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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2answers
56 views

Module of $SU(2)$ [on hold]

I've read that "$SU(2)$ is the group of transformations in 2-dimensional complex space." What specifically are the two complex dimensions? Is one dimension the real axis and the other the ...
1
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1answer
56 views

$\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(1 + i)|0\rangle$ on the Bloch sphere

By definition, a quantum state can be expressed as $$|\psi\rangle = a |0\rangle+b |1\rangle.$$ Here, $a, b\in\mathbb{C}$ and $|a|^2 + |b|^2 = 1$. Now, I would like to take $a = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(1 +...
-2
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0answers
24 views

Imaginary part in calculation [closed]

I want to simulate (I use mathematica) a matrix that has imaginary number. Given the matrix, $$A = \begin{pmatrix} e^{2I+3}Sin{(2\Pi t)} & e^{I (\Pi)}Cos{(2\Pi t)} \\ Cos{(2\Pi t)} & -e^{...
0
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0answers
50 views

Functional Differetiation of a complex functional

Suppose I have a simple functional $$F=\int{dx\;\phi^{*}(x)\phi(x)}\tag{1}.$$ Assuming $\phi(x)$ and $\phi^{*}(x)$ are independent and I take a functional differential with respect to $\phi(x)$ and $\...
4
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1answer
46 views

Should the complex conjugate of a derivative of a Grassmann number include a sign?

Take a real Grassmann variable, by which I mean $\theta=\theta^*$. We have $$\int d\theta~ \theta =1,\qquad \frac{\partial}{\partial\theta}\theta=1$$ If I define the conjugation of Grassmann ...
6
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1answer
78 views

What is the mathematical motivation for complexifying momenta in BCFW?

One of the first steps in obtaining the on-shell BCFW recursion relations is complexifying the momenta of the external particles. Now complexifying things is not unprecedented (the dispersion program ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Why does a electric Potential have to be real, but not a Potential in quantum mechanics?

So I had this Problem when I had to learn about classical electromagnetism: Why is it, that we use complex numbers when calculating stuff, but in the end only the real part is important (for example ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Why Does there Have to be Linearity in Ket and Skew Symmetry?

I'm reading Shankar's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics," and on page 8 he states that one axiom in Dirac notation is linearity in ket, and because they are also skew symmetric there is anti-linearity ...
2
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2answers
64 views

A general complex electric field

When dealing with a plane wave solution to the electric field such as $$\vec{E}(r,t)=E_{0}\cos(kz-\omega t+\phi)$$ we usually introduce a complex electric field $\tilde{E}(r,t)$ such that $\vec{E}(r,t)...
0
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1answer
55 views

Question about Eigenvalues of Hermetian Operators Being Real Numbers

I'm still slogging through Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum and I've reached another area that baffles me. Susskind uses the following to show that the eigenvalues of Hermitian operators ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Does the sign of imaginary part of complex permittivity have any physical meaning?

I have noticed some papers having written complex permittivity as $e' + je'' $ and others as $e' - je''$. The data in literature does not specify the sign. What should I use and does the sign of $e''$ ...
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2answers
175 views

Is the $i$ in QM a time component in disguise?

In SR, it is possible to replace the Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}$ with a (pseudo) euclidean metric $\delta_{\mu\nu}$ provided that time is measured in imaginary units. I was wondering if the same ...
0
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0answers
31 views

Variables in the Dirac Equation Lagrangian [duplicate]

(Warning: I'm a student of mathematics with no training in physics.) In derivations of the Dirac equation from an action principle, one encounters the action $$S= \displaystyle\int\,d^4x \,\bar\psi(x)...
0
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0answers
66 views

Usage of Complex Numbers in Quantum Mechanics [duplicate]

In Griffiths 2nd Edition Quantum Mechanics page 148, it says when describing the eigenfunction to a part of the central potential problem as $$\mathrm e^{i m \phi}$$ "In electrodynamics we would ...
80
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there such thing as imaginary time dilation?

When I was doing research on General Relativity, I found Einstein's equation for Gravitational Time Dilation. I discovered that when you plugged in a large enough value for $M$ (around $10^{19}$ ...
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0answers
33 views

Applications of octonions in special relativity?

