another sub equation, like $$||\psi_t(x)|| = 1$$ where $\psi_t(x) = \Psi(x,t)$, and then try to solve the two equations ...
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Text interpretation in Griffith's intro to QM

It says in Griffith's chapter 2.1, that: $$\tag{2.14} \Psi(x,t)~=~\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}c_n\,\psi_n(x) e^{(-iE_n t/\hbar)}$$ It so happens that every solution to the (time-dependent) Schrodinger ...
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Why can't we know the speed, $\vec{v}(t)$, and position, $\vec{r}(t)$, of an electron (the two) at the same time $t$?

I've read something about this and I conclude that it happens because of the uncertainty principle. But I don't understand very well the meaning of that. I mean, it's very abstract that the speed, ...
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How to know if a wave function is physically acceptable solution of a Schrödinger equation?

How does one decide whether a wave function is a physically acceptable solution of the Schrödinger equation? For example: $\tan x$ , $\sin x$, $1/x$, and so on.
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How do I integrate $\frac{1}{\Psi}\frac{\partial \Psi}{\partial x} = Cx$

How do I integrate the following? $$\frac{1}{\Psi}\frac{\partial \Psi}{\partial x} = Cx$$ where $C$ is a constant. I'm supposed to get a Gaussian function out of the above by integrating but don't ...
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Matter waves and de Broglie wave length

The wavelength of a particle of momentum p is calculated using De Broglie relation. The de Broglie relation was postulated for what is called a matter waves. Now according to the statistical ...
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493 views

What is the rationale behind representing a state function by a complex valued function in QM?

What is the rationale behind representing a state function of an electron with a complex valued function $\Psi$. If only the probabilistic argument was required then why not represent it with just a ...
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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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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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476 views

Interpretation of the wave function in quantum mechanics

I just started watching the coursera lectures on the basics of quantum mechanics and one of the first lectures were on deriving Schrodinger's equation and its interpretation it under Born's ...
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357 views

States and observables in quantum mechanics

I'm beginning learn quantum mechanics. As I understand, state is a map $\phi$ from $L^2(\mathbb R)$ such that $|\phi|^2$ describes probability density of a particle's position. By integrating ...
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Solution of 1-D Schrodinger equation for the potential $V(x) = -\frac{1}{|x|}$

May be this question might have already been asked but i couldn't find it, so let me know if its already there. Consider a potential, $V(x) = -\frac{1}{|x|}$ and if we apply this to a one dimensional ...
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Reason for the Gaussian wave packet spreading

I have recently read how the Gaussian wave packet spreads while propagating. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_packet#Gaussian_wavepackets_in_quantum_mechanics Though I understand the ...
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328 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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Is it possible to reconstruct the wavefunction of a molecule from a collection of spectra?

Spectra of a molecule can be calculated if the wavefunction is known. Is it possible to do the opposite?
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How to understand wavefunction in quantum mechanics in math

I am reading some introduction on quantum mechanics. I don't understand all but I get the point that the wavefunction tells some probability aspects. In one book, they show one example of the ...
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The Energy Eigenvalue of a Wavefunction

I've been reading an introduction to quantum mechanics online, and while constructing the Schrodinger equation for a free particle, the equation $i\hbar \frac{d \Psi}{dt}=\hbar\omega\Psi$ is obtained. ...
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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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Why are eigenspaces of a Hermitian operator mutually orthogonal? [closed]

In Quantum Mechanics, from the properties of the solution of Schrodinger's Equation inside the infinite well, is that they are: Mutually orthogonal for different eigenvalues. Orthonormal. Complete. ...
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General question about the potential barrier problem: Why does $\exp( kx)$ diverge when $x>0$ in the case when $E < V(x)$?

