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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What does the wavefunction of atom look like at low temperature?

I am reading an introduction material on Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) at low temperature and it stated that when the temperature approaches zero kelvin, almost all atoms are degenerated into the ...
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2k views

Gaussian wave packet

At our QM intro our professor said that we derive uncertainty principle using the integral of plane waves $\psi = \psi_0(k) e^{i(kx - \omega t)}$ over wave numbers $k$. We do it at $t=0$ hence $\psi = ...
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194 views

Once I have the eigenvalues and the eigenvectors, how do I find the eigenfunctions?

I am using Mathematica to construct a matrix for the Hamiltonian of some system. I have built this matrix already, and I have found the eigenvalues and the eigenvectors, I am uncertain if what I did ...
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333 views

In Dirac notation, what do the subscripts represent? (Solution for particle in a box in mind)

So the set of solutions for the particle in a box is given by $$\psi_n(x) = \sqrt{\frac{2}{L}}\sin(\frac{n\pi x}{L}).$$ In Dirac notation $<\psi_i|\psi_j>=\delta_{ij}$ assuming $|\psi_i>$ ...
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85 views

In the expansion of the scattered wave function, why do these two functions have the same index?

See Griffiths Quantum Mechanics, eq. 11.21. Evidently, $$\psi(r,\theta,\phi)=Ae^{ikz}+A\sum\limits_{l,m}^{\infty}C_{l,m}h_{l}(kr)Y_{l}^{m}(\theta,\phi).$$ But I don't see why the $l$th Hankel function ...
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367 views

Could quantum mechanics work without the Born rule?

Slightly inspired by this question about the historical origins of the Born rule, I wondered whether quantum mechanics could still work without the Born rule. I realize it's one of the most ...
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537 views

Normalisation factor $\psi_0$ for wave function $\psi = \psi_0 \sin(kx-\omega t)$

I know that if I integrate probabilitlity $|\psi|^2$ over a whole volume $V$ I am supposed to get 1. This equation describes this. $$\int \limits^{}_{V} \left|\psi \right|^2 \, \textrm{d} V = 1\\$$ ...
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139 views

Young experiment: square of classical real wave function

I can't understand why the sum of two real waves result in a time dependent wave, but not so for the complex waves. In details, I can't get this passage on p.38-39 in A.C. Phillips, Introduction to ...
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Confused over complex representation of the wave

My quantum mechanics textbook says that the following is a representation of a wave traveling in the +$x$ direction:$$\Psi(x,t)=Ae^{i\left(kx-\omega t\right)}\tag1$$ I'm having trouble visualizing ...
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Amplitude of Probability amplitude. Which one is it?

QM begins with a Born's rule which states that probability $P$ is equal to a modulus square of probability amplitude $\psi$: $$P = \left|\psi\right|^2.$$ If I write down a wave function like this ...
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0answers
251 views

Probability and probability amplitude [duplicate]

What made scientists believe that we should calculate probability $P$ as the $P = \left|\psi\right|^2$ in quantum mechanics? Was it the double slit experiment? How? Is there anywhere in the ...
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Solving the time independent Schrodinger equation: Does a complex solution make sense?

In my notes, I have the Time Independent Schrodinger equation for a free particle $$\frac{\partial^2 \psi}{\partial x^2}+\frac{p^2}{\hbar^2}\psi=0\tag1$$ The solution to this is given, in my notes, ...
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534 views

Superconducting Wavefunction Phase (Feynman Lectures)

In Volume 3, Section 21-5 of the Feynman lectures (superconductivity), Feynman makes a step that I can't quite follow. To start, he writes the wavefunction of the ground state in the following form ...
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424 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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568 views

Meaning of $\int \phi^\dagger \hat A \psi \:\mathrm dx$

While analysing a problem in quantum Mechanics, I realized that I don't fully understand the physical meanings of certain integrals. I have been interpreting: $\int \phi^\dagger \hat A \psi ...
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367 views

Is this interpretation of $\psi=\frac{1}{\sqrt{\pi a^{3}}}e^{-r/a}$ correct?

Apologies if this is stating the obvious, but I'm a non-physicist trying to understand Griffiths' discussion of the hydrogen atom in chapter 4 of Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. The wave equation ...
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What does the quantum state of a system tell us about itself?

In quantum mechanics, quantum state refers to the state of a quantum system. A quantum state is given as a vector in a vector space, called the state vector. The state vector theoretically ...
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Does quantum mechanics allow faster than light (FTL) travel?

Let's suppose I initially have a particle with a nice and narrow wave function[1] (I will leave these unnormed): $$e^{-\frac{x^2}{a}}$$ where $a$ is some small number (to make it narrow). Let's also ...
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1answer
73 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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466 views

Was uncertainty principle inferred by Fourier analysis?

I would like to know: did Heisenberg chance upon his Uncertainty Principle by performing Fourier analysis of wavepackets, after assuming that electrons can be treated as wavepackets?
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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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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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543 views

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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163 views

How is wavefunction probability redistributed after partial wavefunction collapse?

