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

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4
votes
2answers
195 views

Are all scattering states un-normalizable?

I am an undergraduate studying quantum physics with the book of Griffiths. in 1-D problems, it said a free particle has un-normalizable states but normalizable states can be obtained by sum up the ...
6
votes
3answers
335 views

How does one determine ladder operators systematically?

In textbooks, the ladder operators are always defined," and shown to 'raise' the state of a system, but they are never actually derived. Does one find them simply by trial and error? Or is there a ...
14
votes
4answers
466 views

Separability axiom really necessary?

I know other people asked the same question time before, but I read a few posts and I didn't find a satisfactory answer to the question, probably because it is a foundational problem of quantum ...
1
vote
3answers
128 views

Normalization of basis vectors with a continuous index?

I have an infinite basis which associates with each point, $x$, on the x-axis, a basis vector $|x\rangle$ such that the matrix of $|x\rangle$ is full of zeroes and a one by the $x^{\mathrm{th}}$ ...
6
votes
3answers
173 views

Can eigenstates of a Hilbert space be thought of as delta functions?

Say we have an observable that describes a Hilbert space and that observable acts on state kets. Lets take the position observable for example. Then $\langle y|x\rangle = \delta(y - x)$. But can the ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

In QM, do we deal with basis or orthonormal sets?

Most textbooks say, that given a (countable) basis ${|\phi_n\rangle}$ of a Hilbert space, that every vector $|\psi\rangle$ of the space can be written as: $$\psi\rangle=\sum_{n=1}^\infty ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

What is a continuous superselection sector?

I'm studying the terrible subject of continuous superselection rules and I faced with the following problem. Usually (continuous or discrete) superselection rules are defined involving a direct ...
1
vote
2answers
132 views

The eigenspinors for the spin operator in the $x$-direction?

$$S_x= \frac{\hbar}{2}\quad\begin{pmatrix}0&1\\1&0\end{pmatrix}\quad$$ $$S_x{X_+}^{(x)}=\frac{\hbar}{2}{X_+}^{(x)}$$ How can I find the eigenvalue of $S_x$? My book says $$ \left| ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

General wavefunction and Schrödinger Equation

I'm starting with quantum mechanics and the book I follow (Griffiths) first introduces the wavefunction as the probability density of the position of a 0-spin single particle. Later on I've realized ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Why normalizing spin state is different? Why no need dxdydz?

An electron in a spin state: $$X=A\quad\begin{pmatrix} 2i\\2\end{pmatrix}\quad$$ In order to get A, I have to normalise it, my question is how should write? Since I have to normalise why no need ...
4
votes
2answers
152 views

An alternative definition of the creation and annihilation operators?

Suppose we have a system of bosons represented by their occupation numbers $$\tag{1} | n_1, n_2, ..., n_\alpha, ... \rangle$$ Then we can define creation and annihilation operators $$\tag{2} ...
4
votes
2answers
270 views

Quantum Mechanics: Creation and Annihilation operators

Is an eigenvector/eigenstate of the creation operator an eigenvector/eigenstate of the annihilation operator too? Why?
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Can general wavefunctions be expressed as kets?

I am confused on bra-ket notation in quantum mechanics. My professor says that a ket is an eigenfunction of some operator. However, for some time now I thought a ket could represent a general ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Hermitian conjugation in Radial Quantization

I'm a little confused about Hermitian conjugation in a radially quantized CFT. Now, in the Minkowski theory, Hermitian conjugation leaves the coordinates invariant, i.e. $t^\dagger = t$ and $x^\dagger ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Lorenz gauge in the Gupta-Bleuler Method

Greiner in his book Field Quantization page 180 & 181 wrote: As shown in (7.24) the Lorenz condition cannot be enforced as an operator identity. Instead we will use it as a condition for the ...
6
votes
2answers
230 views

How does the proof of operator commutativity work with non-continuous operators?

In some books, a proof that if two self-adjoint operators $A$ and $B$ share a common eigenbasis $\{\phi_n\}$, then they commute is given as follows : For any $\phi_n$, $$AB\ \phi_n = a_n\ ...
0
votes
0answers
160 views

Continous and Discrete basis, Multiplication of Density Matrix and Hamiltonian

Suppose I have a wave function $\psi(x)$ in position basis. I can make a density function by simply multiplying $\psi(x)$ and its conjugate $\psi^*(x)$. If I operate the density matrix ...
1
vote
1answer
151 views

Could two different bases of a Hilbert space have different cardinality? [duplicate]

Here is a quote from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert_space#Hilbert_dimension (accessed: Nov. 22, 2013) : As a consequence of Zorn's lemma, every Hilbert space admits an orthonormal basis; ...
9
votes
5answers
357 views

Does an electron move from one excitation state to another, or jump?

