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

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Quantum states and state vectors

Does a state vector correspond to only one quantum states and the components in the state vector correspond to different states of this quantum state or is it that the components of the state vector ...
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1answer
64 views

Are operators in quantum mechanics linear transformations?

Observables in quantum mechanics correspond to self-adjoint linear operators. If $\psi$ is an eigenvector of $\hat A$, then $\hat A\psi=\alpha\psi$ where $\alpha$ is the eigenvalue of $\psi$. ...
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2answers
72 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 ...
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1answer
288 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
100 views

What is the analogy of $|x\rangle$ in quantum field theory?

Let me start from path integral formulation in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. In QM, we have $$ U(x_b,x_a;T) = \langle x_b | U(T) |x_a \rangle= \int \mathcal{D}q e^{iS} \tag{1} $$ ...
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2answers
529 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 ...
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1answer
80 views

Stabilizer formalism for symmetric spin-states?

This question developed out of conversation between myself and Joe Fitzsimons. Is there a succinct stabilizer representation for symmetric states, on systems of n spin-1/2 or (more generally) n higher ...
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1answer
125 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} ...
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2answers
284 views

Hilbert space in quantum mechanics

I think in quantum mechanics we assign to each system a specific Hilbert space i.e. if systems are different then their Hilbert spaces are different. Is this true? If not why? For differernt system I ...
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3answers
293 views

Basis in quantum mechanics

My quantum mechanics textbook (Primer of Quantum Mechanics, by Marvin Chester) says that both the momentum space and the position space are basis spaces. It also says that the momentum space is ...
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1answer
269 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?
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2answers
167 views

Position Representation in Quantum Mechanics

How does the 3d position operator look like in position representation? I know that in 1d the position operator $\hat{x}$ is just multiplication by $x$.
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2answers
62 views

Eigenstates of an observable

Can we use eigenstates of ANY observable as base of the Hilbert space? If we can, is this equal to the statement that those eigenstates are orthogonal to each other and normalizable?
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1answer
30 views

Why does the probability of obtaining a value of a measurement follow from Dirac's general assumption?

In Dirac's The Principle of Quantum Mechanics he makes the general assumption that "if the measurement of the observable $\xi$ for the system in the state corresponding to $|x\rangle$ is made a large ...
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1answer
58 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 ...
2
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3answers
102 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 ...
3
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1answer
183 views

Explanation of Dirac's proof of arbitrary ket being expressible with eigenkets of observable

In P.A.M. Dirac's The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Chapter 10 (Observables), pp. 40, at the end of the chapter there is a proof that I don't understand at all. Here is a pdf link to the book ...
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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
77 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 ...
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1answer
77 views

Lippmann-Schwinger solution

What's wrong with this general solution of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation: $$ |\psi_k \rangle=|\phi_k \rangle+G_k V|\psi_k \rangle \\ \langle \phi_{k'}|\psi_k \rangle=\langle \phi_{k'} |\phi_k ...
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1answer
107 views

A question about the energy of turning on and off interaction adiabatically in QFT

I read a saying as follows: In a theory with no particles which decay and no bound states, the turning on and off of the interactions merely serves to limit the effective range of forces. In this ...
3
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1answer
94 views

From Symmetry Group to Physics Equations

To the extent that I know: There are symmetry groups like the rotation groups SO(3), the Groups of Poincare Transformations,... If the physics of a system has a symmetry group G, then it can be ...
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1answer
70 views

How can one calculate the phase difference between two quantum harmonic oscillator (Hermite-Gauss) states?

The analytic solutions of a quantum harmonic oscillator are given by Hermite-Gauss states, which differ in the order $n$ of the Hermite polynomials. If two such states are plotted, there will be a ...
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1answer
50 views

Atom state vectors kets

An atom with two energy levels has 2 states (excited and ground), represented by kets $|e\rangle$ and $|g\rangle$ respectively. The atom has energy $\frac{1}{2}E_\theta$ when excited and ...
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1answer
86 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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1answer
272 views

Time-ordering in QFT

In Srednicki QFT page 37. In the derivation of LSZ reduction formula, he introduces the time-order operator $T$, so no time-dependent creation/annihilation operators are left in the transition ...
3
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1answer
176 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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4answers
467 views

Density matrix formalism

The density matrix $\hat{\rho}$ is often introduced in textbooks as a mathematical convenience that allows us to describe quantum systems in which there is some level of missing information. ...
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4answers
348 views

