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

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587 views

Quantum mechanic newbie: why complex amplitudes, why Hilbert space? [duplicate]

I'm just starting learning quantum mechanics by myself (2 "lectures" so far) and I was wondering why we need to define quantum states in a complex vector space rater than a real one? Also I was ...
3
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2answers
77 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 $\psi(x)$: ...
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2answers
140 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 ...
3
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1answer
68 views

Eigenvalues of Infinite Dimensional Matrix [duplicate]

If I take a infinite-dimensional square matrix, what can I say about its eigenvalue spectrum? Will they have a discrete infinity of eigenvalues or continuous infinity of them?
3
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2answers
173 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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2answers
116 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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167 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
344 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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1answer
76 views

Self-adjoint and nonpositive differential operators

I recently tumbled over a statement in a geophysics paper (PDF here). They have a wave equation which they formulate as $$ \frac{1}{v_0}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2} \begin{pmatrix}p \\ ...
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1answer
489 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 ...
3
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1answer
249 views

Show that for QM operator A: $\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\psi A^{\dagger}A\psi dx = \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}(A\psi)^*(A\psi)dx $

I need to show for $$A = \frac{d}{dx} + \tanh x, \qquad A^{\dagger} = - \frac{d}{dx} + \tanh x,$$ that $$\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\psi^* A^{\dagger}A\psi dx = ...
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181 views

The state of Indefinite metric in Quantum Electrodynamics

I faced difficulties to grasp why indefinite metric is introduced from no where in QED, after searching internet I found that this is a problem in QED, because one needs it to preserve theory's ...
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0answers
63 views

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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38 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 ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
2
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3answers
287 views

Naive question about the S-matrix

In quantum field theory, the elements of the S-matrix are defined as the amplitude describing the transition from an initial $n$-particle state (the "in" state) to an final $m$-particle state: ...
2
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1answer
495 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 ...
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2answers
99 views

These two operators commute…but their eigenvectors aren't all the same. Why?

The Hamiltonian $$H = \left[ \begin{array}{cccc} a & 0 & 0 & -b \\ 0 & 0 & -b & 0\\ 0 & -b & 0 & 0\\ -b & 0 & 0 & -a \end{array} \right] $$ commutes ...
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3answers
878 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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2answers
341 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
243 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
95 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 ...
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2answers
73 views

Domain of simple quantum harmonic oscillator

When discussing the spectral theory of unbounded operators, one often starts with an operator defined on a densely defined subspace of your Hilbert space, and then proves that the operator is ...
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1answer
135 views

Normalizing wavefunction

If you are trying to normalize $\psi = A\sin kx$, and you find that $|A|^2 = \frac{2}{a}$, why do you take the positive square root and not the negative? What happens if you take the negative square ...
2
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1answer
119 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 ...
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2answers
157 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
68 views

Is it possible that we have a physical state which is a mixture of discrete eigenstates and continuous ones?

For a system has both continuous and discrete spectrum, is it possible that a physical states is something like: ...
2
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1answer
74 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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3answers
278 views

Wave function not normalizable

Does the solution of the Schrodinger equation always have to be normalizable? By normalizable I mean, given a wavefunction $\psi(x)$ $$\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}|\psi(x)|^2 dx<\infty \qquad ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Eigenfunction associated with the $\hat{x}$ operator

Consider the following operator $\hat{x}=i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial p}$. I am trying to show that the eigenfunctions of $\hat{x}$ are not square-normalizable. I am interested in doing so since ...
2
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1answer
146 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 ...
2
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1answer
323 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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4answers
345 views

Books on Hilbert space and phase space?

Can you recommend books or papers that highlight or discuss extensively, or at least more than average, the similarites/differences between phase space and Hilbert space? I am primarily interested in ...
2
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1answer
63 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 ...
2
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2answers
146 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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2answers
121 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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3answers
119 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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2answers
114 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 ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Normal ordering of the identity operator

I'm puzzled about what should be the normal ordering of the identity operator (or any proportional operator): looking at it from the "Fock space operators POV",the prescription is to move all the ...
2
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2answers
288 views

Do eigenvectors of quantum operators span the whole Hilbert Space?

I am trying to solve an exercise in Shankar's QM book (concretely 4.2.1), and I am asked the probability of each possible value for the operator $L_x$ when the particle is in a certain eigenstate of ...
2
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2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the physical significance of the inner product of two wave functions in quantum region?

I am a reading a book for beginners of the quantum mechanics. In one section, the author shows the inner product of two wave functions $\langle\alpha\vert\beta\rangle$. I am wondering what's the ...
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3answers
122 views

How much space to simulate a small Hilbert space?

I'm thinking about trying to do a numerical simulation of some very simple QM problems. How much space do I need? To simulate the Hilbert space? I'd like to eventually simulate the absorption or ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Hilbert space decomposition into irreps

I'm currently following a course in representation theory for physicists, and I'm rather confused about irreps, and how they relate to states in Hilbert spaces. First what I think I know: If a ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

How to prove that if the expectation value of $A$ in any state is real, then $A$ is Hermitian?

If the expectation value of operator $A$ in any state is real, then $A$ is Hermitian. there is an uncompleted proof: $$ \int(c_1\psi_1+c_2\psi_2)^* A (c_1\psi_1+c_2\psi_2)dx$$ ...
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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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2answers
89 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 ...
2
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1answer
151 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 ...
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2answers
144 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 ...