Quantum Physics For Dummies
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At some point, your quantum physics instructor may ask you to find the eigenfunctions of Lz in spherical coordinates. In spherical coordinates, the Lz operator looks like this:


which is the following:


And because


this equation can be written in this version:


Cancelling out terms from the two sides of this equation gives you this differential equation:


This looks easy to solve, and the solution is just


where C is a constant of integration.

You can determine C by insisting that


be normalized — that is, that the following hold true:


(Remember that the asterisk symbol [*] means the complex conjugate. A complex conjugate flips the sign connecting the real and imaginary parts of a complex number.)

So this gives you


You are now able to determine the form of


which equals


About This Article

This article is from the book:

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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