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, ...

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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 ...
18
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] + ...
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 ...
12
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') ...
12
votes
2answers
791 views

Eigenfunctions of the Runge-Lenz vector

The hamiltonian for the hydrogen atom, $$ H = \frac{\mathbf{p}^2}{2m} - \frac{k}{r} $$ is spherically symmetric and it therefore commutes with the angular momentum $\mathbf{L}$; this causes all its ...
10
votes
2answers
462 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.
10
votes
0answers
357 views

Lower bounds on spectral gaps of ferromagnetic spin-1/2 XXX Hamiltonians?

Question. Are there any references or techniques which can be applied to obtain energy gaps for ferromagnetic XXX spin-1/2 Hamitlonians, on general interaction graphs, or tree-graphs? I'm interested ...
9
votes
4answers
785 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
456 views

Eigenvalues of the Lagrangian?

It is often stated that the Lagrangian formalism and the Hamiltonian formalism are equivalent. We often hear people talk about eigenvalues of Hamiltonians but I have never ever heard a word about ...
8
votes
5answers
356 views

Why does the measurement of some observable $A$, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator?

Explain why when we make a measurement of some observable $A$ in QM, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator $A$.
8
votes
2answers
422 views

How to guarantee square integrable solutions to time-independent Schrödinger's equation?

Given the time-independent Schrödinger’s equation in one dimension $$H\psi = E\psi$$ what restrictions can we place on V(x) (inside the hamiltonian) and E to guarantee that the solutions won't have ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Bounded and Unbounded (Scattering) States in Quantum Mechanics

I understand that bounded states in quantum mechanics imply that the total energy of the state, $E$, is less than the potential $V_0$ at + or - spatial infinity. Similarly, the scattering state ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Eigenvalues of a quantum field?

Fields in classical mechanics are observables. For example, I can measure the value of the electric field at some (x,t). In quantum field theory, the classical field is promoted to an operator-valued ...
7
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Constructing differential equation from arbitrary Hamiltonian

Suppose I begin with the time-independent Schrodinger equation $$ \left(-\frac{1}{2m}\partial_x^2 + V(x)\right)\psi_n(x) = E_n\psi_n(x), $$ ordinarily we specify the function $V$ and then solve for a ...
7
votes
0answers
187 views

Role of physics in the zeta function $\zeta$ and the Riemann hypothesis

Hilbert and Polya suggested a physical way to verify the Riemann hypotesis about $\zeta(x)$. If the Riemann hypotesis is true, we can state all eigenvalues of physical problems are real. What is the ...
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\\ ...
6
votes
2answers
262 views

Does the Hermitian operator $H=-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$ have imaginary eigenvalues?

In quantum mechanics, Hermitian operators play a very important role because they possess real eigenvalues. Considering $-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$, it is a Hermitian operator (Actually it's the simplest ...
6
votes
2answers
278 views

Eigenvalue problem for differential equations in QM

I have a very simple question with regard to numerical methods in physics. I want to solve the eigenvalue problem for a particle moving in an arbitrary potential. Let's take 1D to be concrete. I.e. I ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
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, ...
5
votes
1answer
431 views

Imaginary Eigenvalue Of A Hermitian Operator

The eigenfunctions of a Hermitian operator are real. But consider a function $\psi(x)=e^{-\kappa x}$, $x\in\mathbb{R}$, where $\kappa$ is a real constant. Then, $$\hat p \psi(x)=-i\hbar ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Math of eigenvalue problem in quantum mechanics

I learned the eigenvalue problem in linear algebra before and I just find that the quantum mechanics happen to associate the Schrodinger equation with the eigenvalue problem. In linear algebra, we ...
5
votes
1answer
82 views

Can I *always* decompose a normalizable function into the discrete Hydrogen spectrum?

This question has been bothering me for a while now: can one reconstruct an arbitrary (normalizable) function $\phi(\mathbf r)$ in $\mathbb R^3$, with only the discrete set of Hydrogen wavefunctions ...
5
votes
0answers
276 views

Physical meaning of Laplace-Beltrami eigenfunctions?

The eigenfunctions of Laplace-Beltrami operator are often used as the basis of functions defined on some manifolds. It seems that there is some kind of connection between eigen analysis of ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Understanding the Jacobian Matrix

Taking the example of a two dimensional system, desribred by the following ODE's: \begin{align} \frac{dx_1}{dt}&=f_1(x_1,x_2)\\ \frac{dx_2}{dt}&=f_2(x_1,x_2) \end{align} The Jacobian Matrix ...
4
votes
4answers
207 views

How does one describe a state with a density matrix after measuring position?