For the two images below, the first potential barrier has particles approaching it where $E > V_o$ & the second has a particle that has $E < V_o$, where $E$ is the energy of the particles ...
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Complex Conjugate of Wave Function

I've been reading through Griffiths QM book, and the only thing bugging me is they never fully described what $\Psi^* $ should be for any given function. I know it's the complex conjugate at the same ...
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238 views

Normalizing wavefunction

If you are trying to normalize $\psi = A\sin kx$, and you find that $|A|^2 = \frac{2}{a}$, why do you take the positive square root and not the negative? What happens if you take the negative square ...
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What is the difference between the Bohr model of the atom and Schrödinger's model?

What is the difference between the Bohr model of the atom and The solution of the Schrödinger equation for the hydrogen atom? Are there any difference between definition of the electric potential ...
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443 views

Bloch's theorem

I am studying Bloch's theorem, which can be stated as follows: The eigenfunctions of the wave equation for a period potential are the product of a plane wave $e^{ik \cdot r}$ times a modulation ...
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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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What's the physical significance of the inner product of two wave functions in quantum region?

I am a reading a book for beginners of the quantum mechanics. In one section, the author shows the inner product of two wave functions $\langle\alpha\vert\beta\rangle$. I am wondering what's the ...
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Why do we consider the evolution (usually in time) of a wave function?

Why do we consider evolution of a wave function and why is the evolution parameter taken as time, in QM. If we look at a simple wave function $\psi(x,t) = e^{kx - \omega t}$, $x$ is a point in ...
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345 views

Does the wave nature of a particle refer to the wave function?

In quantum mechanics when we talk about the wave nature of particles are we referring in fact to the wave function? Does the wave function describes the probability of finding a particle (ex: ...
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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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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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Minimum information necessary to represent a pure quantum state

I was thinking about how quantum states are represented for various types of systems, and how the amount of classical information (bits) required to represent a state depends on its basis. Let's take ...
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Why is the full eigenfunction a product of eigenfunctions and not a sum?

For example suppose there is a two electron system. Why is the full eigenfunction a product of the spatial eigenfunction and spin-wave-function for the two electron system?
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Wave function not normalizable

Does the solution of the Schrodinger equation always have to be normalizable? By normalizable I mean, given a wavefunction $\psi(x)$ $$\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}|\psi(x)|^2 dx<\infty \qquad ...
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283 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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Does Schrödinger equation have dual-property with Heat equation?

I have experimental data that Schödinger equation maintains high frequencies, while heat equation low. Does Schrödinger equation have some duality property with heat equation?
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How to find the wavefunction that solves an infinite square well with a delta function well in the middle?

Solutions for the wavefunction in an infinite square well with a delta function barrier in the middle are easily found online (see here for an example). I am wondering what the wavefunction is for an ...
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300 views

Orbital of Hydrogen molecule

does anybody here know an analytical approximation of the bonding hydrogen orbital MOLECULE? I am looking for a good approximation to this orbital, that might be in some textbooks to get an ...
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Interpretation of de Broglie wave

Until what point can the de Broglie wave be thought as a real wave? I mean, is it made of something? What amplitude does it have? Is it a sine wave? How can it be related to the wavefunction of the ...
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What does the notation $|x_1,x_2\rangle$ mean?

I would like clarification on an equation in the paper "Free matter wave packet teleportation via cold-molecule dynamics", L. Fisch and G. Kurizki, Europhysics Letters 75 (2006), pp. 847-853, DOI: ...
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Why don't cancelling wavefunctions for two different particles give zero total wavefunction?

Let $\left|a\right>=e^{i(kx-\omega t)}$, $\left|b\right>=-e^{i(kx-\omega t)}$ be two neutral particles in the 1D free space without any interaction. Then ...
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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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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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Normalization of potential barrier solution

I don't understand a point in the solution attached to this barrier potential problem. Below equation 4.209, they say Assume first that the wave function on the right side of the barrier in the ...
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233 views

What is the difference between real orbital & complex orbital?

While reading Atomic orbitals, I came before these two terms. The 'real orbital' is given here: Real orbitals An atom that is embedded in a crystalline solid feels multiple preferred axes, ...