A mathematical construct used to study the effect of applying two operators in succession.

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58 views

Commutator of fermionic operators

The fermionic creation/annihilation operators are defined by the anti-commutation relations: $$ \{a_k^{\dagger},a_q^{\dagger}\} = 0 = \{a_k,a_q \} $$ $$ \{a_k^{\dagger},a_q\} = \delta_{kq} \, .$$ I ...
6
votes
3answers
616 views

Does it mean anything if the commutator of an operator with the Hamiltonian is equal to the Hamiltonian?

Question says it all, really. I have $[\hat{H},\hat{O}]=-2i\hbar\hat{H}$. Does this mean that the operator $\hat{O}$ (an observable) is special in some way?
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Spin operator: tricky proof using gamma matrices

I have not dealt with the gamma matrices extensively so I am having a bit of trouble here. Basically I want to show that the spin operator defined by $$ \mathbf{\hat{S}} = \frac{1}{2}\gamma^5 ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Translation Operators

Show that if the wave function $\langle x|\psi\rangle$ is modified by a position-dependent phase $\langle x|\psi\rangle \to e^{\frac{ip_ox}{\hbar}}\langle x|\psi\rangle$ then $\langle x\rangle ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

How do I prove that the del squared operator commutes with the angular momentum operator? [closed]

I need to prove in Cartesian coordinates that $[\nabla^{2},\hat{L_{z}}]= 0$ I know that the angular momentum operator is defined as: $\hat{L_{z}}=x\hat{p_{y}}-y\hat{p_{x}}$ And the del squared is ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Anticommutator difference [closed]

What is the value of this difference of anticommutators $$\{x^2,p^2\}-(\{x,p\}^2)/2$$ if the commutator $$[x,p]=i\hbar ~?$$ I have tried and obtained a value $$-3\hbar^2/2 - 2i\hbar px.$$ But ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

Prove that $e^{\frac{i\lambda}{\hbar} S_x}S_ze^{-\frac{i\lambda}{\hbar}S_x}=S_z\cos(\lambda)+S_y\sin(\lambda)$ [closed]

Prove using Hadamard's lemma that $$e^{\frac{i\lambda}{\hbar} S_x}S_ze^{-\frac{i\lambda}{\hbar}S_x}=S_z\cos(\lambda)+S_y\sin(\lambda) $$ where $\lambda$ is a complex number. I get: ...
1
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0answers
51 views

Simultaneous eigenket

J. J. Sakurai states in his "Modern Quantum Mechanics", this fact as a theorem ($\pi$ is the parity operator): Suppose $$[H,\pi]=0$$ and $| n>$ is a nondegenerate eigenket of $H$ with ...
1
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0answers
38 views

Do the norms of the total and the orbital angular momentums commute? If yes, why is there a problem with 2p_{1/2}?

Question: For $\vec L$ the orbital angular momentum of an electron, $\bar S$ its spin, and $\vec J:=\vec L+\vec S$ the sum, do $\vec J^2$ and $\vec L^2$ commute? I assume it does: $[\vec J^2,\vec ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Commutator between square position and square momentum [duplicate]

I need (as a part of one exercise) to find commutator between $\hat{x}^2$ and $\hat{p}^2$ and my derivation goes as follows: $$[\hat{x}^2,\hat{p}^2]\psi = [\hat{x}^2\hat{p}^2 - ...
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2answers
42 views

RH side of the Uncertainty principle: when is it a number and when an expectation value?

The uncertainty principle between the position $x$ and the momentum $p$ is given by: $$ \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \hbar/2,$$ whereas for the $x$ and $y$ components of the angular momentum is given by: ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Why is the imaginary unit conventionally put on the right hand side of commutation relations? [closed]

Commutation relations in quantum mechanics are usually written in the form $$ [x_i,p_j] = i \hbar \delta_{ij} $$ with the imaginary unit $i$ put on the right hand side of the equation. But ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Derivative of a function of an operator [closed]

I would like to calculate something like $$K\left(z\right)=\dfrac{dF\left(A\left(z\right)+B\left(z\right)\right)}{dz}$$ i.e. the derivative of a function $F$ of a sum of two operators $A$ and $B$ ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Connection between half and whole integer eigenvalues for orbital angular momentum [duplicate]

I have been trying to follow this derivation from Sakurai and Shankar, pulling from both. I would like to see how the following derivation can be extended to orbital angular momentum, and thus find ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Mutually Commutative

What is the definition of a Mutually Commutative set of operators? I've found articles describing a complete set of mutually commutative operators, but I can't actually find what mutually commutative ...
3
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1answer
649 views

Proof of weaker Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff Formula [duplicate]

Prove the weaker form of the BCH Formula: $$e^A e^B = e^{A + B + \frac{1}{2}[A,B]} $$ with the assumption $[A, [B, A]] = 0; [B, [B,A]] = 0$ Start with $f(\lambda) = e^{\lambda A} e^{\lambda B} ...
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0answers
28 views

Commutator for time?

