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The Schrödinger Wave Equation

The fundamental equation of quantum mechanics is the Schrödinger Wave Equation - so-called because it takes a mathematical form characteristic of classical wave equations. However, the equation does not refer to physical waves but rather to probabilities, e.g. the probability of finding an electron in one location rather than another. The final outcome may be determinate (an electron in a particular location), but the probability distribution of the possible outcomes has the mathematical form of a wave. This peculiar feature of a very successful equation has led to the intractable problem of how we should interpret the theory that emerged from the quantum revolution. See Schrödinger’s Cat and the meaning of quantum theory.

Further discussion of the Schrödinger Wave Equation can be found in John Polkinghorne’s largely non-technical book The Quantum World(London: Penguin, 1990). The Equation itself   is derived on pp84-86..

Email link | Feedback | Contributed by: Dr. Christopher Southgate
Source: God, Humanity and the Cosmos  (T&T Clark, 1999)

Quantum Physics and Theology

Index - God, Humanity and the Cosmos, 1999 T&T Clark

The Schrödinger Wave Equation

Related Book Topics:

The Ultraviolet Catastrophe
The Photoelectric Effect
Collapsing Atoms
Wave-Particle Duality
The Quantum Revolution
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
The EPR Paradox
Shaking the Foundations: The Implications of Quantum Theory
Schrödinger’s Cat and the Meaning of Quantum Theory
Does God Collapse the Wave Function?
The Hidden-Variable Theory of David Bohm
The Many-Worlds Interpretation
The Rediscovery of the Observer


Dr. Lawrence Osborn and Dr. Christopher Southgate in God, Humanity and the Cosmos. Published by T&T Clark.

See also:

Albert Einstein
Niels Bohr
Werner Heisenberg
Physics and Cosmology
The Relation of Science & Religion
A Dialogue of Scientists and Theolgians
At Home in the Quantum Universe
Books on Physics and Theology