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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Why is the position space free particle wavefunction a function of momentum?

This is one of those little things that has always confused me. If someone said to you "in quantum mechanics, the eigenfunctions of a free particle are $\exp(ipx/\hbar)$" how would you know that ...
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1answer
413 views

How to find the time evolution for two-component spinor? [closed]

I would like to find the time evolution for the given Hamiltonian, the initial state of the system we choose two spinor wavefunction $\psi_{+}(t=0)$ and $\psi_{-}(t=0)$ as given below: The effective ...
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2answers
544 views

Normalizing 3-Dimensional Wave Function [closed]

How do you normalize a wave function in three dimensions with spherical coordinates?
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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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1answer
204 views

Understanding the behavior of light/photons inside a Laser

I am trying to establish a model inside my head of how light behaves but find it hard with all the seemingly contradicting information. For example, electrons inside a Laser are raised to a higher ...
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2answers
71 views

What the wave function looks of a particle in the infinite square well looks like after collapse for measurements of position and energy

Consider a particle in a the infinite square well from x=0 to x=L. At t=to, I make a measurement of position and get x=L/2. What is the resulting wave function at t=to? My understanding, from reading, ...
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1answer
70 views

Normalisation of a wavefunction [closed]

If the system if found in the state: $$\psi=\sqrt{\frac{1}{2\pi}}(\frac1{\sqrt3}e^{-i3\phi}+ce^{-i4\phi})$$ what value of $c$ normalizes the wavefunction? Clearly: $$\int_0^{2\pi}\psi^*\psi d\psi=1$...
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201 views

Probability of finding particle in infinite square well, displaced walls

Initially a quantum particle moves in a one-dimensional well ($x$-axis) from $-a$ to $ a$, $ V = \infty $ outside and $ V = 0 $ inside the well. So initially, the wave-function $$ \psi_0 = \sqrt\frac{...
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1answer
88 views

How to separate k into real and imaginary parts?

In $k^2 - \frac{\omega^2}{c_o^2} + (\tau_{\alpha} i \omega)^{\alpha} k^2 = 0$, $k$ is the wavenumber, $\omega$ is angular frequency, others are constants. How can I separate the wavenumber $k$ into ...
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0answers
122 views

Bound states in 1D & 2D [duplicate]

Why does Mother Nature allow bound states in arbitrarily weak attractive potential in 2D but not in 3D? See, for example, this article, arXiv:math-ph/0208011.
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1answer
110 views

Quantum Mechanics Notation

Generally we have that $$|\psi\rangle=\int_{all space} \psi(\mathbf x)|\mathbf x\rangle d^3\mathbf x$$ and therefore $\psi(\mathbf x)=\langle\mathbf x|\psi\rangle$. When discussing the mutual ...
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The probability of finding the electron in the H-atom

In the book Arthur Beiser - Concepts of modern physics [page 213] author separates the variables in the polar Schrödinger equation assuming: $$\psi_{nlm}=R(r)\Phi(\phi)\Theta(\theta)$$ then there a ...
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137 views

Has anyone published the procedure to generalize ladder operators for any potential in Schrodinger's equation?

I know that the ladder operator for the quantum harmonic oscillator \begin{align} H\psi_m = \left(\dfrac{p^2}{2m}+\dfrac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2\right)\psi_m=E_m\psi_m \end{align} is \begin{align} A = \sqrt{...
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3answers
465 views

Is normalization consistent with Schrodinger's Equation?

Schrodinger's Equation does not set a limit on the size of wave functions but to normalize a wave function a limit must be set. How is this consistent physically and mathematically with Schrodinger's ...
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0answers
57 views

Why position and momenta are fluctuating quantities?

