Numbers of the form $\{z= x+ i\,y:\;x,\, y\in\mathbb{R}\}$ where $i^2 = -1$. Useful especially as quantum mechanics, where system states take complex vector values.

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44 views

Eigenvalue problem $−\psi''(x) − (ix)^ N \psi(x) = E\psi(x)$ in complex plane

To find the eigenvalue in the complex plane of $x$ for one dimensional Schrodinger equation $$ −ψ''(x) − (ix)^ N ψ(x) = Eψ(x). $$ where $N$ can be any real number, the boundary condition $ψ(x) → 0$ ...
4
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1answer
76 views

Why can the bra and ket be varied independently?

Given a functional which depends on a function (ket), and its complex conjugate (bra), e.g. $$F[\varphi] = \langle \varphi|\hat{F}|\varphi\rangle = \int \varphi^{*}(\mathbf{r}) \hat{F} ...
3
votes
3answers
104 views

What is the point of complex fields in classical field theory?

I see a lot of books/lectures about classical field theory making use of complex scalar fields. However why complex fields are used in the first place is often not really motivated. Sometimes one can ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Complex Coordinate change

I have a simple question where I must change the coordinates of a system however I am unsure whether I am correct. I am changing from Cartisian to complex coordinates. Let's say I only have $x$ and ...
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2answers
32 views

Notation of complex valued atomic orbitals

Atomic orbitals are usually labeled $1s$, $2p_x$, $2p_x$, $2p_z$ and so on. These wave functions are defined to be real valued. The original wave functions are complex valued. The $2p_x$ orbital is ...
2
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0answers
53 views

Wronskian of complex second order linear differential equation

While studying certain analogue gravity models I came across a differential equation of the form: \begin{align} \frac{d^2y}{dz^2} + \omega^2 (z)~ y(z) = 0 \end{align} where $z$ is a complex variable ...
7
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3answers
234 views

Why is the Fourier transform more useful than the Hartley transform in physics?

The Hartley transform is defined as $$ H(\omega) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi}}\int_{-\infty}^\infty f(t) \, \mbox{cas}(\omega t) \mathrm{d}t, $$ with $\mbox{cas}(\omega t) = \cos(\omega t) + \sin(\omega ...
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1answer
50 views

What is the complex dipole moment?

I have some problems with getting the complex (time dependent) dipole moments of some dipoles in a configuration. I eventually want to get the electric and magnetic fields of the configuration, but my ...
3
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3answers
113 views

How can $F_0\cos\omega t$ change to $F_0e^{i\omega t}$ in driven oscillator equation?

I have one thing that confuses me on deriving the solution for the Linear Forced Oscillator. Suppose we have the equation as $$ma + rv + kx = F_0 \cos \omega t$$ What confuses me is when the driving ...
1
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1answer
42 views

Why do $\psi_a$ and $\bar{\psi}_{\dot{\alpha}}$ represent two different degrees of freedom?

I am taking a course in QFT and I've been introduced to the concept of left-handed (undotted) and right-handed spinors (dotted). I know that left-handed spinors are associated with the irreducible ...
3
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1answer
58 views

Variational proof of the Hellmann-Feynman theorem

I use the following notation and definition for the (first) variation of some functional $E[\psi]$: \begin{equation} \delta E[\psi][\delta\psi] := \lim_{\varepsilon \rightarrow 0} \frac{E[\psi + ...
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3answers
62 views

Complex conjugate of hydrogen ground state wave function [closed]

For hydrogen atom ground state we know . I want to know the complex conjugate of .
3
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1answer
88 views

Grassmann numbers in the dual space

I'm reading the section on Grassmann numbers in QFT for the Gifted Amateur and I'm confused by something said therein: First, they define a coherent state for fermions $\rvert \eta \rangle$ as ...
1
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4answers
125 views

Is there a reason why probability density is written as $\psi^*\psi$ instead of $\psi\psi^*$?

As the title states, I see $|\psi|^2$ written as $\psi^*\psi$ instead of $\psi\psi^*$. Are both correct or is there a reason behind it? As far as I'm aware, the only time I see this sort of ordering ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Two-Band k.p Model is not Hermitian for imaginary wavevectors

In E. O. Kane's original work on Zener Tunneling, he uses a two-band $k\cdot p$ model for the semiconductor bandstructure: ...
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1answer
51 views

Pauli Matrices & 2D Rotation Operators?

