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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
138 views

Wavefunction interpretations in QM

From two-slit electron-interference experiment we can infer that there is a wave $\psi(x,t)$ that can be associated with electron. The amplitude at some point is the sum of amplitudes reaching that ...
7
votes
1answer
467 views

What is the wavefunction of the Young Double Slit experiment?

I have never seen the wavefunction for this experiment and would like to know how to derive it using the Schrodinger equation. I specifically want to see how the electron wave function leaves the ...
1
vote
2answers
339 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
77 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
28 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
115 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 (electron/...
6
votes
3answers
563 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
317 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
106 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
188 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
38 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
840 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
56 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 $N$ ...
0
votes
1answer
62 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: $\Big(-\frac{\...
12
votes
3answers
493 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
48 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
561 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} ...
1
vote
1answer
851 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
10k views

Differences between wavefunction, probability and probability density?

I am trying to understand the differences between wavefunction, probability and probability density. There are different definitions on the internet. For example: http://inside.mines.edu/~fsarazin/...
0
votes
4answers
450 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
154 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
118 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
261 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
335 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
92 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) = \psi(x)\exp\left(-\frac{\...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Normalization of Momentum Eigenfunctions: the number of particles

After finding the eigenfunctions $u_p(x)=Ce^{ipx/\hbar}$ of the momentum operator just like in this UCSD lecture notes, one seeks to normalize them, so one first tries: $$\int\limits_{-\infty}^{\infty}...
5
votes
3answers
373 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
267 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 $x < L$,...
0
votes
1answer
155 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 i}{h}\dot\psi-\...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What is probability current in quantum mechanics?

What is probability current in quantum mechanics? Why define such a thing? I mean the meaning of probability current. I know the formula for it but I just don't get the idea of a flow of probability ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Normalizing a wave function in a mixed well

So I got this potential and want to solve for the even wavefunctions http://imgur.com/GKAy4nD Since it's symmetric around the origin I need only to look at the interval [0,b] and solve for the ...
-1
votes
2answers
361 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 }T)&=\left|A\left(S\text{...
2
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does the wave function have to be continuous? [duplicate]

When solving one dimensional problems in quantum mechanics it is often assumed that the first derivative of the wave function is continuous. What justifies this assumption?
1
vote
2answers
121 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
587 views

Double slit experiment observation

In the double-slit experiment, if you shoot particles through the slits one by one and observe which slit they travel through, is there still an interference pattern on the screen behind the slits? If ...
3
votes
3answers
225 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
204 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
90 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 & \text{...
0
votes
0answers
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
205 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
1
vote
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 $\frac \omega c$ ...
1
vote
0answers
67 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 ...