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Homework Help: Quantum chemistry/physics

  1. Oct 21, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Hi all.

    This post is about quantum chemistry, but my question arises when looking at the problem from a physical point of view.

    The Schrödinger equation gives us the stationary states of a system, and lets say that we are looking at a system with two stationary states (Dirac notation - but the LaTeX does not work, so bear with me) |1> and |2> with an associated eigenenergy. These two orthonormal states span the Hilbert space we are working in.


    Now here's my question: I am looking at a figure of a molecule with six orbitals, and now each orbital is represented by an orthonormal basis |1>, |2>, |3>, |4>, ..., |6>. An eigenstate is then a linear combination of these basis-vectors (orbitals) with an associated energy.

    Question: How am I do interpret these basis-vectors |1>, |2>, |3>, |4>, ..., |6>? They surely cannot represent stationary states (i.e. solutions to the time-independent Schrödinger equation), because then a linear combination of them would not have an eigenenergy.

    Thanks in advance. Any help will be greatly appreciated, since I cannot get help from anywhere else at the moment.

    Best regards,
    Niles.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2008 #2
    Can I get a moderator to move this thread to the "Advanced Physics Homework Help"? I think it belongs there more than in this section.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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