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

0
votes
1answer
76 views

Wave packets and amplitude

If a wave packet is given by: My question is basically how do we choose the write $A(k)$ to fit the particle we are looking at, or does it not matter (as my matter as my textbook seems to imply) ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

(Level: Undergrad) Continuity Conditions on the Wavefunction and Initial Values

I know that a physically meaningful $\Psi$ needs to be continuous. However, recently I came across a problem in which they were considering a wavefunction for the infinite square well potential and ...
0
votes
0answers
77 views

Mathematical derivation of interference pattern for electrons?

One of the most famous experiments in quantum mechanics in the context of wave-particle duality is certainly passing a beam of electrons through two slits, which results in an interference pattern ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

What is the analogy of $|x\rangle$ in quantum field theory?

Let me start from path integral formulation in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. In QM, we have $$ U(x_b,x_a;T) = \langle x_b | U(T) |x_a \rangle= \int \mathcal{D}q e^{iS} \tag{1} $$ ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

How can we “know” that system interacted with another system or environment in quantum mechanics/decoherence?

I might be raising measurement problem in quantum physics in different words, but I will ask the question. Quantum decoherence has been proposed by proponents as a theory that eliminates all weird ...
2
votes
4answers
599 views

Double slit experiment and single particles. Is the wave function just a mathematical model?

I really do want to apologize in advance, I know this question has been 'answered' before. I have this 'problem' of feeling negatively toward much of today's 'mystical' interpretations of physics, ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Are all identical fermions in orthogonal states as opposed to different general states?

A professor told me that most physicists assume that all identical fermions are in completely orthogonal states. If that is true, then does that mean that that the total wave function is highly ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Adding versus multiplying identical photons' wavefunctions?

I am currently confused with understanding many identical photons' wavefunctions. I think that photon wavefunctions are supposed to be multiplied together to describe the total state of all bosons. ...
2
votes
3answers
137 views

I am learning Quantum Mechanics and I have some questions about some basic concept [closed]

What does a "STATE" exactly mean in quantum mechanics? What is the equivalence of "STATE" in classical mechanics? If we have a wave function $\Psi$ , its absolute square $|\Psi|^2$ is the ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Noncanonical commutation relation and noncanonical wave mechanics [closed]

Consider noncanonical operators $\hat{x}_1,\hat{x}_2,\hat{p}_1,\hat{p}_2$ satisying the following condition in the $q_1,q_2$ - basis ($\psi=\langle q_1,q_2|\Psi\rangle$)(similar to wave mechanics): ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

How do I describe two entangled electrons in the same state except for a different spin

I am trying to formulate the wave function that describes two entangled electons having the same position but opposite spin. According to the Pauli exclusion principle this should be possible. And ...
1
vote
4answers
681 views

How can I show that an arbitrary wavefunction in a 1D SHO is periodic in time?

I want to show that an arbitrary wavefunction $f$ in a one dimensional harmonic potential reproduces itself after a period T up to a phase factor: $f(x,t+T)=Af(x,t)$, $|A|=1$ I am not sure if this ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Logic of the 'imaginary wave function collapse' argument in Double Slit experiment

My question is in regards to the stance that the 'wave function collapse' is not an actual physical occurrence. That is, you are not, by observation, changing the particles position from a wave to a ...
0
votes
0answers
178 views

Finite Square Well Inside an Infinite Square Well

Ok here's a potential I invented and am trying to solve: $$ V(x) = \begin{cases} -V_0&0<x<b \\ 0&b<x<a \\ \infty&x>a \\ \end{cases}$$ and $V(-x) = V(x)$ (Even ...
4
votes
2answers
520 views

Understanding the Wave Function and Excited States

A wave function is an infinite dimensional vector space, how can it "live" in $\mathbb{R}^3$? Given the equation that is built like: $$\Psi (x,t) = \sum ^{\infty} _{n=1} c_n \psi _n (x) e^{-i E_n t / ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

When Eigenfunctions/Wavefunctions are real?

