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Agerhell
Agerhell is offline
#3
Feb21-12, 08:00 AM
P: 152
Quote Quote by 3m0k177y View Post
OK, so i understand that wave functions have something to do with something.....i'm clueless, please help on this one.

First, what ARE wave functions? i haven't an answer that i can understand, explain this to me dumbed down please.

Second, what do they do exactly in the double slit experiment?
If you don't know what that is, its where particles are shot at a sheet with two slits in it, and a sheet behind that catches the particles. when there is an observer, the sheet that catches the particles has two rows where the particles built up, the rows correspond to the slits of course. when the observer isn't present, the particles scatter all over the sheet that catches them, this is because the particles are in quantum state therefor they are everywhere they can possibly be and the individual particles interfere with themselves.
Historically I think it began with the "Schrödinger equation". By using that equation, which is a wave equation, Schrödinger was able to compute the energy levels of the hydrogen atom.

Apparently, as bhubba points out, the wave function concept can also be use to explain the outcome of the double slit experiment. Can someone inform me on other ways in which the wave-function concept is used to explain things?