To be used for linear algebra, and closely related disciplines such as tensor algebras and maybe clifford algebras.

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26
votes
4answers
6k views

Are matrices and second rank tensors the same thing?

Tensors are mathematical objects that are needed in physics to define certain quantities. I have a couple of questions regarding them that need to be clarified: Are matrices and second rank tensors ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Linear Algebra for Quantum Physics

A week ago I asked people on this forum what mathematical background was needed for understanding Quantum Physics, and most of you mentioned Linear Algebra, so I decided to conduct a self-study of ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Difficulties with bra-ket notation

I have started to study quantum mechanics. I know linear algebra,functional analysis, calculus, and so on, but at this moment I have a problem in Dirac bra-ket formalism. Namely, I have problem with ...
6
votes
1answer
342 views

How can (in Dirac's terminology) the product of two “real” linear operators be “not real”?

I'm puzzled about a statement from Dirac's book, The principles of quantum mechanics, (§8, p.28): As a simple examples of this result, it should be noted that, if $\xi$ and $\eta$ are real, in ...
1
vote
4answers
523 views

Vectors with more than 3 components

I have some confusion over Vectors, Its components and dimensions. Does the number of vector components mean that a vector is in that many dimensions? For e.g. $A$ vector with 4 components has 4 ...
8
votes
1answer
852 views

“An operator is hermitian”. Implications?

Alastair Rae states that there are 4 postulates of Quantum Mechanics in his text on the subject matter. The first part of his second postulate can be stated as: Every dynamical variable may be ...
5
votes
3answers
254 views

Countable Matrix Representation

In my quantum mechanics class, my professor explained that the Hamiltonian along with position and momentum operators can be represented by matrices of countable dimension. This is especially usefull ...
2
votes
3answers
220 views

Dimension of vector resulting from tensorial product

I'm quoting what I found in a book about quantum computation: Individual state spaces of $n$ particles combine quantum mechanically through the tensor product. If $X$ and $Y$ are vectors, then ...
1
vote
1answer
203 views

Why consider only direction cosines?

Why are these called direction angles? Why do we consider only direction cosines and not direction sines or tans. What is its actual significance? And How to use them? Why are they called ...
11
votes
1answer
694 views

What're the relations and differences between slave-fermion and slave-boson formalism?

As we know, in condensed matter theory, especially in dealing with strongly correlated systems, physicists have constructed various "peculiar" slave-fermion and slave-boson theories. For example, For ...
10
votes
1answer
268 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
433 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'? ...
4
votes
2answers
838 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
227 views

How do you find a particular representation for Grassmann numbers?

This question is more general in the sense that I want to know how one finds a particular (say matrix) representation for any object. For the case of Grassmann numbers we have from Wikipedia the ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Deriving photon propagator

In Peskin & Schroeder's book on page 297 in deriving the photon propagator the authors say that $$\left(-k^2g_{\mu\nu}+(1-\frac{1}{\xi})k_\mu k_\nu\right)D^{\nu\rho}_F(k)=i\delta^\rho_\mu ...
3
votes
0answers
151 views

Fock Subspaces and Weight Vectors

This is my first time taking a physics course (I'm a mathematics major), so I'm encountering a lot of new things, which I'm kind of expected to know. In particular, how to work with Bosons. I've got ...
1
vote
5answers
781 views

Observable: possible outcome of measurement vs (linear) transformation

One of the postulates of quantum mechanics is that every physical observable corresponds to a Hermitian operator $H$, that the possible outcomes of the measurements are eigenvalues of the operator, ...
-5
votes
3answers
1k views

Should linear algebra and vector calculus from traditional courses be replaced with `geometric algebra`? [closed]

geometric algebra gives geometric meaning to linear algebra and much more. it can provide a coordinate free geometric interpretation of spaces. those who learn of ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Show the Lorentz Transformation Matrices Have an Inverse

Assume the Lorentz transformations obey the relationship $$g_{uv}\Lambda^u_{p}\Lambda^v_\sigma = g_{p\sigma},$$ where $g_{uv}$ is the metric tensor of special relativity. How can one show, under that ...
2
votes
3answers
717 views

What is the general approach to calculating time of impact in 3D?

Given two objects a and b moving at fixed velocities, how would you determine (a) whether they will collide at all, and if so, (b) time of impact? (Let us assume these are spherical bodies each with ...
2
votes
3answers
293 views

Vector space of $\mathbb{C}^4$ and its basis, the Pauli matrices

How do I write an arbitrary $2\times 2$ matrix as a linear combination of the three Pauli Matrices and the $2\times 2$ unit matrix? Any example for the same might help ?
0
votes
0answers
18 views

How is it shown that the composition of two real operators is generally not real? [duplicate]

Dirac on page 28 of his QM book writes: Thus the conjugate complex of the product of two linear operators equals the product of the conjugate complexes of the factors in the reverse order. As ...