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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Expectation value of operators in quantum mechanics

Can the expectation value of an operator be zero?
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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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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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Finding the Expectation Value of basis states [on hold]

I am a Mathematician and I am taking a Quantum Computing class. We have been asked to find the expectation value of $X$ tensor $Z$ and $H$ tensor $H$. X is the not operator and switches the state the ...
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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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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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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
41 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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117 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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300 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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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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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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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?
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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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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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124 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
36 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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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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Creating a Hermitian function [migrated]

Say I have an operator $A$ such that $A^\dagger = B$. I want to construct a Hermitian function, $f$, of these operators, $f(A,B)^\dagger = f(A,B)$. Is it possible to construct a function $f$ such that ...
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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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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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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 $$A\psi(x)=x\frac{\partial }{\partial x}\psi(x),$$ ...
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Reducing unitary evolution operator of a two-spin system to the evolution operator of one of the spins

Consider a system of two spins $s_1$ and $s_2$, each of which can be in one of two states, represented by 0 or 1. A basis for the Hilbert space of this system would be {|0,0>,|0,1>,|1,0> and |1,1>}, ...
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If I want to determine a particle's momentum or position, do I get this information from the wave function?

I am confused about how one measures the dynamical variables (eg position) of a particle. I thought the wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ was the probability amplitude and $|\Psi(x,t)|^2$ represents the ...
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How to prove that the position operator in momentum is $i\hbar \partial/\partial p$ - One Missing Sign

I am trying to prove that the position operator in momentum space is $i\hbar \partial/\partial p$ but my derivation is missing one sign. Can someone spot the error? Start with $$<\hat x> ...
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Commutator for time?

I know that in quantum mechanics, we can define space as the operator $\hat{x}=i\hbar \frac{d}{dp}$ in momentum space,and that position does not commute with momentum. However, in general relativity, ...
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What am I REALLY doing when I take the Fourier transform of the momentum operator

I was playing around with some equations and found a surprising relationship when I took the fourier transform of the momentum operator Define $\hat P = \frac{\hbar}{i} \partial_x$, then $F(\hat P) = ...
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What is the difference between a parameter, a variable, and an operator in QM?

On the question why time isn't an operator, people will usually say that time is a parameter in QM (Time as a Hermitian operator in QM?) and not a variable. Can someone please distinguish between a ...
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Multivariable functions of Grassmann numbers

I'm trying to derive the closed form of the fermionic coherent state defined by the relation: $$ f_i|\vec{\eta}\rangle = \eta_i |\vec{\eta}\rangle \tag{4.10} $$ My book (Atland and Simons, Condensed ...
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Finding the matrix representation of a superoperator

I am trying to express superoperator (e.g. the Liouvillian) as matrices and am having a hard time finding a way to do this. For instance, given the Pauli matrix $\sigma_y$, how do I find the matrix ...
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Why isn't the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated in terms of spacetime?

As I understand it, there are two "versions" of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: Position-Momentum uncertainty \begin{equation} \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} \end{equation} where ...
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1answer
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A series of bound states covering an interval

Generally, the bound states (normalizable eigenvectors) of a Hamiltonian have discrete eigenvalues. Is it possible for the eigenvalues to cover an interval? Say, $(a,b)$? That is, for each $E \in ...
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1answer
100 views

About the orthogonality of the Hamiltonian eigenstates for the the continuous energy spectrum

I would like first to describe a strange case that I encountered. $ \ \ - $ I solved the Schrodinger equation with a potential barrier (a potential well limited by a finite height wall which decrease ...
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1answer
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Regarding calculations with plane waves

I'm dealing with some basic calculations with plane waves and I'm having some trouble with an idea. It has been said in another question that if you take to momenta like, for example ...
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Expectation value with plane waves [duplicate]

Hey guys Im a little confused with the concept of plane waves and how to perform an expectation value. Let me show you by an example. Suppose you have a wave function of the form ...
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Why does non-commutativity in quantum mechanics require us to use Hilbert spaces?

I am reading Why we do quantum mechanics on Hilbert spaces by Armin Scrinzi. He says on page 13: What is new in quantum mechanics is non-commutativity. For handling this, the Hilbert space ...
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Expanding Operator - Renormalization Group for SIAM

im currently reading a paper about renormalization group theory, especially for the single impurity anderson model. There occurs the approach do expand some fermionic operators via a ...
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1answer
40 views

Multiplication properties about trace of two operators [closed]

Consider two operators $A$ and $B$, their functions $e^A$ and $e^B$ and a basis that mutual diagonalizes $A$ and $B$. Can I say that $$Tr\left[e^Ae^B\right]=Tr\left[e^A\right]Tr\left[e^B\right]~?$$ ...
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1answer
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Tensor operators and transformation of $O^s_{\ell}|j,m,\alpha\rangle$

In H. Georgi's Lie Algebras in Particle Physics one defines a tensor operator transforming under the spin-$s$ representation of $SU(2)$ as the set of operators $O^s_{\ell}$ (for $\ell=-s...s$) such ...
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63 views

Non Hermitian Quantum Mechanics

I was just reading about Non-Hermitian Quantum Mechanics dealing with Hamiltonians $H$ that are not Hermitian operators. Then it is unclear that we get orthonormal eigenstates. Now, I was reading a ...
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1answer
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Different kinds of trace for statistical ensembles

In the chapter 7 of the book "A Modern Course in Statiscal Physics" by L. Reichl, we found $Tr[\hat{\rho}]=1$ for microcanonical ensembles and $Tr_N[\hat{\rho}]=1$ for canonical and grandcanonical ...
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Rectangular window $\psi$ wave-function and the calculus of $\langle p^2\rangle$ for it

I'm currently considering a rectangular window $\psi$ function: $$ \psi(x) = \begin{cases}\left(2a\right)^{-1/2}&\text{for } |x|<a \\ 0&\text{otherwise.} \end{cases} $$ I am interested in ...
4
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Derivation of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation

I was trying to understand the derivation of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation in Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, Section 6.1. Our teacher presented a much simpler derivation, similar to that on ...
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Calculation of $\langle p\rangle$ and $\langle p^2\rangle$ for wave function [closed]

Given the wave function $$\psi(x)=A\exp\left[-a \left(\frac{mx^{2}}{\hbar}+it\right)\right]$$ I would like to calculate $\sigma_{p}$. \begin{align}\langle p\rangle &=\int ...
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1answer
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How does the Hermiticity of an operator imply that functions have an expansion in in multiple bases?

In Shankar QM it is stated that since the $\boldsymbol K$ operator is Hermitian, vectors, which are expanded in the $\boldsymbol X$ basis with components $f(x) = \langle x | f \rangle$, must have an ...
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170 views

Do we need an orthonormal basis in Quantum Mechanics?

I was wondering if it is important in Quantum Mechanics to deal with operators that have an orthonormal basis of eigenstates? Imagine that we would have an operator (finite-dimensional) acting on a ...