I'm wondering, when an electron changes state, does it move from one state to another over some (very small) time period? Or does it change from one state to another in no time? If the former, what ...
1
vote
2answers
318 views

The harmonic oscillator - ladder operators

Reading from Griffiths. I have got two questions. First, the halmiltonian operator that used to find the energy eigenvalue in only harmonic oscillator is: $$H={\hbar}w(a_-a_+-\frac{1}{2})$$ and ...
13
votes
2answers
452 views

Hilbert Space of (quantum) Gauge theory

Since quantum Gauge theory is a quantum mechanical theory, whether someone could explain how to construct and write down the Hilbert Space of quantum Gauge theory with spin-S. (Are there something ...
2
votes
1answer
392 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Matrix operations on Quantum States in a composite quantum system

Intro (you may skip this if you're an expert, I'm including this for completeness): Say I have two bases for two systems, The first is a spin-1/2 system $|+\rangle = \left(\begin{array}{c} 1\\0 ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

Do systems with level crossings have unstable eigenbases?

It's folklore dating back to von Neumann and Wigner that time-dependent Hamiltonian systems tend not to have level crossings of their energy eigenvalues. However, we can of course consider smoothly ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Angular momentum representation

It is well know that, using position representation $$\langle r\lvert L\rvert \psi\rangle =r \times (-i\hbar\nabla\langle r|\psi\rangle )=r \times (-i\hbar\nabla\psi(r)).$$ However, I read ...
3
votes
2answers
92 views

Observable Operator on a Superposition?

I'm probably missing something obvious and basic here but I can't make sense of certain usages of Observables as present in basic treatments of Quantum Mechanics that i've come across. $$ ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

The Higgs vacuum

Srednicki's "Quantum Field Theory", an electronic copy of which is freely available here, seems to state on p 205 that the states eq. (32.3) which differ by a phase factor that can range through ...
2
votes
2answers
626 views

Proving that the hermitian conjugate of the product of two operators is the product of the two hermitian congugate operators in opposite order

I have reach a step in a problem of my quantum mechanics textbook that requires me to prove the following. $$\hat{A}=(\hat{Q}\hat{R})^{\dagger} = \hat{R}^{\dagger}\hat{Q}^{\dagger}$$ I tried to ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Resolution of identity in interacting QFT

$\mathbf{Background:}$ Consider a free scalar field $\phi$ ($\mathcal{L}_0 = \frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu \phi \partial^\mu \phi + \frac{1}{2}m^2 \phi^2$). In the Hamiltonian viewpoint, this system has a ...
2
votes
3answers
526 views

Why Don't the Ladder Operators Commute?

I have two problems with ladder operators. The first is that I feel they should somehow result in measurable things. The asymmetry of applying the plus operator versus the minus operator is very ...
2
votes
2answers
812 views

How To Use Ladder Operators?

I'm studying for a test in quantum mechanics and I'm having a hard time understanding how to use ladder operators. There are no examples in my text book, only definitions that I can't understand how ...
14
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
329 views

Writing a Wavefunction as a Linear Combination of Eigenstates

We have the following wavefunction for the hydrogen atom: $$\psi(r,\theta,\phi)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{4\pi}}\frac{1}{(2a)^{3/2}}\frac{r}{a}e^{-r/2a}\sin(\theta)\sin(\phi)$$ where $a$ is the Bohr radius. ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Does a Lagrangian imply a well-defined quantum Hamiltonianian with a Hilbert space?

The question is about: (1) whether giving a Lagrangian is sufficient enough to (uniquely) well-define a Hamiltonianian quantum theory with a Hilbert space? The answer should be Yes, or No. If ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Shouldn't the addition of angular momentum be commutative?

