Applies also to pre-Hilbert spaces, rigged Hilbert spaces, and spaces with negative norm or zero-norm states.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
2answers
47 views

Why should multiplication of a ket vector by a complex number change only its “direction”?

Dirac argues on page 17 of his book, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, that multiplication of a ket by a complex number shouldn't change the state this ket represents. But then concludes: Thus ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Determining the Wave Function From Initial Conditions

This is Problem 2.6 (b) in Griffiths, Intro to QM: A particle in an infinite square well has its initial wave function an even mixture of the first two stationary states: $\Psi(x,0) = ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
234 views

Why are the energy eigenstates realized in atomic transitions?

I have a question like "Why is it often assumed that particles are found in energy eigenstates?", it is a little different, though. When one solves the hydrogen atom, one can use a polynomial Ansatz ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Symmetry and Algebra

I'm trying to get a more concrete idea how symmetry is understood in quantum theories, as broad as possible. Consider a infinitesimal transformation of states in quantum physics of the form: $$ ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Eigenstates of a shifted harmonic oscillator

Let's say I have a quantum harmonic oscillator $H = \omega a^\dagger a$, where $a^\dagger$ is the raising operator and $a$ is the lowering operator and $H |n\rangle = \omega n |n\rangle$. Now assume ...
6
votes
5answers
404 views

Differences between probability density and expectation value of position

The expression $\int | \Psi\left(x\right)|^2dx$ gives the probability of finding a particle at a given position. If wave function gives the probabilities of positions, why do we calculate ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Differentiation operator with respect to observable acting as a function of the observable?

In his Principles of Quantum Mechanics Dirac writes: $$\int \langle \phi \frac{d}{dq}|q'\rangle dq' \psi(q')=\int \phi(q') dq' \frac{d\psi(q')}{dq'}.$$ To me it is rather strange, and it seems as if ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Quantum Mechanical States

What can be the precise answer to the question that Quantum states are complex and infinite dimensional. Why is this so? Is it because they belong to the complex Hilbert space? Even if they ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Superpositions and expectation values in quantum mechanics

When the wavefunction of a particle is not an eigenfunction of an operator, the property to which the operator corresponds does not have a definite value, Why? Also consider a linear combination of ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Observables in Quantum Mechanics

Studying on own quantum mechanics I came across: Preceeding text: A basic postulate of quantum mechanics tells us how to set up the operator corresponding to a given observable. Observables, ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Differences between wave function and set of orthonormal wave functions?

I'm reading a QM book. It first says for wave function: "The state of a physical system (or particle) is completely specified by an entity associated with it called a wave function, Ψ , that in ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

(Level: Undergrad) Continuity Conditions on the Wavefunction and Initial Values

I know that a physically meaningful $\Psi$ needs to be continuous. However, recently I came across a problem in which they were considering a wavefunction for the infinite square well potential and ...
3
votes
5answers
216 views

About the definition of expectation value in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics, the expectation value of a observable $A$ is defined as $$\int\Psi^*\hat A\Psi$$ But in probability theory the expectation is a property of a random variable, with respect to a ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Quantum states and state vectors

Does a state vector correspond to only one quantum states and the components in the state vector correspond to different states of this quantum state or is it that the components of the state vector ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Are operators in quantum mechanics linear transformations?

Observables in quantum mechanics correspond to self-adjoint linear operators. If $\psi$ is an eigenvector of $\hat A$, then $\hat A\psi=\alpha\psi$ where $\alpha$ is the eigenvalue of $\psi$. ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Expanding a ket in the position basis?

My textbook says that to find the ket $|ψ\rangle$ in the same position basis as the ket $|ø\rangle$ we do the following: $$|ψ\rangle=\int dø|ø\rangle \langle ø|ψ\rangle$$ Firstly can $|ø\rangle$ be ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

What is the analogy of $|x\rangle$ in quantum field theory?

Let me start from path integral formulation in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. In QM, we have $$ U(x_b,x_a;T) = \langle x_b | U(T) |x_a \rangle= \int \mathcal{D}q e^{iS} \tag{1} $$ ...
5
votes
3answers
305 views

Basis in quantum mechanics

My quantum mechanics textbook (Primer of Quantum Mechanics, by Marvin Chester) says that both the momentum space and the position space are basis spaces. It also says that the momentum space is ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Eigenstates of an observable

Can we use eigenstates of ANY observable as base of the Hilbert space? If we can, is this equal to the statement that those eigenstates are orthogonal to each other and normalizable?
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Quantum numbers in QFT

In nonrelativistic quantum mechanics the state of a system is characterized by a vector of a Hilbert space. To characterize a state we need a complete set of commuting observables, and once we have ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Why does the probability of obtaining a value of a measurement follow from Dirac's general assumption?

In Dirac's The Principle of Quantum Mechanics he makes the general assumption that "if the measurement of the observable $\xi$ for the system in the state corresponding to $|x\rangle$ is made a large ...
3
votes
2answers
170 views

Position Representation in Quantum Mechanics

How does the 3d position operator look like in position representation? I know that in 1d the position operator $\hat{x}$ is just multiplication by $x$.
2
votes
3answers
109 views

I am learning Quantum Mechanics and I have some questions about some basic concept [closed]

What does a "STATE" exactly mean in quantum mechanics? What is the equivalence of "STATE" in classical mechanics? If we have a wave function $\Psi$ , its absolute square $|\Psi|^2$ is the ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

Explanation of Dirac's proof of arbitrary ket being expressible with eigenkets of observable

In P.A.M. Dirac's The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Chapter 10 (Observables), pp. 40, at the end of the chapter there is a proof that I don't understand at all. Here is a pdf link to the book ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

From Symmetry Group to Physics Equations

To the extent that I know: There are symmetry groups like the rotation groups SO(3), the Groups of Poincare Transformations,... If the physics of a system has a symmetry group G, then it can be ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

How can one calculate the phase difference between two quantum harmonic oscillator (Hermite-Gauss) states?