When the Hamiltonian is Hermitian(i,e. beyond the effective mass approximation), generally under which conditions the eigenfunctions/wavefunctions are real? What happens in 1D case like the finite ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Sign of the wave function in orbital representation?

I have some fog in my head and a rather simple question for you: When the sign of the wave function is representated on orbitals, what is this sign? I mean is it the sign of the real part of the ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Probability of measuring momentum [closed]

Suppose we have this wavefunction: $$ \psi = A \left( cos(kx) + cos (2kx) \right) $$ I have to find the possible results of measurement of momentum and their probabilities. Attempt For a momentum ...
2
votes
1answer
412 views

Given wave function at $t=0$, what is the process of deriving time dependent wave equation? [closed]

Suppose $$\Psi (x, t=0)=Ae^{i\alpha _1}\psi _1(x)+Be^{i\alpha _2}\psi_2(x)+Ce^{i\alpha _3}\psi_3(x).$$ If $\psi _n$ are the energy eigenfunctions how would I derive $\Psi (x,t)$? I am having trouble ...
7
votes
2answers
360 views

When can we assume that the wavefunction is separable

While working out the stationary states of a single particle in a 3d infinite potential box ($V=0$ inside a cuboid of known dimensions, $V=\infty$ everywhere else), I realized I had to assume the ...
1
vote
1answer
236 views

How to determine the trasmission coefficient of a gaussian wave packet scattering on an finite square well?

I am doing a scattering simulation of a gaussian wave packet on a finite square well. I have solved numerically the Schroedinger equation and I know the values of the wave function after the ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

Imaginary Eigenvalue Of A Hermitian Operator

The eigenfunctions of a Hermitian operator are real. But consider a function $\psi(x)=e^{-\kappa x}$, $x\in\mathbb{R}$, where $\kappa$ is a real constant. Then, $$\hat p \psi(x)=-i\hbar ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

Representations in quantum mechanics [closed]

This might be a very simple question. I just want someone to point me the right direction to understand things like this: $$ \langle x|x'\rangle=\delta(x-x') \\ \psi(x)=\langle x|\psi\rangle \\ ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

How does a unique electron probability distribution correspond to one wavefunction?

I'm reading the Wikipedia article on DFT, and it says that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the ground state particle density $$n_0(\vec{r}) = N \int \text{d}^3 r_2 \int \text{d}^3 r_3 ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Calculating the Reflection Coefficient of a Potential Step Explicitly

So I'm using the following definition for the Reflection coefficient : $$\frac{\vec{j}_{reflected}}{\vec{j}_{incident}}$$ Hence, since : $$\psi_{reflected}=Be^{-ikx}$$ and ...
0
votes
1answer
345 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

Quick question on sketching wavefunction in well

Usually for an infinite well, the sketch for n=3 level is this: Now I think if one side of the potential barrier is higher, the particle will be more likely to spend time on the left side than ...
1
vote
0answers
182 views

Ground State Functional and Vacuum-Vacuum Transition Amplitude

In Path Integral formalism, the vacuum-vacuum transition amplitude is defined to be (the functional integration is over all field configurations in the whole spacetime; $\Phi_{\vec{x}}(\tau)$ is the ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

Stationary state of time-independent Schroedinger equation is always real valued function?

I am reflecting on the solution of the time-independent Schroedinger equation. My reasoning is that the stationary state of the time-independent Schroedinger equation must be a real valued function ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Entropy before and after collapse of the wavefunction/ and interpretation?

Seems like it might be pretty rudimentary but I want to see if my thinking is on the right track as well as what the result means. The question is, is the entropy of the collapse of a wavefunction or ...
1
vote
2answers
196 views

fermions and quantum gates

Say that I have 2 qubits - 2 spin half fermions. my initial condition is $|00\rangle$ in the spin-wave function and some anti-symmetrical spacial wave function. I'm wondering about what happens when ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Does the wave function of a particle completely describe the state of the particle?

