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What is superposition?

  1. Jul 28, 2006 #1
    what is superposition?
    in wikipedia:"In linear algebra, the principle of superposition states that, for a linear system, a linear combination of solutions to the system is also a solution to the same linear system. The superposition principle applies to linear systems of algebraic equations, linear differential equations, or systems of linear differential equations."

    can anyone use simpler language to dechiper what it means?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2006 #2
    If you find two or more solutions (y1 and y2, say) to some equation(of a linear system), then you can form another solution that is a combination of y1 and y2, more specifically a linear combination (power of the y's are 1)

    y = a1y1 + a2y2

    Here, a1 and a2 are constants. In quantum mechanics, where the wavefunctions obey the principle of superposition, they are genreally considered to be complex.

    An example from classical physics is the electrostatic field.
     
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