I have angular momenta $S=\frac{1}{2}$ for spin, and $I=\frac{1}{2}$ for nuclear angular momentum, which I want to add using the Clebsch-Gordon basis, so the conversion looks like: $$ \begin{align} ...
1
vote
2answers
220 views

Quantum Mechanics Operator Hermiticity

If $A$ and $B$ are Hermitian operators, show that $$C~:=~i[A,B]$$ is Hermitian too. My work: $$\begin{gather} C=i(AB-BA) \\ \langle\psi\rvert C\lvert\phi\rangle = i\langle\psi\rvert ...
26
votes
3answers
682 views

A “Hermitian” operator with imaginary eigenvalues

Let $${\bf H}=\hat{x}^3\hat{p}+\hat{p}\hat{x}^3$$ where $\hat{p}=-id/dx$. Clearly ${\bf H}^{\dagger}={\bf H}$, because ${\bf H}={\bf T} + {\bf T}^{\dagger}$, where ${\bf T}=\hat{x}^3\hat{p}$. In this ...
6
votes
1answer
143 views

Is it always possible to express an operator in terms of creation/annihilation operators?

I'm referring to "Path integral approach to birth-death processes on a lattice", L. Peliti, J. Physique 46, 1469-1483 (1985), available at: http://people.na.infn.it/~peliti/path.pdf The article is ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Can we “safely” assume that quantum computing systems will be finite-dimensional?

This is a common assumption in the study of quantum computation to assume that the quantum systems involved are finite-dimensional, since qubits lives in the two-dimensional Hilbert space. According ...
5
votes
6answers
951 views

How is quantum superposition different from mixed state?

According to Wikipedia, if a system has $50\%$ chance to be in state $\left|\psi_1\right>$ and $50\%$ to be in state $\left|\psi_2\right>$, then this is a mixed state. Now consider state ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Scalar QFT Fock Space

I want to demostrate the following relation of the normal ordered product: $\Omega\equiv:\exp{\left(-\int d^3k~a^{\dagger}(k)a(k)\right)}:=|0\rangle\langle0|.$ I proved the commutation relation ...
1
vote
0answers
104 views

A basic question about Heisenberg State Kets (in particular the simple harmonic oscillator)

I know base kets in the Heisenberg picture are $U^\dagger |{a}\rangle$ but if the base kets are the base of the hamiltonian, and the hamiltonian is independent of time, are all of the base kets ...
2
votes
1answer
197 views

Open problem? Square of the wave function $\Psi(x)_{x_o} = \delta(x-x_0)$ of a particle localized at a point $x_0$?

Does anybody know the status of the problem to define the wave function (non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics) of a particle localized at a definite point? Landau-Lifshitz says in chapter 1 that this ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Wavefunction's inner product

When two wavefunctions are orthogonal we can write that $$\langle\Psi_n|\Psi_m\rangle=\delta_{mn}$$ This means that $$\langle\Psi_1|\Psi_2\rangle=\langle\Psi_2|\Psi_1\rangle=0$$ But if the two ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Dimensionality of Hilbert space

Simple question, but I can't seem to find the answer searching very easily. Does the dimensionality of a Hilbert space correspond to the number of possible states a system can take on? ("The system" ...
1
vote
2answers
284 views

Wave function decomposition

Problem: Given the wave function $\Psi_0=A\sin^2(\theta)$ along with the Hamiltonian operator of a physical system: $H=\frac{L^2}{2I}+g B L_z$, find the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of $\hat{H}$ ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

Continuous spectrum (quantum mechanics) [duplicate]

Does a continuous spectrum of an observable always imply that the corresponding eigenvectors will not be normalizable? If yes, how to prove it?
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Motivation to introduce von Neumann algebras in addition to $C^*$algebras?

Observables are self-adjoint elements of a $C^*$algebra. As such, this structure seems sufficient to describe physics. A theorem by Gelfand and Naimark says that a $C^*$algebra can always be ...
6
votes
2answers
246 views

In what sense is the path integral an independent formulation of Quantum Mechanics/Field Theory?

We are all familiar with the version of Quantum Mechanics based on state space, operators, Schrodinger equation etc. This allows us to successfully compute relevant physical quantities such as ...
1
vote
3answers
250 views

$\mathrm{Tr}(XY) = \mathrm{Tr}(YX)$?

I'm trying to understand the Dirac notation to understand quantum mechanics better. I'm trying to show the above relation using the Dirac notation. Given $$\mathrm{Tr}(X)~=~\sum_j\langle ...