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

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Position and momentum bases in quantum mechanics

I have seen the following two descriptions of the position basis: $$\tag{1}| x\rangle=\delta(x-x_0)$$ and also $$\tag{2}\langle x_0| x\rangle=\delta(x-x_0),$$ which (if either) of these is ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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
votes
1answer
91 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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3answers
236 views

Expectation of momentum in the bound state

Is it logically correct to assert that the expectation of the momentum $$\langle \hat p \rangle=0$$ for any bound state because it is bound to some finite region? What is the physical interpretation ...
4
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1answer
189 views

Bounded and Unbounded Operator

Can someone explain with a concrete example of how can I can check whether a quantum mechanical operator is bounded or unbounded? EDIT: For example., I would like to check whether $\hat ...
3
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1answer
84 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 \\ ...
5
votes
1answer
331 views

Self-adjoint differential operators

I'm having a hard time understanding the deal with self-adjoint differential opertors used to solve a set of two coupled 2nd order PDEs. The thing is, that the solution of the PDEs becomes ...
10
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1answer
566 views

Boosts are non-unitary!

The boost transformations are not unitary unlike rotations, the boost generators are not Hermitian. When this induces transformations in the Hilbert space, will those transformation be unitary? I ...
3
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1answer
85 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?
4
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1answer
338 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 ...
7
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2answers
276 views

Ambiguity in number of basis vectors [duplicate]

The dimension of the Hilbert space is determined by the number of independent basis vectors. There is a infinite discrete energy eigenbasis $\{|n\rangle\}$ in the problem of particle in a box which ...
8
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3answers
800 views

Use of 'complete' as in 'complete set of states' or 'complete basis'

Question. In the context of QM, I hear the phrases 'complete set of states' and 'complete basis' (among other similar expressions) thrown around rather a lot. What exactly is meant by 'complete'? ...
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1answer
303 views

Conceptual difficulty in understanding Continuous Vector Space

I have an extremely ridiculous doubt that has been bothering me, since I started learning quantum mechanics. If we consider the finite dimensional vector space for the spin$\frac{1}{2}$ particles, ...
2
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3answers
141 views

Admixtures of longitudinal and timelike photons!

In the quantization of electromagnetic field the physical states $|\psi\rangle$ are found to obey the following relation: $[a^{(0)}(k)-a^{(3)}(k)]|\psi\rangle=0$ It is explained as the physical ...
3
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1answer
422 views

Example of application of creation/annihilation operators in matrix form

I was wondering how it would sound like the creation/annihilation of particles that we usually do in the context of Dirac formalism, with matrices and vectors. As a reminder we know that: ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Schrödinger's cat; why was it necessary?

Could someone please explain to me the idea that Schrödinger was trying to illustrate by the cat in his box? I understand that he was trying to introduce the notion of the cat being both alive and ...
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1answer
767 views

Understanding Triplet And Singlet States

We know, $2\otimes 2=3\oplus 1$. Thus we have a spin triplet of states and a spin singlet. Can we regard these states as the spin part of wavefunction for the excited states and the ground state of ...
4
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1answer
781 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?
4
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1answer
191 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 ...
2
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2answers
229 views

Harmonic Oscillator - Energy quantisation

The one-dimensional quantum HO can be solved in Schrodinger representation by getting Hermite Differential Equation $$ \frac{d^2y}{dx^2} - 2x \frac{dy}{dx} + \lambda y = 0 $$ with solutions $$ y(x) = ...
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1answer
108 views

Linear Operators and their representations

I am currently learning Quantum mechanics on a slightly advanced level. I am curious in knowing if there are Linear Operators (Linear Maps) in the Hilbert Space (finite dimensional ones) that don't ...
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1answer
664 views

Showing that an operator is Hermitian

Consider the operator $$T=pq^3+q^3p=-i\frac{d}{dq}q^3-iq^3\frac{d}{dq}$$ defined to act on the Hilbert Space $H=L^2(\mathbb{R},dq)$ with the common dense domain $S(\mathbb{R})$. Here $S(\mathbb{R})$ ...
4
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1answer
190 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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3answers
307 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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2answers
382 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 ...
6
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2answers
560 views

Does the wave function always asymptotically approach zero?

I'm new to quantum physics (and to this site), so please bear with me. I know that quantum mechanics allows particles to appear in regions that are classically forbidden; for example, an electron ...
4
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2answers
318 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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3answers
895 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 ...
16
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4answers
642 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 ...
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3answers
288 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
251 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
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2answers
129 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
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0answers
85 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 ...
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2answers
298 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| ...
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2answers
297 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 ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
6
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2answers
233 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} ...
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2answers
859 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
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1answer
246 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
190 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
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1answer
141 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
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2answers
346 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\ ...
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0answers
225 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 ...
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1answer
212 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; ...
3
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1answer
187 views

What does $|x⟩|0⟩$ actually mean in bra-ket notation?

Consider the following quote from Wikipedia's page on Shor's algorithm: Initialize the registers to $Q^{-1/2} \sum_{x=0}^{Q-1} \left|x\right\rangle \left|0\right\rangle$ where $x$ runs ...
10
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5answers
724 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
685 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
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2answers
665 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
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1answer
588 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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1answer
205 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 ...