Distributions are generalized functions, such as, e.g., the Dirac delta function. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for statistical probability distributions, profiles, graphs, plots, etc.

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Hilbert space of harmonic oscillator: Countable vs uncountable?

Hm, this just occurred to me while answering another question: If I write the Hamiltonian for a harmonic oscillator as $$H = \frac{p^2}{2m} + \frac{1}{2} m \omega^2 x^2$$ then wouldn't one set of ...
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How is Gauss' Law (integral form) arrived at from Coulomb's Law, and how is the differential form arrived at from that?

On a similar note: when using Gauss' Law, do you even begin with Coulomb's law, or does one take it as given that flux is the surface integral of the Electric field in the direction of the normal to ...
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Don't understand the integral over the square of the Dirac delta function

In Griffiths' Intro to QM [1] he gives the eigenfunctions of the Hermitian operator $\hat{x}=x$ as being $$g_{\lambda}\left(x\right)~=~B_{\lambda}\delta\left(x-\lambda\right)$$ (cf. last formula on ...
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538 views

Hilbert space of a free particle: Countable or Uncountable?

This is obviously a follow on question to the Phys.SE post Hilbert space of harmonic oscillator: Countable vs uncountable? So I thought that the Hilbert space of a bound electron is countable, but ...
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Laplacian of $1/r^2$ (context: electromagnetism and poisson equation)

We know that a point charge $q$ located at the origin $r=0$ produces a potential $\sim \frac{q}{r}$, and this is consistent with the fact that the Laplacian of $\frac{q}{r}$ is ...
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Matrix elements of momentum operator in position representation

I have two related questions on the representation of the momentum operator in the position basis. The action of the momentum operator on a wave function is to derive it: $$\hat{p} ...
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How do you do an integral involving the derivative of a delta function?

I got an integral in solving Schrodinger equation with delta function potential. It looks like $$\int \frac{y(x)}{x} \frac{\mathrm{d}\delta(x-x_0)}{\mathrm{d}x}$$ I'm trying to solve this by ...
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1answer
480 views

Mathematical interpretation of Poisson Brackets

Lets say we are working in a classical scalar field theory and we have two functional $ F[\phi, \pi](x)$ and $G[\phi, \pi](x)$. In most of the references, starting with two functional the Poisson ...
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2answers
461 views

What is the most natural value of Heaviside step function at zero argument?

In many physical applications, the Heaviside step fuction is defined as $$H(x) = \left\{\begin{eqnarray} 1, \quad x>0 \\ 0, \quad x<0 \end{eqnarray}\right.$$ The value $H(0)$ is left undefined. ...
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600 views

The magnetic field of a magnetic monopole

Let us define the magnetic field $$\vec{B} = g\frac{\vec{r}}{r^3}$$ for some constant $g$. How can we show that the divergence of this field correspond to the charge distribution of a single magnetic ...
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687 views

What is the most general expression for the coordinate representation of momentum operator?

I have a question about deriving the coordinate representation of momentum operator from the commutation relation, $[x,p]= i$. One derivation (ref W. Greiner's Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction, 4th ...
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Normalization of Momentum Eigenfunctions: the number of particles

After finding the eigenfunctions $u_p(x)=Ce^{ipx/\hbar}$ of the momentum operator just like in this UCSD lecture notes, one seeks to normalize them, so one first tries: ...
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What really is a Dirac delta function?

Yesterday a friend asked me what a Dirac delta function really is. I tried to explain it but eventually confused myself. It seems that a Dirac delta is defined as a function that satisfies these ...
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5answers
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How to interpret the derivative of the Dirac delta potential?

I met a Hamiltonian containing the derivative of the Dirac delta potential: In order to do it we use a method described in [9]. We define a formal Hamiltonian $$ ...
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Multivariable Dirac Delta and Faddeev-Popov Determinant

From this mathstack page and in particular Qmechanic's answer: There exists an $n$-dimensional generalization $$\tag{1} \delta^n({\bf f}({\bf x})) ~=~\sum_{{\bf x}_{(0)}}^{{\bf f}({\bf ...
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1answer
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The definition of Density of States

The density of states (DOS) is generally defined as $D(E)=\frac{d\Omega(E)}{dE}$, where $\Omega(E)$ is the number of states. But why DOS can also be defined using delta function, as ...
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Eigenstates of a Hermitian field operator

