Wave Packet

We define a free particle in quantum mechanics as a particle that feels no force. This means that the potential energy of the particle does not vary and remains constant. If we arbitrarily choose the potential energy of the free particle to be zero, then the wave function that describes the free particle takes the form of a sinusoidal wave. This wave is commonly referred to as the plane wave. If we take the superposition of many plane waves that each have a slightly different wavelength, we produce a localized wave called a wave packet. The wave packet is like a wave function in that it gives us a region of space where the free particle is mostly likely found.

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