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B Physical significance of wave function

  1. Jul 8, 2017 #1
    I am a beginner in quantum mechanics. I started out with D. J. Griffiths' book in quantum mechanics.

    I'm having a problem in understanding the wave function. What is the physical meaning of the wave function? I searched on the net but didn't get any good explanation. I understand that the square of the wave function represents probability density. I also understood the normalisation of wave function, but what is the wave function by itself? How can I experimentally find a wave function?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2017 #2


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    there is none. No physical meaning. Nevertheless very useful (as in the Schroedinger equation)
    In fact it is a probability density.
  4. Jul 8, 2017 #3
    From the normalization condition ## \int \mathrm{d}^3 x \psi^*(x) \psi(x) = 1## you can see the wave function is in some sense the square root or factorization of a probability distribution, it is a means for representing probabilities for measuring quantities related to physical systems.
  5. Jul 8, 2017 #4
    Yes, that I've seen. I was looking forward to whether it was a physical quantity which can be measured.
  6. Jul 8, 2017 #5
    Thanks for that, I had missed it!
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