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2
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1answer
206 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
347 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
177 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
985 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
84 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
287 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
165 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
62 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
94 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
198 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
571 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
132 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
157 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
104 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
64 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?
0
votes
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
95 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
215 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
129 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
364 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
506 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
942 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
881 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
730 views

Eigenvalues of a quantum field?

Fields in classical mechanics are observables. For example, I can measure the value of the electric field at some (x,t). In quantum field theory, the classical field is promoted to an operator-valued ...
2
votes
2answers
352 views

Does every measurement correspond to an eigenstate of an observable?

In the postulates of quantum mechanics, physical observables are described by Hermitian matrices on the state space of a system. In another of my questions, the measurements of Rydberg-Ritz spectral ...
3
votes
3answers
242 views

What determines which observables are QM?

Spin, position, and velocity are observables which are QM for quantum particles. My question is, what determines whether an observable is QM or not? For example, why is electric charge not QM? That ...
3
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
459 views

Why is $\int (dp/2\pi) |p \rangle\langle p| = 1 $?

In quantum mechanics, why is $\int (dp/2\pi) |p \rangle\langle p| = 1 $ where $|p \rangle$ represents momentum eigenstate?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

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') ...
3
votes
2answers
365 views

Hamiltonian of oscillators quantized proof

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxrBcN1-BZWUOXNxR1l4S0l2MjQ http://www.2shared.com/complete/Qjy1_uzp/Quantum_Mechanics_in_Simple_Ma.html (I uploaded a pdf file that contains the parts of the ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Proof of Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR)

I am not sure how $QP-PQ =i\hbar$ where $P$ represent momentum and $Q$ represent position. $Q$ and $P$ are matrices. The question would be, how can $Q$ and $P$ be formulated as a matrix? Also, what is ...
3
votes
2answers
285 views

Why does $i ( LK-KL )$ represent a real quantity?

According to my textbook, it says that $i( LK-KL )$ represents a real quantity when $K$ and $L$ represent a real quantity. $K$ and $L$ are matrices. It says that this is because of basic rules. ...
0
votes
0answers
133 views

Direction vector of a physical quantity matrix

A physical quantity can be represented by the following form: $A = a_1\sigma_1 + a_2\sigma_2 + a_3\sigma_3$ where $\sigma$ matrices are Pauli matrices. Also suppose that there is $B = b_1\Sigma_1 + ...
3
votes
2answers
269 views

How to express continuous values as a matrix

Usually a quantity of a matrix is defined as the eigenvalues of the matrix. If so, how can anyone express continuous values, as in Schrodinger picture, into a matrix?
2
votes
3answers
180 views

If $L$ is a matrix that represents real physical quantity, why is $L^2$ non-negative real physical quantity?

In my textbook, it says that when $L$ is a matrix that represents real($\mathbb{R}$) physical quantity, $L^2$ represents non-negative real physical quantity. What would be the proof of this?
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Commutability of two physical quantity matrices

Suppose that two matrices $A$ and $B$, representing real($\mathbb{R}$) physical quantity, can be multiplied commutatively with each other; i.e. $AB =BA$. However, each matrix cannot be multiplied ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the expectation value always an eigenvalue?

Does the expectation value of an observable must be equal to an eigenvalue of the corresponding operator? I already know that 0 is not an eigenvalue, but is there any other examples?
3
votes
4answers
399 views

Complete set of observables in classical mechanics

I'm reading "Symplectic geometry and geometric quantization" by Matthias Blau and he introduces a complete set of observables for the classical case: The functions $q^k$ and $p_l$ form a complete ...
1
vote
2answers
420 views

Symmetries, Generators, Commutators and Observables

I'm learning about generators and conservation laws and have derived the equation (1) $$[Q,A]=-i\hbar f(A)$$ which is satisfied by the observable generator $Q$ for a transformation group with ...
3
votes
1answer
265 views

Does spontanous symmetry breaking affect Noethers theorem?

Does spontanous symmetry breaking affect the existence of a conserved charge? And how does depend on whether we look at a classical or a quantum field theory (e.g. the weak interacting theory)? ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Are the only observables in string theory the S-matrix?

Is the S-matrix the only observable in string theory? What about time varying spacetime backgrounds, or thermal states then?
1
vote
1answer
286 views

Conserved quantum observables from symmetries *with density matrix*

I’ve read Ballentine where he derives the conserved observable operators (momentum, energy, ...) from symmetries of space-time. Can I read up such a derivation in more detail somewhere else or even ...
4
votes
1answer
240 views

The difference between projection operators and field operators in QFT?

Is there a good reference for the distinction between projection operators in QFT, with an eigenvalue spectrum of $\{1,0\}$, representing yes/no measurements, the prototype of which is the Vacuum ...
5
votes
3answers
39 views

Constructing a CP map with some decaying property

Given some observable $\mathcal O \in \mathcal H$ it is simple to construct a CP (completely positive) map $\Phi:\mathcal{H}\mapsto \mathcal{H}$ that conserves this quantity. All one has to observe is ...
5
votes
3answers
388 views

Some questions on observables in QM

1-In QM every observable is described mathematically by a linear Hermitian operator. Does that mean every Hermitian linear operator can represent an observable? 2-What are the criteria to say whether ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Compatible Observables

My QM book says that when two observables are compatible, then the order in which we carry out measurements is irrelevant. When you carry out a measurement corresponding to an operator $A$, the ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Is mass an observable in Quantum Mechanics?

One of the postulates of QM mechanics is that any observable is described mathematically by a hermitian linear operator. I suppose that an observable means a quantity that can be measured. The mass ...