1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Parity of a wavefunction

  1. Jan 11, 2008 #1
    Can anyone help me understand what is meant by the "parity of a wavefunction"?

    I know in terms of even/odd parity, that:

    [tex]P \Psi(x,y,z) = \pm \Psi(x,y,z)[/tex]

    ie, P = +/- 1

    But I don't know what "parity of a wavefunction" physically means...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2008 #2


    User Avatar

    The P operator turns [tex]{\vec r}\rightarrow -{\vec r}[/tex].
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  4. Jan 13, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    you can also relate this to ordninary functions.

    P(cos(x)) = cos(-x) = cos(x) ; so cos is an even function -> Symmetric

    P(sin(x)) = sin(-x) = -sin(x) ; so sin is an odd function -> Anti-Symmetric
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Parity of a wavefunction
  1. Parity of states (Replies: 1)

  2. Parity and Copehagen (Replies: 8)