a solution of a wave equation.
(in quantum mechanics) a mathematical function, found by solving a quantum-mechanical wave equation, that is used to predict the outcome of measurements on physical systems.
Why Are We Calling Everything A “Wave”?Why have so many waves found their way into our cultural lexicon in recent years? In this article, the first in the column Mincing Metaphors, we unpack this oceanic metaphor to better understand what it means and why it’s proving so useful right now.
Retro Words You’ll Probably Never Use AgainMost of these retronyms -- obsolete words and phrases -- are outdated technologies.
- wave election,
- wave energy,
- wave equation,
- wave farm,
- wave front,
- wave mechanics,
- wave moth,
- wave number,
- wave of the future,
- wave power
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
physics a mathematical function of position and generally time, used in wave mechanics to describe the state of a physical systemSymbol: ψ
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
A mathematical function used in quantum mechanics to describe the propagation of the wave associated with a particle or group of particles. The wave function is a solution to Schrödinger's equation, given the boundary conditions that describe the physical system in which the particle is found. The square of the function evaluated at a given point in space is proportional to the probability of finding the particle in the immediate vicinity of that position.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.