On other forums I've read its got something to do with the conservation of probability.
But I can't seem to find a proper explanation?
Thanks

e^x
 Follow
 3 followers
 13 badges
 Send a private message to e^x
 Thread Starter
Offline13ReputationRep: Follow
 1
 29012017 21:16

Revision help in partnership with Birmingham City University

 Follow
 2
 30012017 13:50
(Original post by e^x)
On other forums I've read its got something to do with the conservation of probability.
But I can't seem to find a proper explanation?
Thanks
1. Bohr et al suggested that all quantum effects could be explained by supposing that there was some kind of wave effect going on at the atomic level.
2. De Broglie and Einstein at different times contributed to this quantum wave idea by proposing that
a) all particles have associated waves where the momentum and wave number are related by:
(De Broglie)
b) photons have energy related to angular frequency by
(Einstein)
where is Planck's constant.
3. Schroedinger suggested that a particle travelling along a straight line in empty space would naturally have a plane wave representation of the form:
where is a complex amplitude. This is standard stuff apart from complex A, I think. Now we can rewrite this due to Messrs De Broglie and Einstein to get:
where
Now note that:
where is the energy of the particle.
4. Heisenberg had developed a theory of wave mechanics by assuming that observable quantities (e.g. energy, momentum, etc) are the real eigenvalues of certain matrices representing the physical system. The matrices had to be Hermitian. We can translate this idea into operator theory by saying that if we have a representation of a quantum system, , then we operate on it with an Hermitian operator e.g. and we solve an eigenvalue equation to find the possible values of the observable e.g. for energy we have an operator eqn:
Now compare this to Schroedinger's plane wave logic above. We must have an equation:
i.e we have an operator eqn
which would appear to relate the time evolution of to the energy operator of the system, and it has the that you enquired about. Schroedinger then suggested that this applied to *all* quantum systems, and Bob's your uncle, all is done and dusted, Nobel prize in the bag for our dearest Erwin.
The only thing left to do is to figure out a sensible form for , and Schroedinger did that by translating a conservation of energy statement in classical mechanics () into a sensible quantum version. And then he solved it for the hydrogen atom to show that it worked, and gave the right discrete spectrum for the the electron energy levels (modulo various relativistic and spinorbit coupling corrections that no one yet knew about)Last edited by atsruser; 31012017 at 09:16. 
e^x
 Follow
 3 followers
 13 badges
 Send a private message to e^x
 Thread Starter
Offline13ReputationRep: Follow
 3
 30012017 18:21
(Original post by atsruser)
The Schroedinger equation is a postulate of nonrelativistic QM, and can't in fact be derived, but the hand waving explanation of how Schroedinger motivated it goes like this:
1. Bohr et al suggested that all quantum effects could be explained by supposing that there was some kind of wave effect going on at the atomic level.
2. De Broglie and Einstein at different times contributed to this quantum wave idea by proposing that
a) all particles have associated waves where the momentum and wave number are related by:
(De Broglie)
b) photons have energy related to angular frequency by
(Einstein)
where is Planck's constant.
3. Schroedinger suggested that a particle travelling along a straight line in empty space would naturally have a plane wave representation of the form:
where is a complex amplitude. This is standard stuff apart from complex A, I think. Now we can rewrite this due to Messrs De Broglie and Einstein to get:
where
Now note that:
where is the energy of the particle.
4. Heisenberg had developed a theory of wave mechanics by assuming that observable quantities (e.g. energy, momentum, etc) are the real eigenvalues of certain matrices representing the physical system. The matrices had to be Hermitian. We can translate this idea into operator theory by saying that if we have a representation of a quantum system, , then we operate on it with an Hermitian operator e.g. and we solve an eigenvalue equation to find the possible values of the observable e.g. for energy we have an operator eqn:
Now compare this to Schroedinger's plane wave logic above. We must have an equation:
i.e we have an operator eqn
which would appear to relate the time evolution of to the energy operator of the system, and it has the that you enquired about. Schroedinger then suggested that this applied to *all* quantum systems, and Bob's your uncle, all is done and dusted, Nobel prize in the bag for our dearest Erwin.
The only thing left to do is to figure out a sensible form for , and Schroedinger did that by translating a conservation of energy statement in classical mechanics () into a sensible quantum version. And then he solved it for the hydrogen atom to show that it worked, and gave the right discrete spectrum for the the electron energy levels (modulo various relativistic and spinorbit coupling corrections that no one yet knew about) 
