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

How can I plot time-dependent wave-functions?

  1. Apr 18, 2015 #1
    I am trying to plot the wave-function of free particles as a function of x and time. Can someone explain or reference a site which explains how.

    --Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    So for this, it will be helpful if you understand a bit of multivariable calculus. Since the plot will not only be a function of time, but also a function of space (x,t) so your function now has two variables. We know this for a fact, because we encounter it in our daily lives. (at least we perceive it to be such a fact) Now looking at standard equation of a wave :
    We see how a function might change as x, and t changes. But much of the time, one parameter may seem rather arbitrary, and that parameter may be time.

    I know that I am getting a bit off topic, but use the standard equations of a wave to guide you on what you want to plot. I believe Wolfram alpha has the ability to plot functions of several parameters if I am not mistaken. Experiment, and have a little fun with it. :)
  4. Apr 18, 2015 #3

    Thanks, and yeah I have been trying to plot the Solution to the Schrödinger equation for a free particle using Wolfram they have an interactive option where you can play around with the wave. However when plotting
    and I have x fixed, the real and imaginary components do not oscillate vertically with time. Maybe Python will do the trick?

    --Freddy Cisneros
  5. Apr 18, 2015 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Damn, yeah maybe python can do the trick, or C. But that goes beyond the realm of my knowledge.
  6. Apr 18, 2015 #5
    Thanks Raul, I'll look into it a little deeper.

    --Freddy Cisneros
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook