A quantum observable is a measurable operator whose corresponding property of the state can be determined by some sequence of physical operations ("observation"), such as submitting the system to various electromagnetic fields and eventually reading a value. In systems governed by classical ...

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Expectation value of an Observable and Eigenstates

I am learning about Quantum Mechanics at the moment and I was wondering about Eigenfunctions and Observables. The question I would like to ask is, If a wavefunction is not an eigenstate of an ...
3
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1answer
147 views

Sequential Stern-Gerlach devices - realizable experiment or teaching aid?

At least one textbook [1] uses sequential Stern-Gerlach devices to introduce to students that the components of angular momentum are incompatible observables. Viz., the $z$-up beam from a SG device ...
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33 views

Eigenkets in matrix representation [on hold]

We use base kets in matrix representation of an operator $X$. Could the base kets be possibly be eigenkets also, of operator X? (Here, I'm taking X as a general operator , not only observable,i.e. ...
6
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2answers
155 views

Why hermitian, after all? [duplicate]

This question is going to look a lot like a duplicate, but I've read dozens of related posts and they don't touch the subject. Here we go. Why are observables represented by hermitian operators? ...
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1answer
32 views

Bohr frequency of an expectation value?

Consider a two-state system with a Hamiltonian defined as \begin{bmatrix} E_1 &0 \\ 0 & E_2 \end{bmatrix} Another observable, $A$, is given (in the same basis) by \begin{bmatrix} 0 &a \...
2
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2answers
352 views

Commuting operators and Direct product spaces

Under what conditions is the common eigenspace of two commuting hermitian operators isomorphic to the direct product of their individual eigenspaces? When can an eigenket $|\lambda$1$\lambda$2$\rangle$...
22
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6answers
2k views

Is there something behind non-commuting observables?

Consider a quantum system described by the Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ and consider $A,B\in \mathcal{L}(\mathcal{H},\mathcal{H})$ to be observables. If those observables do not commute there's no ...
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47 views

How to understand the momentum operator in a exponential function? [on hold]

What's the integral expression or matrix expression of the quantum parlance $$U\left( {x - \Delta {x_i}} \right) = \left\langle {x|\exp \left( { - i\Delta {x_i}P} \right)|U} \right\rangle ,$$ where $...
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1answer
53 views

Volume Operator / volume phase-space-function in thermodynamics

In Thermodynamics, one often encounters the derivation of pressure as the generalised force that belongs to the extensive state-variable of the volume. Postulates: One looks just at a system of many ...
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1answer
56 views

Interpretation of two different observables, both with the same resolution of the identity

Suppose you have a resolution of the identity $\hat{\mathbb{1}}=\sum_i\hat{p_i}$ (pairwise othogonal), and construct two (non-degenerate) pvm observables, $\hat{B}=\sum_ib_i\hat{p_i}$ and $\hat{C}=\...
15
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7answers
1k views

Why is a Hermitian operator a “quantum random variable”?

To me, as a stupid mathematician, a random variable is a measurable function from some probability space $(\Omega, \sigma, \mu)$ to $(\Bbb{R}, B(\Bbb{R}))$. This makes sense. You have outcomes, events,...
5
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1answer
172 views

Our choice of basis surely cannot effect possible outcomes of a measurement?

Common sense says that, of course, the outcome of a measurement on a quantum system cannot be affected by what base we choose to represent it in. However, while studying QM text, it seems like they ...
3
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1answer
207 views

Superposition and simultaneous observation

Trying to understand superposition. Ok, so double slit experiment. The multiple paths the particle simultaneously travels interfere with each other but as it is absorbed, it chooses one "actual" ...
2
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2answers
6k views

What is the Momentum Operator?

I know the equation for the momentum operator, but what exactly is the momentum operator? It's bizarre to me that taking the derivative of the wave function, which is an operator, should return ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Gauge Bosons at Finite Temperature

I was reading a paper¹, and it states: " Therefore, the gauge fields themselves cannot be entities of the physical reality, as any observations should be independent of the chosen gauge" I'm trying ...
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0answers
27 views

Can linear combinations of expectation values be considered a valid expectation value?

