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

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4answers
275 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
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1answer
22 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
87 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
1k 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
76 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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0answers
91 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
66 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
89 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 ...
0
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2answers
85 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 ...
1
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0answers
42 views

Noncanonical commutation relation and noncanonical wave mechanics [closed]

Consider noncanonical operators $\hat{x}_1,\hat{x}_2,\hat{p}_1,\hat{p}_2$ satisying the following condition in the $q_1,q_2$ - basis ($\psi=\langle q_1,q_2|\Psi\rangle$)(similar to wave mechanics): ...
2
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0answers
60 views

Spinor Commutator in Peskin and Schroeder

In (3.87, page. 53) Peskin and Schroeder write $$\psi(\vec{x}) = \int\frac{d^{3}p}{(2\pi)^{3}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2E_{\vec{p}}}} e^{i\vec{p} \cdot \vec{x}} \sum_{s=1,2} (a_{\vec{p}}^{s}u^{s}(\vec{p}) + ...
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0answers
97 views

Derivation of (2.45) in Peskin and Schroeder

I'm having trouble understanding the step $$\left[\pi (\vec{x},t),\int d^{3}y ~(\frac{1}{2} \pi (\vec{y},t)^{2}+\frac{1}{2}\phi (\vec{y},t)(-\nabla^{2} +m^{2})\phi (\vec{y},t)) \right]$$ $$ =\int ...
7
votes
2answers
197 views

How to replace $T$-product with retarded commutator in LSZ formula?

I am reading Itzykson and Zuber's Quantum Field Theory book, and am unable to understand a step that is made on page 246: Here, they consider the elastic scattering of particle $A$ off particle $B$: ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Determine $p_x$ from $[x,p_x]=i\hbar $ [closed]

With $[x,p_x]=i\hbar $, how to determine the form of the operator $p_x$?
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Trace operation on dynamic equation: physical meaning?

Suppose we have Heisenberg equation of motion for some observable $A$, $$ i\hbar\frac{dA}{dt}= -[H,A] $$ since the trace of any finite dimensional commutator structure vanish(not something like ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

How can $J_1^2, J_2^2, J_{1z}, J_{2z}$ commute mutually?

I'm reading through J. J. Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics book and currently looking at the "Angular-momentum addition" part. Here, it says you have two options and that one option is to ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

Commutation relations of the generators of the conformal group

My question is from P.98 of the book by Di Francesco on Conformal Field theory. He gives the six non-vanishing commutation relations between the elements $P_{\mu}, D, L_{\mu \nu}$ and $K_{\mu}$ ...
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votes
1answer
50 views

Calculations with operators - Proof: Equation of Operators [duplicate]

I have a problem in Quantum mechanics 1 with Operators. I have to prove the following equation. I tried it for about 4 hours without any result: Condition: $[[\hat A,\hat B],\hat A]=[[\hat A,\hat ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

QM: Commutation relations between irreducible vectors and angular momentum $[J^2,T_q^k]$

reading about the irreducible tensors and its commutation relations with the angular momentum one can find relations for $J_{z}$, $J_{+}$, $J_{-}$, but I was wondering, what about $J^2$ ? from ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Commutation Relations for Creation & Annihilation Opertors of Two Different Scalar Fields

Let us consider two different scalar fields $\phi$ and $\chi$. The commutation relations for the creation and annihilation operators of the scalar field $\phi$ are given by $$ [a(\textbf{k}), ...
4
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1answer
116 views

A question about causality and Quantum Field Theory from improper Lorentz transformation

Related post Causality and Quantum Field Theory In Peskin and Schroeder's QFT p28, the authors tried to show causality is preserved in scalar field theory. Consider commutator $$ [ \phi(x), \phi(y) ...
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votes
1answer
87 views

How does $p_x$ commute with $p_y$, i.e. $[p_x,p_y]=0$? [closed]

I know it's a simple and basic question but would someone show me how to evaluate $[\hat{p}_x,\hat{p}_y]$?
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votes
2answers
435 views

Why uncertainty principle is not like this?

