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

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Theories with non-vanishing commutators outside the lightcone

I'm reading Weinberg's new book on Quantum Mechanics, and in Chapter 8.7 "Time-Dependent Perturbation Theory" he derives the usual Dyson series for the $S$ matrix when the interaction Hamiltonian ...
3
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2answers
515 views

Commutator with expontential [A, exp(B)]

How can I tell if $A$ and $\exp(B)$ commute? For $[A, B]$ it's simply $AB-BA$ and for $[\exp(A), \exp(B)]$ I think it'd be $\exp(A)\exp(B) - \exp(B)\exp(A) = \exp(A+B) - \exp(B+A) = 0$. Update: it's ...
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1answer
297 views

Canonical transformation and Hamilton's equations

I was trying to prove, that for a transformation to be Canonical, one must have a relationship: $$ \left\{ Q_a,P_i \right\} = \delta_{ai} $$ Where $Q_a = Q_a(p_i,q_i)$ and $P_a = P_a(p_i,q_i)$. Now ...
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125 views

QED Commutation Relations Implications

In Brian Hatfield's book on QFT and Strings there is the following quote: In particular $$ [A_i (x,t), E_j(y,t)] = -i \delta_{ij}\delta(x-y) $$ implies that $$ [A_i(x,t),\nabla \cdot E(y,t)] = ...
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1answer
133 views

Commutation relation of $J^2$ and $R(\alpha,\beta,\gamma)$

If $R(\alpha,\beta,\gamma)$ is the Rotation operator and $\alpha,\beta,\gamma$ are Euler angles and $J$ is the total angular momentum then how to get to this: $$[J^2,R]~=~0?$$ This is stated in ...
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Canonical Commutation Relations

Is it logically sound to accept the canonical commutation relation (CCR) $$[x,p]~=~i\hbar$$ as a postulate of quantum mechanics? Or is it more correct to derive it given some form for $p$ in the ...
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310 views

Example of two linearly independent, nowhere vanishing vector fields in $\mathbb{R}^{2}$

I knew that two linearly independent and nowhere-vanishing vector fields provide a basis for the tangent space at each point in $\mathbb{R}^{2}$. Is it necessary that these two vector fields commute? ...
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318 views

Does the canonical commutation relation fix the form of the momentum operator?

For one dimensional quantum mechanics $$[\hat{x},\hat{p}]=i\hbar $$ Does this fix univocally the form of the $\hat{p}$ operator? My bet is no because $\hat{p}$ actually depends if we are on ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Momentum as Generator of Translations

I understand from some studies in mathematics, that the generator of translations is given by the operator $\frac{d}{dx}$. Similarly, I know from quantum mechanics that the momentum operator is ...
4
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1answer
161 views

Why Must Conserved Currents of Lorentz Symmetry Satisfy the Lorentz Algebra

I've seen it written many times that the commutation relation $[M^{I-},M^{J-}]=0$ is required for Lorentz invariance in the light cone gauge quantisation of the bosonic string. This follows ...
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4answers
391 views

Does uncertainty imply noncommutativity?

We already know that non-commutativity of observables leads to uncertainty in quantum mechanics cf. e.g. this and this Phys.SE post. What about the opposite: Does uncertainty imply noncommutativity? ...
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531 views

What does the Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR) tell me about the overlap between Position and Momentum bases?

I'm curious whether I can find the overlap $\langle q | p \rangle$ knowing only the following: $|q\rangle$ is an eigenvector of an operator $Q$ with eigenvalue $q$. $|p\rangle$ is an eigenvector of ...
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2answers
473 views

Non-commuting operators can't share any eigenvector

In an introductory Quantum Mechanics textbook, I found the following statement: For two Hamiltonians $H$ and $H'$, non commuting with each other, but commuting with the same group of translations ...
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3answers
3k views

Proof of Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR)

I am not sure how $QP-PQ =i\hbar$ where $P$ represent momentum and $Q$ represent position. $Q$ and $P$ are matrices. The question would be, how can $Q$ and $P$ be formulated as a matrix? Also, what is ...
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230 views

Why does $i ( LK-KL )$ represent a real quantity?

