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

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Density matrix formalism and group representation

The postulates of quantum theory can be given in the density matrix formalism. States correspond to positive trace class operators with trace 1 on a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$. Composition is defined ...
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1answer
36 views

How does Dirac form this conjugate imaginary equation?

On page 30 of Dirac's book $$\xi|P\rangle = a|P\rangle\tag{12}$$ He then says Suppose we have a solution of (12) and we form the conjugate imaginary equation, which will read $$\langle ...
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1answer
44 views

Expectation value of number operator $\hat{n}$

I'm studying for my quantum mechanics test and I've stumbled on this problem. They want the expectation value of $\hat{n}$, $\langle \hat{n} \rangle$, with this given $\psi$ at $t=0$: $$ \lvert ...
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2answers
125 views

Infinitely many degeneracy of Landau level: Countable or Uncountable?

Description of Landau levels can be found in many standard textbooks of quantum mechanics and here. Two ubiquitous solutions apply either the symmetric gauge $\vec{A}=(-\frac{1}{2}By,\frac{1}{2}Bx,0)$ ...
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1answer
77 views

Time evolution of a quantum system

A quantum system has Hamiltonian $H$ with normalised eigenstates $\psi_n$ and corresponding energies $E_n$ ($n = 1,2,3...$). A linear operator $Q$ is defined by its action on these states: $$ ...
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21 views

What are absolutely continuous spectrum and singularly continuous spectrum?

I am now reading some mathematical note on Anderson localization. It mentioned two types of continuous spectrum. What are absolutely continuous spectrum and singularly continuous spectrum? I only had ...
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32 views

Mapping Issues with Unbounded Operators

Consider the operator-valued generalized function $\phi^{(k)}_{l}:=\phi^{(k)}_{l}$ on space-time $\mathcal{M}$. Now, smooth the operator-valued generalized function with test function $f(x)$ ...
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1answer
64 views

Approach to expressing $|n\rangle\langle n| $ as a polynomial when eigenvalues are degenerate?

If ${|n\rangle}$ are eigenvectors of an operator $A$ then $|n\rangle\langle n| $ can be expressed in terms of a finite order polynomial $$|n\rangle\langle n| =\prod_{m\ne n} \frac{A-a_m}{a_n-a_m}$$ ...
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222 views

Square of the Pauli matrices and the identity matrix

The square of any of the three Pauli Spin matrices is equal to the identity. Is there any physical meaning to this? Would you expect it? Maybe in the context of the $SU(2)$ group?
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139 views

What is the physical reason behind linearity of Schrodinger's equation?

What is the physical reason for Schrodinger equation to be linear? Though in physics many interactions or dynamics are found non linear.
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1answer
46 views

Why does the state space contain states with negative norm and what would be an example?

My lecture script of Quantum Field Theory states that " the state space contains states with negative norm ". Why does it have to be like this and what would be an example fo such a state?
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48 views

Does there exist a mathematically rigorous formulation of curved Hilbert Space?

The Hamiltonian is traditionally defined as \begin{align} H_{\text{flat}} = U^{\dagger}DU \end{align} where $D$ is a diagonal matrix with real eigenvalues and $U^{\dagger}U=I$ are the unitary ...
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123 views

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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422 views

Intuitive meaning of the exponential form of an unitary operator in Quantum Mechanics

I'm an undergraduate student in Chemistry currently studying quantum mechanics and I have a problem with unitary transformations. Here in my book, it is stated that Every unitary operator ...
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3answers
59 views

Koopmann von Neumann (KvN) Theory

I was just wondering does anyone have any informative sources apart from the obvious wikipedia articles regarding Koopmann von Neumann (KvN) theory? Or if its possible could someone explain the basic ...
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2answers
143 views

Inner products with orthonormal bases

Probably a stupid question here - I think it's a case of me not having sufficient mathematical background to follow this through. In Leonard Susskind's Theoretical Minimum book, he represents the ...
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3answers
324 views

Why is normal ordering a valid operation?

Why is normal ordering even a valid operation in the first place? I mean it can give us some nice results, but why can we do the ordering for the operators like that? Is its definition motivated by ...
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1answer
105 views

What does the notation $\Psi_k/(\Psi_k,\Psi_k)^{1/2} $ mean?

I am currently reading the paper "Gravitation and quantum mechanics for macroscopic objects" by F. Karolyhazy (1966). In his paper, he uses certain notation that I haven't come across before (he also ...
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1answer
56 views

Measurement of observables with continuous spectrum: State of the system afterwards

Suppose my system, described by a separable Hilbert space $H$, is in the state $\Psi$ when I measure an observable that has only continuous spectrum. What is the state of the system after the ...
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1answer
71 views

Making an Incomplete Set of Observables Complete

In quantum mechanics, it seems a standard procedure that if you have an incomplete set of observables, then one can make this set complete by adding more commuting observables until the set becomes ...
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68 views

Using bra-ket notation?

Am I using Bra-ket notation correctly? I want to define a superposition of the states, $|0\rangle$ and $|1\rangle$. Is it simply? $|0\rangle + |1\rangle$ I can't find any non-technical information ...
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3answers
80 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 ...
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1answer
40 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 ...
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99 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) = ...
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1answer
169 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 ...
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237 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 ...
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0answers
68 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: $$ ...
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84 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 ...
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5answers
485 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 ...
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2answers
61 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 ...
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2answers
103 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 ...
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2answers
38 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 ...
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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, ...
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80 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 ...
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1answer
44 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 ...
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5answers
231 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 ...
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1answer
103 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 ...
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1answer
77 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 $\psi$. ...
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83 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 ...
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2answers
125 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 $$ U(x_b,x_a;T) = \langle x_b | U(T) |x_a \rangle= \int \mathcal{D}q e^{iS} \tag{1} $$ ...
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315 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 ...
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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?
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1answer
67 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 ...
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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 ...
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180 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 $x$.
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3answers
117 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 ...
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1answer
200 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 ...
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111 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 ...
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1answer
82 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 ...
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1answer
107 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 ...