I ask this question with Bell's paper in mind. I certainly don't hope that is actually necessary for anyone to look at but here is the link anyway: http://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/...
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1answer
43 views

Does Heisenberg's uncertainty hold for any two quantum measurements?

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is most commonly expressed in terms of the uncertainty in measurement of position and momentum of a particle, $$\Delta x\Delta p \geq \hbar$$and uncertainty in ...
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55 views

Uncertainty Principle with the corresponding operators

Why does the corresponding operator do not commute if there is uncertainty related to two observables A and B that states $\Delta A\,\Delta B > 0 $ ?
5
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1answer
81 views

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle derivation in a ring [duplicate]

The standard derivation But now suppose the space is a ring of length $L$, it seems the derivation could work out exactly the same and we get $$\Delta p \Delta x \geq \hbar/2.$$ But since $\Delta x$ ...
4
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3answers
309 views

Are the authors saying that the observer effect plays no role in Bohr's thought experiment of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle?

Here is an excerpt from Eisberg & Resnick's Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles. Here is introducing Bohr's though experiment to establish a physical origin for the ...
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3answers
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Why do we use Hermitian operators in QM?

Position, momentum, energy and other observables yield real-valued measurements. The Hilbert-space formalism accounts for this physical fact by associating observables with Hermitian ('self-adjoint') ...
5
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4answers
401 views

Is commutation relation an equivalence relation?

I'm now learning quantum mechanics with Liboff. In the book it deals with "a compete set of mutually compatible observables" in order to make a state maximally informative. How can one find such set? ...
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2answers
67 views

How to recognize a Complete Set of Commuting Operators (CSCO)

A question about 'completeness'. These two operators are commuting, but I want to know more about their completeness. How do you know if {H}, {B}, {H,B} and/or {$H^2$,B} are forming (a) Complete Set(...
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1answer
29 views

Taking Measurements of Quantities in QM

I have a quick question relating to Annihilation and Creation operators, and in taking observables in general. Let's say, for instance, that I prepare a particle so that I consider the projection of ...
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2answers
75 views

Trace of an observable [closed]

If $X$ and $Y$ are two observables and $\rho$ is a density operator, is it true that for every complex number $z$ the quantity $$ \mathrm{tr}[\rho (X+zY)^*(X+zY)] $$ is non-negative?
3
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2answers
118 views

If a quantum state is pure why are its observables still probabilistic?

As I understand it, a pure quantum state is one that can be represented as a ket $\lvert\psi\rangle$ in a Hilbert space, and it contains all the information about the state of the system. As such, we ...
7
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2answers
220 views

What is $\langle \phi | H | \psi \rangle$ in QM?

I know that $\langle \phi | \psi \rangle$ is the probability of going from the $\psi$-state to the $\phi$-state, and that $\langle \phi | H | \phi \rangle$ is the expectation value of the energy for ...
3
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1answer
116 views

Quantum mechanics - measuring position

I am watching Susskind's Stanford Lectures on quantum mechanics. The eigenvectors (eigenfunctions) of the position operator are of the form $\delta(x-k)$. But $$\int\delta^{*}(x-k)\delta(x-k)\, \...
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28 views

State after measurement, 'Observable operator on ket' still a physical state?

If we do Sx measurement on initially z direction spin of + state, say |z> state, we will get either |+x> or |-x> state. But if we represent $|z>=\frac{1}{\sqrt2}(|x>+|-x>) $,Then $S_x |z&...
2
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2answers
950 views

Susceptibilities and response functions

It is often confusing whether a susceptibility is the same as a response function, specially that often they are used interchangeably, in the context of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Very ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Is the probability current an observable?

Is the probability current in Quantum Mechanics an observable? If so, how can it me measured (directly or indirectly)?
2
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1answer
60 views

Reason behind the uncertainty principle [duplicate]

I know that Heisenberg Uncertainty principles states that the momentum and position of a quantum object can not be determined at the same time. This is very strange to me. I want the basic reason ...
3
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1answer
110 views

The state space is somehow defined by the observables?