In classical mechanics, if you know the position and momentum of a particle at time $t$ and the Hamiltonian, you can predict the particle's position and momentum at any time. In quantum mechanics, if ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

Majorana wavefunction

I'm trying to compute the wavefunction for a Majorana state in an nanowire/superconductor hybrid system, like arXiv: Majorana Fermions and a Topological Phase Transition in ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views

Understanding wave functions

I'm currently writing an essay on the measurement problem, and I'm not quite certain that I've fully understood the purpose of the wave function, in that does the following sentence make sense with ...
6
votes
2answers
399 views

Non-separable solution for the Schrödinger equation

Schrödinger solutions are usually if not always of the type: $\psi=\operatorname{T}(t)*\operatorname{X}(x)$ (we use the separation of variables method to arrive at the time independent Schroedinger ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

Meaning of $C$ in wavefunction equation ($\Psi_{MO} = C_1\phi_A(1s) + C_2\phi_B(1s)$, where $C_1=\pm C_2$)

I've just cracked open a biophysics textbook and it's all fine up until the introduction of the letter C in a wavefunction equation, and declaring C1= ±C2 I've had lectures on eigenfunctions etc. ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Physical interpretation of normalization of wave fuctions

Does normalization of wave function mean that we are getting our state vector to unit length? If that's the case what does it mean physically? Also is the underlying vector space finite dimensional? ...
1
vote
1answer
346 views

Quantum Mechanics - Rectangular Potential Barrier - Normalisation

I have a quick question regarding the normalisation of the wave function of a particle incident on a potential barrier specifically regarding the normalisation of the wave functions. The problem is ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Obtain the eigenfunction of Jz for the wave function of an electron in a hydrogen atom? [closed]

The wave function of an electron in a hydrogen atom is given by Is this wave function an eigenfunction of Jz , the z-component of the electron’s total angular momentum? If yes, find the ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Complex conjugate of momentum operator

Consider momentum operator representation in position space. $$\hat{p}=-i\frac{\partial}{\partial x} \,\ \text{and its eigen functions are } e^{ipx} \,\text{and} \,\ e^{-ipx}.$$ ...
5
votes
2answers
130 views

Physical position eigenfunction normalisation

We know that the Dirac function $$\delta(a)=\lim_{a \rightarrow 0} \delta_{a}(x)$$ can be written as an infinitesimally narrow Gaussian: $$ \delta_{a}(x) := \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi a^2}}e^{-x^2/2a^2}$$ ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Expectation value of Hamiltonian in different pictures of quantum mechanics

We start with the familiar Schrodinger equation: $$ i\hbar \frac{\partial \left|\psi_S\right\rangle}{\partial t} = \hat{H}_S \left|\psi_S\right\rangle $$ As we switch to a different picture than ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Calculating the expectation value of a Hamiltonian

I want to calculate the expectation value of a Hamiltonian. I have a wave function that is $$\psi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{5}}(1\phi_1 + 2\phi_2).$$ I want to know if I set this up properly. The ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Why don't we need to normalize wavefunction to find probability distribution?

Consider an unormalized wavefunction of a rotor at $t = 0$, a combination of $n=0$ and $n=2$ states: $$\psi(\phi) = 3 - 2 \cos (2\phi).$$ Find the probability distribution in angle. The ...
4
votes
3answers
227 views

Can a wave possess spin?

Since a matter wave is associated with a particle in quantum mechanics, does the wave spins? I mean, can we visualize the spinning of wave or is it possible that the wave spins?
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Wave Function Integral I need help conceptually and Mathematically

$$\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\frac{\partial^2\bar{\psi}}{\partial{x^2}}\frac{\partial\psi}{\partial{x}}~dx.$$ I have read that this is equal to Zero. Only problem is that what I am reading about doesn't ...
0
votes
1answer
473 views

Normalizing the sum of wavefunctions and calculating probabilty - understanding concepts

A state of a particle bounded by infinite potential walls at x=0 and x=L is described by a wave function $\psi = a\phi_1 + b\phi_2 $ where $\phi_i$ are the stationary states. So let's say we want to ...
2
votes
3answers
747 views

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 ...