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Interaction of two wavefunctions

  1. Aug 12, 2013 #1

    I've been thinking about the following scheme: let's say I have an incoming photon ray with wavefunction ψ1 that finds a bloch electron with wavefunction ψ2. Is there any way to compute the optical coefficients (transmitivity, reflectivity etc) of the material knowing only this two ψ and the corresponding electronic DOS due to the bloch electrons?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Yes - you are scattering a photon off an electron in a solid.
  4. Aug 13, 2013 #3
    The wavefunction contains complete knowledge of the system, so I think yes it should be possible to compute all materials properties in principle.

    But is it meaningful to talk of a photon wavefunction? The Schrodinger equation does not apply to them. More advanced formalism is needed (fields and field operators).
  5. Aug 14, 2013 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Pretty much - you will see treatments that talk about a plane-wave state for incoming photons etc. for the scattering regime ... i.e. we can certainly write down a schrodinger equation for a system composed of matter and photons in Columb gauge.

    But a proper QM treatment for the interaction of photons and Bloch electrons will involve field theory or, at least, QED.
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