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

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10
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5answers
540 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
469 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
572 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
520 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
170 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
129 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
114 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
120 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
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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
123 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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
682 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
149 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
135 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-Gordan basis, so the conversion looks like: $$ \begin{align} ...
1
vote
2answers
296 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
844 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
179 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
106 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
2k 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
150 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
147 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
253 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
124 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
189 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
374 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
359 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?
5
votes
1answer
174 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
392 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
281 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
265 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
153 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
votes
3answers
258 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
votes
3answers
242 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
votes
3answers
550 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
votes
1answer
520 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
votes
2answers
179 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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
votes
2answers
121 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.
6
votes
3answers
710 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
459 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
votes
2answers
353 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
votes
2answers
171 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
477 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
160 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
votes
2answers
359 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 ...