# Tagged Questions

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

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### Momentum in quantum harmonic oscillator with step up and step down operators

I'm hitting a wall in my understanding of the momentum operator in a quantum harmonic oscillator. I've showed that $p = (a^\dagger - a)\sqrt{\frac{m w \hbar}{2}}i$ where $a^\dagger$ and $a$ are the ...
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### Does every Hilbert Space carry a representation of Poincare group?

We know all infinite dimensional Hilbert Spaces are unitarily equivalent. It should follow therefore that if I have an unitary representation of say Lorentz or Poincare group on one infinite ...
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### Born Oppenheimer Approximation: Why can any molecular state be represented as a linear combination of electronic states?

in the Born Oppenheimer Approximation, one expands the molecular wavefunction $\Psi(x,X)$ in terms of the electronic wavefunctions $\phi(x;X)$: $$\Psi(x,X)= \sum_k(c(X)_k\phi(x;X)_k)$$ ($x$ are the ...
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### Probability that a measurement will be in some set

Let $\mathcal{H}$ be the Hilbert space of a quantum system and $A$ one observable in $\mathcal{H}$. If $A$ has discrete spectrum $\{a_n : n \in \mathbb{N}\}$ for simplicity, then by the postulates of ...
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### Looking for clarification on superposition [closed]

I have always had a hard time accepting the concept of superposition from quantum mechanics. I know that the leading physicists say that the cat is both alive and dead until it is observed and that an ...
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### Expectation value of an imaginary operator acting on a real function

In a video (http://youtu.be/r_gBQ_qhg8U?t=9m58s) it's stated that a matrix element of an imaginary operator acting on a real wave function is zero, i.e. ...
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### Why, in quantum field theory, is $\hat{a}(p)|0\rangle=0$?

My Quantum Field Theory lecturer just said that $\hat{a}(p)|0\rangle=0$ because the vacuum state contains no particles. Now, according to Wikipedia, "according to quantum mechanics, the vacuum ...
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### Dirac notation - specific acting orientation for operators

I have this doubt: Imagine two operators $A$ and $B$ and the state $\psi$. I know that the following statement is true: $$\langle\psi| A|\psi\rangle^*=\langle\psi| A^\dagger|\psi\rangle$$ But ...
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### Numeric fermiomic creation operators and unit cell

I have to do some numerics (e.g. FFT in Maple/Octave) on a 1D fermionic chain without forces between the particles. The description says that two sites build an unit cell. What does this mean? And ...
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### Show that $|n\rangle$ is correctly normalized [closed]

Prove that $$|n\rangle = \frac1{\sqrt{n!}} (\hat a^\dagger)^n |0\rangle$$ is correctly normalized. I know I must show its bra-ket equals 1 but I don't know what bra-ket notation really means, so ...
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### What does a line above a commutator, e.g. $\overline{[x, H]}$ mean?

What does this notation mean in relation to quantum mechanics? $$\overline{[x,H]}\qquad\text{or}\qquad\overline{[p,H]}\tag{1}$$ I know $[x,H]$ is just the commutator e.g $xH-Hx$, and the ...
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### Is there a physical significance to non-normal states of the algebra of observables?

Quantum theory may be formalized in several different ways. Generally, the physical discussion of different states of a quantum system distinguishes pure and mixed states, and then subsumes both in a ...
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### Closure relation for degenerate eigenkets

Consider an observable in quantum mechanics, with a degenerate eigenvalue in a continuous spectrum. Is it possible for such an eigenvalue to have a finite degeneracy? If the degeneracy is infinite, ...
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### Shape of the state space under different tensor products

I am currently studying generalized probabilistic theories. Let me roughly recall how such a theory looks like (you can skip this and go to "My question" if you are familiar with this). Recall: In a ...
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### Griffiths use of a linear transformation on basis vectors. Need help with derivation

In Griffiths' intro to Quantum Mechanics 2nd edition, in the appendix A.3 which is a review on linear algebra and matrixes (on page 441), he states that a linear transformation on a set of basis ...
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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 ...
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### Is there a mathematical basis for Born rule?

Wave function determines complex amplitudes to possible measurement outcomes. The Born Rule states that the probability of obtaining some measurement outcome is equal to the square of the ...
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### Underlying C*Algebra operators in standard quantum mechanics?

Linearity in standard quantum mechanics (QM) is the key to making the math possible in this field, but the presence of nonlinear operators in QM is what is more generally dealt with. Working with the ...
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### What is the physical meaning of $a_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! 0 \rangle$

$a^\dagger_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! 0 \rangle = \mid \! p \rangle$ is interpreted as a creation of a particle with momentum $p$ from the vacuum. $a_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! p \rangle = \mid \! 0 \rangle$ is ...
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### Inverse Quantum Operator

In the quantum harmonic oscillator problem, how would one go about calculating $$\left\langle n\left|\frac{1}{X^2}\right|n\right\rangle$$ using raising and lowering operators $a^{\dagger}, a$ only, ...
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### Aren't all spin states (up, down, left, right, in, out) orthogonal?

