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!

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,
  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.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook