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Anti-symmetric electron wavefunctions

  1. Feb 9, 2007 #1

    marcusl

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    I'm reading Harrison's book on Solid State Theory, and he states without explanation that the many-particle wavefunction in a solid must be anti-symmetric with respect to exchange of any two electrons. I guess it may be obvious, but can someone explain why it's anti-symmetric?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2007 #2
    Electrons are fermions, you can't have two in the same state. As such, the wave functions for fermions are created to be antisymmetric. That way, if you have two fermions in the same state, the function collapses to zero. because it's the negative of itself.

    For bosons this isn't true and you can pack as many as you like into the same state.
     
  4. Feb 9, 2007 #3

    marcusl

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    Thanks. I knew it had to be obvious!
     
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