According to the Wikipedia article on octonions: Octonions [...] have applications in fields such as string theory, special relativity, and quantum logic. However, I couldn't find any ...
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2answers
43 views

Steady state RLC circuit analysis

In an RLC series circuit let applied EMF be given $V=V_0\sin\omega t$, $$Z=Z_C+Z_R+Z_L=R+i\left(\frac{1}{\omega C}-\omega L\right)$$ $$|Z|=\sqrt{R^2+\left(\frac{1}{\omega C}-\omega L\right)^2}$$ Then ...
0
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2answers
59 views

Confusion of Schrödinger equation and complex conjugates

I have a similar question that was asked in the following link: (Schrödinger's Equation and its complex conjugate). But I find both the question and answers not specific enough. So let me ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Kirchhoff's laws in phasor domain

While analysing AC circuits, we write voltage, current etc all with complex numbers namely "phasors". While studying the same, I wondered if Kirchhoff's laws held good with current and voltage in ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Are $\psi ^{*}(x,t)$ and $\psi(x,-t)$ solutions of the same Schroedinger equation?

I have this question: Let $\psi(x,t)$ solution of the Schroedinger equation for a particle under a potential V(x) independent of time. Are $\psi ^{*}(x,t)$ and $\psi(x,-t)$ solutions of the same ...
0
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1answer
30 views

Imaginary component in capacitive reactance

This is a trivial question in first year but, unfortunately, this popped up in an elementary yet compulsory lab experiment. The capacitive reactance is defined as $$X_{c}=\frac{1}{\omega c}$$ The ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

Is the Noether charge always a Hermitian operator?

Noether's theorem tells us that to every continuous symmetry of the Lagrangian there corresponds a conserved current $j^\mu$. From the time component of this current, we can then define the Noetherian ...
0
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1answer
47 views

2D standing wave

When we have 1D standing waves, we can write them as the sum of two propagating wave in opposite directions that give the formula $\sin(kx)\cos(wt)$. When I try to do this for 2D waves (I mean 2D by ...
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0answers
47 views

Uncertainties propagation with complex numbers [closed]

How would one go by to estimate the uncertainties on the result of a calculation when it is done with complex values ? For example I am trying to calculate the impedance of a quadrupole and the ...
2
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2answers
154 views

Complex conjugate of the Schrödinger equation?

This might be a very simple question but I don't understand how to compute the complex conjugate of the Schrödinger equation: $$ i\partial_t \psi = H\psi $$ where $H$ is an hermitian operator. How to ...
2
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1answer
91 views

Is there a way to prove that a bound state wavefunction can always be chosen real for an arbitrary potential in Quantum Mechanics?

As we can prove many things that always (at least in introductory quantum mechanical problems) apply using an arbitrary potential (like that $E>V_{\rm min}$ or else the solutions are non-...
1
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1answer
76 views

Can the quantum mechanical current density be imaginary?

I am dealing with a situation where I get an imaginary transmission current density. Is this possible? Does it imply a zero transmission probability?
4
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1answer
126 views

Significance of $i$ in the Schrödinger equation [duplicate]

There's an imaginary $i$ in the Schrödinger equation, which I guess is to define the position of the particle in a space-time involving a complex function. But what is the real physical significance ...
1
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0answers
65 views

Complex tetrad vs. Real metric

I asked this question almost a month ago on mathoverflow (http://mathoverflow.net/q/228138/) but received no response. I thought I could have better luck here: I have a question on the relationship ...
1
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1answer
72 views

Can a qubit have an imaginary component?

My knowledge of linear algebra is limited and my physics knowledge mostly comes from high school and Youtube so please bear with me. In the equation $$|x\rangle = a|0\rangle+b|1\rangle,$$ I read that ...
4
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0answers
56 views

Non-equivalence between $\omega \to \omega \pm i\varepsilon$ and Cauchy principle value

I am looking to gain a more rigorous and deeper understanding as to how an $i\varepsilon$ prescription actually changes the end result of a divergent integral, specifically in regards to Green's ...
3
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0answers
98 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
94 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} \varphi(\...
3
votes
3answers
163 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
40 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 $...
1
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2answers
39 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
69 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
votes
3answers
259 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 $\mbox{cas}(\omega t) = \cos(\omega t) + \sin(\omega t)$...
1
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1answer
74 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
135 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
54 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
votes
1answer
109 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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votes
3answers
88 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
109 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 \begin{...
1
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4answers
141 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
43 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: $$H=\begin{pmatrix}E_g+\frac{\hbar^2k^2}{2m_0}&(\hbar/m)kp\\(\hbar/m)kp&...
-2
votes
1answer
113 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 $$\dot{\Psi}=\...
3
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1answer
230 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 example,...
2
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2answers
71 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. $$\langle\text{real}|\text{imaginary}|\text{...
2
votes
1answer
135 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 ...