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

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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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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1answer
172 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
475 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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724 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
566 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
4k 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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2answers
279 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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400 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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444 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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1answer
169 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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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
331 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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3answers
455 views

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
362 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
973 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
2k views

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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5answers
4k views

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
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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 $$[L_i,p_j] ~=~ i\hbar\; \epsilon_{ijk}p_k,$$ ...
4
votes
1answer
901 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
866 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
469 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. ...
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1answer
497 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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votes
2answers
529 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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4answers
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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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2answers
1k 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 ...