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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Derivation of Schrödinger equation - free particle

I learn quantum physics from Alonso-Finn's book (Amazon link), there's one step of Schrödinger equation for a free particle that I couldn't understand. $$ \frac{\mathrm{d^{2}\Psi } }{\mathrm{d} x^{_{...
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3answers
156 views

Justifying the notation $\langle x\ |\ \psi\rangle$ [duplicate]

I came across this expression: $$\langle x\ |\ \psi\rangle=\psi(x)$$ How can it be justified? I understand the LHS as an inner product, and the RHS just as a function of the parameter $x$.
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1answer
213 views

Eigenvalues of the radial Schrödinger equation on a finite integration interval

There are numerous ways to estimate the eigenvalues of a radial Schrödinger equation, see http://arxiv.org/abs/math-ph/0703040 as an example. Anyhow, the formulas only cover the Schrödinger equations ...
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1k views

Why is the expectation value of ground state electron momentum zero?

I have a normalized energy eigenfunction for the ground state of Hydrogen which is $$ \Psi(r) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{\pi a_0^3}}\exp\left(-\frac{r}{a_o}\right), $$ where $a_o$ is the Bohr radius, I have ...
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2answers
100 views

Why does a plane wave leave the position of the particle unspecified?

I'm covering a book on QM, and just started recently and I'm stuck at understanding something. It says that we can describe the state of motion of a particle with an infinite plane wave equation: $\...
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4answers
270 views

What does “spread of momentum” actually mean?

I was reading Feynman's lecture in which Feynman invoked his own way of explaining the uncertainty principle using single-slit experiment. There I found: To get a rough idea of the spread of ...
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40 views

What are the conditions of wave function continuity when solving for Dirac Spinors as done in “Klein paradox” paper by Novoselov?

In the paper "Chiral tunneling and Klein paradox" paper by Katsnelson, Novoselov, and Geim, they use the wave function for Dirac spinors. What are the conditions for continuity of the wave function ...
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971 views

Triangular barrier in infinite potential well

Suppose I am looking to solve the wavefunction for the following 1D potential: $$U(x) = \begin{cases}V_0\frac{a-|x|}{a}&\quad\text{for}\quad|x|<a \\\infty&\quad\text{for}\quad|x|>a\end{...
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342 views

The delta function as an eigenfunction of the position operator explanation

$\delta (\textbf{r})$ can be interpreted as a wavefunction. [...] It is non-vanishing only for $\textbf{r}=0$. [...] $\delta(\textbf{r})$ is an eigenfunction of the position operator with eigenvalue ...
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3answers
450 views

Normalization of wave function meaning…?

I just have one question. I'm doing a problem where I'm told to normalize a wave function, which is split up into two regions, namely where $r \leq r_0$ and $r > r_0$. My question is, why am I ...
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1answer
101 views

How does one normalize this wavefunction? [closed]

Here is the question: So I could write $ N = \dfrac{1}{{\sqrt{<Ψ|Ψ>}}} $, right? Considering the parentheses in the exponential term, it looks like a good idea to switch to spherical polar ...
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2answers
328 views

Eigenstate vs collapsed wave function

An eigenstate, or determinate state, is a state where the measurement of some observable always yields the same result. This means that the standard deviation of the observable is zero. If a ...
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1answer
226 views

Probability density function of a particle for computation [closed]

I'm writing a program, part of which relies on a particle being able to change location similar to a how a real particle would behave (pardon my physics). For example, on a grid of 100x100, a ...
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2answers
4k views

Why do wave functions need to be normalized? Why aren't the normalized to begin with? [duplicate]

Before I started studying quantum mechanics, I thought I knew what normalization was. Just pulling off Google, here's a definition that matches what I've understood normalization to mean: ...
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1answer
402 views

Fermions in a well

I have two identical fermions in an infinite potential well. They are non-interacting. How should I show that the first excited state is four-fold degenerate? Is the wavefunction just the ...
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5answers
496 views

Why do we need a wave function?

Assuming our only aim is to solve double slit experiment (or other problems that can be mapped into that). Knowing that electron does some strange thing not expected of a particle, we need a function ...
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2answers
999 views

Can expectation value be imaginary?

