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19 The wave equation

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Schrödinger’s equation looks like this:

The wave equation 1

Schrödinger did not create this in the way that Maxwell did with his equations. This is a brilliant piece of pure mathematical modelling. The key element here is ψ (or psi). It is shown as varying in both space and time (x and t in brackets), and in quantum theory ψ does not have a physical interpretation, although the square of ψ is a measure of the probability of a particle being observed.

Schrödinger’s equation is known as a wave equation, though not to Schrödinger himself, as we have seen. The reason Schrödinger distanced himself from the appellation is not (more…)