In Griffiths' QM, he uses two inequalities (here numbered as $(1)$ and $(2)$) to prove the following general uncertainty principle: $$\sigma_A^2 \sigma_B^2\geq\left(\frac{1}{2i}\langle [\hat A ,\hat ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Finding the creation/annihilation operators

Using Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$, for the Lagrangian density $${\cal L}=\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi^{\dagger}-m^2\phi \phi^{\dagger}$$ of the complex scalar field, we have the field ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Is obtaining the coordinate representation of momentum operator from commutator more fundamental than generator of translation

Related post: What is the most general expression for the coordinate representation of momentum operator? There are two methods of obtaining the coordinate representation of momentum in quantum ...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

Projection operators and their subspaces (of Hilbert space)

I've been watching Susskind's lectures on Quantum Entanglement, and something he said regarding (non-)commuting projection operators confused me. Consider two subspaces {$|a>$} and {$|b>$} of ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

How to derive the commutation relationship between $\hat{L}^2$ and $\hat{\textbf{p}}$ [closed]

How to prove that $$[\hat{L}^2,\hat{\textbf{p}}] = i\hbar(\hat{\textbf{p}}\times\hat{\textbf{L}} - \hat{\textbf{L}} \times \hat{\textbf{p}})$$ I tried to expand $\hat{L}^2$: ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Position and potential Energy

Why are the position and potential energy of a particle able to be measured precisely in Quantum Mechanics? I mean why do they commute with each other?
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1answer
69 views

Is $\langle k \vert k_1k_2\rangle=0$

Using that $$ \vert k_1k_2\rangle = a^\dagger({\bf k_1})a^\dagger({\bf k_2})\vert 0 \rangle$$ and the commutation relations $$[a({\bf k}),a^\dagger({\bf k'})]=(2\pi)^32\omega\delta^3(\bf {k}- \bf ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

The Physical Meaning behind a Commutator [duplicate]

I've just been introduced to the idea of commutators and I'm aware that it's not a trivial thing if two operators $A$ and $B$ commute, i.e. if two Hermitian operators commute then the eigenvalues of ...
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votes
1answer
102 views

Apply the Heisenberg Equation to the Hamiltonian [closed]

$\frac{d}{dt}$$\hat{H}$ = $\frac{i}{\hbar}$$[\hat{H},\hat{H}]$ +$\frac{\partial{\hat{H}}}{\partial{t}}$ That's as far as I've got. I do not know much about the Heisenberg equation or even what it ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

Commutator summation notation

I have the relation $ e^L M e^{-L}=\sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac 1{n!} [L,M]_{(n)}$ where $L$ and $M$ are operators. What does the subscript $n$ after the commutator bracket denote?
3
votes
3answers
223 views

Is commutation relation an equivalence relation?

I'm now learning quantum mechanics with Liboff. In the book it deals with "a compete set of mutually compatible observables" in order to make a state maximally informative. How can one find such set? ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Commutators of differential and field operators

In $p+ip$ superconductivity, a term in the Hamiltonian (in polar coordinates) is $$ H=\int \mathrm{d}^2\vec{r} \left[ \left( \partial_r -\frac{i}{r} \partial_{\theta} \right) \psi^\dagger(\vec{r}) ...
1
vote
3answers
61 views

Help understanding proof in simultaneous diagonalization

The proof is from Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Shankar. The theorem is: If $\Omega$ and $\Lambda$ are two commuting Hermitian operators, there exists (at least) a basis of common eigenvectors ...
0
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0answers
119 views

Angular momentum of 2d harmonic oscillator

So, I have the problem of determining the spectrum of H and L, in terms of creation and annihilation operators of angular momentum... The problem goes along with what is happening on this page. ...
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votes
1answer
182 views

Commutator with Pauli spin matrices and the momentum operator

How is $\left[\vec\sigma \cdot \vec p, \vec \sigma \right]$ proportional to $\vec \sigma\times \vec p$, where $\sigma$ are the Pauli spin matrices and $p$ is the momentum operator?
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Why don't we use Hamilton-Jacobi method in QM?

