The Quantum Wavefunction

Nagaganesh Jaladanki
Creative Commons CC BY 4.0
When most people think of physics, they think of what they learned in high school physics: that the world is fundamentally predictable. Given the position and velocity of a particle in space, it should be possible to predict its position at any moment in the future---right? Though this was thought to be true for thousands of years, recent developments in the field of physics have shown that this isn't actually true. Instead of being fundamentally predictable, the universe is fundamentally unpredicable. However, this doesn't seem to make sense. What happened to the centuries of physics developed by Newton, Bernoulli, and Lagrange? Well, as it turns out, they weren't actually wrong. Their equations were actually an approximation of a formula called the wavefunction, which is the "Newton's Laws'' equivalent for modern physics. In this paper, we'll take a look at this peculiar wavefunction---and why our intuition about the world is completely wrong. \centerline{This is Quantum Physics.}
The Quantum Wavefunction