A mathematical construct quantifying the difference in effect of applying two operators in two alternate successions. It is the defining product of a Lie algebra, the efficient underlying description of Lie groups, of use in several areas of physics, most notably quantum field theory.

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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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78 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 ...
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1answer
325 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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1answer
139 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 ...
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3answers
127 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?
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394 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? ...
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169 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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632 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?
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184 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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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)\\ ...
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133 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'}\\ ...
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167 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 ...
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1answer
281 views

Virasoro operators commutation relations [closed]

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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257 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 ...
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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 ...
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227 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 ...
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270 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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3answers
2k 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 $n$ ...
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1answer
150 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 ...
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236 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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369 views

Relation between representations of boson operators?

I have a simple (I think !) question about the representations of boson operators and how they are related. First of all let's define two conjugate observables $Q$ and $P$ (i.e. $\left[Q,P\right]=i$ ...
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EQUAL TIME commutation relations

Why is equal time commutation relation used in canonical quantization of free fields?
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418 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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280 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, $AB+BA$. ...
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414 views

Commutators in bra-ket notation

2-d Hilbert space, with 2 (orthogonal) kets $|a\rangle$ and $|b\rangle$ Operator $A=|a\rangle\langle b| + |b\rangle\langle a| $ Operator $B=-i|a\rangle\langle b| +i|b\rangle\langle a| $ Commutator ...
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140 views

Change of QM Momentum operator under coordinate transformation

Can any one please let me know what is the general procedure to construct the momentum operator under some coordinate transformation? For example, I understand that if ...
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971 views

Commutator of $L^2$ and $X^2$, $P^2$

In our quantum mechanics script, it states that $[L^2, X^2] = 0$ and $[L^2, P^2] = 0$, therefore for the following Hamiltonan $$H = \frac{P^2}{2m} + V(X^2)$$ it is that $[H, L^2] = 0$ therefore $H$ ...
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442 views

Can the quantum angular momentum operator be derived from its commutation relations with position and momentum?

Exercise 12.2.2 in Shankar's Principles of Quantum Mechanics asks to derive the expression for the angular momentum operator $L_z$ \begin{equation} L_z = XP_y-YP_x \end{equation} using its ...
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106 views

Does this commutation relation hold?

I was wondering whether it is true that $[L_x^2,x^2+y^2+z^2]=0$. I could not find it in the internet and therefore I wanted to ask here whether anybody here knows that this is true or false.
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Commutator as a time-ordered product

I'm reading through Seiberg and Witten's paper "String Theory and Noncommutative Geometry," and one part in $\S$2.1 isn't quite clear to me. (Sorry, in advance, for the length.) My question is about ...
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380 views

Evaluating commutator of $[\operatorname{sign}(X),\, \operatorname{sign}(P)]$

I wish to evaluate the following commutator: $[\operatorname{sign}(X),\, \operatorname{sign}(P)]$. Is there a general method for evaluating $[\operatorname{f}(X), \operatorname{f}(P)]$? I thought of a ...
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687 views

Canonical equal time commutation relations in QED

I understand that to quantize the classical electromagnetic field one needs to impose commutation relations and express the field in terms of creation and annihilation operators. I notice that the ...
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373 views

Schroedinger field operators and their commutation relations

I've got several questions regarding the so called second quantization of the Schroedinger equation. My professor introduced the field operators for the Schroedinger field by simply stating them as ...
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1answer
88 views

What is the commutator? [closed]

$e$ and $f$ are unit vectors, $L_e$ is defined by $L_e=eL$, where $L$ is of course the angular momentum operator. A similar definition for $L_f=fL$ The commutator that I can't solve: ...
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Commutators with function

I have following exercise: If $[C,D]$ is a c-number and $f(x)$ is a well-behaved function (i.e. all derivatives exist and are finite), show that: $$[C, f(D)]=[C,D]f'(D)$$ where $f'(D) = ...
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239 views

Observables still commute even if fields only anti-commute

In Peskin & Schroeder page 56, after introducing anti commutation relations for the fields instead of commutation relations (in order to fix the negative energy problem as well as to have proper ...
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1answer
358 views

Quantizing the Dirac Field: which commutation relations are more fundamental?

