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Homework Help: 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


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


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    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
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