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Dipole moment

  1. Dec 22, 2008 #1


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    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I we know the eigenstates of the system be [tex]|\psi_1\rangle[/tex] and [tex]|\psi_2\rangle[/tex]. Current state of the system is

    [tex]|\Psi\rangle = c_1 |\psi_1\rangle + c_2 |\psi_2\rangle[/tex]

    Try to find the expectation value of electric dipole moment [tex]\mu[/tex] (assume it is real) and write it in matrix form

    2. The attempt at a solution
    The expectation value of something is just the integral of that operator in given state, so

    [tex]\langle \mu \rangle = \int \Psi^* \mu \Psi d^3x = \int (c_1^* \psi_1^* + c_2^* \psi_2^*)\mu(c_1 \psi_1 + c_2 \psi_2) = |c_1|^2 + |c_2|^2 + \int c_1^*c_2\psi_1^*\psi_2d^3x + \int c_1c_2^*\psi_1\psi_2^*d^3x[/tex]

    The last two terms are zero because the eigenstates are orthogonal to each other, right?


    [tex]\langle \mu \rangle = \mu|c_1|^2 + \mu|c_2|^2 [/tex]

    Is this correct? But what does it mean by writing it as matrix form?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2008 #2
    Isn't mu an operator defined by mu = ex, where e is the electron charge and x is the position operator. I think you treated mu as a number.
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