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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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 \;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;(\...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Matrix elements of momentum operator in position representation

I have two related questions on the representation of the momentum operator in the position basis. The action of the momentum operator on a wave function is to derive it: $$\hat{p} \psi(x)=-i\hbar\...
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Deriving the expectation of $[\hat X,\hat H]$

For a free particle of mass $m$, with Hamiltonian $$\hat{H} = \frac {\hat{P}^2} {2m},$$ where $$\hat{P} = -i \hbar \frac{\partial} {\partial x}.$$ The commutative relation is given by $$[\hat{X}, \...
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What's wrong with this derivation that $i\hbar = 0$?

Let $\hat{x} = x$ and $\hat{p} = -i \hbar \frac {\partial} {\partial x}$ be the position and momentum operators, respectively, and $|\psi_p\rangle$ be the eigenfunction of $\hat{p}$ and therefore $$\...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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} | \...
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2answers
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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 ...
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68 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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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60 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 $|\...
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372 views

Ladder Operator killing state

So in my last question, @joshphysics showed me how to prove $K_\pm$ were ladder operators. Now I need to show that there is a lowest state, i.e $$\langle m_0|K_+=K_-|m_0\rangle=0$$ I am not ...
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1answer
51 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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320 views

Simple QFT simulation - how to do it

I would like to write a simple QFT simulation for a free scalar field with a cubic interaction term. However, I got stuck a bit. I will try to describe what I think I understand. I want to have a ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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The Momentum Operator in QM

I've seen the 'derivation' as to why momentum is an operator, but I still don't buy it. Momentum has always been just a product $m{\bf v}$. Why should it now be an operator. Why can't we just multiply ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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{\...
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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 $C=[A,B]$. ...
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65 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 ...
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1answer
160 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 ...
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212 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 ...
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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 ...
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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}\...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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\...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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: $$\hat O = 1+\hat A+\hat B$$
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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 $ ?
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1answer
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Why can we not choose the stress tensor in a CFT to be identically symmetric?

The stress tensor for a conformal field theory (or any quantum field theory) can be derived from the action $S$ by the functional derivative $$T^{\mu \nu} ~=~ -\frac{2}{\sqrt{|g|}}\frac{\delta S}{\...
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2answers
48 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 ...
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1answer
97 views

Transforming to a rotating frame in the $x$-basis

I was reading this paper on analytically Solvable driven time-dependent two level quantum systems. The Hamiltonian considered in the paper is the following: $$H=\sigma_z\cdot J(t)/2)+\sigma_x\cdot h/2$...
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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 ...
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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-...
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81 views

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle derivation in a ring [duplicate]

The standard derivation But now suppose the space is a ring of length $L$, it seems the derivation could work out exactly the same and we get $$\Delta p \Delta x \geq \hbar/2.$$ But since $\Delta x$ ...
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Why are eigenfunctions which correspond to discrete/continuous eigenvalue spectra guaranteed to be normalizable/non-normalizable?

These facts are taken for granted in a QM text I read. The purportedly guaranteed non-normalizability of eigenfunctions which correspond to a continuous eigenvalue spectrum is only partly justified by ...
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Writing operator evolution as a quantum dynamical map

In the Heisenberg picture we have the evolution of the operator in time given by: $$A(t)=U^+A(0)U$$ I was looking into the theory of open quantum systems where we introduce the concept of a quantum ...
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Representing operators in the Glauber-Sudarshan P-representation

If $| \alpha >$ represents a coherent state (the normalized right eigenstate of the destruction operator $a$ in Quantum Mechanics; $\alpha$ is a complex number), then it is known that: \begin{...
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Time-ordering of fermion operators

If $A$ and $B$ are fermion operators then the time ordering is defined as \begin{eqnarray} T(AB) = \left\{ \begin{array}{rl} AB, & \mbox{if $B$ precedes $A$}\\ -BA, & \mbox{if $A$ precedes $B$...
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Calculating the expectation value of spin [closed]

Consider the state-space with a base formed by the eigenstates of the operator $\hat{S}_z$. For the state $|\phi\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt2}|+\rangle_z-\frac{1}{\sqrt2}|-\rangle_z$, what is the value of $\...
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33 views

Uncoupled and coupled bases for electrons in hydrogen atom?

I'm given that for an electron in a hydrogen atom, $L=2$ and $S=1/2$ (quantum numbers associated with $L^2$ and $S^2$). I'm also given that for the uncoupled representation, the basis function is $|L,...
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82 views

Time-ordered product of two normal-ordered products of fields

Suppose you have a scalar field theory with field operators $\phi(x)=\phi(x)_+ + \phi(x)_- $ that can be decomposed into terms of annihilation and destruction operators. Let $$ D(x-y) = <0|T(\phi(...