In physics, an operator is almost always either a square matrix or a linear mapping from one space of functions (often on $\mathbb{R}^N$ or $\mathbb{C}^N$) to the same or other like space of functions. Operators serve as *observables* and as *time evolution operators* in Quantum Mechanics. This tag ...

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How to calculate the expectation value of position/momentum using path integrals?

Sorry for the lack of a good description, I'm writing this on my mobile. Will update with the formula used, etc. ASAP.
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28 views

How to calculate the expectation value of position vector?

$$\psi (\vec{x})=Ae^{-(1/4a^2)|\vec{x}-\vec{x}_0|^2}e^{i\vec{p}_0\cdot \vec{x}/\hbar}$$ The wave function is like this, then how is the expectation value of position vector (not position) calculated? ...
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67 views

The equivalence between Heisenberg and Schroedinger pictures

In quantum mechanics, the two pictures of Schroedinger and Heisenberg are taken as equivalent, where in the former wavefunctions are time variants and operators are not, and in the latter it is the ...
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2answers
81 views

What is the Hermitian adjoint of operator $\hat{K}\psi = \psi^*$?

For many operators, their adjoint can be expressed as a function of other known operators, for example $$\hat{T}_a^\dagger = \hat{T}_{-a} \\ \hat{p}_x^\dagger = \hat{p}_x$$ where $\hat{T}_a \psi (x) = ...
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1answer
28 views

How to pull out the momentum operator?

In the equation (1.7.17), how does operator $p$ get out of the bracket without any operation though $<a | $, $| x'>$ are function of $x'$? How to prove this?
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45 views

Representation of operator in “$a$-representation” [on hold]

I have an operator, $X$ say, which is given by a simple phase-shift of the annihilation operator $a.$ I've been asked to give the matrix of $X$ in the $a$-representation, but I was hoping someone ...
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4answers
224 views

Understanding the Quantum Vacuum State [duplicate]

In terms of the creation and annihilation operators $a_{j}$ and $a_{j}^{\dagger}$ (fermionic or bosonic, doesn't matter): Is the vacuum state $\mid\mathrm{vacuum}\rangle$ exactly the zero vector on ...
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$n^\text{th}$ operation of creation and annihilation operators on vacuum

My question is similar to the that posted in this link. In particular I would like to express the following expression in the most compact form: $(\hat{a}^\dagger(x)+\hat{a}(x))^n\vert0\rangle$, ...
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2answers
81 views

Binomial expansion of non-commutative operators

I would like to determine the general expansion of $(A+B)^n$, where $[A,B]\neq0$, i.e. A and B are two generally no-commutative operators. How could I express this in terms of summations of the ...
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142 views

Calculating $\langle x | \hat{x} | p \rangle$ in $p$ basis

I am trying to calculate $\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ p\rangle$. I can work in the $x$-basis like so: $$\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ p\rangle=\int dx'\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ x'\rangle\langle x'\ |\ ...
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1answer
42 views

Total angular momentum operator

How do the eigenfunctions of the total angular momentum operator analytically look like? I mean the operator is given by $J = L+S$ so the eigenfunctions have to be tensor-product states, right? Can ...
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41 views

Apply Hamiltonian to position eigenstates

Let $\hat{H}$ be the free Hamilton operator, is it then true that $$\langle {\bf r}| \hat{H} ~=~ - \frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \Delta \langle {\bf r}|~?$$ Where $\Delta\equiv \nabla^2$. I currently don't see ...
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76 views

Prove that this operator is unitary

$\hat{O}\equiv(1/\sqrt{2\pi})\int e^{-iNz}dz$ $\hat{O}^\dagger\equiv(1/\sqrt{2\pi})\int e^{iN'x}dx$ We have the operator $\hat{O}$ and its Hermitian adjoint $\hat{O}^\dagger$, in the one dimensional ...
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1answer
34 views

Can someone clarify what should and should not be an operator in my verification of the 1D solution to the SE for a free particle?

