I understand that the square of the wave function is the probability density of finding an electron. However, what is the wave function itself? I am trying to understand molecular orbital theory but this concept is getting in the way of me completely understanding it. Any help would be great. Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ A very similar question was just asked recently here: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/16467/… $\endgroup$ – Geoff Hutchison Sep 22 '14 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I am looking for a conceptual understanding of what the wave function is. In that thread it was described as a trajectory but there was no explanation. Could you perhaps clarify - at least on a conceptual level? $\endgroup$ – RobChem Sep 22 '14 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @user3764899 quantum mechanics is constructed as derivative of Hamiltonian formulation of classical mechanics by changing operator over trajectory to operator over (time-dependent) field. You can look for more here (warning, hardcore math ahead) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamiltonian_mechanics $\endgroup$ – permeakra Sep 22 '14 at 17:43
  • It is often asked "what is waving when a particle is described as a wave?" and the correct response is "existence itself is waving."

  • The wavefunction is most elegantly described as a description of reality for your system. You then act on the wavefuntion with a hamiltonian to yeild an eigenvalue to quantify the energy.

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