Consider a Hermitian field operator $\phi(x)$ with eigenstates satisfying $$ \phi(x) |\alpha\rangle = \alpha(x) | \alpha \rangle $$ I'm trying to determine the inner product between the eigenstates. ...
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Divergence of a field and its interpretation

The divergence of an electric field due to a point charge (according to Coulomb's law) is zero. In literature the divergence of a field indicates presence/absence of a sink/source for the field. ...
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451 views

Units INSIDE of a Dirac Delta function

I know that the units of a Dirac Delta function are inverse of it's argument, for example the units of $\delta(x)$ if $x$ is measured in meters is $\frac{1}{meters}$. But, my question is what are ...
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1answer
654 views

State normalization in Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics

Let us divide the time $T$ into $N$ segments each lasting $δt = T/N$. Then we write $\langle q_F | e^{−iHT} |q_I \rangle = \langle q_F | e^{−iHδt} e^{−iHδt} . . . e^{−iHδt} |q_I \rangle $ Our ...
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376 views

Resources for theory of distributions (generalized functions) for physicists

I am looking for tutorials, articles or books containing theory of distributions in context of mathematical physics. Please suggest.
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175 views

Can operators be argument of Dirac Delta function

In one part of Marc Bee's book on Quasielastic Neutron Scattering, he defines the pair correlation function $$ G(\textbf r,t) = \frac{1}{(2\pi)^3}\int I(\textbf Q,t)\text e^{-i\textbf Q.\textbf r}\ ...
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1answer
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Yang-Mills constraints and Poisson brackets

Let's have constraints for Yang-Mills theory: $$ \varphi_{a} = \partial_{i}\pi^{i}_{a} - f_{abc}\pi^{b}_{i}A^{c}_{i}. $$ I have read the statement that $$ \tag 1 [\varphi_{a}(\mathbf x), ...
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The Dirac-Delta function as an initial state for the quantum free particle

I want to ask if it is reasonable that I use the Dirac-Delta function as an intial state ($\Psi (x,0) $) for the free particle wavefunction and interpret it such that I say that the particle is ...
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1answer
64 views

Interpretation of the Dirac-measure property

First and foremost, apologies in advance for using an abuse of notation by placing the Dirac measure inside an integral. But given the circumstances, I have no choice. This is essentially a word by ...
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1answer
566 views

How do we normalize a delta function position space wave function? [duplicate]

I have a position space wavefunction $$\psi(x) = \delta(x-a) + \delta(x+a).$$ Now the question states to compute the following: The Fourier transform of $\psi(x)$. (Which invariably is the momentum ...
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1answer
406 views

Getting rid of double delta function in Feynman rules

[1] A very simple example of feynman rule for scalar fields. After computing the diagram i have got the following: $$ -i(2\pi)^4g^2\int d^4q \frac{i}{q^2 -m^2c^2}\delta^{(4)}(p_1 - p_3 -q) ...
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2answers
264 views

A rigorous treatment of distributions in quantum mechanics

In many introductory courses to quantum mechanics, we see $\delta$-functions all over the place. For example when expressing an arbitrary wave function $\psi(x)$ in the basis of eigenfunctions of the ...
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3answers
505 views

Normalization of basis vectors with a continuous index?

I have an infinite basis which associates with each point, $x$, on the $x$-axis, a basis vector $|x\rangle$ such that the matrix of $|x\rangle$ is full of zeroes and a one by the $x^{\mathrm{th}}$ ...
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0answers
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Poisson-like green functions

How can I verify that equation $$\nabla ^2 f (r) = - \frac{e}{4 \pi \epsilon ^2} \delta (r-\epsilon)$$ in 3D has a solution of the form $$f (r) = a - \frac{e}{4 \pi r} \theta (r-\epsilon) ...
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2answers
96 views

Expectation value with plane waves [duplicate]

Hey guys Im a little confused with the concept of plane waves and how to perform an expectation value. Let me show you by an example. Suppose you have a wave function of the form ...
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1answer
252 views

Could two different bases of a Hilbert space have different cardinality? [duplicate]

Here is a quote from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert_space#Hilbert_dimension (accessed: Nov. 22, 2013) : As a consequence of Zorn's lemma, every Hilbert space admits an orthonormal basis; ...
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419 views

Detecting the presence of a delta potential

Suppose you have a particle in a box, and there may or may not be a Dirac delta potential somewhere in the box. How could one detect whether or not the potential is present? Furthermore: If there's ...