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6
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2answers
556 views

Square of the Pauli matrices and the identity matrix

The square of any of the three Pauli Spin matrices is equal to the identity. Is there any physical meaning to this? Would you expect it? Maybe in the context of the $SU(2)$ group?
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Making an Incomplete Set of Observables Complete

In quantum mechanics, it seems a standard procedure that if you have an incomplete set of observables, then one can make this set complete by adding more commuting observables until the set becomes ...
0
votes
3answers
115 views

Differentiation operator with respect to observable acting as a function of the observable?

In his Principles of Quantum Mechanics Dirac writes: $$\int \langle \phi \frac{d}{dq}|q'\rangle dq' \psi(q')=\int \phi(q') dq' \frac{d\psi(q')}{dq'}.$$ To me it is rather strange, and it seems as if ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Kinetic energy operator in Dirac's relativistic quantum theory

In non-relativistic quantum theory $\hat{K}=\hat{p}^2/2m$, What is the Kinetic energy operator in Dirac's relativistic quantum theory?
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Observables in Quantum Mechanics

Studying on own quantum mechanics I came across: Preceeding text: A basic postulate of quantum mechanics tells us how to set up the operator corresponding to a given observable. Observables, ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

How to compute observables from the boson field operator?

I think I understand that if given the two boson wavefunction of two different states \begin{align} \Psi(\boldsymbol{r}_1,\boldsymbol{r}_2) = \dfrac{ \psi_1(\boldsymbol{r}_1)\psi_2(\boldsymbol{r}_2) + ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

The Eigenstate Existence Problem in Dirac's book 'Principles of Quantum Mechanics'

In Chapter II of Dirac's book Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Dirac explains that in general it is very difficult to know whether, for a given real linear operator, that any eigenvalues/eigenvectors ...
0
votes
2answers
83 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?
0
votes
2answers
85 views

How can $J_1^2, J_2^2, J_{1z}, J_{2z}$ commute mutually?

I'm reading through J. J. Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics book and currently looking at the "Angular-momentum addition" part. Here, it says you have two options and that one option is to ...
1
vote
3answers
121 views

Spacetime, space observables and time observables

It appears to me that the concepts of space and time play a privileged role in Physical Theories. If we look at classical non-relativistic theories such as point particle mechanics, rigid body ...
6
votes
4answers
291 views

Why is Spin Less Classical than Position?

It is often repeated that "the spin observable is purely quantum and has no classical counterpart". What is actually meant by that? I see no principle difference between the set of spin observables ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Probability of measuring two observables in a mixed state

Lets say i have density Matrix on the usual base $$ \rho = \left( \begin{array}{cccc} \frac{3}{14} & \frac{3}{14} & 0 & 0 \\ \frac{3}{14} & \frac{3}{14} & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & ...
2
votes
0answers
152 views

What are you studying when you study a Harmonic Oscillator in QM?

This probably is a naive question - so please forgive a self-studier. In the text I am studying, one builds a HO by placing a particle in a potential that increases quadratically from the origin. The ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Is there any non-hermitian operator on Hilbert Space with all real eigenvalues?

The property of hermitian is the sufficient condition for eigenvalue being real. Is there any non-hermitian operator on Hilbert Space with all real eigenvalues? If there exist, then can all ...
8
votes
1answer
287 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.
3
votes
2answers
206 views

Understanding Well Defined States

I am self-studying from a text in QM. Well defined states are mentioned several times. By and large these are consistent and seem to be readily apparent: states of well defined energy are basis ...
0
votes
2answers
137 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
336 views

What happens with a tunneling particle when its momentum is imaginary in QM?

In classical mechanics the motion of a particle is bounded if it is trapped in a potential well. In quantum mechanics this is no longer the case and there is a non zero probability of the particle to ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

The Physical Meaning behind a Commutator [duplicate]

I've just been introduced to the idea of commutators and I'm aware that it's not a trivial thing if two operators $A$ and $B$ commute, i.e. if two Hermitian operators commute then the eigenvalues of ...
3
votes
3answers
303 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
629 views

Non-Hermitian operator with real eigenvalues?

So we know that in Quantum Mechanics we require the operators to be Hermitian, so that their eigenvalues are real ($\in \mathbb{R}$) because they correspond to observables. What about a non-Hermitian ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Discrete Values for Observables vs Average Values (Quantum Mechanics)

When considering observables and their corresponding operators, would it be correct to believe that discerning discrete values for an observable is possible ONLY when $\psi$ is an eigenfunction of the ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Is $\hat{\phi}^{-}\hat{\phi}^{+}$ a well defined observable in the Quantum field theory of a scalar field?

Is the Hermitian operator $\hat{\mathcal{O}}=\hat{\phi}^{-}(x)\hat{\phi}^{+}(x)$, where $\hat{\phi}^{+}(x)$ is positive frequency part of the scalar field operator, a well defined observable in QFT? ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

Why does a picture of a person seem to be looking in the same direction irrespective of the angle of observation? [closed]

If you observe a picture of a person hanging on a wall who seems to be looking directly towards you always seems to be looking at you even though you change your angle of observation to the extremes. ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

Is kinetic energy in QM a state-property or is it distributed?

Suppose we have a quantum mechanical system, which is well described by its wave function in r-representation $\Psi$. We are interested in the properties of an observable, say the kinetic energy $T$. ...
2
votes
2answers
485 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
212 views

Inexact measurement and wavefunction collapse

As is usually said, measurement of an observable $q$ leads to collapse of wavefunction to an eigenstate of the corresponding operator $\hat q$. That is, now the wavefunction in $q$ representation is ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Particle in a 1-D box and the correspondence principle

Consider the particle in a 1-d box, we know very well the solutions of it. I'd like to see how the correspondence principle will work out in this case, if we consider position probability density ...
2
votes
0answers
86 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
307 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
185 views

Why are Hermitian operators linked to observables?

In Quantum Mechanics, why is it that a self-adjoint operator is linked to an observable? What makes it measureable? And why isn't a non-Hermitian operator linked to an observable? Also, what type of ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

How does linearity of a measurement imply that the commutator of all measured observables are $c$-numbers?

I really don't understand with the linearity conditions I have where this comes from.
1
vote
0answers
98 views

How functions become operators in quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

What used to be functions in the context of classical mechanics like position, linear momentum, angular momentum, etc in quantum mechanics are operators (these operators act on the state to get ...
2
votes
1answer
222 views

What are the Time Operators in Quantum Mechanics? [duplicate]

I don't understand at all what the time operators are in quantum mechanics. I thought that given a wave function, because it's a function of time, we could simple put in any time in the future to find ...
2
votes
1answer
624 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Observable Operator on a Superposition?

I'm probably missing something obvious and basic here but I can't make sense of certain usages of Observables as present in basic treatments of Quantum Mechanics that i've come across. $$ ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Basic Interpretation of Compostion of Observables and their Measurement

Given two (or more) observables $A, B$ which commute one can construct a third observable $C= A \circ B$. If $\psi$ is a common eigenvector of $A, B$ with eigenvalues $\lambda_1, \lambda_2$ then it is ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Weird Behaviour of the act of measurement to a quantum system

I and my friend were disputing about some weird behaviour of the act of measuring some observables quantities e.g. Energy, position. But I still don't think what he said is strictly true. He said" ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Can a distribution with sharper energy maximum than the exp-function give an equivalent theory?

Because for many particles the distribution $\varrho\sim\mathrm e^{-\beta\ H}$ has an extremely sharp maximum, the expectation values of the canonical ensemble agrees with that of the microcanonical ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Expectation Values in Quantum Mechanics

Why is the expectation value what it is? Why don't you apply the operator, then multiply that by it's conjugate?
1
vote
2answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Is the gravity between objects other than celestials observable?

I've always read that all matter has gravity. But, can we observe it? I mean, The Earth pulls us but what about small daily objects? For example, if we release 2 small objects in space, do they get ...
0
votes
1answer
265 views

Wavefunction operators and the observable [closed]

So I got this from the exam I had yesterday. I couldn't really answer it other and it played on my mind through the night Show that if a wave function $\psi$ , is an eigenfunction of an operator [Q], ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Observables - what are they?

I often read in books that an observable is represented by an Hermitean operator. But it is deceiving as operator isn't the observable. As far as I've read the observable is denoted like $\langle ...
1
vote
2answers
428 views

Can we measure “wavefunction” of quantum particles?

We know that there is uncertainty principle, so question: can we ever measure wavefunction of particles? I do not think this is possible, but I am not sure. I guess that everything is probabilistic. ...
21
votes
4answers
520 views

Is every quantum measurement reducible to measurements of position and time?

I am currently studying Path Integrals and was unable to resolve the following problem. In the famous book Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, written by Feynman and Hibbs, it says (at the beginning ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

In what sense is a scalar field observable in QFT?

Consider a QFT consisting of a single, hermitian scalar field $\Phi$ on spacetime (say $\mathbb R^{3,1}$ for simplicity). At each point $x$ in spacetime, $\Phi(x)$ is an observable in the sense that ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What does the quantum state of a system tell us about itself?

In quantum mechanics, quantum state refers to the state of a quantum system. A quantum state is given as a vector in a vector space, called the state vector. The state vector theoretically ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Intuitive meaning of Hilbert Space formalism

I am totally confused about the Hilbert Space formalism of Quantum Mechanics. Can somebody please elaborate on the following points: The observables are given by self-adjoint operators on the ...