I was solving a problem and the result of the expectation value of an operator came out to be $-\frac{\hbar}{4}$ $i$. Is this result possible? It seems counter intuitive.
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4answers
377 views

Does $\lvert\langle p\lvert\psi\rangle\rvert^2$ have any meaning at all?

I used to think $\lvert\langle p\lvert\psi\rangle\rvert^2$ had the meaning of some likelihood of the particle's momentum being $p$ (within some tolerance interval $\Delta p$). Now I'm just confused. ...
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3answers
95 views

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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1answer
152 views

What's the relation between molecular orbitals and electron density?

The way molecular orbitals are drawn represent the "encapsulated" space in which the wave function has a significant amplitude. How do I obtain from this the electron density? Is there a fundamental ...
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0answers
307 views

Problems while numerically computing band structure using k.p theory

I want to use k.p theory to numerically compute the band structure of a bulk semiconductor. The band I like to include are the lowest conduction band (cb), the heavy-hole (hh), the light-hole (lh) and ...
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2answers
233 views

What is the necessity of wave packet in studying matter wave?

I am new to this realm of physics. I have literally understood the matter wave, wave function; read the trapped electron in an infinite potential-well. But what I didn't understand is the concept of ...
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Normalizing the solution to free particle Schrödinger equation

I have the one dimensional free particle Schrödinger equation $$i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial t} \Psi (x,t) = -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2} \Psi (x,t), \tag{1}$$ with ...
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2answers
360 views

Relation between Wave equation of light and photon wave function?

Suppose in our double slit experimental setup with the usual notations $d,D$, we have a beam of light of known frequency $(\nu)$ and wavelength $(\lambda)$ - so we can describe it as $$ξ_0 = A\sin(kx-\...
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1answer
35 views

How do I interpret the math relating to diffraction?

The following is a quote from the Haifa Lectures (Mendel Sachs) But if both slits are open, the wave function for the electron penetrating screen S1 is the superposition of states, $(\psi_1 + \...
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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?
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65 views

Inverse Fourier Transfrom of a wavefunction

I was reading about how a Fourier transform yields the wave-function expressed in terms of the momenta which constitute it, i.e. the wave-function in momentum space. I'm not so good at calculus yet ...
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2answers
157 views

Wave functions as $x$ goes to infinity

This problem emerged when I was going through some QM exercises: I've been asked to find the commutator $[A,B]$ where $A,B$ are defined as $$A\psi(x)=x\frac{\partial }{\partial x}\psi(x),$$ ...
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1answer
109 views

If I want to determine a particle's momentum or position, do I get this information from the wave function?

I am confused about how one measures the dynamical variables (eg position) of a particle. I thought the wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ was the probability amplitude and $|\Psi(x,t)|^2$ represents the ...
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1answer
247 views

Position and momentum expectation values for the stationary states of the infinite square well [closed]

I'm really lost in figuring out how to solve the integral for the expectation value of $x$ and $x^2$ $$\int_0^a x \sin(\frac{n\pi}ax)^2 dx $$ This equation is from the $n$th stationary state ...
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2answers
72 views

$\newcommand{\b}[1]{\langle#1\rangle}$Is the expectation of an operator written as $\b{\psi|\hat A|\psi}$ or as $\b{\psi|\hat A|\psi}/\b{\psi|\psi}$?

I had presumed that the expectation of an operator is written as $\b{\hat A} = \b{\psi|\hat A|\psi}$, but some online reference insists on dividing the entire expression by $\b{\psi|\psi}$. Since $\b{\...
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42 views

Is it ever appropriate to write $| \phi(t)>$

I am trying to solve the Schrodinger's wave equation $\hat H |\psi(x,t)> = E|\psi(x,t)>$ using separation variables so that $\psi(x,t) = \psi(x)\phi(t)$ Solving the equation involves the step ...
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1answer
97 views

In the Double Slit Experiment, does the measuring device collapse the wave function?

PLEASE READ Many physicist say that the measuring device collapses the electron wave function because it is firing photons in order to measure the electron position. So, what collapses the electron ...
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“Reality” of EM waves vs. wavefunction of individual photons - why not treat the wave function as equally “Real”?