In Quantum Mechanics states of a system are described by vectors in a Hilbert space called the state space while the physical quantities associated to the system are described by hermitian operators ...
5
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3answers
457 views

Reason for Uncertainty principle

$$\Delta x \Delta p_x \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} $$ I understand what does Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states i.e. it's definition and it has been proven experimentally. But, can anyone please ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Which of the properties of particles are intrinsic properties and why? [closed]

For macroscopic objects it's clear that - once observed - the observed property does exist for a while, even if we are no longer observing it. That has to do with the complexity and stability of such ...
2
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4answers
183 views

Is what statisticians call a “random variable” what physicists call an “observable” in QM? [duplicate]

I read at http://www.statlect.com/fundamentals-of-probability/random-variables that A random variable is a variable whose value depends on the outcome of a probabilistic experiment. Its value is ...
2
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1answer
95 views

Conservation of momentum in infinite square well

This is inspired by Griffiths QM section 2.2, on the infinite square well, which is about how far I've gotten (so, sorry if this is addressed later in the book). For any given starting wavefunction, ...
2
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2answers
65 views

Why do $\hat{X}$ and $\hat{P}$ have to correspond to position and momentum?

As far as I understand, in QM we treat observables as operators, and the eigenvalues of these operators are the possible values we can measure of the observables. It is usually simpler to work in the ...
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2answers
1k views

Is the expectation value always an eigenvalue?

Must the expectation value of an observable always be equal to an eigenvalue of the corresponding operator? I already know that 0 is not an eigenvalue, but are there any other examples?
3
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0answers
65 views

Simultaneous measurement of non-commuting observables without uncertainty

A pair of non-commuting Observables $\hat{X}$ and $\hat{P}$ does not have a common set of eigenfunctions, i.e., it can not be measured simultaneously. Let us for the sake of simplicity assume that $[\...
7
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8answers
3k views

What exactly is the 'observer' in physics and/or quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: nature of an observer For instance, in the double slit experiment, what is exactly defined as an observer? I remember from somewhere, light is also an observer?
11
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2answers
507 views

Eigenstate of field operator in QFT

Why don't people discuss the eigenstate of the field operator? For example, the real scalar field the field operator is Hermitian, so its eigenstate is an observable quantity.
8
votes
5answers
400 views

Why does the measurement of some observable $A$, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator?

Explain why when we make a measurement of some observable $A$ in QM, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator $A$.
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Interpretation of $\langle \phi | A | \psi \rangle$ [duplicate]

If the current state of some quantum system is $| \psi \rangle$, what is the physical interpretation of $$ \langle \phi | A | \psi \rangle $$ where $|\phi\rangle$ is some other -maybe the same- ...
4
votes
0answers
63 views

Measuring the Dirac field

If the Dirac field $\psi(x)$ is to the electron as the Electromagnetic field is to the photon, why is it that we can measure the Electromagnetic field, whereas the Dirac field we cannot?
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0answers
46 views

Measuring expectation value in quantum field theory and in quantum mechanics

There is a way of calculating the vacuum expectation value $\langle 0|\hat\phi|0\rangle$ theoretically in a quantum field theory like there is a rule to compute expectation value of any operator A (...
0
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0answers
26 views

What are physical observables that are connected to orbital angular momentum?

We considered a system that is confined to a curved surface. In the quantization process, we have obtained an additional orbital angular momentum that are from the surface geometrical deformation. Now ...
6
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2answers
237 views

Is there a time operator in quantum mechanics?

The question in the title has been asked many times on this site before, of course. Here's what I found: Time as a Hermitian operator in QM? in 2011. Answer states time is a parameter. Is there an ...
4
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2answers
354 views

proof for $\langle q| p \rangle = e^{ipq}$

What would be the proof for $\langle q| p \rangle = e^{ipq}$? Is it derived from canonical commutation relation? ($|q \rangle $ represents the position eigenstate, while $|p \rangle$ represents the ...
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0answers
62 views

How to measure $\mathbb{L}^2$ and $L_z $ simultaneously

What does an experiment look like, in which both quantities are measured simultanously?