Quantum Physics For Dummies, Revised Edition
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In quantum physics, you can put together the symmetric and antisymmetric wave functions of a system of three or more particles from single-particle wave functions. The symmetric wave function looks like this:

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And the antisymmetric wave function looks like this:

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This asymmetric wave function goes to zero if any two single particles have the same set of quantum numbers

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How about generalizing this to systems of N particles? If you have a system of N particles, the symmetric wave function looks like this:

image3.png

And the antisymmetric wave function looks like this:

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The big news is that the antisymmetric wave function for N particles goes to zero if any two particles have the same quantum numbers

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About This Article

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About the book author:

Steven Holzner is an award-winning author of technical and science books (like Physics For Dummies and Differential Equations For Dummies). He graduated from MIT and did his PhD in physics at Cornell University, where he was on the teaching faculty for 10 years. He’s also been on the faculty of MIT. Steve also teaches corporate groups around the country.

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