Hopefully someone can clear up a basic misconception I am having about the nature of spin state vectors. According to the book i am reading, The basis vectors of up/down spin are orthogonal to each ...
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### Constructing differential equation from arbitrary Hamiltonian

Suppose I begin with the time-independent Schrodinger equation $$\left(-\frac{1}{2m}\partial_x^2 + V(x)\right)\psi_n(x) = E_n\psi_n(x),$$ ordinarily we specify the function $V$ and then solve for a ...
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### Which definition of a quantum field is right?

In introductory quantum field theory, I was taught that, given a single-particle Hilbert space $\mathcal H$, the quantum field operator for that type of particle was a mapping $\varphi(x)$ from ...
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### Show that translation and rotation operator are unitary

I have a problem understanding how to show that operators are unitary if they are not in the "normal" matrix form. The translation operator is defined as $$(T_v \psi)(x) = \psi(x-v)$$ and the ...
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### Transformations of states in quantum mechanics

In Classical Mechanics we usually describe the possible configurations of a system by points on a smooth manifold $M$ which is the configuration manifold of the system. In that case, when we talk ...
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### Why are eigenspaces of a Hermitian operator mutually orthogonal? [closed]

In Quantum Mechanics, from the properties of the solution of Schrodinger's Equation inside the infinite well, is that they are: Mutually orthogonal for different eigenvalues. Orthonormal. Complete. ...
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### What is the relationship between completeness of wave functions and completeness of Hilbert space?

In the lecture, my prof said that completeness means that any wave function can be constructed using an infinite number of "other" basis wave functions. This is very intuitive since this is nothing ...
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### Unitary Transfomation from One Basis to Another [closed]

So we have two orthonormal linearly independent basis $\{ |\phi_1 \rangle, \dots, |\phi_n \rangle \}$ and $\{ |\psi_1 \rangle, \dots, |\psi_n \rangle \}$. We can express the basis vectors of the ...
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### Why/How do the coefficients associated with atomic orbitals superposed to form hybrid orbital determine their spatial orientation?

In my previous Phys.SE question, I asked for why $\newcommand{\k}[2]{\langle #1|#2 \rangle} c_1,c_2,c_3,c_4$ in $$\psi_{sp^3}= c_1\psi_{2s}+ c_2\psi_{2p_{x}} + c_3\psi_{2p_y}+ c_4\psi_{2p_{z}}$$ ...
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### Quantum States, Hilbert Space and Time

I'm having troubles with the assertion "(normalizable) wave-functions constitutes (projective) Hilbert space". The standard argument I find for this seems to go as following: say $\Psi(\vec{x},t)$ is ...
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### Proportionality of states in quantum harmonic oscillator

What is the justification for $a_{\pm} \psi_{n}$ being proportional to $\psi_{n\pm1}$ in a quantum harmonic oscillator? Here $a_{\pm}$ is the raising/lowering ladder operator.
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### Why can differentiating a function carry it out from Hilbert space?

I was just doing a QM Griffiths Problem. I was able to get it correct, but I have a few questions. Let $f(x)=x^v$ be defined on $[0,1]$ where $v= 1/2$ then $df/dx = \frac{x^{-1}}2$ Then, we know ...
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### $(H\Psi(x,t))^*=H\Psi^*(x,t)$?

In the solutions of an exercise I got confused about the following equality $$(H\Psi(x,t))^*=H\Psi^*(x,t).$$ Is this true in general? Or in special cases? It seems to imply that H is a real matrix ...
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### Proving polarization identity for operators in complex vector spaces

In general for two operators to be equal, all their (matrix) elements must be equal $$A = B \rightarrow \langle \phi_1|A| \phi_2\rangle=\langle \phi_1|B| \phi_2\rangle$$ However, I am asked to show ...
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### Matrix represenation of total angular momentum operator

I see that for total ket in QM of hydrogen atom we define a tensor product of kets of spatial and spin spaces, upon which spatial and spin operators, operate respectively. For the total angular ...
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### Problem in understanding the concept of 'superposition' as explained by Dirac

The concept of 'superposition' has really made me insane, actually. What I thought it was just simple superposition of matter waves. For instance, let's take the Double-Slit experiment: take the ...
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### Relationship between nodes in wavefunction and orthogonality

I read that if I want to construct a wavefunction orthogonal to given $n$ orthogonal wavefunctions, then the new wavefunction should have $n$ nodes. Is this valid under all conditions? Is there a ...