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

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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
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2answers
124 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 ...
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0answers
127 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
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1answer
219 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 ...
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1answer
103 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
130 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" ...
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2answers
317 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 $\hat{H}$ ...
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1answer
283 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?
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1answer
156 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
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2answers
348 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 ...
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3answers
267 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 ...
2
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1answer
92 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 ...
7
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2answers
244 views

Quantum states as rays as opposed to vectors

I recently read that a quantum state is actually defined by a ray and not a vector. That is it is possible to multiply a state $\psi$ by any complex number $c\in \mathbb{C}$ and you won't be changing ...
4
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
7
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3answers
241 views

What are the physical dimensions (units) of the elements in a Hilbert space of a QM system?

In QM, the state vector $|\psi\rangle$ seem to have various dimensions under different representations: (only in space of continuous dimension) $$\langle x|\psi\rangle = [\frac{1}{\sqrt{Length}}]$$ ...
2
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3answers
224 views

Implicit Postulate of Quantum Mechanics

Consider the following quantum system: a particle in a one dimensional box (= infinite potential well). The energy eigenstates wave functions all vanish outside the box. But the position eigenstates ...
4
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3answers
436 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 ...
9
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1answer
460 views

The vacuum in quantum field theories: what is it?

In Section 10.1 of his textbook Quantum Field Theory for Mathematicians, Ticciati writes Assuming that the background field or classical source $j(x)$ is zero at space-time infinity, the presence ...
3
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2answers
169 views

Space translation of operators, states, and particle densities

In Sidney Coleman's Lectures he talked about space translations such that $$\tag{1} e^{ia P}\rho(x) e^{-ia P} ~=~ \rho(x-a),$$ but when I expanded the exponentials and used the commutation relation ...
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4answers
1k views

Necessary condition for square integrable functions?

I'm studying Quantum Mechanics and I came across this which I don't quite understand: For a vector space of functions $f(x)$ to be square integrable (i.e $\int{|f(x)|^2dx < \infty)}$, the necessary ...
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1answer
51 views

How to see timelike excitation has a negative norm from the “old covariant quantization”

I have a question in reading Polchinski's string theory vol I p 123, about the "old covariant quantization". It is said ... $\langle 0;k | 0; k' \rangle = ( 2\pi)^D \delta^D (k-k') \tag{4.1.15}$ ...
3
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2answers
105 views

Are locality and separability two distinct notions?

Is there any difference between locality and separability in quantum mechanics, or do they mean the same thing? It seems authors do not always agree.
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3answers
653 views

Born's Rule, What is the Reason?

As far as I've read online, there isn't a good explanation for the Born Rule. Is this the case? Why does taking the square of the wave function give you the Probability? Naturally it removes negatives ...
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1answer
359 views

Orthogonality of the wavefunctions on an subinterval?

Lets say that functions (eigenfunctions) $\psi_0$ and $\psi_1$ are orthogonal on an interval $-d/2 < x < d/2$. Are they also orthogonal on any subinterval inside the interval $-d/2 < x < ...
3
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2answers
298 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 ...
3
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2answers
155 views

Quantum Mechanics Basics: product space

Consider a coupled harmonic oscillator with their position given by $x_1$ and $x_2$. Say the normal coordinates $x_{\pm}={1\over\sqrt{2}} (x_1\pm x_2)$, in which the harmonic oscillators decouple, ...
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2answers
423 views

Basic question on bra-ket notation

Which of the following corresponds to a $ \psi(x)$, a wavefunction written in the position basis: $ x| \psi\rangle $ or $ \langle x| \psi\rangle $? If it is the second expression (which my textbook ...
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1answer
146 views

Axiomatic structure behind Dirac's formulation of QM?

According to the paper Quantum Mechanics Beyond Hilbert Space by J.P. Antoine, several mathematical structures have been devised to make mathematical sense of Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics ...
3
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2answers
316 views

Tensor Product of Hilbert spaces

This question is regarding a definition of Tensor product of Hilbert spaces that I found in Wald's book on QFT in curved space time. Let's first get some notation straight. Let $(V,+,*)$ denote a set ...
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3answers
746 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Differences between pure/mixed/entangled/separable/superposed states

I am currently trying to establish a clear picture of pure/mixed/entangled/separable/superposed states. In the following I will always assume a basis of $|1\rangle$ and $|0\rangle$ for my quantum ...
5
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1answer
184 views

Operator norm of creation and annihilation operators

Are the creation and the annihilation operators $a(f)$ and $a^{\dagger}(f)$ for the bosonic Fock space bounded? What is their norm? So far I did not have found any note about this in the linked ...
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3answers
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Differences between symmetric, Hermitian, self-adjoint, and essentially self-adjoint operators