I know that in quantum mechanics, we can define space as the operator $\hat{x}=i\hbar \frac{d}{dp}$ in momentum space,and that position does not commute with momentum. However, in general relativity, ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Given a QFT Hamiltonian, is there a unique Lagrangian?

Consider a QFT in one spatial dimension specified by the following Hamiltonian density: $\mathcal{H} = -i \phi^\dagger \frac{\partial}{\partial x} \phi + V(\phi^\dagger,\phi)$ where $\phi$ is a ...
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2answers
120 views

Proving that conservation of momentum doesn't apply to electron in H-atom

To prove that the conservation of linear momentum doesn't apply to electron in H-atom, is it sufficient to show that angular momentum operator ($\hat L$) and momentum operator ($\hat p$) do not ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Commutation of Hamiltonian with momentum

In which case does the Hamiltonian $H$ commutes with the momentum $P$? Can anybody help me? With an example? (No particular or strange Hamiltonians and no particular momenta are involved). How can I ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Where does this commutator relation come from?

What is the origin of this relation: $$ [H,a_n^\dagger] = \epsilon_n a_n^\dagger $$ for Hamiltonian $H$, creation operator $ a_n^\dagger $, and eigenvalue $ \epsilon_n $. The square brackets denote ...
2
votes
3answers
43 views

Commutation Relationship

For the Hamiltonian of the hydrogen atom, does the square of angular momentum, $$L^2 = L_x^2+L_y^2+L_z^2$$ commute with Hamiltonian operator, $$H = \frac{1}{2m}(p_x^2+p_y^2+p_z^2) + V(r)~?$$ Should ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

Spin operators commutation

Why do the spin operators $ S_{x1}$ and $S_{x2}$ of two particles along the $x$-axis commute i.e $S_{1x}S_{x2}-S_{2x}S_{1x}=0 $ ?
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Proving $[a_k^\dagger, a_q^\dagger]=0$

I am trying to prove the commutation relations between the creation and annihilation operators in field theory. I was already able to show that $[a_k, a_q^\dagger]=i\delta(k-q)$. I want to show that ...
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vote
0answers
204 views

Commutation relation of a operator with Hamiltonian [duplicate]

Given that the eigenvalues of a Hamiltonian operator $H$ are bounded below, will a Hermitian operator $T$ exist such that $[T, H] = i\hbar{\bf 1}$ identity operator?
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Commutation relation of position and momentum using Dirac notation

This is likely a very trivial/silly question, but in following a derivation of the position and momentum commutation relation using the dirac notation, I am having trouble justifying a certain step. ...
10
votes
1answer
475 views

Understanding Poisson brackets

In quantum mechanics, when two observables commute, it implies that the two can be measured simultaneously without perturbing each other's measurement results. Or in other words, the uncertainty in ...
0
votes
1answer
327 views

Quantum mechanics, operator commutes with Hamiltonian

My textbook said, if an operator $\hat{O}$ commutes with the Hamiltonian, then we can use the eigen vectors of the Hamiltonian as a basis of the Hilbert space, then express the operator $\hat{O}$ in ...
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70 views

Quantization conditions/ Real Scalar field

It is often written in books, the quantization conditions for classical field theory leading to Lagrangian of a real scalar field and thus to Klein Gordon equation. And these are introduced by ...
5
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1answer
156 views

Apparent spacetime dependence of creation and annihilation operators

I'm currently going through An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Hartmut Wittig I've stumbled upon. Having trouble with equation (2.29), I'm asking the question: Do creation and annihilation ...
2
votes
1answer
373 views

Generalization of canonical commutation relation

The canonical commutation relation $$[x,p] = i\hbar$$ can be generalized to $$[p_i,F(\vec{x})] = -i\hbar\frac{\partial F(\vec{x})}{\partial x_i}, \ [x_i, F(\vec{p})] = i\hbar\frac{\partial ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

Are the Pauli matrices closed under commutation?

I tried to make a group multiplication table for the Pauli matrices, but I keep getting multiples in front of the elements. What am I doing wrong? I thought the Pauli matrices formed a group that was ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Motivating Complexification of Lie Algebras?

