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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
890 views

Weyl exponential form of the Canonical Commutation Relations

What is the physical meaning of the $c$-numbers $Q, P\in \mathbb{R}$ in the exponent of the Weyl system $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar} Q \hat{p}\right]$ and $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar}P\hat{q}\right]$? ...
4
votes
1answer
210 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 ...
43
votes
5answers
4k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

How I can prove the Commutation between hamiltonian and Runge-Lenz vector? [closed]

I am a undergraduate student in physics. I found this page that shows a way to prove the commutator between Runge-Lenz vector and Hamiltonian .$\left [\hat{A}_{i},\hat{H}\right]=0$ I believe he did a ...
4
votes
0answers
45 views

Commutation of two vector operator

Consider vectors $\overrightarrow { A } $ and $\overrightarrow { B } $ as operators or vector of operators. If this commutation holds$$[\overrightarrow { A },\overrightarrow { B }]=0$$ Then, is that ...
3
votes
2answers
299 views

$\hat{L}_{x}$ and $\hat{L}_{y}$ do not commute… or do they?

So $\hat{L}_{x}$ and $\hat{L}_{y}$ do not commute: $$ [ \hat{L}_{x}, \hat{L}_{y}] = i\hbar \hat{L}_{z}$$ But, what if we perform this operation on a state such that: $$\hat{L}_{z} \phi_{l, m_{l}} ...
3
votes
5answers
344 views

Eigenspaces of angular momentum operator and its square (Casimir operator)

The casimir operator $\textbf{L}^2$ commutates with the elements $L_i$ of the angular momentum operator $\textbf{L}$: $$ [\textbf{L}^2, L_i] = 0. $$ However, the $L_i$ do not commute among ...
-1
votes
1answer
55 views

Limit of the position and momentum commutator [closed]

The commutator of position and momentum operator, $\hat{p}$ and $\hat{x}$, respectively is derived as $[\hat{x},\hat{p}]=i\hbar$. Let $\lim_{x\rightarrow x_{o}} [\hat{x},\hat{p}]=\lim_{x\rightarrow ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 $n$ ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

The commutator between observable and unit radius vector

As I encounter the commutator relating to unit radius vector, I am quite confused. I have just started the learning of quantum mechanics and all I know about the commutator is based on two identities: ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

commutation relations in terms of eigenstates scalar product

This question has caught my attention because I was unaware of the fact that the position-momentum canonical commutation relations could be derived out of the only assumption for $\langle x | ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

Derivation of canonical position-momentum commutator relation

We know that the position-momentum commutator is fundamental in quantum mechanics, but would it be possible to derive it starting from a different set of first principles, more specifically starting ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

How to impose canonical commutation relations when quantising a field

I believe this is a simple question, however I cannot find it explained anywhere what the term: "Impose canonical commutation relations" means. If I have a classical equation, and I wish to quantise ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Second Quantization: The Identity Operator does not Commute?

Let me take the simplest possible example. Consider the fermonic Fock-space $\Lambda^*(\mathbb{C}^n)$ built out of a finite-dimensional, oriented single-particle Hilbert space $\mathbb{C}^n$ with ...
5
votes
2answers
253 views

Mutual or same set of eigenfunctions if two operators commute

If two operators commute, do they have "a mutual set of eigenfunctions", or "the same set of eigenfunctions"? My quantum chemistry book uses these as if they are interchangeable, but they do not seem ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Is it right to write $\varepsilon_{ijk} \delta_{jl}=\varepsilon_{ilk}$? (indices notation)

Consider the $l$ component of vector position $\vec{r}$, $r_l$, and the $i$ component of angular momentum $\vec{L}$, $L_i$. We have that $$L_i=[r\times p]_{i}=\varepsilon_{ijk}r_jp_k$$ ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Expectation value of an operator and commutator relation

I have a quantum operator $A.$ It's expectation value is constant respect to time. I mean $$\langle \psi(t)|A|\psi(t)\rangle$$ is a constant values. If I know $|\psi(t)\rangle$ is not an eigenstate ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Commutation between angular momentum and Hamiltonian

Consider the following Hamiltonian of a 3-dimensional system: $$H=\frac{p^2}{2m}+V(r)$$ If the components of the angular momentum, $L_i$, commute with $H$, then: $$[H,L_i]=0$$ This condition can ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Hamiltonian in commutator contradiction [duplicate]

Consider the following: $$[ \hat H, \hat x]=\left[-\frac{\hbar^2 \hat p^2}{2m}+V,\hat x\right]\ne0 \text{ in general}$$ But $$[ \hat H, \hat x]=\left[i\hbar \frac{\partial }{\partial t},\hat ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Glauber's Formula

In the Cohen-Tannoudji Quantum Physics book, Complement BII, says: [...] two operators $A$ and $B$ with both commute with their commutator. An argument modeled on the preceding one shows that, if we ...
0
votes
2answers
232 views

Time-ordering and Dyson series

In Dyson series we use a time-ordered exponential by arguing that a Hamiltonian at two different instants of time does not commute. Why is it that so? Can anyone explain with example why should the ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Quantum Field Theory: commutator of covariant derivatives

I just started studying qtf and I dont understand the last lecture. In the lecture script a shortcut is defined. $P^j = \frac{1}{i}\partial_j - qA^j$ With this: $[P^j,P^k] = -\frac{q}{i}(\partial_j ...
42
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
22k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Commutation of vector operators

