Dimensions, nodes and phases in quantum numbers

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Students of quantum mechanics encounter discrete quantum numbers in a somewhat incoherent and bewildering number of ways. For each physical system studied, quantum numbers seem to be introduced in their own specific way, some enumerating from 1 and others from 0, without a common uniting thread. This essay presents a point of view that builds on dimensions, boundary conditions and various inputs that, while known, are often not brought together to present a simple, consistent picture. At the same time, some surprisingly sophisticated connections are also made. © 2011 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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Physica Scripta

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