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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

10
votes
1answer
330 views

In quantum mechanics, how exactly do we associate Hermitian operators to classical observables? [duplicate]

In a first course on quantum mechanics, everybody learns some version of the following statement: Postulate: To every classical observable $A$ of a physical system, there corresponds a Hermitian ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

How to make an intuitive sense of the definition of Hermitian adjoint? [on hold]

How to make an intuitive sense of the definition of Hermitian adjoint? Why it is defined in that way? What is the different between operators and matrices?
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Euler-Lagrange Equation in Quantum Field Theory

The quantum fields are operator valued distributions. In some sloppy books like Peskin and Schroeder the Euler-Lagrange equation are used to get the equations of motion. What does it mean to take a ...
-2
votes
0answers
52 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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
votes
2answers
159 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? ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Random operator in heisenberg/schrödinger picture (heisenberg's equation of motion) [closed]

Consider a system whose hamiltonian isn't explicitly dependent on time. Let A be the operator for the eigenvalue a in the Schrödinger picture and $A_H=U^\dagger A U$ the corresponding operator in the ...
-1
votes
0answers
48 views

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

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 $...
7
votes
2answers
106 views

Properties of spectrum of a self-adjoint operator on a separable Hilbert space

So, if I understand it correctly, the spectrum of a self-adjoint operator on a Hilbert space $H$ consists of two parts: $ \newcommand{\ket}[1]{\,\lvert{#1}\rangle} \newcommand{\op}[1]{\hat{#1}} $ ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

How to form the matrix representation of $|O|^3$

I'm interested in getting the matrix representation of the absolute value of an operator. I know the matrix representation of the operator $O$. Now how do I take its absolute value?
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Quantum Operators: An Identity

I came across the following neat property: For an operator $\hat{A}$ which is a linear combination of creation and annihilation operators, we have: $$ \langle e^{\hat{A}} \rangle = e^{\langle \...
15
votes
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,...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

How can $\hat p = - i \hbar \partial_q$ be derived starting from the definitions of $\hat q$ and $\hat p$ in terms of creation/destruction operators? [duplicate]

Consider the position and momentum operators $\hat q$ and $\hat p$, defined respectively in terms of creation and destruction operators in the usual way: $$ \hat q = c (\hat a + \hat a^\dagger), \...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Functional Analysis for Quantum Mechnanics [duplicate]

I have completed three sequences of courses in QM, and I'm very much eager to to do the functional analysis of QM on my own in my spare time. Can someone suggest some books? I like books with ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

Quantum non-unitary transformation? [closed]

Let us say that I apply a non-unitary transformation $\def\ket#1{| #1\rangle} \def\braket#1#2{\langle #1|#2\rangle} \hat A$ to the ket's: $$\ket{\psi} \rightarrow \hat A \ket{\psi}$$ $$\ket{\phi}\...
1
vote
3answers
59 views

Time dependence of canonical variables

As far as I understand it, at least in scalar QFT, the canonical variables are the field operator $\hat{\phi}(x)$ and its conjugate momentum $\hat{\pi}_{\phi}(x)=\frac{\partial\mathcal{L}}{\partial\...
4
votes
4answers
588 views

Are quantum operators dimensionless?

I'm slightly confused as to whether quantum (hermitian) operators, which we get by promoting observables to operators, are dimensionless or not? Clearly the Hamiltonian of the system, say of the ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Cross-product within commutator

I've been trying to prove some commutator identities of angular momentum, and I don't want to go brute force and prove for each coordinate seperately. So I tried using the Levi-Civita formalism for ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Does an odd potential commute with parity operator?

I can prove when a Hamiltonian commute with the partity operator if the potential is even. But what about an odd potential? my understanding is that the parity operator mirrors the coordinate system, ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Product of two Pauli matrices for two spin $1/2$

In the lecture, my professor wrote this on the board $$ \begin{equation} \begin{split} (\vec{\sigma}_{1}\cdot\vec{\sigma}_{2})|++\rangle &= |++\rangle \;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;(\...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Derivation involving finite unitary transformation [closed]

Hi I just want to confirm a short derivation involving a particular finite unitary transformation which is important in QM. My working is as follows: Given the finite unitary transformation defined ...
4
votes
2answers
56 views

Heisenberg EOM for $\langle x \rangle$ in momentum eigenstate - where is my error?

Equation of motion for expectation value of a quantum particle in a momentum eigenstate: $$\frac{d}{dt} \langle x \rangle = \frac{1}{i h} \langle [x,H] \rangle$$ and since it's in a momentum ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Question about Eigenvalues of Hermetian Operators Being Real Numbers

I'm still slogging through Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum and I've reached another area that baffles me. Susskind uses the following to show that the eigenvalues of Hermitian operators ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Confusion About Operators

Hello I am currently studying introductory QM and am confused about bases and operators. If I have an operator $\hat{Q}$, does this represent a change of basis matrix? In other words, does $\hat{Q} | \...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Entangled wave function and polarisation operator

I was working on the following problem from Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy by T. Engel (3rd Edition), and was stumped in a few places. I wish get some feedback on my solution The problem is the ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Number operator in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics $a^{\dagger}a$ is defined as the number operator, where $[a,a^{\dagger}]=1$. Why cannot we define $aa^{\dagger}$ as number operator instead of the usual definition?
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Verification of proof of complete set of commuting operators

Hi I am interested in the validity of the following proof. I am interested in the validity of this particular proof as I am aware of how to prove this result in a different way. Theorem: If two ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Expectation value in second quantization

I am stuck calculating a simple expectation value for an operator, which is expressed in second quantization. I know the result, but I fail to proof it. Lets say I have one-particle wave function $|\...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Calculating eigenvalues for operator [closed]

Given relation $[a,a^\dagger]=I$. Operator $K$ is defined as $K=a^\dagger a+\lambda a^\dagger+\lambda^* a$. I need to find the eignevalues of operator $K$. How realtion that involves commutator could ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Why is Wick contraction a $c$-number?

