What is a Wave Function?

Definitions in Physics

A wave function describes the probability of finding an electron.
A wave function describes the probability of finding an electron. Pobytov

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.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What is a Wave Function?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/definition-of-wavefunction-605790. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 27). What is a Wave Function? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-wavefunction-605790 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What is a Wave Function?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-wavefunction-605790 (accessed September 28, 2021).