According to my textbook, it says that $i( LK-KL )$ represents a real quantity when $K$ and $L$ represent a real quantity. $K$ and $L$ are matrices. It says that this is because of basic rules. ...
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2answers
340 views

Symmetries, Generators, Commutators and Observables

I'm learning about generators and conservation laws and have derived the equation (1) $$[Q,A]=-i\hbar f(A)$$ which is satisfied by the observable generator $Q$ for a transformation group with ...
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328 views

Classical Limit of Commutator

In Dirac's book Principles of quantum mechanics (4th ed., pgs 87-88), he seems to give a very elementary argument as to how the commutator $[X,P]$ reduces to the Poisson brackets ${x,p}$ in the limit ...
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151 views

transformations with commutators and anticommutators that generate displacements

is well known that composition of point reflections generate pure displacements. This implies that the commutator of two point reflections will be a pure displacement. Are there similar elemental ...
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1answer
744 views

Operators and Commutator Definitions

I have several problems with General Definitions of an Operator and Commutator : the product of operators is generally not commutative: $$\hat A \hat B \not= \hat B\hat A .$$ what is this means ...
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1answer
263 views

Commutators with a density matrix

The equation describing the evolution of our system is as follows: $ \dot{\rho} = u_1(t)(a^\dagger a \rho - 2a\rho a^\dagger +\rho a^\dagger a) + u_2(t)(a a^\dagger \rho - 2a^\dagger\rho a +\rho a ...
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Generalizing Heisenberg Uncertainty Priniciple

Writing the relationship between canonical momenta $\pi _i$ and canonical coordinates $x_i$ $$\pi _i =\text{ }\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \left(\frac{\partial x_i}{\partial t}\right)}$$ ...
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1answer
280 views

Multiplication of 3-vector operators

I've started reading "Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development" by Leslie E. Ballentine and have some trouble understanding how to handle 3-vector operators (i.e. an operator $\mathbf{A}$ with ...
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1answer
805 views

Derivation of angular momentum commutator relations

I'm trying to understand the derivation of the angular momentum commutator relations. How is $$[zp_y, zp_x] ~=~ 0?$$ How is $$[yp_z, zp_x] ~=~ y[p_z, z]p_x?$$
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1answer
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Compatible Observables

My QM book says that when two observables are compatible, then the order in which we carry out measurements is irrelevant. When you carry out a measurement corresponding to an operator $A$, the ...
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What is the connection between Poisson brackets and commutators?

The Poisson bracket is defined as: $$\{f,g\}_{PB} ~:=~ \sum_{i=1}^{N} \left[ \frac{\partial f}{\partial q_{i}} \frac{\partial g}{\partial p_{i}} - \frac{\partial f}{\partial p_{i}} \frac{\partial ...
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3answers
846 views

Index Manipulation and Angular Momentum Commutator Relations

I have been trying for hours and cannot figure it out. I am not asking anyone to do it for me, but to understand how to proceed. We have the relations $$[L_i,p_j] ~=~ i\hbar\; \epsilon_{ijk}p_k,$$ ...
3
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1answer
714 views

The implication of anti-commutation relations in quantum mechanics

All the textbooks I saw are very clear about the implications of commutating operators in quantum mechanics. However, much less is said about anti-commutation relations. Does it have a general ...
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2answers
646 views

Why are anticommutators needed in quantization of Dirac fields?

Why is the anticommutator actually needed in the canonical quantization of free Dirac field?
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1answer
444 views

How far can you get (in quantum mechanics) with just commutation relations?

Clearly it is possible to derive a set of commutation relations from some Hamiltonian, and certainly they give useful and interesting invariants when investigating the behavior of quantum systems. ...
2
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1answer
369 views

Expectation of a commutation relation

Is there any significance to: $\langle[H,\hat{O}]\rangle =0$ (which can easily be shown) where $H$ is the Hamiltonian, $\hat{O}$ is an arbitrary operator? Thanks.
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2answers
465 views

Operator relation involving the logarithm of an operator?

Dirac gives the relation: $\exp(iaq)f(q,p) = f(q, p - a\hbar)\exp(iaq)$ where $\hbar$ is Planck's constant. Can anybody give me the corresponding relation when the $\exp$ function is a $\ln$?
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Trace of a commutator is zero - but what about the commutator of $x$ and $p$?

Operators can be cyclically interchanged inside a trace: $${\rm Tr} (AB)~=~{\rm Tr} (BA).$$ This means the trace of a commutator of any two operators is zero: $${\rm Tr} ([A,B])~=~0.$$ But what about ...
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How to construct the radial component of the momentum operator?

I'm having trouble doing it. I know so far that if we have two Hermitian operators $A$ and $B$ that do not commute, and suppose we wish to find the quantum mechanical Hermitian operator for the ...
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5answers
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What is the Physical Meaning of Commutation of Two Operators?

I understand the mathematics of commutation relations and anti-commutation relations, but what does it physically mean for an observable (self-adjoint operator) to commute with another observable ...
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998 views

Momentum-Representations in Quantum Mechanics

Why do we get information about position and momentum when we go to different representations. Why is momentum, which was related to time derivative of position in classical physics, now in QM just a ...