In a coordinate basis we have $$\langle \Psi \mid \Psi \rangle = \int \prod_{i=1}^N d^3q_i |\Psi(\textbf{q}_1,\dots,\textbf{q}_N)|^2=1$$ This means that for any quantum state $\mid \Psi \...
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5answers
881 views

Quantum Wave Mechanics

I am studying QM-I these days. Now, I just think of the wave function as just a mathematical function that defines the state of the particle at an instant and from it you can extract various ...
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5answers
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Hydrogen radial wave function infinity at $r=0$

When trying to solve the Schrödinger equation for hydrogen, one usually splits up the wave function into two parts: $$\psi(r,\phi,\theta)= R(r)Y_{l,m}(\phi,\theta).$$ I understand that the radial ...
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2answers
136 views

Particle in a one dimensional box conditions

Why does the wave function have to be $C^1(\mathbb{R})$ for a finite square well but not for an infinite square well? For an infinite square well with boundaries at $x=0$ and $x=L$, we have $$\psi_n(x)...
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2answers
237 views

details for the double slit experiment

In the double slit experiment with electrons, are all electrons going through the slits? If the electron gun is directed between two slits, than it should hit the central part between the slits, isn't ...
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1answer
1k views

What is a 'turning point' in WKB and why does it fail at that point?

What is meant by a classical turning point in quantum mechanics and why does the WKB approximation fail at that point?
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1answer
198 views

How to calculate the expectation value of position vector?

$$\psi (\vec{x})=Ae^{-(1/4a^2)|\vec{x}-\vec{x}_0|^2}e^{i\vec{p}_0\cdot \vec{x}/\hbar}$$ The wave function is like this, then how is the expectation value of position vector (not position) calculated?
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1answer
115 views

How to solve infinite square well with exponential solution (of oscillatory type)?

Given a potential well of $V = 0$ on the interval $(0,L)$ and $V = \infty$ outside the well, I am working to solve the Time Independent Schrodinger Equation $$\dfrac{d^2}{dx^2} \psi= \dfrac{-2mE}{\...
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5answers
449 views

General question about the potential barrier problem: Why does $\exp( kx)$ diverge when $x>0$ in the case when $E < V(x)$?

For the two images below, the first potential barrier has particles approaching it where $E > V_o$ & the second has a particle that has $E < V_o$, where $E$ is the energy of the particles ...
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1answer
90 views

QM: Why is there a minus sign on the Energy operator when using complex conjugate?

I understand how they get the first equation. But I have no idea why there is a minus sign on the second equation: This is from a derivation for the probability density current found here: http://...
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162 views

Is there something wrong with quantizing two times in second quantization?

Second quantization is sometimes considered to be a bad name, because a single quantization is enough. For electrons, we can either start from a many body viewpoint and introduce field operators or we ...
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1answer
59 views

How do I take take the partial derivatives of the general solution to the TDSE for a free particle? [closed]

Consider the general solution to the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for a free particle \begin{align*} \Psi(x,t) &=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi}}\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} \phi(k) e^{i\left(\hbar kx-\...
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1answer
43 views

Can someone clarify what should and should not be an operator in my verification of the 1D solution to the SE for a free particle?

I just worked out the 1D free particle solution to the Schrödinger equation. My wave function was \begin{equation} \psi(x,t) = Ae^{i(px-Et)/\hbar} \end{equation} So I plugged this into both sides ...
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1answer
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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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4answers
2k views

Electrons - What is Waving?

If an electron is a wave, what is waving? So many answers on the internet say "the probability that a particle will be at a particular location"... so... the electron is a physical manifestation of ...
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3answers
155 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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“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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3answers
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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4answers
269 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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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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1answer
125 views

Why is the full eigenfunction a product of eigenfunctions and not a sum?

For example suppose there is a two electron system. Why is the full eigenfunction a product of the spatial eigenfunction and spin-wave-function for the two electron system?
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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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2answers
961 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{...
4
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1answer
88 views

Tip of a spreading wave-packet: asymptotics beyond all orders of a saddle point expansion

This is a technical question coming from mapping of an unrelated problem onto dynamics of a non-relativistic massive particle in 1+1 dimensions. This issue is with asymptotics dominated by a term ...
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2answers
340 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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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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1answer
100 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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5answers
856 views

Is the wave function objective or subjective?

Here is a question I am curious about. Is the wave function objective or subjective, or is such a question meaningless? Conventionally, subjectivity is as follows: if a quantity is subjective then ...
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2answers
326 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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2answers
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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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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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305 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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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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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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How to find the wavefunction that solves an infinite square well with a delta function well in the middle?

Solutions for the wavefunction in an infinite square well with a delta function barrier in the middle are easily found online (see here for an example). I am wondering what the wavefunction is for an ...