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Wave Function

  1. Jun 13, 2008 #1
    Hi everyone, Can any body solve my simple problems of quantum:
    Usually we say, that wave function Ψ is dependent on r,θ,Φ .But this is just a coordinate system,or more than that. Imagination to this is qite difficult.
    Moreover somewhere in a book I have read that if Ψ = f(r,θ) exp(imΦ),then on increment of 2pi in Φ does not change wave function.? Why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2008 #2
    Did you mean to ask the question: "Is this just a coordinate system,or more than that?"
    If so, then it looks like you are just presenting spherical coordinates. Instead of your axes defining three edges of a box (as in Cartesian coordinates), your three axes define a sphere.

    This just means that the specific wavefunction you have is sinusoidally periodic in Φ.
  4. Jun 13, 2008 #3


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    You can think of points in space as something independent of coordinates, and coordinate systems as functions that assign three numbers to each point in space. If p is a point in space and f and g are coordinate systems, then

    [tex]\psi(p)=(\psi\circ f^{-1})(f(p))=(\psi\circ g^{-1})(g(p))[/tex]

    If f assigns the cartesian coordinates and g the spherical coordinates, then we can write [itex](\psi\circ f^{-1})(x,y,z)=(\psi\circ g^{-1})(r,\theta,\phi)[/itex].

    So you can think of your wave function as the composition of a coordinate independent wave function and the inverse of a coordinate system.
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