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Wavefunctions
The Schrödinger equation is written
H
ψ
= E
ψ
, where H is an operator and E is the energy of the system.
What is the interpretation of
Ψ?
Ψ
is a property of the particle (called the wavefunction of the particle)
It has no
immediate physical significance.
However,
ψ
2
•
dV is the probability of finding the particle
in a volume dV.
Note that everywhere in space there is some finite (but, perhaps, small)
probability of finding the particle.
This is very different from the Bohr atom.
To compare, we shall sit on nucleus of a
Bohr atom and a Schrödinger atom.
Start with Bohr:
we would see the electron moving
around us in a circular orbit with a radius of exactly a
o
.
In the Schrödinger case, we would
see a fog of negative charge.
The fog is denser near the nucleus and thins out with distance
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This document was uploaded on 03/03/2012.
 Spring '09
 pH

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