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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Workaround to fermion sign problem?

My (rather incomplete) understanding of the NP-hard fermion/numerical sign problem is that it occurs when attempting to converge on a wavefunction for many-body fermion systems (for example, a small ...
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334 views

Implicit Postulate of Quantum Mechanics

Consider the following quantum system: a particle in a one dimensional box (= infinite potential well). The energy eigenstates wave functions all vanish outside the box. But the position eigenstates ...
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697 views

Expectation values-Wavefunction

I'm a bit puzzled about an excercise in which I have to find the expectation values for position and momentum. Normally this should be pretty easy but in this case I just don't get the point. ...
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110 views

What methods exist for us to measure the position and momentum of atoms that make up molecules?

In this paper, Localization of an atom by homodyne measurement. A. M. Herkommer et al. Quantum Semiclass. Opt. 8 no. 1, p. 189 (1996) (paywalled). the authors are able to localize atoms using ...
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280 views

Interpretation of $e|\psi|^2$ as electron density

In solid state physics the electron density is often equated to $e|\psi|^2$. However, the Sakurai says (Chapter 2.4, Interpretation of the Wave Function, p. 101) that adopting such a view leads "to ...
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Non-Degeneracy of Eigenvalues of Number Operator for Simple Harmonic Oscillator [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Proof that the One-Dimensional Simple Harmonic Oscillator is Non-Degenerate? I'm trying to convince myself that the eigenvalues $n$ of the number operator ...
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Finding $\psi(x,t)$ for a free particle starting from a Gaussian wave profile $\psi(x)$

Consider a free-particle with a Gaussian wavefunction, $$\psi(x)~=~\left(\frac{a}{\pi}\right)^{1/4}e^{-\frac12a x^2},$$ find $\psi(x,t)$. The wavefunction is already normalized, so the next thing to ...
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387 views

Why Pauli exclusion instead of electrons canceling out?

To quote Wikipedia, The Pauli exclusion principle is the quantum mechanical principle that no two identical fermions (particles with half-integer spin) may occupy the same quantum state ...
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686 views

Transmission and reflection

What is the transmission amplitude of a wavefunction $\phi(x)=e^{ikx}(\tanh x -ik)$? I would have thought that it is $\tanh x -ik$ since this is the factor associated with the forward travelling ...
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208 views

Why does the wavefunction have to be continuous in the presence of a Dirac delta potential?

Considering the time-independent Schrödinger equation, I can see for a finite potential, why the wavefunction has to be continuous, I can also see why the first derivative of the wavefunction is ...
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214 views

What is the connection between gravitons and geometry?

I know there are two ways to do quantum gravity. One can pick a background space-time (usually Minkowski flat space-time) and then at any time slice one can define the state of the universe as the ...
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310 views

What is the purpose of the imaginary portion of the wave function?

I recently watched this video. I'm trying to learn about the origin of the wave function and therefore understand its use in the Schrödinger Equation. However at the end of the video I understood up ...
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699 views

Degeneracy in one dimension

I'm reading this wikipedia article and I'm trying to understand the proof under "Degeneracy in One Dimension". Here's what it says: Considering a one-dimensional quantum system in a potential ...
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317 views

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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43 views

Quantum Mechanics: Can the probability of finding a particle in the whole space be smaller or higher at certain times?

In the book Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (by David Griffith) there is an Example 2.1: Suppose a particle starts out in a linear combination of just two stationary states: ...
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117 views

Significance of $i$ in the Schrödinger equation [duplicate]

There's an imaginary $i$ in the Schrödinger equation, which I guess is to define the position of the particle in a space-time involving a complex function. But what is the real physical significance ...
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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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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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Coupled quantum harmonic oscillator

Given the following Hamiltonian for two identical linear oscillators with spring constant $k$ and interaction potential $\alpha x_1x_2$; I was asked to find the expectation value $\langle ...
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Relation between p+ip wave Superconductor and Moore-Read State

I am quite interested in the understanding of the relation between p_ip wave superconductor(SC) and the Moore-Read(MR) state. They share many similar properties, for example, p+ip SC has majorana as ...
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148 views

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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635 views

Density of classical states in quantum theory

Let's first treat electrons as classical objects. I can evaluate the classical energy of each state in a configurational space (3N real numbers and, say, spins) using just Coulomb's law. Then I ...
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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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872 views

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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241 views

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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328 views

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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135 views

What are the functions of these coefficients $c_1,c_2,c_3,c_4$ in $ \psi_{sp^3}= c_1\psi_{2s}+ c_2\psi_{2p_{x}} + c_3\psi_{2p_y}+ c_4\psi_{2p_{z}}$?

Hybridised orbitals are linear combinations of atomic orbitals of same or nearly-same energies. Atomic orbitals interfere constructively or destructively to give rise to a new orbital which is what we ...
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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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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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505 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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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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364 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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844 views

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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332 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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240 views

How to visualize a Schrödinger cat state?

I recently read about Schrödinger cat states, which are basically a superposition of two coherent states $|\alpha\rangle$ with opposite phases, that is, $$ |\mathrm{cat}\rangle = |\alpha\rangle \pm ...
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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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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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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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5k views

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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Meaning of the Vector Wave Equation

So I thought I would try my luck here on physics stack exchange about an intuitive meaning of the Vector Wave Equation. I know there are a lot of resources out there that explain this equation, but ...
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212 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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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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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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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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261 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 ...