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

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Direct Sum of Hilbert spaces

I am a physicist who is not that well-versed in mathematical rigour (a shame, I know! But I'm working on it.) In Wald's book on QFT in Curved spacetimes, I found the following definitions of the ...
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2answers
193 views

QFT Hilbert spaces over other rings than the complex numbers $\mathbb{C}$

I would like some help evaluating a physics theory recently proposed by a physics professor at the College of Dupage. I think the theory is utterly wrong, for very simple reasons. If an amateur ...
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1answer
163 views

After using annihilation operator on vacuum state, why it is $0$ instead of vacuum?

For bosonic systems, why $a|0\rangle=0$ and not $a|0\rangle=|0\rangle$?
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1answer
305 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 ...
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522 views

Representation of operators in quantum mechanics

For which systems we represent the Hamiltonian as a differential operator and for which system we represent it by a matrix? Can the momentum be represented by a matrix operator?
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1k 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 ...
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579 views

How does the momentum operator act on state kets?

I have been going through some problems in Sakurai's Modern QM and at one point have to calculate $\langle \alpha|\hat{p}|\alpha\rangle$ where all we know about the state $|\alpha\rangle$ is that ...
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4answers
593 views

Complex conjugate of momentum operator

Consider momentum operator representation in position space. $$\hat{p}=-i\frac{\partial}{\partial x} \,\ \text{and its eigen functions are } e^{ipx} \,\text{and} \,\ e^{-ipx}.$$ ...
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178 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 ...
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246 views

Position operator in QFT

My Professor in QFT did a move which I cannot follow: Given the state $$\hat\phi|0\rangle = \int \frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^3 2 E_p} a^\dagger_p e^{- i p_\mu x^\mu}|0\rangle,$$ he wanted to show that this ...
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679 views

Quantum Mechanics: Creation and Annihilation operators

Is an eigenvector/eigenstate of the creation operator an eigenvector/eigenstate of the annihilation operator too? Why?
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587 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 ...
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292 views

Space of states in quantum mechanics

A state in quantum mechanics I think is just a vector in a complex Hilbert space. As the physical properties are defined up to a phase $e^{i\theta}$ then this Hilbert space is invariant under the ...
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282 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 ...
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107 views

Are there two different ways to express the position operator $x$ in terms of the creation and annihilation operator?

As we known, to express the position operator $x$ in terms of the creation and annihilation operator $a^{+}$ and $a$, one way is: $$x= \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2\mu\omega}}(a^++a);$$ $$p= ...
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184 views

Continuity domain for momentum operator

I know this is essentially a mathematic question, but I received no answer on math SE. Moreover it has a direct application in physics, so I thought to ask this here too. The momentum operator in one ...
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165 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
281 views

Quantum Field Theory and Hilbert space dimensionality

Much (All?) of quantum theory can be done in separable Hilbert spaces with a countable basis. How about quantum field theory? Is it “quite happy” (mathematically consistent) if everything is ...
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2answers
246 views

Uniqueness of eigenvector representation in a complete set of compatible observables [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Uniqueness of eigenvector representation in a complete set of compatible observables Sakurai states that if we have a complete, maximal set of compatible observables, ...
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725 views

Where does the wave function of the universe live? Please describe its home

Where does the wave function of the universe live? Please describe its home. I think this is the Hilbert space of the universe. (Greater or lesser, depending on which church you belong to.) Or maybe ...
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167 views

Algebraic formulation of QFT and unbounded operators

In AQFT one specifies the structure of the observables as a $C^*$-algebra. This seems to excludes algebras that don't have a norm, such as the Heisenberg algebra. Fortunately for this case one turns ...
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344 views

Scattering states of Hydrogen atom in non-relativistic perturbation theory

In doing second order time-independent perturbation theory in non-relativistic quantum mechanics one has to calculate the overlap between states $$E^{(2)}_n ~=~ \sum_{m \neq n}\frac{|\langle m | H' ...
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76 views

Should the eigenkets be weighted in $|P\rangle = \sum\limits_{r}|\xi^r\rangle$?

