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Understanding superposition

  1. Feb 16, 2006 #1
    I'll try not to make this to confusing, but I'm having difficulty understanding a couple of different things. The first is how you can have a superposition of momentum. Does it have to do with waves just as it does with the superposition of the position of an electron, hense the electron cloud? Furthermore, is the electron cloud possible due to both position and momentum superposition? I hope this makes sense, i couldn't figure out how else to describe my problem.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2006 #2
    Superpositions of states are a basic asumption of QM. According to the theory, the particle is in a superposition of states of an observable (momentum, for example) until a measurement is made. After the measurement, the particle goes to one of the eigenstates of that observable. Exactly how this works is a matter of controversy and reasearch even today.

    The electron cloud is the plotting in 3 dimensions of the probability of finding an electron in some place. The probability is calculated from the wave function that is a solution for the Schroedinger equation in that specific situation.

    I hope it is of some help. Anyway, if I didn't explained what you wanted, try again and someone probably will do that.
     
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