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Multiparticle Schrodinger Equations

  1. Mar 6, 2008 #1
    I would like to see the set of partial differential equations (PDEs) describing how
    3 or more subatomic particles interact - whether electrons, protons, neutrons,
    or all the other particles I was never taught in school, but learned about since college
    thanks to the internet.

    I guess I am asking to see a system of multiparticle Schrodinger wave equations.
    Labelling the individual particles and force and momentum equations with indices
    is fine. Please correct my terminology as necessary. I view the Schrodinger wave
    equation as a "conservation of energy" equation. Is this the correct or optimal view?
    I think in terms of all laws of physics as being "conservation laws" -
    conservation of mass, momentum, energy and entropy. I cannot think of what else
    gets conserved. Quantum number or spin, I suppose, right?

    So, I am curious to see what each of these conservation laws looks like for a
    system of N particles - along with any relativistic effects.

    Yes, although I may be stuck in Cartesian coordinates and worldview
    of coordinate-dependent physics, my entire life I have always forced myself
    to learn new things. I still am (taking a course in molecular genetics at the moment).

    As a physics novice, I do NOT want to complain about how particle physics is presented in books and on the web until I do the legwork to understand it all. However, my impression - even when I took graduate differential geometry and we got to lightcones and Ricci curvatures and never really felt I knew what was going on - has been that all presentations of physics just deal with a single point or particle. All the presentations look exactly alike to me and leave me confused.

    I'd get a better understanding if I see how THIS particle interacts with THAT particle
    interacts with yet ANOTHER particle.

    Also, are there any community colleges - or relatively inexpensive colleges -
    which offer all the required physics courses leading to a course in subatomic particles?
    I have no plans to do this, so I am asking a non-practical (but not rhetorical) question.
    I know that I will never learn subatomic particle physics as well from reading wikipedia
    - as amazing as wiki is - as I would by taking the formal sequence of courses and
    being tested and forced to receive a grade. The closest college to me which offers
    a sequence of such courses - 14 of them, 12 of which must all be taken sequentially -
    is Drexel University. But, I could never afford their courses ($3000 each).

    So you know what level to communicate with me - although, one should NEVER dumb
    anything down: My background: BChE (Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, U Del, 1986) => I've had a year of physical chemistry, which covered elementary quantum mechanics in the end. I am actually shocked that I have had only 1 semester of college physics.
    I was a hotshot in physics in high school. But, I never got to Maxwell's Equations
    formally in a course. I've seen them a billion times on the internet and elsewhere.

    Also, I have a PhD in Math (Rutgers, 2000), specializing in differential algebra. My goal and passion has been to solve systems of nonlinear ODEs - and eventually PDEs --
    "exactly". I have had my own ideas of what "exactly" means, such as, compositions
    of Picard-Vessiot extensions.

    I apologize to all readers and to the administrators for registering to Physics Forums and clogging the administrators' databases of members. I really do NOT like having to join
    new forums. However, I HAVE had nagging basic physics questions about particles
    for decades. Yes - it's the paradox that I actually AGREE with all the administrators'
    rules on a forum, and for their same reasons, but resent being required to abide by them.

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
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