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Quantized v. Discrete

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:47 pm
by Yeo Bin Yook 1K
In my notes I wrote "Equations in quantum mechanics have variables that are quantized or discrete." Could someone define quantized or discrete or give an example?

Re: Quantized v. Discrete

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:07 pm
by Tarek Abushamma
A discrete variable is something that has a defined set of possible values. A hydrogen atom is an example, as we can not have .33 or 1.7 hydrogen atoms. Instead, only discrete whole values (1 atom, 5 atoms, 456 atoms) are valid to quantify the variable.

Re: Quantized v. Discrete

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:15 pm
by Eduardo R 1L
Adding on to this! in lecture on 4/11/18 he mentioned "the energy of an electron in the H-atom changes as a function of n"
What is n? Is it a discrete variable? Because the output of the function is energy, what does n represent?

Re: Quantized v. Discrete

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:08 pm
by Noah Carey 1G
Eduardo R 1L wrote:Adding on to this! in lecture on 4/11/18 he mentioned "the energy of an electron in the H-atom changes as a function of n"
What is n? Is it a discrete variable? Because the output of the function is energy, what does n represent?

I think what Dr. Lavelle meant is that the function n describes which numbers are apart of the set of numbers that can take on the value. That is, the output of n would be the discrete variable's value at that instant.

Re: Quantized v. Discrete

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:13 pm
by ramayyala1G
I understand what discrete mean but when he was talking about variables being quantized, Lavelle made it out to be something different. My understanding of quantized is that a variable that is quantized is discrete because the act of quantization makes variables or values discrete. Is this correct or am i misunderstanding?

Re: Quantized v. Discrete

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:30 pm
by Chem_Mod
You are on the right track. Having quantized energy is saying that an object can have certain discrete energy values because there exists a smallest "packet of energy value" that an atom can have.