The density operator describes a quantum system in an (in general mixed) state.

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State vector vs density operator

We formulate quantum mechanics using language of state vectors. One alternative formulation is possible using density operator or density matrix. Why we are doing this alternative approach? Is the ...
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Quantization from density of states

The density of states in quantum mechanics is obtained via the rather not so complicated relation below: $$\rho(E)=\delta (E-E_n)$$ Which means that if we know the energy quantization condition for a ...
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What is the entropy of a pure state?

Well, zero of course. Because $S = -\text{tr}(\rho \ln \rho)$ and $\rho$ for a pure state gives zero entropy. But... all quantum states are really pure states right? A mixed state just describes ...
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How does one diagonalize a density operator that has exponential elements?

What is the diagonal form of the density operator $\hat\rho$, of which I know that $$\langle x\left|\hat\rho\right|x'\rangle\propto \exp\left[{-\frac{\gamma}{2}(x^2+x'^2)+\beta xx'}\right]$$where ...
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Entangled vectors in hilbert space

We consider a system of two particles of spin $\frac{1}{2}$, each described by the two-dimensional one-particle Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$. Let $|\pm\rangle\in\mathcal{H}$ denote the eigenvectors of ...
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Example of a state which is positive but its partial transpose is not positive

Could any one give me an example of a state whose density matrix is positive semidefinnite but partial transpose is not positive semidefinnite?
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Intuition on positive-operator valued measures (POVM)

I'm having a little trouble understanding what positive-operator valued measure (POVM) are- in particular why/how they are non-negative. For instance, if they just represent measurements, what about ...
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How do we find the canonical ensemble density matrix for two spins?

A compound system is constructed by two coupling spins, and the Hamiltonian is $$ \hat H = -J\hat\sigma_1·\hat\sigma_2 - \mu_\mathbf{B}\big( \hat\sigma_{1z}+\hat\sigma_{2z} \big)B. $$ So, how ...
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How can I write a Gaussian state as a squeezed, displaced thermal state

I would like to write a Gaussian state with density matrix $\rho$ (single mode) as a squeezed, displaced thermal state: \begin{gather} \rho = \hat{S}(\zeta) \hat{D}(\alpha) \rho_{\bar{n}} ...
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How can I solve an equation involving partial trace?

I am unable to find the solution to the following equation: Tr$_{2}[U(|\psi\rangle \langle\psi|\otimes \rho)U^{\dagger}]=\rho$ Here $\psi$ is state vector representing a qubit and $\rho$ state of ...
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Prove the solution of von Neumann equation will never stabilize if Hamiltonian and initial density matrix commutes

Given von Neumann equation $$\frac{d}{dt} \rho(t) = -i [H, \rho(t)] = -i e^{-iHt}[H, \rho(0)]e^{iHt}.$$ If we know that $[H, \rho(0)] \neq 0$, how do we prove in details the solution of von Neumann ...
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Hilbert space for Density Operators (instead of Banach spaces)

Is it possible to construct a well defined inner-product (and therefore orthonormality) within the set of self-adjoint trace-class linear operators? In the affirmative case, dynamics could be analyzed ...
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Non-unqiue basis sets of reduced density matrix in quantum mechanics/decoherence

In Why decoherence solves the measurement problem by Art Hobson: $|\psi \rangle _{SA} = c_1|s_1 \rangle |a_1 \rangle + c_2 |s_2\rangle |a_2 \rangle$ which is a wavefunction that describes non-local ...
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Interpretation of a density matrix as an observable

In quantum mechanics, any density matrix (or density operator) is Hermitian. Observables are also represented by Hermitian operators. So it follows that a density matrix can also be interpreted as ...
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Linearity of the time evolution operator for the reduced density matrix of an entangled state

Suppose to have a system $S$ immersed in an enviroment; the pure states are elements of $H_S \otimes H_E$, where $H_S$ is the hilbert space of the system and $H_E$ is the hilbert space of the ...
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Density matrix formalism

The density matrix $\hat{\rho}$ is often introduced in textbooks as a mathematical convenience that allows us to describe quantum systems in which there is some level of missing information. ...
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Jump Method and the Lindblad Equation