It is mentioned in Fetter's Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems (in contraction part of section 8 Wick's Theorem), that: contractions are c numbers in the occupation-number Hilbert space, not ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Glauber formula, Baker

somewhere I read here: $[A,F(B)]=[A,B]F'(B)$ is used to prove Glauber's formula $\exp(A+B).\exp([A,B]/2)$ I have tried and looked everywhere to try and understand this to no avail. The first is in ...
5
votes
2answers
142 views

Rigorous definition of density of states for continuous spectrum

For operators with pure point spectra it is clear how to count number of states corresponding to a given eigenvalue - one can just calculate the dimension of eigenspaces. I am wondering how to do it ...
3
votes
5answers
194 views

Where does $\hat{P}\psi(x) = -i\hbar \partial_x \psi(x)$ come from?

It's a very basic question, where does the relation $$\hat{P}\psi(x) = -i\hbar \partial_x \psi(x)$$ for any square integrable $\psi(x)$ come into existence? Some texts I found states that the above ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

OPE coefficients identity operator

when I have two canonically normalized operators $\phi_{1}$ and $\phi_{2}$ and I want to compute their OPE in terms of the identity operator, is there any way to actually calculate the first levels of ...
0
votes
0answers
81 views

Parity operators and spin

Consider the following excerpt from Weinberg's Lectures on Quantum Mechanics: I follow everything up until the last statement in the excerpt. In fact, from other things I've read, it seems that one ...
-2
votes
2answers
104 views

Does $[A^2,B]=0$ imply $[A,B]$=0? [closed]

The commutator $[A^2,B]$ can be written as $A[A,B]+[A,B]A$. So if $[A,B]=0$, $[A^2,B]$ is also zero. But is the converse also true? If $[A^2,B]$ is given to be zero, then is [A,B]=0? Let $C=[A,B]$. ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

What is the physical states in Heisenberg picture?

The physics states in Quantum mechanics is represented by vectors in Hilbert space, however in Heisenberg's picture, the equation of motion $$ \frac{d}{dt}A_H(t) = \frac{i}{\hbar}[H,A_H(t)]+\frac{\...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Squeeze operator

If $\phi(x)$ is an arbitrary normalized function, and $S$ the squeeze operator, $$ S=e^{\frac{\mu\cdot h}{2\pi}(a^{\dagger2}-a^{2})} $$ with $\mu \in \mathbb R$. How can I find the value and the ...
3
votes
2answers
211 views

Why do the ladder operators in harmonic oscillators work?

The Hamiltonian can be diagonalized by transforming $x$ and $p$ to $a$ and $a^\dagger$. I understand how one proceeds from there to find the spectrum of $a^\dagger a$, the ground state $|0\rangle$ and ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Is there a difference between the adjoint and conjugate?

Is there a difference between the adjoint and conjugate? I have recently started some work for a quantum field theory module and I'm wondering if there is a difference between the adjoint or conjugate ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Why the constancy of an observable w.r.t time depends on whether it commutes with $H$ or not?

I have been reading Modern Quantum Mechanics by J.J.Sakurai. Under the chapter Quantum Dynamics, the author says if an observable $A$ initially commutes with the Hamiltonian operator $H$, then it ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Question about a formula in the book by Green, Schwarz, Witten

In chapter 7 of superstring theory, it is written $$ g\langle0;k_1|\zeta\cdot\alpha_1V_0(k_2)\zeta_3\cdot\alpha_{-1}|0;k_3\rangle=g\langle0;k_1|\zeta\cdot\alpha_1e^{k_2\cdot\alpha_{-1}} e^{-k_2\cdot\...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Plane wave shift in a differential operator

Does anyone can help me to prove the following equation \begin{equation} e^{-i\vec{k}\cdot\vec{x}}f(\partial_{\mu})e^{i\vec{k}\cdot\vec{x}} = f(\partial_{\mu}+ik_{\mu}) \end{equation} Where $\vec{k}\...
10
votes
2answers
638 views

Non-separable solutions of the Schroedinger equation

I'm studying an undergraduate Quantum Mechanics course and I have some doubts about the solution of the Schroedinger equation by the separation of variables method. If we suppose that the solutions ...
0
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
67 views

Taylor expansion of exponential operator

I have an operator: $$ \hat O = e^{\hat A+\hat B}$$ Is it correct to write its first order Taylor expansion by: $$\hat O = 1+\hat A+\hat B$$
1
vote
0answers
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 $ ?
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Heisenberg Representation of Quantum Computers explain observable transformations

The Heisenberg Representation of Quantum Computers (Daniel Gottesman) http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9807006 Suppose we have a quantum computer in the state $|\psi\rangle$, and we apply the ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Show that partial derivative with respect to time is anti-hermitian [closed]

I have a definition that $$<s_1,s_2> = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty}s_1^*(t)s_2(t) dt$$ I need to show that $\partial_t$ operator which is just the partial derivative with respect to time is anti-...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Annihilation operator in harmonic oscillator

In Wikipedia's QHO page there is a moment when the following is stated: I don't know why "the ground state in the position representation is determined by $a|0\rangle=0$". I would say that the ...