Page 37 of Dirac's book The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, states The condition for the eigenstates of $\xi$ to form a complete set must thus be formulated, that any ket $|P\rangle$ can be ...
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168 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 ...
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141 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
131 views

Orthogonality of summed wave functions

Problem. I know that the two wave functions $\Psi_1$ and $\Psi_2$ are all normalized and orthogonal. I now want to prove that this implies that $\Psi_3=\Psi_1+\Psi_2$ is orthogonal to ...
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173 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 ...
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164 views

Curved spacetime as a coherent state in string theory

I have a question about Polchinski's string theory book, volume I, p 108. When we write the Polyakov action in curved spacetime, it is said $$ S_{\sigma} = \frac{1}{4\pi\alpha'} \int_M d^2 \sigma ...
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503 views

Existence of adjoint of an antilinear operator, time reversal

The time reversal operator $T$ is an antiunitary operator, and I saw $T^\dagger$ in many places (for example when some guy is doing a "time reversal" $THT^\dagger$), but I wonder if there is a ...
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189 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 ...
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1answer
150 views

A question about the energy of turning on and off interaction adiabatically in QFT

I read a saying as follows: In a theory with no particles which decay and no bound states, the turning on and off of the interactions merely serves to limit the effective range of forces. In this ...
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3answers
260 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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1answer
229 views

The issue on existence of inverse operations of $a$ and $a^{\dagger}$

I have asked a question at math.stackexchange that have a physical meaning. My assumption: Suppose $a$ and $a^\dagger$ is Hermitian adjoint operators and $[a,a^\dagger]=1$. I want to prove that ...
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360 views

Linearity of Quantum Mechanics?

The proof of the No-Cloning Theorem states "By the linearity of quantum mechanics, ..." -- Could someone please give me a rough sketch/outline of what this means? Does it have to do with the Hilbert ...
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404 views

If I go to the church of the greater Hilbert space, can I have Unitary Collapse?

Actually, unitary pseudo-collapse? Von Neuman said quantum mechanics proceeds by two processes: unitary evolution and nonunitary reduction, also now called projection, collapse and splitting. ...
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202 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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853 views

Can we have discontinuous wavefunctions in the Infinite Square well?

The energy eigenstates of the infinite square well problem look like the Fourier basis of L2 on the interval of the well. So then we should be able to for example make square waves that are an ...
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594 views

Existence of creation and annihilation operators

In a multiple particle Hilbert space (any space of any multi-particle system), is it sufficient to define creation and annihilation operators by their action (e.g. mapping an n-particle state to an ...
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255 views

How to apply an algebraic operator expression to a ket found in Dirac's QM book?

I've been trying to learn quantum mechanics from a formal point of view, so I picked up Dirac's book. In the fourth edition, 33rd page, starting from this:$$\xi|\xi'\rangle=\xi'|\xi'\rangle$$ (Where ...
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413 views

Uniqueness of eigenvector representation in a complete set of compatible observables

Sakurai states that if we have a complete, maximal set of compatible observables, say $A,B,C...$ Then, an eigenvector represented by $|a,b,c....>$, where $a,b,c...$ are respective eigenvalues, is ...
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151 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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212 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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457 views

Can the expectation value of the square of momentum be negative?

I've been solving a problem in quantum mechanics, and I was deriving the standard deviation of $P$, knowing that $\langle P\rangle=0$. Because $\Delta P=\sqrt{\langle P^2 \rangle - \langle P \rangle ...
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574 views

Observing the exponential growth of Hilbert space?

One of the weirdest things about quantum mechanics (QM) is the exponential growth of the dimensions of Hilbert space with increasing number of particles. This was already discussed by Born and ...
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1answer
118 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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5answers
287 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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157 views

Understanding Well Defined States

I am self-studying from a text in QM. Well defined states are mentioned several times. By and large these are consistent and seem to be readily apparent: states of well defined energy are basis ...
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509 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 ...
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215 views

Inner Product Spaces

I am trying to reconcile the definition of Inner Product Spaces that I encountered in Mathematics with the one I recently came across in Physics. In particular, if $(,)$ denotes an inner product in ...
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199 views

Is $0 | \psi \rangle=0$?

For example, the spin operator for spin 1 particle is $\hat{S}_z\doteq\hbar\begin{pmatrix} 1&&\\&0&\\&&-1\end{pmatrix}$ for state ...