Dividing ensemble of particles into molecules

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    • #6719
      Sai Saurab

      In the introduction to your book, Signs of Life, you write

      .. when quantum physics tells us that the same ensemble of particles can be divided into many different sets of molecules

      Can you elaborate on what this means?

    • #6726
      Ashish Dalela

      Quantum theory has a property where the total wavefunction can be divided into many equivalent ‘bases’. These are sometimes called eigenfunction bases. Each eigenfunction represents a quantum object. In molecular chemistry there are standard procedures which carry out ‘hybridization’ of orbitals which means they ‘mix’ the pure eigenfunctions, owing to which we talk about ‘molecular eigenfunctions’ which are states of quantum objects taking the whole molecule into account, rather than just the atoms into account. As you add more particles, the nature of quantum theory is that there is potential to divide this wavefunction into many orthogonal bases. The universe as a whole is a single wavefunction and it can also be divided into many orthogonal bases.

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Dividing ensemble of particles into molecules

by Sai Saurab Time to read: <1 min
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