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29
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
15
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
3k 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
826 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
2answers
639 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
640 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
2answers
278 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
1answer
301 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.
8
votes
0answers
339 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
205 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
4answers
2k 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
0answers
165 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
3answers
375 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
933 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
206 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
248 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
2k 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
925 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\\ ...
5
votes
0answers
234 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
1answer
357 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
893 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
955 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
1answer
103 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
123 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
91 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
277 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
735 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
2answers
933 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
851 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
3answers
163 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 $A$.
3
votes
2answers
399 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
98 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
292 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
129 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
1answer
226 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
447 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) = ...
3
votes
1answer
286 views

Quantum graph theory: complex spectra

In quantum graph theory, what are the properties of a given graph to own complex conjugated complex eigenvalues, either finite or infinite? Spectral graph theory is as far as I know a not completely ...
3
votes
0answers
112 views

The conjugate representation in $su(2)$

Cheng & Li gives the following problem: Let $\psi_1$ and $\psi_2$ be the bases for the spin-1/2 representation of $su(2)$ and that for the diagonal operator $T_3$, \begin{align} T_3\psi_1 ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

Determinant and adjunct of $k-\omega^2m$ in terms of natural frequencies

Given is a mechanical multiple degree of freedom system described by the following matrices and equation: mass matrix ${\bf{m}} = \left[\begin{matrix} m & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & m & 0 \\ 0 ...
2
votes
1answer
635 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
181 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
2answers
731 views

How do we know that $\psi$ is the eigenfunction of an operator $\hat{H}$ with eigenvalue $W$?

I am kind of new to this eigenvalue, eigenfunction and operator things, but I have come across this quote many times: $\psi$ is the eigenfunction of an operator $\hat{H}$ with eigenvalue $W$. ...
2
votes
3answers
129 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
1answer
113 views

Is continuous evolution from one eigenstate of operator $O$ to another $O$-eigenstate possible?

Eigenvectors associated with distinct values of an observable are orthogonal, according to quantum mechanics. Does this entail that a quantum system cannot continuously evolve from one eigenstate ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

The Energy Eigenvalue of a Wavefunction

I've been reading an introduction to quantum mechanics online, and while constructing the Schrodinger equation for a free particle, the equation $i\hbar \frac{d \Psi}{dt}=\hbar\omega\Psi$ is obtained. ...
2
votes
2answers
278 views

Angular momentum of quantum system

Problem: A physical system is in the common eigenstate of $\hat{L^2}$ and $\hat{L_z}$. Calculate the following quantities: $\langle L_x\rangle,\langle L_y\rangle,\langle L_z\rangle,\langle L_x L_y + ...
2
votes
3answers
170 views

How to do linear stability analysis on this system of ODEs?

I was trying to do linear stability analysis of spring pendulum. I arrived at the differential equations which describe the system. But I am unable to proceed to linear stability analysis. Is it ...
2
votes
3answers
244 views

Expectation Values and Derivation of Heisenberg Equation?

Consider a system of particles with wave function $\psi$(x) (x can be understood to stand for all degrees of freedom of the system; so, if we have a system of two particles then x should represent ...