A linear operator (including a matrix) acting on a non-zero *eigenvector* preserves its direction but, in general, scales its magnitude by a scalar quantity *λ* called the *eigenvalue* or characteristic value associated with that eigenvector. Even though it is normally used for linear operators, ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

32
votes
6answers
2k views

In quantum mechanics, given certain energy spectrum can one generate the corresponding potential?

A typical problem in quantum mechanics is to calculate the spectrum that corresponds to a given potential. Is there a one to one correspondence between the potential and its spectrum? If the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are eigenfunctions which correspond to discrete/continuous eigenvalue spectra guaranteed to be normalizable/non-normalizable?

These facts are taken for granted in a QM text I read. The purportedly guaranteed non-normalizability of eigenfunctions which correspond to a continuous eigenvalue spectrum is only partly justified by ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do we use Hermitian operators in QM?

Position, momentum, energy and other observables yield real-valued measurements. The Hilbert-space formalism accounts for this physical fact by associating observables with Hermitian ('self-adjoint') ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Discreteness of set of energy eigenvalues

Given some potential $V$, we have the eigenvalue problem $$ -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\Delta \psi + V\psi = E\psi $$ with the boundary condition $$ \lim_{|x|\rightarrow \infty} \psi(x) = 0 $$ If we ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Why are Only Real Things Measurable?

Why can't we measure imaginary numbers? I mean, we can take the projection of a complex wave to be the "viewable" part, so why are imaginary numbers given this immeasurable descriptor? Namely with ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How to tackle 'dot' product for spin matrices

I read a textbook today on quantum mechanics regarding the Pauli spin matrices for two particles, it gives the Hamiltonian as $$ H = \alpha[\sigma_z^1 + \sigma_z^2] + \gamma\vec{\sigma}^1\cdot\vec{\...
11
votes
4answers
825 views

Why are the inner products of the eigenfunctions of an operator with a discrete eigenvalue spectrum guaranteed to exist?

I was reading through a textbook, and the statement was made that the inner products are guaranteed to exist if the eigenvalue spectrum of the operator is discrete. I have come across no support for ...
11
votes
2answers
518 views

Eigenstate of field operator in QFT

Why don't people discuss the eigenstate of the field operator? For example, the real scalar field the field operator is Hermitian, so its eigenstate is an observable quantity.
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Momentum of particle in a box

Take a unit box, the energy eigenfunctions are $\sin(n\pi x)$ (ignoring normalization constant) inside the box and 0 outside. I have read that there is no momentum operator for a particle in a box, ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Can any physical rigid body be represented by an ellipsoid with the same angular dynamics?

According to wikipedia, the inertia tensor of an ellipsoid with semi-axes $a,b,c$ and mass $m$ is $$\left[\begin{array}{ccc} \frac{m}{5}(b^2+c^2)&0&0\\ 0&\frac{m}{5}(a^2+c^2)&0\\ 0&...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Quantum Mechanics Notation for BRA KET

I've been given this homework problem, but I do not understand its notation. Please perform the following where the wavefunctions are the normalized eigenfunctions of the harmonic oscillator ...
2
votes
1answer
838 views

Classify equilibrium points and find bifurcation points of a non-linear dynamic system

Context: The question refers to computational physics of non linear systems with Mathematica. Excercise: Given the system $\{f_1: \dot{x} = a x + y + x^3, f_2: \dot{y} = x - y \}$: Find the ...
2
votes
3answers
315 views

Spin in magnetic field and eigenvalues

We have some arbitrary quantum state, lets say $$\vert\Psi\rangle=\alpha_{1}\vert\uparrow\rangle+\alpha_{2}\vert\downarrow\rangle= \begin{pmatrix} \alpha_{1} \\ \alpha_{2} \\ \end{pmatrix}$$. And ...
1
vote
2answers
259 views

What is the meaning of pre-tension for a stiff membrane?

On one hand, I know that the tighter a drum head is stretched, the higher its natural frequencies. This relation is given by: $$f_{ij}=\frac{k_{ij}}{2\pi R}\sqrt{\frac{T_0}{h\rho}}$$ where $k_{ij}$ ...
7
votes
1answer
256 views

Why are the eigenvalues of a linearized RG transformation real?

The RG transformation $R_\ell$ maps a set of coupling constants $[K]$ of a model Hamiltonian to a new set of coupling constants $[K']=R_\ell[K]$ of a coarse-grained model where the length scale is ...
4
votes
1answer
749 views

Is there a simple way of finding the eigenstates of the creation and annihilation operator in QM?

How can I find the eigenstates of creation and annihilation operator in QM? My attempt: Such eigenstate will obey: $$ a^{\dagger} |\psi \rangle = \alpha |\psi \rangle. $$ We can expand $|\psi \...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

Why do electrons occupy in discrete energy states?

Why can't there be any continuous energy band in an atom?
0
votes
1answer
32 views

How to write “postselection” operator?

Suppose, I wish to know an operator, which eigenvalue is 1 if state is exactly F and 0 ...
3
votes
4answers
173 views

Help understanding proof in simultaneous diagonalization

The proof is from Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Shankar. The theorem is: If $\Omega$ and $\Lambda$ are two commuting Hermitian operators, there exists (at least) a basis of common eigenvectors ...
2
votes
0answers
155 views

Adiabatic quantum evolution of single photon or biphoton system

The prerequisite for adiabatic quantum evolution of single photon or biphoton system is as follows. We have to prepare a single photon or biphoton quantum system which has a ground and a higher level ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

How to write QM operator if I know all of it's eigenfunctions?

Suppose I have selected enough orthogonal functions in representation of operator A and I want to derive operator B which has ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

A series of bound states covering an interval

Generally, the bound states (normalizable eigenvectors) of a Hamiltonian have discrete eigenvalues. Is it possible for the eigenvalues to cover an interval? Say, $(a,b)$? That is, for each $E \in (...