In thinking how to ask this question (somewhat) succinctly, I keep coming back to a Microwave Oven. A Microwave Oven has a grid of holes over the window specifically designed to be smaller in ...
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2answers
205 views

Calculation of the $\langle H \rangle$ for a particle in a box

I am working through a problem in which a particle is in an infinite potential well of length $L$ at $t=0$ before the spontaneous change of the box being expanded to length $2L$. I have calculated the ...
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520 views

Projection of wavefunction onto basis function

I am given to believe that one way that one would could represent a wavefunction is by the expansion $$\Psi(x) = \Sigma_n \Psi_n(x) = \Sigma_n f_n\phi_n(x) \tag{1}$$ where $\{\phi_n (x) \}$ is an ...
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1answer
160 views

Is the expression $S=K \log(\Psi)$ appearing in Schrödinger's first paper well defined?

I am currently reading Schrödinger's papers and happen to have some questions that maybe some expert in the field could clarify for me. Like what happens with $$S = K \log(\Psi)$$ when $\Psi<0$. ...
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Exercise about Bethe Ansatz for $N=3$ particles on a ring of length $L$

Suppose there are $3$ bosons living on a 1-dimensional ring of length $L$. The Hamiltonian is given by $$H=-\sum_{i=1}^3\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x_i^2}+\sum_{1\leq j<k\leq 3}2c\delta(x_j-x_k).$$...
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2answers
148 views

Rectangular window $\psi$ wave-function and the calculus of $\langle p^2\rangle$ for it

I'm currently considering a rectangular window $\psi$ function: $$ \psi(x) = \begin{cases}\left(2a\right)^{-1/2}&\text{for } |x|<a \\ 0&\text{otherwise.} \end{cases} $$ I am interested in ...
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64 views

Does Clairaut's Theorem apply to the Wave Function?

In Griffiths Intro to Quantum Mechanics, I came across a problem that asks the student to prove one of the consequences of the Ehrenfest theorem: $$\frac{d \langle p \rangle}{dt} = \left\langle - \...
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3answers
266 views

Classical Limit of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

The classical harmonic oscillator obeys an arcsine law in that the distribution of positions of the particle over a single time cycle is proportional to $\frac{1}{\sqrt{A^2-x^2}}$, $A$ being the ...
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2answers
154 views

Calculation of $\langle p\rangle$ and $\langle p^2\rangle$ for wave function [closed]

Given the wave function $$\psi(x)=A\exp\left[-a \left(\frac{mx^{2}}{\hbar}+it\right)\right]$$ I would like to calculate $\sigma_{p}$. \begin{align}\langle p\rangle &=\int \psi^{\star}\left(\frac{...
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200 views

Bra-ket of products

I was trying to solve the following problem. (Lifted from Modern Quantum Chemistry: Introduction to Advanced Electronic Structure Theory by Szabo and Ostlund) I came across across a solution for ...
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How do you determine the “phase” of a hydrogen eigenfunction?

I've been reading the wikipedia article on the atomic orbitals of hydrogen. They have a nice collection of diagrams, such as this one for n,l,m = 3,1,1 This is apparently showing the wavefunction, ...
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Why does the electron wave function collapse in a double slit experiment?

Did the electron wave function collapse in the double slit experiment due to being observed, OR is it that the electron wave function collapsed because the instrument used to measure it physically ...
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Is hydrogen atom in a box solvable analytically?

Schrödinger's equation for hydrogen atom in free space can be easily solved by switching to center of mass frame, introducing reduced mass and separating variables in the resulting 3D problem. But ...
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1answer
81 views

Finite vs. infinite systems, band structure and wave functions

Why do we need a finite system to find the find the wave function and a infinite system to find the band structure?
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1answer
62 views

Is there a mathematical explanation for why there occur bound states if the effective potential falls below zero?

Usually in physics textbooks, if the effective potential of the radial schroedinger equation $$-\frac{d^2}{dr^2}u(r) + \frac{\ell(\ell+1)}{r^2}u(r) + V(r)u(r) = E u(r)$$ falls below zero in some ...
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2answers
754 views

Can the chance of finding a particle diminish over time?

Let's assume we have a wave function described by a wave equation and it is a function of space and time $\psi : \mathbb{R}^4 \rightarrow \mathbb{C}$. This function needs to be normalized, so if I ...
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87 views

Simplest fermionic normalized quantum many-particle wavefunction in position representation

What is the simplest fermionic normalized quantum many-particle wavefunction, expressed in the first-quantized position representation, that you can think of? The normal single-particle examples don't ...