 Follow
 4
 30012017 23:41
(Original post by e^x)
Thanks!
I ought to point out that my description of how the SE came about is not really historically accurate, and Schroedinger actually got it from a variational argument, I believe. So please don't take it too seriously  it was just intended to show how some of the ideas fit together. I think I first saw that argument, or something similar, in a physical chemistry book (Moore?) and if it's simple enough for a chemist to understand then it's probably logically very questionable.
One thing that I didn't really mention is the question of how to turn classical quantities into their equivalent quantum operators, and I can't really remember how all the arguments work here anyway  here is a similar bit of handwaving that derives a plausible momentum operator though:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum_operator 
e^x
 Follow
 3 followers
 13 badges
 Send a private message to e^x
 Thread Starter
Offline13ReputationRep: Follow
 5
 02022017 17:34
(Original post by atsruser)
My pleasure. I'm also glad to note that you saw fit to repost my response in the complete fullness of its magnificence. It was  and I want to stress this  in no way de trop.
I ought to point out that my description of how the SE came about is not really historically accurate, and Schroedinger actually got it from a variational argument, I believe. So please don't take it too seriously  it was just intended to show how some of the ideas fit together. I think I first saw that argument, or something similar, in a physical chemistry book (Moore?) and if it's simple enough for a chemist to understand then it's probably logically very questionable.
One thing that I didn't really mention is the question of how to turn classical quantities into their equivalent quantum operators, and I can't really remember how all the arguments work here anyway  here is a similar bit of handwaving that derives a plausible momentum operator though:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum_operator 
 Follow
 6
 02022017 19:10
(Original post by e^x)
Can you explain why in this document derivation is written under " " in the first line for the Schrodinger equation? Is not a proper derivation if not what is it?
It's also not a derivation since it assumes without proof that you can start with a plane wave, which presumably applies only in free space (i.e. one with no potential fields), invoke the Einstein/De Broglie relations, and then stick the result into an equation with a potential function V(x). This is a leap of blind faith, and the result can only be checked by having it predict experimental results (such as the spectrum of hydrogen).
It's not possible to derive the SE without guessing some physics at some point. You can derive a Schrodingerlike equation, though, if you start with some plausible assumptions about the properties of a time evolution operator for the wave function, but you then have to guess that an operator that appears along the way is in fact the Hamiltonian. This can be done by appealing to Noether's theorem.
For more details, see this paper:
http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matn...evelopment.pdf
and this thread on physics.stackexchange:
http://physics.stackexchange.com/que...ay/83458#83458
and scroll down to Rod Vance's answer. 
e^x
 Follow
 3 followers
 13 badges
 Send a private message to e^x
 Thread Starter
Offline13ReputationRep: Follow
 7
 02022017 22:02
(Original post by atsruser)
The argument in that document is essentially the same as the one I gave above. However, it's not a derivation since it's not a conclusion of some logical argument. It is merely a plausible result that you can get if you assume some physics  namely that particles in free space can be represented by a plane wave of the form given.
It's also not a derivation since it assumes without proof that you can start with a plane wave, which presumably applies only in free space (i.e. one with no potential fields), invoke the Einstein/De Broglie relations, and then stick the result into an equation with a potential function V(x). This is a leap of blind faith, and the result can only be checked by having it predict experimental results (such as the spectrum of hydrogen).
It's not possible to derive the SE without guessing some physics at some point. You can derive a Schrodingerlike equation, though, if you start with some plausible assumptions about the properties of a time evolution operator for the wave function, but you then have to guess that an operator that appears along the way is in fact the Hamiltonian. This can be done by appealing to Noether's theorem.
For more details, see this paper:
http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matn...evelopment.pdf
and this thread on physics.stackexchange:
http://physics.stackexchange.com/que...ay/83458#83458
and scroll down to Rod Vance's answer. 
Pessimisterious
 Follow
 3 followers
 12 badges
 Send a private message to Pessimisterious
Offline12ReputationRep: Follow
 8
 04022017 02:24