I am studying the time evolution of a density matrix using the Lindblad equation. My initial density matrix is $\rho(0)=|\alpha\rangle\langle\alpha|$, where $|\alpha\rangle$ is a coherent state. Then ...
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Solution of dynamics of density matrix

Given the dynamics of the density matrix: $ \frac{d}{d t}\begin{pmatrix} \rho_{00} & \rho_{01} \\ \rho_{10} & \rho_{11} \end{pmatrix} = \begin{pmatrix} \lambda ...
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Meaning of the Reduced Density Operator

I am confused about what it is exactly that a reduced density operator describes. To illustrate, I came across the following seemingly paradoxical argument. Consider a biparte system $AB$, described ...
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Derivation of a quantum dynamical map on open quantum system

Let us consider a initial total quantum system as $\rho(0) = \rho_S(0)\otimes\rho_B$ where $\rho_S(0)$ is initial open system and $\rho_B$ is density matrix for environment. We can use partial trace ...
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Liouville-von Neumann equation can be directly derived from Heisenberg picture?

The Liouville-von Neumann equation for the density matrix is: $$ i\hbar\frac{\partial\rho}{\partial t}=[H,\rho],$$ while in the Heisenberg picture: $$ \frac{d}{dt}A(t)=\frac{i}{\hbar}[H,A(t)] ...
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Heisenberg XXX time evolution operator for three qubits

I've a problem to reproduce the result in equation (4) on page three of this paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.2588. So far I've understood that they apply a Heisenberg XXX interaction between ...
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Eigenstates of a density matrix of continuous variables

Consider a system of two entangled harmonic oscillators. The normalised ground state is denoted by $\psi_0(x_1,x_2)$. The reduced density matrix of the second oscillator is given by: $$\rho_2 = ...
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Trace as integral

Consider a system of two entangled harmonic oscillators. The normalised ground state is denoted by $\psi_0(x_1,x_2)$. I've been taught that a density matrix is constructed as $\rho = ...
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How to find density matrix?

The Beam-splitter matrix is $ B = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\begin{pmatrix} 1 & 1\\ 1 & -1 \end{pmatrix} $. I want to apply $a^{\dagger}_{1}a^{\dagger}_{2} |00\rangle_{12}$ as the input state for ...
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What is the Reduced Density Matrix?

The difference between pure and mixed states is the difference in their density matrix structure. For density matrix $\rho$ of mixed state the trace of $\rho^{2}$ should be less than 1. For pure ...
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Trace of an operator matrix (Quantum computation and quantum information)

I'm reading the book Quantum computation and quantum information by Mike & Ike and I'm stuck at 2.60/2.61. There, the author says that, given the operator $A|ψ⟩⟨ψ|$, its trace is: $${\rm ...
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Matrix elements of linear operators - orthonormal basis required?

In an early linear algebra class of mine, I learnt that a linear map $\mathcal{A}$ acting on a vector space could be represented by a matrix $A_{ij}$ according to the rule: $$\mathcal{A}({e_j}) = ...
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Precise meaning of composition of ket and bra, e.g. $|\psi\rangle\langle\psi|$

I'm currently studying density matrices, and have been frequently coming across the construction $$|\psi\rangle\langle\psi| \,.$$ What is the formal meaning of this composition? I understand ...
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Mutually unbiased bases

This question can be formulated in two ways. Let there be two $d$-dimensional orthonormal bases $B_{1}$ and $B_{2}$. I refer to the elements of $B_{1}$ by $\lvert\nu_{i}\rangle$ and to the elements of ...
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Schrödinger's cat and the difficulty of macroscopic superposition state

The Schrödinger's cat was regarded as peculiar since we seldom encounter a superposition state in macroscopic scale: $$ | \mathrm{dead \,\,cat} \rangle + | \mathrm{alive \,\, cat}\rangle $$ We more ...
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Fermi-Dirac distribution derivation?

I am trying to derive the Fermi-Dirac statistics using density matrix formalism. I know that $$<A>= Tr \rho A.$$ So I started from $$<n(\epsilon_i)>= Tr \rho n(\epsilon_i)=\frac {1}{Z} ...
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Density Matrix Characterization

I am working a two dimensional Hilbert space with basis {$|0\rangle, |1\rangle$} and I am trying to show that the density matrix is characterized by 3 real numbers and show that these three numbers ...
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Writing down an entanglement in bra-ket notation

I have a relatively complex (for me anyhow) situation which I would like to capture in bra-ket notation, rather than in words. However, I've not been able to find a source which will help me ...
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Superposition and density matrix. What are these states?

