Science, Tech, Math › Science What is a Wave Function? Definitions in Physics Share Flipboard Email Print A wave function describes the probability of finding an electron. Pobytov Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated October 05, 2019 A wave function is defined to be a function describing the probability of a particle's quantum state as a function of position, momentum, time, and/or spin. Wave functions are commonly denoted by the variable Ψ. A wave function may be used to describe the probability of finding an electron within a matter wave. To do this, the wave function, which may include an imaginary number, is squared to yield a real number solution. Then, the probability of an electron being within a certain area can be assessed. The famous Schrodinger equation introduced the wave function concept in 1925.