Schrödinger equation


Schrödinger equation
the wave equation of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Also called Schrödinger wave equation. Cf. wave equation (def. 2).
[1950-55; after E. SCHRÖDINGER]

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Fundamental equation developed in 1926 by Erwin Schrödinger that established the mathematics of quantum mechanics.

The equation determines the behaviour of the wave function that describes the wavelike properties of a subatomic system. It relates kinetic energy and potential energy to the total energy, and it is solved to find the different energy levels of the system. Schrödinger applied the equation to the hydrogen atom and predicted many of its properties with remarkable accuracy. The equation is used extensively in atomic, nuclear, and solid-state physics. See also wave-particle duality.

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      the fundamental equation of the science of submicroscopic phenomena known as quantum mechanics. The equation, developed (1926) by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger (Schrödinger, Erwin), has the same central importance to quantum mechanics as Newton's laws of motion have for the large-scale phenomena of classical mechanics.

      Essentially a wave equation, the Schrödinger equation describes the form of the probability waves (or wave functions [see de Broglie wave]) that govern the motion of small particles, and it specifies how these waves are altered by external influences. Schrödinger established the correctness of the equation by applying it to the hydrogen atom, predicting many of its properties with remarkable accuracy. The equation is used extensively in atomic, nuclear, and solid-state physics.

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Universalium. 2010.

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