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Variational theory

  1. Feb 21, 2007 #1

    I am trying to understand the variational principle

    (E_n - E_0) >= 0

    E_0 is the ground state of the system? E_n is nonground and will the nonground state than always have a higher energy than the ground state?

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2007 #2


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    Yes, by definition. The ground sate is defined as the state with lowest energy (i.e., if you know the energy spectrum of a system, you label the lowest energy state as the "ground state").

    PS: The equation you wrote above is not a statement of the variational principle.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
  4. Feb 24, 2007 #3
    okay thanks for the answer
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
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