I was doing a strange calculation with my teacher the other day: find the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the 2D rotation operator. Intuitively, there should be no solution to this problem in ...
-2
votes
1answer
96 views

Schrodinger equation violates mathematics?

By the Hamiltonian formalism of quantum mechanics, given a quantum system in a state $\Psi$ in a Hilbert space $\mathcal H$, the state will instantaneously evolve in time according to ...
3
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1answer
169 views

Real versus complex Hamiltonian

While a Hamiltonian must be a Hermitian matrix, it can either be real or complex. Is there a significance for having a real Hamiltonian? Does it have any additional physical symmetries? For ...
2
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2answers
59 views

Expectation value of an imaginary operator acting on a real function

In a video (http://youtu.be/r_gBQ_qhg8U?t=9m58s) it's stated that a matrix element of an imaginary operator acting on a real wave function is zero, i.e. ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Is a non-degenerate wavefunction real or complex?

In this video it is stated that: It can easily be verified that the wavefunction of a non-degenerate quantum mechanical system will be real. However the presenter does not explain why this ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Why does Griffiths define the complex inner product differently? [closed]

I have just now noticed that Griffiths (in his book Introduction to Quantum Mechanics) defines the complex inner product as $\big<z,w\big>=\sum_{i=1}^n\overline{z}_iw_i$. In all mathematics ...
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0answers
52 views

Why Hamiltonian is Hermitian? [duplicate]

Everyone knows that this is needed to make eigenvalues real, but still why we enforcing such a structure at first place? An arbitrary operator can have as complex as real eigenvalues, we can simply ...
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1answer
116 views

How to interpret the complex index of refraction?

The index of refraction which represents how much light gets refracted when entering a medium is defined as $$n = \frac{c}{v}$$ I have seen it stated in several places, such as here, that we can ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

How does a metric of the form $\mathrm{d}z \mathrm{d}\bar z$ work, if $z$ and $\bar z$ are not independent? [duplicate]

My question is motivated by 2D CFT where one works in "complex coordinates". The question is the following: Suppose I am in 2D flat Euclidean space, i.e. $$\mathrm{d}s^2 = \mathrm{d}x^2 + ...
2
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3answers
120 views

How is complex permittivity measured?

Complex relative permittivity is defined as $$\epsilon_r = \frac{\epsilon(\omega)}{\epsilon_0}=\epsilon_r^{\prime}(\omega) + i\epsilon_r^{\prime\prime}(\omega) = \epsilon_r^{\prime}(\omega) + ...
0
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1answer
61 views

Causality and response functions

Referring to David Tong's notes on Electromagnetism, page 29 (of the PDF, numbered 183), section 7.5.4; It is proved that the frequency domain response function (in this case describing the ...
2
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2answers
139 views

What is the need of complex functions in wave analysis?

It is commonly known that waves can be express in terms of sine or cosine function. But when I study further, I seen that for analyising the waves, it is common to use complex functions in the form ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

How many parameters are needed to specify a quantum state?

We have a spin state \begin{align} \ |{\Psi}\rangle=a_u|{U}\rangle+a_d|{D}\rangle \end{align} where $|U\rangle$ and $|D\rangle$ are $up$ and $down$ basis vectors, and $a_u$,$a_d$ are their complex ...
3
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2answers
82 views

Complex / real representations of the Lorentz group

In Michele Maggiore's book "A Modern Introduction to QFT" he describes the spinorial representations of the Lorentz group as The representations are in general complex. I always thought the ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

Why complexify in order to construct Dirac representation?

Suppose we have a theory is covariant under the Spin group Spin(2n-1; 1). We consider the real vector space $V = R^{2n-1,1}$, which naturally comes with a Lorentzian inner product. On this vector ...
0
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0answers
70 views

Complex Space Time - Mathematical Foundations [duplicate]

I am really curious as to what the current research is in complex space time. Because in "The theory of Everything". Stephen Hawking does talk about imaginary time. Is there any mathematical ...
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1answer
197 views

Concrete example of the application of complex analysis in electrostatics [closed]

I've heard complex analysis can be useful in solving electrostatics problems, but despite doing some research I was unable to find any concrete examples. Would anyone be able to provide a simple ...
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0answers
55 views

The derivation of the irreducible representations of the Lorentz group

I took the way of classification of Lorentz group representations from Sexl, Urbantke, Relativity, groups and particles (Germ. ed. 1975). But I don't understand it as I outline in the following: In ...
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2answers
323 views

What do “ℜe” and “A*” mean?

