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Quantum Mechanics PyEd 342

Quantum Mechanics PyEd 342

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Published by mesfint
This is a teaching material prepared for undergraduate students of the Department of Physics Education, College of Education, Addis Ababa University.

Course Instructor: Mesfin Tadesse Beshah
Course Duration: One Semester
This is a teaching material prepared for undergraduate students of the Department of Physics Education, College of Education, Addis Ababa University.

Course Instructor: Mesfin Tadesse Beshah
Course Duration: One Semester

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Published by: mesfint on Jul 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/08/2012

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The framework of Quantum Mechanics is built on a few theoretical principles
derived from experimental observations. These principles, called the postulates of
Quantum Mechanics, are discussed below:

Postulate 1:

The state of a quantum mechanical system is completely specified by the wave

function ( )
,t

Ψr, where r represents the space coordinates ( )

,,
xyzof the system

and t is the time.

The wave function must be continuous, single valued and square integrable.

Quantum Mechanics (PyEd 342)

Prepared by Mesfin Tadesse, CoE, AAU, Megabit 2000 EC

9

The probability of finding the system within a volume dv of space at timet is:

( ) ( ) ( )

*

,

,

,

Pt

t

tdv

=Ψ Ψ

r

r

r

Square integrable means

( )

2

,

allspace

td

finite

Ψ

=

r

r

where

( ) ( ) ( )

2

*

,

,

,

t

t

t

Ψ

= Ψ

Ψ

r

r

r

Postulate 2:

In Quantum Mechanics, every observable (i.e., any measurable property of the

system), is described by a linear, Hermitian operator.

For example, for a particle in one dimensional motion, the momentum operator
corresponding to the classical momentum

x

p isˆ

x

p

i

x

= − ∂ ∂

h

.

Postulate 3:

The only possible results of any measurement of an observable are the eigenvalues

of the operator that corresponds to such observable.

That is, if ˆ

A is the operator associated with the observableA being measured,
then the only values that will ever be observed are the eigenvalues a which satisfy

ˆ
A

a

Ψ = Ψ

Although measurements must always yield an eigenvalue, the state of the system
is not necessarily an eigenstate ofˆ

A. Generally, the state of the system is any
arbitrary state that can be expanded in a complete set of eigenvectors as

ii
ic
ψ

Ψ=

,

where the sum can run to infinity in principle. The probability of observing
eigenvalue

i

a is given by*

ii

cc.

Postulate 4:

The average value of many measurements of an observableA, corresponding to

operatorˆ

A, is given by

Quantum Mechanics (PyEd 342)

Prepared by Mesfin Tadesse, CoE, AAU, Megabit 2000 EC

10

*

*

ˆ
A

A

dv

dv

Ψ Ψ

=

Ψ Ψ

This average value is called the expectation value.

Postulate 5:

The evolution of the wavefunction ( )

,t
Ψrin time is described by the time

dependent Schrodinger equation:

( )

( )

,

ˆ
H

,

t

ti

t

∂Ψ

Ψ =

r

r h

where

( )

2

2

ˆ

ˆ

2

H

V

m

=− ∇ +r

h

is the operator associated with the total energy of the

system,

( )

2

2

p

E

V

m

= +r.

Quantum Mechanics (PyEd 342)

Prepared by Mesfin Tadesse, CoE, AAU, Megabit 2000 EC

11

Chapter 2. Mathematical Foundation

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