In short: The "i" is there because particles are described as waves, and wave equations take the form .
Solving differential equations always requires the inclusion of constants or coefficients to allow for the most general possibilities for solutions (even if those constants turn out to be 1 or 0). In the case of solving the Schrodinger wave equation, the constant needs to contain the value (amongst other things) for the solution to be correct.
It's essentially the result of solving an equation that was constructed with the specific intention of describing particles with a wavelike nature.
An interesting test would be to take the Schrodinger equation and remove the 'i' from it, then run a generic wave function through it, i.e. try:
It just doesn't make sense because the equation is supposed to describe something real, not imaginary. So the equation clearly needs to start out with another "i" in there. If you put the "i" back in you get:
and since
you end up with:
which is a well known result in physics. So the "i" was necessary!
Physics is often just the act of solving known differential equations and finding out what the constants are. The difficult part is knowing how to model whatever system you're looking at.
(3rd year physics student)Last edited by Pessimisterious; 04022017 at 02:54. 
e^x
 Follow
 3 followers
 13 badges
 Send a private message to e^x
 Thread Starter
Offline13ReputationRep: Follow
 9
 08022017 15:08
(Original post by atsruser)
The argument in that document is essentially the same as the one I gave above. However, it's not a derivation since it's not a conclusion of some logical argument. It is merely a plausible result that you can get if you assume some physics  namely that particles in free space can be represented by a plane wave of the form given.
It's also not a derivation since it assumes without proof that you can start with a plane wave, which presumably applies only in free space (i.e. one with no potential fields), invoke the Einstein/De Broglie relations, and then stick the result into an equation with a potential function V(x). This is a leap of blind faith, and the result can only be checked by having it predict experimental results (such as the spectrum of hydrogen).
It's not possible to derive the SE without guessing some physics at some point. You can derive a Schrodingerlike equation, though, if you start with some plausible assumptions about the properties of a time evolution operator for the wave function, but you then have to guess that an operator that appears along the way is in fact the Hamiltonian. This can be done by appealing to Noether's theorem.
For more details, see this paper:
http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matn...evelopment.pdf
and this thread on physics.stackexchange:
http://physics.stackexchange.com/que...ay/83458#83458
and scroll down to Rod Vance's answer. 
Pessimisterious
 Follow
 3 followers
 12 badges
 Send a private message to Pessimisterious
Offline12ReputationRep: Follow
 10
 08022017 18:46
(Original post by e^x)
In my attachment does the r mean (x,y,z) for the bit explaining about 3D?
The basic 1D wave is
if it's to be extended to general 3D space, it becomes
where
giving
It's the same as the 1D version but it has y and z directions included too.Last edited by Pessimisterious; 08022017 at 18:48. 
e^x
 Follow
 3 followers
 13 badges
 Send a private message to e^x
 Thread Starter
Offline13ReputationRep: Follow
 11
 08022017 20:26
(Original post by Pessimisterious)
It means a 3D coordinate position
The basic 1D wave is
if it's to be extended to general 3D space, it becomes
where
giving
It's the same as the 1D version but it has y and z directions included too. 
Pessimisterious
 Follow
 3 followers
 12 badges
 Send a private message to Pessimisterious
Offline12ReputationRep: Follow
 12
 08022017 20:31
(Original post by e^x)
so its just equal to (x,y,z)? 
e^x
 Follow
 3 followers
 13 badges
 Send a private message to e^x
 Thread Starter
Offline13ReputationRep: Follow
 13
 08022017 21:03
(Original post by Pessimisterious)
Yep, pretty much. It's a way of neatly throwing full coordinate systems into an equation.
Related university courses

Mathematics with Statistics
University of Surrey

Economics, Statistics and Mathematics
Queen Mary University of London

Accounting, Finance and Mathematics
Lancaster University

Applied Mathematics
University of Aberdeen

Mathematics
University of Aberdeen

Mathematics
University of Winchester

Mathematics with Computing
Middlesex University

Mathematics and Statistics
University of Oxford

Mathematics and Statistics
University of Oxford

Mathematics for Finance (with a year abroad)
Swansea University
We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.
 SherlockHolmes
 Notnek
 charco
 Mr M
 Changing Skies
 F1's Finest
 rayquaza17
 RDKGames
 davros
 Gingerbread101
 Kvothe the Arcane
 TeeEff
 The Empire Odyssey
 Protostar
 TheConfusedMedic
 nisha.sri
 claireestelle
 Doonesbury
 furryface12
 Amefish
 harryleavey
 Lemur14
 brainzistheword
 Rexar
 Sonechka
 TheAnxiousSloth
 EstelOfTheEyrie
 CoffeeAndPolitics
 an_atheist
 Labrador99
 EmilySarah00
 thekidwhogames
 entertainmyfaith
 Eimmanuel