4
votes
2answers
145 views

Why is normal ordering a valid operation?

Why is normal ordering even a valid operation in the first place? I mean it can give us some nice results, but why can we do the ordering for the operators like that? Is its definition motivated by ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Measurement of observables with continuous spectrum: State of the system afterwards

Suppose my system, described by a separable Hilbert space $H$, is in the state $\Psi$ when I measure an observable that has only continuous spectrum. What is the state of the system after the ...
2
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Prove the solution of von Neumann equation will never stabilize if Hamiltonian and initial density matrix commutes

Given von Neumann equation $$\frac{d}{dt} \rho(t) = -i [H, \rho(t)] = -i e^{-iHt}[H, \rho(0)]e^{iHt}.$$ If we know that $[H, \rho(0)] \neq 0$, how do we prove in details the solution of von Neumann ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Hilbert space for Density Operators (instead of Banach spaces)

Is it possible to construct a well defined inner-product (and therefore orthonormality) within the set of self-adjoint trace-class linear operators? In the affirmative case, dynamics could be analyzed ...
2
votes
0answers
67 views

Symmetry and Algebra

I'm trying to get a more concrete idea how symmetry is understood in quantum theories, as broad as possible. Consider a infinitesimal transformation of states in quantum physics of the form: $$ ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Eigenstates of a shifted harmonic oscillator

Let's say I have a quantum harmonic oscillator $H = \omega a^\dagger a$, where $a^\dagger$ is the raising operator and $a$ is the lowering operator and $H |n\rangle = \omega n |n\rangle$. Now assume ...
6
votes
5answers
422 views

Differences between probability density and expectation value of position

The expression $\int | \Psi\left(x\right)|^2dx$ gives the probability of finding a particle at a given position. If wave function gives the probabilities of positions, why do we calculate ...
0
votes
2answers
57 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
48 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, ...
3
votes
5answers
222 views

About the definition of expectation value in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics, the expectation value of a observable $A$ is defined as $$\int\Psi^*\hat A\Psi$$ But in probability theory the expectation is a property of a random variable, with respect to a ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Are operators in quantum mechanics linear transformations?

Observables in quantum mechanics correspond to self-adjoint linear operators. If $\psi$ is an eigenvector of $\hat A$, then $\hat A\psi=\alpha\psi$ where $\alpha$ is the eigenvalue of $\psi$. ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

What is the analogy of $|x\rangle$ in quantum field theory?

Let me start from path integral formulation in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. In QM, we have $$ U(x_b,x_a;T) = \langle x_b | U(T) |x_a \rangle= \int \mathcal{D}q e^{iS} \tag{1} $$ ...
6
votes
3answers
311 views

Basis in quantum mechanics

My quantum mechanics textbook (Primer of Quantum Mechanics, by Marvin Chester) says that both the momentum space and the position space are basis spaces. It also says that the momentum space is ...
0
votes
2answers
63 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?
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Why does the probability of obtaining a value of a measurement follow from Dirac's general assumption?

In Dirac's The Principle of Quantum Mechanics he makes the general assumption that "if the measurement of the observable $\xi$ for the system in the state corresponding to $|x\rangle$ is made a large ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

Position Representation in Quantum Mechanics

How does the 3d position operator look like in position representation? I know that in 1d the position operator $\hat{x}$ is just multiplication by $x$.
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Explanation of Dirac's proof of arbitrary ket being expressible with eigenkets of observable

In P.A.M. Dirac's The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Chapter 10 (Observables), pp. 40, at the end of the chapter there is a proof that I don't understand at all. Here is a pdf link to the book ...
14
votes
4answers
514 views

Density matrix formalism

The density matrix $\hat{\rho}$ is often introduced in textbooks as a mathematical convenience that allows us to describe quantum systems in which there is some level of missing information. ...
10
votes
4answers
360 views

Applying an operator to a function vs. a (ket) vector

I have a question regarding the effect of quantum mechanical operators. The definition that I'm familiar with says that an operator $A$ acts on a vector from a Hilbert space, $|\psi\rangle$, and the ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Inner product of position and momentum eigenkets

Let's define $\hat{q},\ \hat{p}$ the positon and momentum quantum operators, $\hat{a}$ the annihilation operator and $\hat{a}_1,\ \hat{a}_2$ with its real and imaginary part, such that $$ \hat{a} = ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Experimental proof of the principle of superposition in QM [duplicate]

I have read that we need all operators in QM to be linear to confirm the principle of superposition which is experimentally well proven. I wonder how such an experiment could be made?
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Transition Between Position and Momentum Basis

I'm having some trouble following pages 55-56 of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. We're trying to transfer from position space into momentum space. Here's a quote: Let us now establish the ...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

Can one construct a new operator in terms of the powers of another operator?

Suppose we have a quantum state, well described by its time-independent wave function Psi. And we have a well-defined Hermitian (self-adjoint) operator $A$. We successfully evaluate the expectation ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Self-adjoint extensions with 'teletransporting' boundary conditions

When choosing a self-adjoint extension of a Hamiltonian, in general one can obtain domains in which (i) the probabilities teleport* between points on the boundary and (ii) boundary conditions ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Expectation value of an operator

Suppose we have: $$ \hat{Q}|\psi_1\rangle=q_1|\psi_1\rangle \\ \hat{Q}|\psi_2\rangle=q_2|\psi_2\rangle $$ with $q_1 \neq q_2$. Then consider the state: $$ ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

Representations in quantum mechanics [closed]

This might be a very simple question. I just want someone to point me the right direction to understand things like this: $$ \langle x|x'\rangle=\delta(x-x') \\ \psi(x)=\langle x|\psi\rangle \\ ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Query on an operator acting on a function

I have a naive question about an operator acting on a well-behaved function. Let us say, we are talking about space translation operator acting on a function $\psi(x)$: ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

How are matrices used to represent quantities, and what is the meaning of a matrix?

