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Postulates of Quantum Mechanics
In this section, we will present six postulates of quantum mechanics. Again, we follow
the presentation of McQuarrie [
1
], with the exception of postulate 6, which McQuarrie
does not include. A few of the postulates have already been discussed in section 3.
Postulate 1
. The state of a quantum mechanical system is completely specified by a
function
that depends on the coordinates of the particle(s) and on time. This
function, called the wave function or state function, has the important property
that
is the probability that the particle lies in the volume
element
located at
at time
.
The wavefunction must satisfy certain mathematical conditions because of this
probabilistic interpretation. For the case of a single particle, the probability of finding
it
somewhere
is 1, so that we have the normalization condition
(110)
It is customary to also normalize manyparticle wavefunctions to 1.
2
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 Fall '10
 LauraChoudry
 Chemistry

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