Applying an operator to a function vs. a (ket) vector

I have a question regarding the effect of quantum mechanical operators. The definition that I'm familiar with says that an operator $A$ acts on a vector from a Hilbert space, $|\psi\rangle$, and the ...
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5answers
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Linearity of quantum mechanics and nonlinearity of macroscopic physics

We live in a world where almost all macroscopic physical phenomena are non-linear, while the description of microscopic phenomena is based on quantum mechanics which is linear by definition. What are ...
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3answers
1k views

Applications of the Spectral Theorem to Quantum Mechanics

I'm currently learning some basic functional analysis. Yesterday I arrived at the spectral theorem of self-adjoint operators. I've heard that this theorem has lots of applications in Quantum ...
2
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1answer
98 views

What exactly is a coherent state and why is it interesting?

Please note that I do not have a background in physics, so if possible please refrain from a bunch of $ |x\rangle $ notations, unless clearly specifying what it symbolically means. So I have been ...
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2answers
123 views

Quantum Mechanics - Observable

If $O$ represents an operator corresponding to an observable why does the following equality hold? $$\langle f(x)\, |\, O g(x)\rangle = \langle g(x) \,|\, O f(x) \rangle$$ It is used on the last ...
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3answers
88 views

Can one construct a new operator in terms of the powers of another operator?

Suppose we have a quantum state, well described by its time-independent wave function Psi. And we have a well-defined Hermitian (self-adjoint) operator $A$. We successfully evaluate the expectation ...
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758 views

Implications of unbounded operators in quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanical observables of a system are represented by self - adjoint operators in a separable complex Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$. Now I understand a lot of operators ...
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1answer
70 views

Inner product of position and momentum eigenkets

Let's define $\hat{q},\ \hat{p}$ the positon and momentum quantum operators, $\hat{a}$ the annihilation operator and $\hat{a}_1,\ \hat{a}_2$ with its real and imaginary part, such that $$ \hat{a} = ...
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1answer
58 views

Null State Level 2 in CFT

I'm reading Cardy's notes on CFT. He states the following in section 4.3: $$\hat L_n\left(\hat L_{-2}|\phi_j\rangle-(1/g)\hat{L^2}_{-1}|\phi_j\rangle\right)=0.$$ I tried to work this out explicitly ...
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2answers
95 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 ...
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0answers
32 views

Experimental proof of the principle of superposition in QM [duplicate]

I have read that we need all operators in QM to be linear to confirm the principle of superposition which is experimentally well proven. I wonder how such an experiment could be made?
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0answers
35 views

Transition Between Position and Momentum Basis

I'm having some trouble following pages 55-56 of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. We're trying to transfer from position space into momentum space. Here's a quote: Let us now establish the ...
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0answers
35 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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2answers
101 views

Ground state of a quantum mechanical system

When looking back at my courses of quantum mechanics, I noticed that assumptions about the ground state of a quantum mechanical system where rather vague and unprecise. It is always assumed that a ...
4
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1answer
275 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 ...
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1answer
168 views

Time derivative of the state vector as expressed in abstract Hilbert space vs. as a wavefunction

The Schrodinger equation in Hilbert space is expressed as : $$\frac{\partial}{\partial t} \psi(t) = \frac{-i}{\hbar}H\psi(t). $$ Here $\frac{\partial}{\partial t} \psi(t) \equiv \psi'(t) \equiv\lim ...
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1answer
79 views

Expectation value of an operator

Suppose we have: $$ \hat{Q}|\psi_1\rangle=q_1|\psi_1\rangle \\ \hat{Q}|\psi_2\rangle=q_2|\psi_2\rangle $$ with $q_1 \neq q_2$. Then consider the state: $$ ...
0
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2answers
109 views

Representations in quantum mechanics [closed]

This might be a very simple question. I just want someone to point me the right direction to understand things like this: $$ \langle x|x'\rangle=\delta(x-x') \\ \psi(x)=\langle x|\psi\rangle \\ ...
1
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2answers
75 views

Unitary transformation between complete + orthonormal bases

Suppose the complete orthonormal bases $\{|\psi_n\rangle\}$ and $\{|\psi{'}_n\rangle\}$ are related by the transformation matrix $U$: $$ |\psi{'}_n\rangle = U|\psi_n\rangle \\ \langle\psi{'}_n| = ...
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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 $\psi(x)$: ...
3
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2answers
294 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 ...
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1answer
114 views

Comparing two infinite sets

All the linearly independent eigenfunctions of the parity operator $\mathcal{P}$ form an infinite set and all the linearly independent eigenfunctions of the unit operator $\bf 1$ also form an ...