The analytic solutions of a quantum harmonic oscillator are given by Hermite-Gauss states, which differ in the order $n$ of the Hermite polynomials. If two such states are plotted, there will be a ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces in physical systems

Can anyone give an example of when infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces are required to describe a physical system? The standard answer to this question is yes, and I'm sure some of you will be quick ...
14
votes
4answers
505 views

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. ...
10
votes
4answers
353 views

Applying an operator to a function vs. a (ket) vector

I have a question regarding the effect of quantum mechanical operators. The definition that I'm familiar with says that an operator $A$ acts on a vector from a Hilbert space, $|\psi\rangle$, and the ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Inner product of position and momentum eigenkets

Let's define $\hat{q},\ \hat{p}$ the positon and momentum quantum operators, $\hat{a}$ the annihilation operator and $\hat{a}_1,\ \hat{a}_2$ with its real and imaginary part, such that $$ \hat{a} = ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Bloch Sphere and $SU(2) \to SO(3)$ map

For any matrix $U \in SU(2)$ there is an associated map from $S^2$ (the surface of a 3-disk) to itself defined by $\pi \circ U$, where $\pi$ is the projection map from $\mathbb{C}^2$ to $CP(1)$, that ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Null State Level 2 in CFT

I'm reading Cardy's notes on CFT. He states the following in section 4.3: $$\hat L_n\left(\hat L_{-2}|\phi_j\rangle-(1/g)\hat{L^2}_{-1}|\phi_j\rangle\right)=0.$$ I tried to work this out explicitly ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Experimental proof of the principle of superposition in QM [duplicate]

I have read that we need all operators in QM to be linear to confirm the principle of superposition which is experimentally well proven. I wonder how such an experiment could be made?
2
votes
1answer
98 views

What exactly is a coherent state and why is it interesting?

Please note that I do not have a background in physics, so if possible please refrain from a bunch of $ |x\rangle $ notations, unless clearly specifying what it symbolically means. So I have been ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Transition Between Position and Momentum Basis

I'm having some trouble following pages 55-56 of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. We're trying to transfer from position space into momentum space. Here's a quote: Let us now establish the ...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

Can one construct a new operator in terms of the powers of another operator?

Suppose we have a quantum state, well described by its time-independent wave function Psi. And we have a well-defined Hermitian (self-adjoint) operator $A$. We successfully evaluate the expectation ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Self-adjoint extensions with 'teletransporting' boundary conditions

When choosing a self-adjoint extension of a Hamiltonian, in general one can obtain domains in which (i) the probabilities teleport* between points on the boundary and (ii) boundary conditions ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Ground state of a quantum mechanical system

When looking back at my courses of quantum mechanics, I noticed that assumptions about the ground state of a quantum mechanical system where rather vague and unprecise. It is always assumed that a ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Expectation value of an operator

Suppose we have: $$ \hat{Q}|\psi_1\rangle=q_1|\psi_1\rangle \\ \hat{Q}|\psi_2\rangle=q_2|\psi_2\rangle $$ with $q_1 \neq q_2$. Then consider the state: $$ ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

Representations in quantum mechanics [closed]

This might be a very simple question. I just want someone to point me the right direction to understand things like this: $$ \langle x|x'\rangle=\delta(x-x') \\ \psi(x)=\langle x|\psi\rangle \\ ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Atom state vectors kets

An atom with two energy levels has 2 states (excited and ground), represented by kets $|e\rangle$ and $|g\rangle$ respectively. The atom has energy $\frac{1}{2}E_\theta$ when excited and ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

Query on an operator acting on a function

I have a naive question about an operator acting on a well-behaved function. Let us say, we are talking about space translation operator acting on a function $\psi(x)$: ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Time derivative of the state vector as expressed in abstract Hilbert space vs. as a wavefunction

The Schrodinger equation in Hilbert space is expressed as : $$\frac{\partial}{\partial t} \psi(t) = \frac{-i}{\hbar}H\psi(t). $$ Here $\frac{\partial}{\partial t} \psi(t) \equiv \psi'(t) \equiv\lim ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

How are matrices used to represent quantities, and what is the meaning of a matrix?

So I'm reading this text on Quantum Mechanics, and it goes through a few chapters that I understand fairly well including probability. But then it says that all quantities, like position and energy ...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Representation of indistinguishability in quantum mechanics

I was wondering that if particles are indistinguishable in quantum mechanics, then why do we still express their states $\left| \uparrow \downarrow \right\rangle$, as meaning particle 1 (in the first ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

How to make a base tranformation for a linear operator in QM? [closed]

I have 2 bases A and B with the following kets: Base A: $|a_1\rangle$ and $|a_2\rangle$ Base B: $|b_1\rangle = \frac{1}{\sqrt2} \cdot(|a_1\rangle + i\cdot|a_2\rangle)$ $|b_2\rangle = ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Quantum Rigid Rotor Perturbation

As the title says, I have a rigid rotor with a perturbation given below $$H=\frac{L^2}{2I}-\alpha B L_z.$$ So I know that the eigenvalues of $H$ will be $\ell(\ell+1)/2I -\alpha B m$ where $m$ is our ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

What is the precise definition of state of a quantum system?

On studying quantum states of the hydrogen atom, I came with a question: what is the precise definition of a quantum state? Particularly, when solving the Schroedinger eq for the H using separation of ...