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

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1answer
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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
761 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
57 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
165 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 ...
32
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
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1answer
119 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
133 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
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2answers
109 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
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2answers
205 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 ...
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2answers
120 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
62 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
107 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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2answers
229 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
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2answers
289 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
133 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
141 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 ...
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2answers
83 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
316 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
66 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
260 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}), ...
7
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2answers
247 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
113 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
456 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
673 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
136 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
199 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
131 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
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1answer
54 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?
0
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1answer
73 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
220 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
121 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
102 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
291 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? ...
2
votes
3answers
125 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 ...
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votes
1answer
437 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
139 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 ...
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votes
3answers
839 views

What is the commutator of an operator and its derivative?

Is it possible to calculate in a general way the commutator of an operator $O$ which depends on some variable $x$ and the derivative of this $O$ with respect to $x$? $${O}={O}(x)\\ ...
1
vote
1answer
97 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
122 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
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0answers
127 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
5
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2answers
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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
207 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
213 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
563 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
119 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
174 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 ...
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3answers
669 views

EQUAL TIME commutation relations

Why is equal time commutation relation used in canonical quantization of free fields?
3
votes
2answers
260 views

Commutator not transitive

I noticed the following: $$[L_{+},L^2]=0,\qquad [L_{+},L_3]\neq 0,\qquad [L^2,L_3]=0.$$ This would suggest, that $L^2,L_+$ have a common system of eigenfunctions, and so do $L^2,L_3$, but $L_+,L_3$ ...
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1answer
191 views

Tricky operator identity: $[L^2,[L^2,\vec{r}]]=2 \hbar ^2 \{ L^2, \vec{r}\}$?

This operator identity showed up in a course I was taking, and it was given without proof. $$[L^2,[L^2,\vec{r}]]=2 \hbar ^2 \{ L^2, \vec{r}\}$$ The curly brackets denote the anticommutator, $AB+BA$. ...