Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How are probabilistic equations of physics usually formulated?

  1. Sep 29, 2011 #1
    Are they derived from accepted laws and then tested, or are experiments carried out first and then a function is searched for that matches the results (or possibly both, or neither)? For example, how would an equation that gives the probability of electron locations be thought of? My "gut feeling" is that the former would be done, as the equations I've seen seem too precise to be otherwise, but as I do not have much experience in this field, I thought it would be better to ask.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2011 #2
    I asked my QM professor this. He said Schrodinger just randomly decided to take the (well known) wave equation for string vibrations, etc. and modify it until it fit experimental data. Seems kind of sketchy to me... but hey, he has a Ph.D. :P
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  4. Sep 29, 2011 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  5. Sep 29, 2011 #4
    Nice post that you've linked to. I've always wondered why people feel compelled to make up answers instead of just saying "I don't know".
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook