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Question about quantum physics and possible shortcomings

  1. Sep 8, 2012 #1
    I was originally an applied math major and about 2 years ago doubled up with a major in physics... Being an applied math major, I have had quite a few courses in mathematical modeling, and there was always something that bugged me about quantum physics. I figured that I would figure it out once I finally took a couple of courses in quantum, and even asked my professor, but this question has yet to be answered for me:

    The Schrodinger equation is a mathematical model, or sometimes also referred to as a deterministic model... So why in the world are we associating a probabilistic function with it?

    I'm not saying that it's wrong or that it doesn't provide insight, because it most definitely does and obviously has provided quite a revolution in modern technology. However, it does seem rather limiting to use a mathematical model in such a way...

    Does anyone understand what I'm saying? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2012 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The Schrödinger equation determines a wave function w/o any uncertainty, probability, indeterminism or something like that. But what we are doing is to interpret this wave function as a probability density (of finding a single particle in a certain region).
  4. Sep 9, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Because experimental outcomes are probabilistic, in general, as far as we know.
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