I just worked out the 1D free particle solution to the Schrödinger equation. My wave function was \begin{equation} \psi(x,t) = Ae^{i(px-Et)/\hbar} \end{equation} So I plugged this into both sides ...
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48 views

Simultaneous eigenket

J. J. Sakurai states in his "Modern Quantum Mechanics", this fact as a theorem ($\pi$ is the parity operator): Suppose $$[H,\pi]=0$$ and $| n>$ is a nondegenerate eigenket of $H$ with ...
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105 views

Unitary operator algebra and multiplying by identity

If $\hat{H}$ is Hermitian, with eigenvalues $a_k$, then $$\hat{H} = \sum_k a_k \left|\psi_k\right> \left<\psi_k\right|.$$ I read that it then follows that $$\begin{align*} e^{i\hat{H}} = ...
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1answer
48 views

Commutator between square position and square momentum [duplicate]

I need (as a part of one exercise) to find commutator between $\hat{x}^2$ and $\hat{p}^2$ and my derivation goes as follows: $$[\hat{x}^2,\hat{p}^2]\psi = [\hat{x}^2\hat{p}^2 - ...
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1answer
53 views

Computing $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$

Given Hamiltonian $H=\frac{P^2}{2}+\frac{\omega^2}{2}Q^2$, compute $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$, where $T$ is the time-ordering of the product, $|0\rangle$ is the ground state. Now set ...
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1answer
58 views

Problem with momentum operator

Why is there no problem with the eigenfunction of the momentum operator being non-normalisable? How can it be a valid quantum state?
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37 views

RH side of the Uncertainty principle: when is it a number and when an expectation value?

The uncertainty principle between the position $x$ and the momentum $p$ is given by: $$ \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \hbar/2,$$ whereas for the $x$ and $y$ components of the angular momentum is given by: ...
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204 views

Why are the spin operators defined as they are?

$$\begin{align*}S_z &= \frac{\hbar}{2} \left(\left|+\right>\left<+\right| - \left|-\right>\left<-\right|\right)\\ S_y &= i\frac{\hbar}{2} \left(\left|-\right>\left<+\right| - ...
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1answer
35 views

Product on Tensor Products

I'm trying to understand how products on tensor products work. For instance, in quantum mechanics, you have ($x$ tensor $y$) times ($z$ tensor $a$), where $x$, $y$, $z$, $a$ are all operators acting ...
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1answer
86 views

How much information does the Hamiltonian contain in quantum mechanics? [closed]

Given a Hamiltonian, let's say of a many-body system, through the Schrodinger equation,in principle we can find the eigenfunctions and their corresponding eigenvalues (spectrum). Now given an ...
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Why we cannot describe operator for force $F$ in quantum mechanics?

In quantum mechanics we describe operators corresponding to momentum but we don't define operator for force what is the reason behind it?
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How to find creation and annihilation operators? [duplicate]

I get confused when trying to find this. Please describe it as simply as possible, but keep in mind I have no budget whatsoever to pay for textbooks, so here goes: How do you find the creation and ...
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52 views

Why are the charge operator $Q$ and the baryon number operator $B$ unbounded?

A friend recommended me to read PCT, Spin and Statistics, and All That written by R. F. Streater and A. S. Wightman. In page 5 to 6, here's what the authors of this book have to say: [...] In ...
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Expectation value of operators in quantum mechanics

Can the expectation value of an operator be zero?
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41 views

Show that a function takes the following form using the definition for the function of an operator

If $f(z)$ is a function with a Taylor series expansion $$f(z)=\sum _{ n=0 }^{ \infty }{c_n z^n },$$ then we define $$f(M)=\sum _{ n=0 }^{ \infty }{c_n M^n }.$$ First consider ...
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56 views

The delta function as an eigenfunction of the position operator explanation

$\delta (\textbf{r})$ can be interpreted as a wavefunction. [...] It is non-vanishing only for $\textbf{r}=0$. [...] $\delta(\textbf{r})$ is an eigenfunction of the position operator with ...
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When generalizing from discrete (but infinite) eigenstates to continuous eigenstates, Why do we change the definition?

The propagator function for discrete eigenstates is $$u(t)=\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}|E_n\rangle\langle E_n|e^{-iE_nt/ \hbar } \tag{1}\ .$$ But when we have continuous eigenstates, (like for the case of ...
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80 views

Why tensor product? [duplicate]

Let $A$ an $B$ be two discrete observables (like spins). When exactly and why we have to consider their tensor product when talking about the mutual observation of the corresponding phenomena?
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154 views

How can mean value of a quantity $be$ an operator?