My question is about position measurement in non relativistic quantum mechanics. I've been taught that when you measure the value of an observable for some state of a system described by ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Shifting momentum by a constant in the Schrodinger Equation

My book states that if we perturb a given Hamiltonian for the Schrödinger Equation $$ H = \frac{p^2}{2m} +V(x) $$ to $$ H' = \frac{p^2}{2m} + V(x) + \frac{\lambda p}{m} $$ then we can rewrite ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Closure relation for degenerate eigenkets

Consider an observable in quantum mechanics, with a degenerate eigenvalue in a continuous spectrum. Is it possible for such an eigenvalue to have a finite degeneracy? If the degeneracy is infinite, ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Is there some quantum potential producing exponential eigenvalues?

Usual central potentials produce quantum spectra with energy levels going as $n$, $n^2$, $n^3$ and so on, being $n$ the quantum number of the orbit. In the other extreme we have "dirac-delta" ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Some question about symplectic transformation

I read Arnold's book Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics and come across with three problems in page 229. 1.Let $\lambda$ and $\bar{\lambda}$ be simple (multiplicity 1) eigenvalues of a ...
3
votes
3answers
561 views

Eigenvalue for the creation operator for a coherent state [closed]

For a coherent state $$ |\alpha\rangle=e^{-\frac{|\alpha|^{2}}{2}}\sum_{n}\frac{\alpha^{n}}{\sqrt{n!}}|n\rangle $$ I can't solve the eigenvalue problem for $\hat{a}^{\dagger}|\alpha\rangle$ where ...
3
votes
1answer
779 views

Why are orthogonal functions and eigenvalues/functions so important in quantum mechanics?

The mathematics and physics we have studied so far at university are heavily focused around the idea of orthogonal functions, orthogonality, sets of solutions, eigenvalues and eigenfunctions. Why ...
3
votes
1answer
629 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
169 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
338 views

Units of eigenvectors

Consider for example a mass matrix $M$, $\lambda$ one eigenvalue and $X$ a corresponding eigenvector. Then $[M]=\text{mass}$ (the brackets indicate the "unit operator"), and $MX=\lambda X$ so ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How does a state in quantum mechanics evolve?

I have a question about the time evolution of a state in quantum mechanics. The time-dependent Schrodinger equation is given as $$ i\hbar\frac{d}{dt}|\psi(t)\rangle = H|\psi(t)\rangle $$ I am ...
3
votes
1answer
307 views

Relationship between two eigenfunctions of the time-independent Schrödinger Equation in one dimension?

What is the relationship between two eigenfunctions of the time-independent Schrödinger Equation (in one spatial dimension) if they both have the same eigenvalue?
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Quantum mechanics - measuring position

I am watching Susskind's Stanford Lectures on quantum mechanics. The eigenvectors (eigenfunctions) of the position operator are of the form $\delta(x-k)$. But $$\int\delta^{*}(x-k)\delta(x-k)\, ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Finite potential well problem - calculating the ground state

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data Electron of is in a 1-D potential well of depth $20eV$ width $d=0.2 nm$ in his ground state $N=1$. What is the energy of the ground ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Numerical solution to Schrödinger equation - eigenvalues

This is my first question on here. I'm trying to numerically solve the Schrödinger equation for the Woods-Saxon Potential and find the energy eigenvalues and eigenfunctions but I am confused about how ...
3
votes
2answers
563 views

Eigenenergies and eigenkets given the Hamiltonian

For a two level system the Hamiltonian is: $$ H=a(|1\rangle \langle1|-|2\rangle\langle2|+|1\rangle\langle2|+|2\rangle\langle1|) $$ where $a$ is a number with the dimension of an energy. I need to ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

Eigenvalues of Infinite Dimensional Matrix [duplicate]

If I take a infinite-dimensional square matrix, what can I say about its eigenvalue spectrum? Will they have a discrete infinity of eigenvalues or continuous infinity of them?
3
votes
1answer
320 views

NP-completeness of non-planar Ising model versus polynomial time eigenvalue algorithms

From the papers by Barahona and Istrail I understand that a combinatorial approach is followed to prove the NP-completeness of non-planar Ising models. Basic idea is non-planarity here. On the other ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Spectral properties of CFT

What are the general spectral properties of CFT? I mean what is the "spectrum"/eigenvalues of CFT in 2d and d>2 spacetime dimensions? I understand the "spectrum" and "Fock space" realization of Dirac ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Non-Degeneracy of Eigenvalues of Number Operator for Simple Harmonic Oscillator [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Proof that the One-Dimensional Simple Harmonic Oscillator is Non-Degenerate? I'm trying to convince myself that the eigenvalues $n$ of the number operator ...
3
votes
1answer
262 views

Random Hankel matrix and eigenvalues distribution

I would like to know if there are any theoretical results on the distribution of the eigenvalues of Hankel matrices. I seek a result like the Marchenko–Pastur distribution for random matrices.
3
votes
1answer
560 views

WKB approximation for multiple turning points

I'm working on a numerical program which approximates the eigenvalues of a Schrödinger equation by making use of the WKB approximation formulas. For example, if the Schrödinger equation is $$ y''(x) = ...