So I'm reading this text on Quantum Mechanics, and it goes through a few chapters that I understand fairly well including probability. But then it says that all quantities, like position and energy ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

How to make a base tranformation for a linear operator in QM? [closed]

I have 2 bases A and B with the following kets: Base A: $|a_1\rangle$ and $|a_2\rangle$ Base B: $|b_1\rangle = \frac{1}{\sqrt2} \cdot(|a_1\rangle + i\cdot|a_2\rangle)$ $|b_2\rangle = ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Are there two different ways to express the position operator $x$ in terms of the creation and annihilation operator?

As we known, to express the position operator $x$ in terms of the creation and annihilation operator $a^{+}$ and $a$, one way is: $$x= \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2\mu\omega}}(a^++a);$$ $$p= ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Lippmann-Schwinger solution

What's wrong with this general solution of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation: $$ |\psi_k \rangle=|\phi_k \rangle+G_k V|\psi_k \rangle $$ Taking the inner product with $\langle\phi_{k'}|$ \begin{align} ...
4
votes
4answers
262 views

Complex conjugate of momentum operator

Consider momentum operator representation in position space. $$\hat{p}=-i\frac{\partial}{\partial x} \,\ \text{and its eigen functions are } e^{ipx} \,\text{and} \,\ e^{-ipx}.$$ ...
1
vote
1answer
54 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Diagonalization of Hamiltonian

Typically, one way of understanding the physics of an interacting quantum system is by diagonalizing the Hamiltonian. In principle, can we always diagonalize a Hamiltonian, such that it is expressed ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

Projection operators and their subspaces (of Hilbert space)

I've been watching Susskind's lectures on Quantum Entanglement, and something he said regarding (non-)commuting projection operators confused me. Consider two subspaces {$|a>$} and {$|b>$} of ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Unitary transformation between complete + orthonormal bases

Suppose the complete orthonormal bases $\{|\psi_n\rangle\}$ and $\{|\psi{'}_n\rangle\}$ are related by the transformation matrix $U$: $$ |\psi{'}_n\rangle = U|\psi_n\rangle \\ \langle\psi{'}_n| = ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Uncertainty Definition QM

On my introductory course in Quantum Mechanics, the uncertainty of an operator $A$ in the state $\psi$ is defined by $$(\Delta A)^2_{\psi}=\langle(A-\langle A \rangle_{\psi})^2\rangle _{\psi}$$ I'm ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Quantum Expectation Values

I'm having trouble understanding the motivation for the definition of the expectation of a self adjoint operator $A$: $$\langle A \rangle _\psi=\int_{\mathbb{R}}\psi^*A\hspace{0.2cm} \psi ...
2
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Momentum and position operators in Schrödinger representation

I was going through some intro notes on path integral (for QFT), and am stuck with this equation for position and momentum in Schrödinger (position) representation, $$ \hat{1} =\int ...
3
votes
3answers
224 views

Can the expectation value of the square of momentum be negative?

I've been solving a problem in quantum mechanics, and I was deriving the standard deviation of $P$, knowing that $\langle P\rangle=0$. Because $\Delta P=\sqrt{\langle P^2 \rangle - \langle P \rangle ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Comparing two infinite sets

All the linearly independent eigenfunctions of the parity operator $\mathcal{P}$ form an infinite set and all the linearly independent eigenfunctions of the unit operator $\bf 1$ also form an ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Matrix elements of linear operators - orthonormal basis required?

In an early linear algebra class of mine, I learnt that a linear map $\mathcal{A}$ acting on a vector space could be represented by a matrix $A_{ij}$ according to the rule: $$\mathcal{A}({e_j}) = ...
6
votes
2answers
110 views

Precise meaning of composition of ket and bra, e.g. $|\psi\rangle\langle\psi|$

I'm currently studying density matrices, and have been frequently coming across the construction $$|\psi\rangle\langle\psi| \,.$$ What is the formal meaning of this composition? I understand ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

Writing an arbitrary operator in bra-ket notation

An annoying fact about my physics textbook (Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics) is that it introduces bra-ket notation without telling us how to use it. So I have a two-part question for SE: ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

How to find different operator representations in QM?

I read that any observable operator may be represented as: $$\Omega = \sum_n \omega _n | \omega _n \rangle \langle \omega_n |$$ Where the little omegas are the eigenvectors/eigenvalues of the ...
8
votes
1answer
260 views

Self-adjoint and unbounded operators in QM

An operator $A$ is said to be self-adjoint if $(\chi,A\psi)=(A\chi,\psi)$ for $\psi, \chi \in D_A$ and $D_A=D_{A^\dagger}$. But for the free particle momentum operator $\hat{p}$ these inner products ...
0
votes
3answers
107 views

Position and momentum bases in quantum mechanics

I have seen the following two descriptions of the position basis: $$\tag{1}| x\rangle=\delta(x-x_0)$$ and also $$\tag{2}\langle x_0| x\rangle=\delta(x-x_0),$$ which (if either) of these is ...