Suppose I set up the double-slit experiment using photons as my particle. Behind the left slit I place a beam splitter that points some of the light off in the direction of a camera (represented as ...
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391 views

Wavefunction collapse and gravity

If gravity can be thought of as both a wave (the gravitational wave, as predicted to exist by Albert Einstein and certain calculations) and a particle (the graviton), would it make sense to apply ...
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1answer
116 views

Confused over the presence of 2 expressions for $\Psi(x,t)$

I'm following Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, and I see that he's got 2 different expressions for $\Psi(x,t)$. One of them is ...
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1answer
2k views

Plane wave expansion in cylindrical coordinates

I am trying to solve scattering problem in 2D and got to expand the wave function in cylindrical system which comes out to be Hankel function. Can you tell me how to expand the plane wave $\exp(i ...
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232 views

Does quantum mechanics predict instantaneous action at a distance even without entanglement?

The suggestion that quantum mechanics implies that instantaneous action at a distance occurs is normally based on the contention that this follows from the entanglement of particles that share a ...
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235 views

Quantum Mechanics - The Normalization of $\psi_{3,1,1}$

Show that the hydrogen atomic wavefunction $\psi_{3,1,1}$ is normalized, and that it is orthogonal to $\psi_{3,1,−1}$. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to consider the radial part. I can show that ...
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464 views

Meaning of instantaneous probability densities in time dependent wavefunctions

For a time dependent wavefunction, are the instantaneous probability densities meaningful? (The question applies for instances or more generally short lengths of time that are not multiples of the ...
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416 views

How to compute the expectation value $\langle x^2 \rangle$ in quantum mechanics?

$$\langle x^2 \rangle = \int_{-\infty}^\infty x^2 |\psi(x)|^2 \text d x$$ What is the meaning of $|\psi(x)|^2$? Does that just mean one has to multiply the wave function with itself?
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Wave function of Hydrogen Atom [closed]

Wavefunction of a Hydrogen atom is expressed in eigenfunctions as: $$\psi(\boldsymbol r,t=0)=1/\sqrt{14}(2\psi_{100}(\boldsymbol r)-3\psi_{200}(\boldsymbol r)+\psi_{322}(\boldsymbol r) ).$$ Is ...
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492 views

If superposition is possible in QM, why do we often assume systems are already in their eigenstates?

My understanding is that an arbitrary quantum-mechanical wavefunction can be written as a linear combination of eigenfunctions of some Hermitian operator, most commonly the Hamiltonian; when a ...
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4answers
941 views

What does superposition mean in quantum mechanics?

What does superposition mean in quantum mechanics? When I say $A+B=C$ (forces). I can mean push something with force $A$ + force $B$ together, and that is same as I push it with force $C$. But when ...
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1answer
852 views

Schrödinger function: Separable wave function with even potential function of x

I have done the Problem 2.1 in Griffiths' quantum mechanics, and it seems not making sense to me. What if the wave function isn't symmetric at all? Then obviously the proof doesn't work. The ...
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508 views

If wave packets spread, why don't objects disappear?

If you have an electron moving in empty space, it will be represented by a wave packet. But packets can spread over time, that is, their width increases, with it's uncertainty in position increasing. ...
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1answer
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Bound States in a Double Delta Function Potential [closed]

Let $V(x) = −u \delta(x) - v \delta(x − a)$ where $u, v > 0$ correspond to a potential with two $\delta$ wells. Let $v > u$. If $a$ is very large, there is certainly a bound state: the particle ...
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123 views

Does wavefunction reach its largest peak near(not in) the classical forbidden region?

As we can see in the picture in this website: http://ctz116.ust.hk/xyli2/images/animation/quchem73.html It's strange that the bound state wavefunction always reach its largest peak near the boundary ...
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1answer
67 views

How to compare differences in waves?

I have a series of waves that I would like to compare to one another. The measurements are two-dimensional with time on the x-axis and an intensity measurement on the y-axis. I'd like some way of ...
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1answer
283 views

Boundary conditions from single-valuedness of spherical wavefunctions

This question is a follow-up to David Bar Moshe's answer to my earlier question on the Aharonov-Bohm effect and flux-quantization. What I forgot was that it is not the wavefunction that must be ...
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121 views

Wave function of IQH and FQH electrons

What are the wave functions of the ground state of Integer Quantum Hall (IQH) and Fractional Quantum Hall (FQH) electrons?
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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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3answers
316 views

Can a wavefunction be solved to any arbitrary precision, given enough computer time?

I learned that the wavefunction for the hydrogen atom can be solved analytically (we did the derivation in class), but that for more complicated atoms it is "impossible" to solve and that only ...
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1answer
87 views

What does $\psi_j(r_i)$ mean?

I have a mean-field Hamiltonian for N electrons. The mean-field potential felt by electron $i$ at position ${\bf r}_i$ is given by $V^{(i)}_{int}({\bf r}_i)=\sum_{j\ne i}|\psi_j({\bf r}_i)|^2$ I ...
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Pulsed Spherical Wave

Can somebody help show me how a pulsed spherical wave has a wavefunction of the form U(r,t) = (1/r)a(t-r/c), where a(t) is an arbitrary function, r is the radius of the spherical wave, t is time, and ...
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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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507 views

Even and Odd States of a 1D finite potential well

Is it possible for a particle trapped in a 1D finite potential well to evolve from a even state to an odd state and vice-versa? Why?
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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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1answer
240 views

Considering the wave function is not 'real', what is interfering?

I find the idea of the wave function being 'just' a collection of numbers (probabilities) quite alluring, and elegant in explaining away the whole 'collapse' business (see Luboš' answer to this ...
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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 ...