I just wanted to understand the following. Let's stay with the harmonic oscillator in QM, just to have an example at hand. First, there are all the different states for $n=1,2,...$. (Let's call them ...
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Mapping a given density matrix to the generalized 2-qubit state

The generalized 2-qubit state is given as: $$ \rho = \frac{1}{4}[ I\otimes I + (m_x\sigma_x + m_y\sigma_y + m_z\sigma_z)\otimes I + I \otimes (n_x\sigma_x + n_y\sigma_y + n_z\sigma_z) + ...
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Quantum Mechanics mistake in partial trace

I have a given a density matrix by $\rho:=\frac{1}{2} |\psi_1 \rangle \langle \psi_1|+\frac{1}{8} |\psi_2 \rangle \langle \psi_2|+\frac{3}{8} |\psi_3 \rangle \langle \psi_3|.$ Where $|\psi_1\rangle ...
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Can the wavefunction of a system be reconstructed from density matrices of subsystems?

Suppose we have several interacting particles in pure state $\left|\psi\right>$. For each of particles we can extract density matrices via $$\rho_i(x_i,x_i^\prime)=\int ...
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Mixed quantum states and “complete knowledge of the system”

I ran across this statement in a professor's notes and I think it's just a typo, but I wanted to take the opportunity to check my understanding. So in his notes it says: even if we have complete ...
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Continous and Discrete basis, Multiplication of Density Matrix and Hamiltonian

Suppose I have a wave function $\psi(x)$ in position basis. I can make a density function by simply multiplying $\psi(x)$ and its conjugate $\psi^*(x)$. If I operate the density matrix ...
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Can I usefully interpret a non-unital completely positive (CP) map as a cooling process?

Non-unital completely positive (CP) maps take a maximally mixed quantum state (aka a normalized identity matrix aka an infinite temperature state) and map it to something else. This necessarily ...
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How is quantum superposition different from mixed state?

According to Wikipedia, if a system has $50\%$ chance to be in state $\left|\psi_1\right>$ and $50\%$ to be in state $\left|\psi_2\right>$, then this is a mixed state. Now consider state ...
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Density matrix and irreducible tensor operators

I'm reading those lecture notes on atomic physics. Yesterday I posed a question on reducible tensors, and today I have a question on their relation to the density matrix. If there's any information ...
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Operator that takes us from one density matrix to another?

Let's say we have two systems A and B. Each system is described by a density matrix $\rho_A$ and $\rho_B$. I'm wondering about the formal notation to write down the expectation value of an operator ...
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Density operator time evolution in the path integral approach

I want to know how the density operator of a system evovles when we use path integral approach.
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States versus ensembles in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics, we talk about (1) vectors, (2) states, and (3) ensembles (e.g., a beam in a particle accelerator). Suppose we want to translate this into mathematical definitions. If I'd never ...
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How to measure the arbitrariness of a quantum state?

An arbitrary qubit is represented as $\alpha|0\rangle+\beta|1\rangle$ with $|\alpha|^2+|\beta|^2=1$. If we know either $\alpha$ or $\beta$, the state can be completely identified. The 'arbitrariness' ...
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Differences between pure/mixed/entangled/separable/superposed states

I am currently trying to establish a clear picture of pure/mixed/entangled/separable/superposed states. In the following I will always assume a basis of $|1\rangle$ and $|0\rangle$ for my quantum ...
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Thermal radiation in the Unruh Effect

The following formula has been given in 't Hooft's black holes notes ($|\Omega \rangle$ is the vacuum state of Minkowski space, O is a operator): $$\langle \Omega| O|\Omega \rangle = \sum_{n \ge 0} ...
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Why is this not a realisable operation on a quantum system?

Let $\rho = \begin{bmatrix}\ 1&0 \\ 0&0 \end{bmatrix}$, $\rho' = \begin{bmatrix}\ 0&0 \\ 0&1 \end{bmatrix}$, $\rho'' = \dfrac{1}{2}\begin{bmatrix}\ 1&1 \\ 1&1 \end{bmatrix}$ ...