What is the motivation for complexifying a Lie algebra? In quantum mechanical angular momentum the commutation relations $$[J_x,J_y]=iJ_z, \quad [J_y,J_z] = iJ_x,\quad [J_z,J_x] = iJ_y$$ become, on ...
0
votes
0answers
114 views

How to prove $\hat{p}|x\rangle=i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x}|x\rangle$,using $[\hat{x},\hat{p}]=i\hbar$? [duplicate]

How to prove $$\hat{p}|x\rangle=i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x}|x\rangle,$$ using $$[\hat{x},\hat{p}]=i\hbar~?$$ The question seems to be uncomplete because for any $f(x)$ ...
8
votes
2answers
681 views

Does the commutator of anything with itself not vanish?

In a quantum mechanics exam one question was to write the commutator of a couple of operators. Everybody got points taken away since they did not write $[Q_i, Q_i] = 0$ for all the operators $Q_i$ in ...
2
votes
3answers
262 views

How to derive $[x_i, F(\vec p)] = i \hbar \frac {\partial F(\vec p)}{\partial p_i}$

Wikipedia indicates that the following relation is "easily shown": $[x_i, F(\vec p)] = i \hbar \frac {\partial F(\vec p)}{\partial p_i}$, however I'm having some trouble showing it. I think I'm just ...
3
votes
2answers
258 views

Measuring non-commuting observable at once

Given an Hilbert space $H$ (finite dimensional for sake of clarity), and two non-commuting operators $$A = \sum_a a |a\rangle\langle a|$$ and $$B=\sum_a b |b\rangle\langle b|,$$ is it possible to find ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Commutativity of Position Operators

Does the position operator $q_{i}$ of one harmonic oscillator commute with the position operator $q_{j}$ of another different harmonic oscillator? In other words, is $q_{i} q_{j} = q_{j} q_{i}$ true? ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

What is the commutator of the exponential derivative operator and the exponential position operator?

What is the commutator of the exponential derivative operator and the exponential position operator? \begin{align} \left[\exp(\partial_x),\exp(x)\right] = \exp(\partial_x)\exp(x) - ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Why is commutation relations the first step in quantization?

Why is commutation relations the first step in quantization?
2
votes
1answer
152 views

In QFT, why do fermions have to anticommute in order to insure causality?

I have seen this question and I believe I understand the answer to it. However, AFAIK, only for bosons the causality condition is a vanishing commutator. For fermions we expect the anticommutator ...
3
votes
5answers
654 views

Commutator algebra in exponents

Considering $X$ and $Y$ such that $[X,Y]=\lambda$, which is complex, and $\mu$ is another complex number, prove: $$e^{\mu(X+Y)}=e^{\mu X} e^{\mu Y} e^{-\mu^2\lambda/2}$$ My attempt (so far) is: ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

kitaev-honeycomb : can't get wilson loop squared to yield +1

I'm new here, loving this website and I'm having some difficulty with the wilson-loop operator in kitaev's honeycomb model. problem statement The Kitaev model (Kitaev, 2006 is the original paper) ...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

Measuring position and momentum at the same time?

In a non-relativistic quantum mechanical system in an infinite potential well. I try to measure the energy and the position of the system simultaneously. Since, the respective operators do commute ...
30
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the physical meaning of commutators in quantum mechanics?

This is a question I've been asked several times by students and I tend to have a hard time phrasing it in terms they can understand. This is a natural question to ask and it is not usually well ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

What is the physical importance of the commutation relations of angular momentum?

What is the physical meaning of these commutation relations: $$[L_{z},L_{\pm}]=\pm\hbar L_{\pm}\tag{1}$$ and $$[L_{+},L_{-}]=2\hbar L_{z} ~?\tag{2}$$
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vote
0answers
130 views

Link between Quantum and Classical Mechanics [duplicate]

In classical mechanics we have momentum as generator of translation by following definition: $$f(x+\delta x)=f(x)+[f(x),p]\delta x+....$$ I was wondering whether using this relation and commutation ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Can we correctly define momentum operator only by means of position operator and their commutation relation?

In "J.M. Ziman. Electrons and Phonons: The Theory of Transport Phenomena in Solids" the author formally introduces the position (displacement) operator and then defines the momentum operator with the ...
7
votes
2answers
182 views

Dilation operator in CFT viewed as 'hamiltonian'?

From the commutation relations for the conformal Lie algebra, we may infer that the dilation operator plays the same role as the Hamiltonian in CFTs. The appropriate commutation relations are ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Why angular momentum about three independent axes?

The generic commutation relations for the angular momentum operator are $[J_x, J_y] = i \hbar J_z$, where the $J_i$, $i = x,y,z$ are the components of the angular momentum vector operator, $\mathbf ...