In Laundau & Lifshitz Quantum Mechanics. Non-relativistic theory in $\S29$ a problem is given: PROBLEM Average the tensor $n_in_k-\frac13\delta_{ik}$ (where $\mathbf{n}$ is a unit vector along ...
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1answer
42 views

Connection between half and whole integer eigenvalues for orbital angular momentum [duplicate]

I have been trying to follow this derivation from Sakurai and Shankar, pulling from both. I would like to see how the following derivation can be extended to orbital angular momentum, and thus find ...
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3answers
125 views

Expression of density operator

States in Quantum Mechanics can be thought of as density operators, i.e., positive semi-definite, normalized trace class operators on a Hilbert Space $\mathcal{H}$. In the case ...
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328 views

Can expectation value be imaginary?

I was solving a problem and the result of the expectation value of an operator came out to be $-\frac{\hbar}{4}$ $i$. Is this result possible? It seems counter intuitive.
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Find the eigenvalues of the operator [closed]

A projection operator $P$ is defined as $P^2$=$P$. Use this definition to find the eigenvalues of this operator. In this question is it necessary to define what the projection operator is? And ...
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30 views

Mutually Commutative

What is the definition of a Mutually Commutative set of operators? I've found articles describing a complete set of mutually commutative operators, but I can't actually find what mutually commutative ...
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1answer
106 views

Is the Hilbert space spanned by both bound and continuous hydrogen atom eigenfunctions?

As e.g. Griffiths says (p. 103, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed.), if a spectrum of a linear operator is continuous, the eigenfunctions are not normalizable, therefore it has no ...
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1answer
44 views

Cayley's expansion

Is Cayley's expansion $$\exp(-iH\delta t) \psi(x,t)=\frac{1-\frac{i\delta t}{2}H}{1+\frac{i\delta t}{2}H}\psi(x,t)$$ valid for any operator $H$? What conditions should $H$ fulfill?
3
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1answer
108 views

States in light cone string theory

Currently I'm trying to understand string theory in the light cone quantization. I just have had a look into Polchinski (Vol. 1, Introduction to the bosonic string), because – as far as I could see – ...
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108 views

QM rotation operator

I have seen the proof that for fermions a rotation of $2 \pi$ does not return a spin angular momentum eigenstate to its original form, but instead multiplies the wavefunction by $-1$. Here is an ...
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2answers
134 views

Fock Space and fermionic annihilation & creation operators

I have been trying very hard to understand, I am reading Ballentine's book on this topic, but I need help: I realized that I don't understand how many particle states work with the creation & ...
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1answer
37 views

A conjecture about the Møller operator

Consider the Møller operator $$ \Omega_+ = \lim_{t \rightarrow -\infty } e^{i H t } e^{- i H_0 t } , $$ Now, suppose a state $\psi $ is located far away from the potential $V = H- H_0$. I feel that ...
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Does this Hamiltonian have point spectrum?

Consider such a Hamiltonian $$ H = - \frac{1}{2} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2} - F x + V(x) ,$$ with $F$ being some constant, and $V(x)= V(x+L)$ being some periodic potential. Does this ...
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What is the correct way to treat operators that has “time” in QM? [duplicate]

I don't know if this question has already been resolved but considering that $i\hbar\partial_t$ is the energy operator, and $\partial^2_t$ is the waves operator (or helmholtz), I can't accept that $t$ ...
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116 views

What is the expectation value of the position times momentum operator?

Should I write the expectation of the position times momentum operator as: $$\langle xp\rangle = \langle \psi|x (-i\hbar \partial_x) |\psi \rangle$$ or $$\langle xp\rangle = \langle \psi| (-i\hbar ...
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What is the missing step in this result regarding the creation operators in Fock space?

In the above extract from Simons and Altman: Condensed Matter Field Theory, I am having trouble getting from (2.3) to (2.4) in the case of Fermions (ζ=-1 and the n(subscript i) values are modulo 2). ...
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84 views

Bounded operator - definition?

As mentioned also in Bounded and Unbounded Operator, an operator $A$ is said to be bounded, if $$\|Af\|\leq k \|f\|,$$ where the constant $k$ does not depend on the choice of $f$ (let us consider a ...
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27 views

Showing a measurement operator has a particular form

I came across an exercise (Ex 1.16) in 'Quantum Measurement and Control' by Wiseman and Milburn that I am having some trouble with. Suppose we have some system $S$ coupled with two meters in states ...
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Wave functions as $x$ goes to infinity

This problem emerged when I was going through some QM exercises: I've been asked to find the commutator $[A,B]$ where $A,B$ are defined as $$A\psi(x)=x\frac{\partial }{\partial x}\psi(x),$$ ...