When quantizing a system, what is the more (physically) fundamental commutation relation, $[q,p]$ or $[a,a^\dagger]$? (or are they completely equivalent?) For instance, in Peskin & Schroeder's ...
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1answer
106 views

Commutator evolution operator and position operator

Let $H= \frac{p^2}{2m}$, then I am supposed to calculate $[x,e^{-iHt}]$. My idea was to use $[x,p^n]=i \hbar n p^{n-1}$ and so I ended up by using the series for the exponential function with ...
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830 views

Is uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement? [duplicate]

Is the uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement or is it an intrinsic concept in quantum mechanics irrelevant of any measurement? Everyone knows the thought experiment of measuring ...
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2answers
626 views

How does the proof of operator commutativity work with non-continuous operators?

In some books, a proof that if two self-adjoint operators $A$ and $B$ share a common eigenbasis $\{\phi_n\}$, then they commute is given as follows : For any $\phi_n$, $$AB\ \phi_n = a_n\ ...
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How does the following commutator for measured observables and this operator relation imply the following relation?

$$ \hat{\Omega}_j{(\tilde{q}_j)}=\Omega_j(\tilde{q}_j-\hat{q}_j) $$ $$ [\hat{q}_j,\hat{q}_l]=ik_{jl} $$ Implies $$ [\hat{q}_j,\hat{\Omega}_l]= ...
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141 views

Product of position eigenvectors at different times

I've been thinking about this, and it might sound like a stupid question, but I can't seem to find an answer anywhere, here goes: Whenever we calculate expecation-values between two position ...
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Commutator $[\hat{p},F(\hat{x})]$ of Momentum $\hat{p}$ with a Position dependent function $F(\hat{x})$?

I heard from my GSI that the commutator of momentum with a position dependent quantity is always $-i\hbar$ times the derivative of the position dependent quantity. Can someone point me towards a ...
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786 views

A few simple questions about Grassmann numbers: commutation relations and derivatives

I'm trying to learn about Grassmann numbers from the book "Condensed Matter Field Theory" by Altland and Simons, but I am currently encountering some difficulties. I have several smaller questions ...
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How does linearity of a measurement imply that the commutator of all measured observables are $c$-numbers?

I really don't understand with the linearity conditions I have where this comes from.
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304 views

Why does $[xp_{y},x]$ commute?

I'm looking at a solution in my book that says $[xp_{y},x]$ commutes. Does bracket notation imply: $[A,B]=AB-BA$ so that $[xp_{y},x]=xp_{y}x-xxp_{y}$ Taking the comment from Max Graves and ...
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1k views

What exactly is the connection between the Jacobi and Bianchi identities

While reviewing some basic field theory, I once again encountered the Bianchi identity (in the context of electromagnetism). It can be written as $$\partial_{[\lambda}\partial_{[\mu}A_{\nu]]}=0$$ ...
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109 views

Fock state and corresponding relations for continuous momentum label

In Wikipedia I found following relation for Fock state: $$ \hat {a}_i| \{n_j\}_j\rangle ~=~ \sqrt{n}_i| \{n_j-\delta_{ij}\}_j\rangle, $$ where $n_j$ refers to the number of $j$'th particles. This ...
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2k views

Quantum Commutator Identities

Question: Prove that $p^2$ and ${\bf r}\cdot {\bf p}$ commute with every component of ${\bf L}$ using the identity $$[{\bf p},{\bf e}\cdot {\bf L}]=i\hbar\, ...
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Why Don't the Ladder Operators Commute?

I have two problems with ladder operators. The first is that I feel they should somehow result in measurable things. The asymmetry of applying the plus operator versus the minus operator is very ...