In classical mechanics, we usually try to find a set of coordinates by Hamilton-Jacobi method to transform the Hamiltonian to zero such that the coordinates are conservations. However, we never try ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Commutator of operator and its derivative

Is it possible to calculate in a general way the commutator of an operator which depends on some variable and the derivative of this operator with respect to that variable? $$ \hat o = \hat o(\xi)\\ ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Deriving commutation relations in second quantisation

I am trying to start from: \begin{align*} [\phi(x),\pi(x')] = i\hbar\delta(x-x') \\ [\phi(x),\phi(x')] = [\pi(x),\pi(x')]=0 \end{align*} to derive: \begin{align*} [a(k),a(k')^\dagger]=\delta_{kk'}\\ ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

prove: $[p^2,f] = 2 \frac{\hbar}{i}\frac{df}{dx}p - \hbar^2 \frac{d^2f}{dx^2}$

I need to prove the commutation relation, $$[p^2,f] = 2 \frac{\hbar}{i}\frac{\partial f}{\partial x} p - \hbar^2 \frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial x^2}$$ where $f \equiv f(\vec{r})$ and $\vec{p} = p_x ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Virasoro Operators commutation relations

For the commutation relation in quantising the bosonic string $\left[L_n,L_{m}\right]=(n-m)L_{n+m}+\frac{D}{12}n(n^2-1)\delta_{n+m,0}$ we can then calculate this for $m=-n$ in between the vacuum ...
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0answers
79 views

Uncertainty principle and commutation relations [duplicate]

What connection exists between the uncertainty principle and commutation relations amongst the operators representing observables in Quantum Mechanics?
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Causality in QFT from vanishing commutator and the EPR paradox

The question relates to this post. As shown in Peskin and Schroeder's introduction to quantum field theory p. 28., $$[\phi(x),\phi(y)] = 0 \;\;\mathrm{if}\;\; (x-y)^2<0$$, which implies the ...
3
votes
2answers
479 views

Fundamental Commutation Relations in Quantum Mechanics

I am trying to compile a list of fundamental commutation relations involving position, linear momentum, total angular momentum, orbital angular momentum, and spin angular momentum. Here is what I have ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Does This Really “Prove” Spin-statistics Theorem?

In quantization of scalar field theory we impose commutation relation between the field operators by hand and similarly we impose anti-commutation relation between Dirac field operators by hand. As a ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

Help Simplifying a Commutator Equation

For the SHO, our teacher told us to scale $$p\rightarrow \sqrt{m\omega\hbar} ~p$$ $$x\rightarrow \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{m\omega}}~x$$ And then define the following $$K_1=\frac 14 (p^2-q^2)$$ $$K_2=\frac ...
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vote
3answers
185 views

Commutators involving functions

I am looking for the commutator: $$[e^{aq},p]$$ My approach is to Taylor expand the function: $$[\sum_n \frac{1}{n!}(aq)^n,p]$$ I know that $[q^n,p]=ni\hbar q^{n-1}$ So how do I account for $n$ ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Simple Commutator question

For some reason this is really tripping me up: $$[q_rq_sp_r,q_sp_rq_s]$$ Where $r$ and $s$ are different. Is this just zero because $p_r$ on $q_s =0$. I am trying to simplify this and I feel like 0 ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

2D Harmonic Oscillator Commutators

So I am given a 2-dimensional harmonic oscillator with $H=H_1+H_2$ where $$H_i=\frac{p_i^2}{2m}+\frac{1}{2}m\omega^2x_i^2$$ Additionally, $$L=x_1p_2-x_2p_1$$ If we define ...