I'm supposed to show that $\left[\mathbf A,\mathbf B\right]=0$ (for two vector operators $\mathbf A$ and $\mathbf B$) if and only if all components of $\mathbf A$ commute with all components of ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Relativistic Commutation relation for momentum and position

We all know that the canonical commutation relation give you $$[x_i,p_j]=i\hbar\delta_ij,$$ is there a relativistic version such as $$[x^a,p_b]=i\hbar\delta_a^b?$$ If so what is the time ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Canonical Commutation Relations in arbitrary Canonical Coordinates

If one were to formulate quantum mechanics in an arbitrary canonical coordinate system, does he impose canonical commutation relations using Dirac's recipe? ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

QM angular momentum commutator solution using index notation

there are a few answered questions regarding the commutator of any two 3D angular momentum operator components $[L_i, L_j]$ , however, I am trying to go through fully using index notation so that I ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Constants of motion of a Hamiltonian matrix

Given a Hamiltonian $H$ on $\mathbb{C}^n$ represented by some $n \times n$ matrix, I would like to find all constants of motion in the Heisenberg's picture. I know that in principle the Heisenberg ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Commutator with exponential $[A, \exp(B)]$

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Is there a simple expression for $[x,e^{ixp}]$?

I'm sure this exists somewhere, but somewhat surprisingly it is not that easy to google.* The commutators $$ \left[x,e^{i(ax^2+b(xp+px)+cp^2)}\right] $$ of position and the exponential of a quadratic ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Quantum field operators in HEP and CMT

For a real scalar field (which is a bosonic field) we have these commutation relations : $$ \left[\phi(x,t),\phi(y,t)\right]=0 \qquad \qquad \left[\phi(x,t),\pi(y,t)\right]=\delta(x-y).\tag{1}$$ But ...
20
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
457 views

Moyal Product in Non Commutative Quantum Mechanics

Can someone please explain me what is a Moyal product? Also, how does putting $$X_a(\psi) ~=~ x_a\star\psi$$ realise $$[X_a,X_b]=i\theta_{ab}{\bf 1}?$$ Ref: Quantum mechanics on non-commutative ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Commutator of position and momentum

I'm reading Sakurai's Quantum Mechanics. One of the problem in the book asks to use the relation $$ \langle{x}|p\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi\hbar}}e^{\frac{ipx}{\hbar}} $$ to evaluate ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Deriving the form of generators of transformations

I'm struggling to understand a bit of quantum mechanics relating to the transformation generators. This specific bit contains quite a few guesses and assumtions which probably do make sense in ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Regarding properties of matrices involved in Dirac equation

In this document, after equation 62 on page 9, the author says that we can rewrite $\alpha^i \alpha^j \partial_i \partial_j$ as $\frac{1}{2} (\alpha^i \alpha^j + \alpha^j ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

In QFT, why does a vanishing commutator ensure causality?

In relativistic quantum field theories (QFT), $$[\phi(x),\phi^\dagger(y)] = 0 \;\;\mathrm{if}\;\; (x-y)^2<0$$ On the other hand, even for space-like separation $$\phi(x)\phi^\dagger(y)\ne0.$$ ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

How is quantization related to commutation? [duplicate]

How are commutation (of observables) and quantization related? Reading about the Stone-Von Neumann Theorem, it seems that commutativity is the classical limit of quantum mechanics, and hence ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

How do you prove that the number operator commutes with a general Hamiltonian?

If you have a hamiltonian, in the case of a bosonic system $$ H=\sum_{ij}H_{ij}a_i^\dagger a_j, $$ and the number operator $$ N=\sum_{i}a_i^{\dagger}a_i. $$ How do you show that they commute? I have ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Meaning of expectation value of product of non-commuting operators

Let $\hat{A}$ and $\hat{B}$ be Hermitian observables with spectra labeled by $a$ and $b$. Then we can write \begin{equation} \hat{A} = \sum_a a\, \hat{P}_a \end{equation} \begin{equation} \hat{B} = ...
3
votes
2answers
233 views

What is the meaning of commuting Hamiltonians?

I have two quantum mechanical Hamiltonians such that \begin{equation} [\hat{H}_1,\hat{H}_2] = 0, \end{equation} where $\hat{H}_1$ and $\hat{H}_2$ act on the same set of states. What is there to ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

What is this nested bracket notation?

The following is an excerpt from K. Varga's paper, Precise solution of few-body problems with stochastic variational method on correlated Gaussian basis: ...The function $θ_{LM_L}(\mathbf{x})$ in ...
2
votes
1answer
179 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 $$[L_{+},L_{-}]=2\hbar L_{z} ~?\tag{2}$$
0
votes
2answers
96 views

$[A_1, H] =[A_2, H] = 0$ but $[A_1, A_2] \neq 0$?

I am having a difficult time understanding this problem. Suppose $[A_1, A_2] \ne 0,$ $[A_1, H] = 0,$ $[A_2, H] = 0.$ Show that the energy eigenstates of $H$ are in general ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Commutation relations in second quantization

I know that for operators $a(\chi_1), a(\chi_2)$ of the same type (fermionic or bosonic) $$ [a(\chi_1), a(\chi_2)]_{-\xi} = [a^\dagger (\chi_1), a^\dagger (\chi_2)]_{-\xi} = 0 \tag{1}$$ where $$\xi ...