What do "$\mathfrak{Re}$" and "A*" mean in the following equation (taken from James Binney and David Skinner's QM lecture notes, equation 1.12), \begin{align} p(S\text{ or ...
2
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3answers
780 views

Born Interpretation of Wave Function

I have just started Griffiths Intro to QM. I was studying Born's interpretation of Wave function and it says that the square of the modulus of the wave function is a measure of the probability of ...
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0answers
63 views

Does Quantum Mechanics need imaginary numbers? [duplicate]

In quantum mechanics, we assume wavefunctions are complex valued, and that probability amplitudes are given by the modulus of the wavefunction squared. This formalism can correctly explain ...
1
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1answer
143 views

Time-harmonic Maxwell's equations

My question is about the time-harmonic or frequency domain (differential) form of Maxwell's equations. If one solves these and obtain the complex vector field $E$, are the real and imaginary parts ...
4
votes
1answer
408 views

Why can't quantum field theory be quaternion instead of complex?

So, the definition of QFT in terms of path integrals is that the partition function is: $$Z[J] \propto \int e^{iS[\phi]+J.\phi} D[\phi]$$ But does it have any meaning if instead of this $U(1)$ ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

What is the difference between real orbital & complex orbital?

While reading Atomic orbitals, I came before these two terms. The 'real orbital' is given here: Real orbitals An atom that is embedded in a crystalline solid feels multiple preferred axes, ...
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2answers
30 views

Complex charge of a Hertzian Dipole

Im breaking my head over the solution of an old exam problem: Given is the following hertzian dipole: Given are also the equations: $I(t) = \Re\left(I_0 e^{j\omega t}\right)$, $Q(t) = ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Are the pion fields in chiral perturbation theory complex or real fields?

The chiral perturbation theory Lagrangian is written $$\mathcal{L}_2=\frac{f_{\pi}^2}{4}Tr(D_{\mu}U^{\dagger}D^{\mu}U)$$ where $$U=e^{i\sqrt{2}\Phi/f}$$ and $$\Phi= \begin{pmatrix} ...
3
votes
2answers
307 views

Can temperature be a complex number?

Is it possible for a temperature to be a complex number? I want to say "no" but I can't be so sure. If it is possible I would like to know of an example. I found an interesting article which treats ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

What is the purpose of the imaginary portion of the wave function?

I recently watched this video. I'm trying to learn about the origin of the wave function and therefore understand its use in the Schrödinger Equation. However at the end of the video I understood up ...
3
votes
2answers
383 views

Why does the magnitude squared of the wave function give us the probability density? [duplicate]

My question doesn't go much beyond the title: Why does $$\left | \psi \left ( x,t \right ) \right |^{2}$$ give us the probability density of something appearing at a certain location? I understand ...
5
votes
2answers
127 views

Elementary question about endpoint singularities

In George Sterman's book "An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory", on pages 413-414, there is a description of the endpoint singularity. One begins with the function $$ I(w) ~=~ ...
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votes
2answers
163 views

$su(1,1) \cong su(2)$?

The three generators of $su(2)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ [J_0 , J_\pm] = J_\pm , \quad [J_+, J_- ] = +2J_0 .$$ The three generators of $su(1,1)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

Why are complex fields in the Lagrangian?

I know that a complex field has twice the number of degrees of freedom of a real field, and that fields (in QFT) aren't observables so we don't really care if they are real. But why the need for ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Path integral measure Fourier transformation for case of real field

Let's have $$ Z[J] = \int D \varphi e^{iS[\varphi , J]}, $$ where $\varphi$ denotes real scalar field. Let's make Fourier transform, $$ \varphi (x) = \int e^{iqx}\varphi (q), \quad \varphi^{*} (q) = ...
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1answer
80 views

How to separate k into real and imaginary parts?

In $k^2 - \frac{\omega^2}{c_o^2} + (\tau_{\alpha} i \omega)^{\alpha} k^2 = 0$, $k$ is the wavenumber, $\omega$ is angular frequency, others are constants. How can I separate the wavenumber $k$ into ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

Use of Imaginary Angles in Physics

I am studying higher algebra. I have learnt that as well as for reals, trigonometric functions can also be defined for complex numbers, by means of power series. Such as: ...