I am a physicist. I always heard physicists used the terminology "symmetric", "Hermitian", "self-adjoint", and "essentially self-adjoint" operators interchangeably. Actually what is the difference ...
6
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1answer
296 views

Proof for the completeness of eigenfunctions of a self-adjoint operator

I always heard the eigenfunctions of a self-adjoint operator form a complete basis. Where can I find a proof in infinite dimension space? Presumably readable for physicists.
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2answers
366 views

Schrödinger equation in position representation

$$ \DeclareMathOperator{\dif}{d \!} \newcommand{\ramuno}{\mathrm{i}} \newcommand{\exponent}{\mathrm{e}} \newcommand{\ket}[1]{|{#1}\rangle} \newcommand{\bra}[1]{\langle{#1}|} ...
3
votes
1answer
419 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
364 views

What do up-left orthogonality has in common with up-down and what is their relationship?

I am familiar with the true (or general) notion of orthogonality, given in the Linear Algebra and Pythagoras theorem derived from the $\vec x \cdot \vec y = 0$. I have also recently got to know that ...
9
votes
3answers
975 views

Meaning of inner product $\langle \vec{r} | \psi(t)\rangle $

I have come across the equation which comes out of the nothing in Zettili's book Quantum mechanics concepts and applications p. 167: $$\psi(\vec{r},t) ~=~ \langle \vec{r} \,|\, \psi(t) \rangle.$$ ...
4
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1answer
233 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 ...
5
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1answer
326 views

Hilbert space of a free particle: Countable or Uncountable?

This is obviously a follow on question to the Phys.SE post Hilbert space of harmonic oscillator: Countable vs uncountable? So I thought that the Hilbert space of a bound electron is countable, but ...
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1answer
78 views

Eigenvalue $a_n$

Q1: In Zetilli's book page 166 (ch. "Postulates of QM", eq. 3.1) i encountered an expression $\hat{A}|\psi\rangle = a_n|\psi_n\rangle$. I know this is an eigenvalue equation, but i have seen another ...
5
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2answers
205 views

Quantum Mechanical Operators in the argument of an exponential

In Quantum Optics and Quantum Mechanics, the time evolution operator $$U(t,t_i) = \exp\left[\frac{-i}{\hbar}H(t-t_i)\right]$$ is used quite a lot. Suppose $t_i =0$ for simplicity, and say the ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Vector $\vec{z}$ and its conjugate transpose $\overline{\vec{v}^\top}$ - is it the same as $\left|z\right\rangle$ and $\left\langle z \right|$

Lets say we have a complex vector $\vec{z} \!=\!(1\!+\!2i~~2\!+\!3i~~3\!+\!4i)^T$. Its scalar product $\vec{z}^T\!\! \cdot \vec{z}$ with itself will be a complex number, but if we conjugate the ...
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3answers
827 views

Hilbert space of harmonic oscillator: Countable vs uncountable?

Hm, this just occurred to me while answering another question: If I write the Hamiltonian for a harmonic oscillator as $$H = \frac{p^2}{2m} + \frac{1}{2} m \omega^2 x^2$$ then wouldn't one set of ...
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1answer
320 views

Some Dirac notation explanations

Equation for an expectation value $\langle x \rangle$ is known to me: \begin{align} \langle x \rangle = \int\limits_{-\infty}^{\infty} \overline{\psi}x\psi\, d x \end{align} By the definition we ...
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2answers
263 views

Coherent $U(N)$ intertwiners in Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) and a measure on the Grassmannian

This is a detailed question about $U(N)$ intertwiners in LQG, and it comes from the the paper by Freidel and Livine (2011 - archive). It is very specific but related to finding a measure on a quotient ...
2
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2answers
336 views

QM formalism is one big confusion - lack of geometrical explaination with images

I have been trying to learn QM and it went well (all untill harmonic oscilator) until i had to face the formalism: Hilbert space- As a novice to QM i am very sad that in none of the books i have ...
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1answer
104 views

What is inner product of the vacuum state with itself?

If $|0 \rangle$ is the vacuum state in quantum mechanics and $\alpha$ is any complex number, what is $\langle 0 | \alpha | 0 \rangle$? I need to have that $\langle 0 | \alpha | 0 \rangle = \alpha$, ...
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3answers
515 views

Entangled or unentangled?

I got a little puzzled when thinking about two entangled fermions. Say that we have a Hilbert space in which we have two fermionic orbitals $a$ and $b$. Then the Hilbert space $H$'s dimension is just ...
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1answer
121 views

Operators in quantum mechanics

According to the Quantum Mechanics, can we write $\langle q|p\rangle = e^{ipq}$? If so then how? And if we transfer to integrate formulation then how it will look like?