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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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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2answers
2k views

Speed of a particle in quantum mechanics: phase velocity vs. group velocity

Given that one usually defines two different velocities for a wave, these being the phase velocity and the group velocity, I was asking their meaning for the associated particle in quantum mechanics. ...
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1answer
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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2answers
394 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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2answers
465 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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2answers
234 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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2answers
200 views

Measurement and uncertainty principle in QM

The Wikipedia says on the page for the uncertainty principle: Mathematically, the uncertainty relation between position and momentum arises because the expressions of the wave function in the two ...
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2answers
797 views

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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1answer
859 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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1answer
236 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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3answers
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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3answers
493 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
952 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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4answers
509 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
5k views

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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1answer
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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3answers
378 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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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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2answers
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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1answer
446 views

wavefunction collapse and uncertainty principle

We all know that wavefunction collapse when it is observed. Uncertainty principle states that $\sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac {\hbar}{2}$. When wavefunction collapse, doesn't $\sigma_x$ become $0$?, as ...
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3answers
273 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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1answer
938 views

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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4answers
1k views

Why is wave function so important?

I am almost sure that the wave function is the most important figures in modern physics book. On the other hand I know that wave function even do not have a physical meaning it self alone! Why is ...
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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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7answers
661 views

Is it wrong to talk about wave functions of macroscopic bodies?

Does a real macroscopic body, like table, human or a cup permits description as a wave function? When is it possible and when not? For example in the "Statistical Physics, Part I" by Landau & ...
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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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1answer
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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2answers
251 views

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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2answers
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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 ...
2
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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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1answer
261 views

Relativistic contraction for a wave packet and uncertainty on momentum

Consider an electron described by a wave packet of extension $\Delta x$ for experimentalist A in the lab. Now assume experimentalist B is flying at a very high speed with regard to A and observes the ...
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1answer
209 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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1answer
209 views

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: ...
2
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2answers
215 views

Wave Function Statistical Interpretation vs Oscillation Interpretation

Can the wave function solution to Schrodinger's Equation be interpreted as an oscillation between all possible measurements (obviously with some type of weighting that would describe the shape of the ...
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5answers
303 views

wave superposition of electrons and quarks

Is quantum wave superposition of electrons and quarks possible? If not, can different types of elementary particles be mixed in wave superposition?
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1answer
478 views

How do I solve these integrals of wave function and operator?

First integral $$\int \Psi^*({\bf r},t)\hat {\bf p} \Psi({\bf r},t)\, d^3r,$$ where the $\Psi({\bf r},t)=e^{i({\bf k}\cdot{\bf r}-\omega t)}\,\,\,$ and $\hat {\bf p}=-i\hbar \nabla$. Second one ...
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1answer
225 views

Why must $\Psi (x,t)$ go to zero faster than $\frac{1}{\sqrt{|x|}}$?

Why must $\Psi (x,t)$ go to zero faster than $\frac{1}{\sqrt{|x|}}$ as $|x|$ goes to $\infty$? According to Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, it must. I don't understand why, and this is ...
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2answers
246 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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4answers
297 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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2answers
487 views

Can we impose a boundary condition on the derivative of the wavefunction through the physical assumptions?

Consider the Schrödinger equation for a particle in one dimension, where we have at least one boundary in the system (say the boundary is at $x=0$ and we are solving for $x>0$). Sometimes we want ...
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1answer
729 views

Must the derivative of the wave function at infinity be zero?

I came across a problem in Griffiths where the derivative of the wave function (with respect to position in one dimension) evaluated at $\pm\infty$ is zero. Why is this? Is it true for any function ...
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1answer
412 views

Help me understand the first equation in Landau & Lifshitz's Quantum Mechanics

While I've covered a basic course in Quantum Mechanics, I'm self-studying Landau & Lifshitz's book to help me understand what's going on. Unfortunately, I'm stuck on the very first equation in ...
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1answer
2k views

what is phase angle of wave function $\phi \,$?

this is wave function: $$\Psi{(\vec r, t)}=\Psi_0 e^{i(\vec k \cdot \vec r-\omega t)}$$ $$\Psi{(\vec r, t)}=A e^{i(\phi + \vec k \cdot \vec r-\omega t)}$$. what is phase angle $\phi$ of wave ...
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1answer
497 views

How Represent Waves via Complex Numbers?

i try to finished my thesis, (Just have a problem with the wave mechanics) this is wave function: $$\Psi(\vec x, t)=A\exp{i(\phi+\vec k.\vec x-\omega t)}$$ In mathematics, the symbol $i$ is ...
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1answer
559 views

How Light or Water Intensity is equal to square modulus of wave function of Light or Water Waves $I=|\psi|^2 \,$?

I've seen the Wave Function as a psi $\Psi$ $\psi$. And always heard that the wave function is the Complex Number as Imaginary and real number. But I've never seen it I've never seen components of ...
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2answers
349 views

matter wave and wave function

Is there any mathematical relationship between matter wave (or de Broglie wave) and wave function? Also, does each type of particle (e.g. photon, electron, positron etc.) have its own unique wave ...
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1answer
2k views

Angular momentum operator and expectation values

I was reading some notes and it says that $\langle L_z^2\rangle=\langle L^2\rangle$ IFF the system is radially symmetric. I can see that in order that the LHS of the statement implies that $\langle ...
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1answer
628 views

Relationship between classical electromagnetic wave frequency and quantum wave function + de broglie frequency

As it is. As I study through classical mechanics and quantum mechanics, I began to wonder whether there is a relationship between classical electromagnetic wave frequency and quantum wave function ...
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1answer
517 views

Wave packets v.s. wave trains

Could someone please explain the difference between a wave packet and a wave train? I have rummaged around online but have not been able to find a definitive definition.