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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Representation of operators in quantum mechanics

For which systems we represent the Hamiltonian as a differential operator and for which system we represent it by a matrix? Can the momentum be represented by a matrix operator?
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Quantum mechanic particle

In non relativistic quantum mechanic, we are dealing with a problem involving a particle in one dimensional space, and it has been given the potential and it reads: ...
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Normal ordering

If I understood correctly there are two terms called normal ordering: $:c c^\dagger: = c^\dagger c \hspace{.5cm}$so shifting all creation operators to the left and all annihilation operators to the ...
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Apparent spacetime dependence of creation and annihilation operators

I'm currently going through An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Hartmut Wittig I've stumbled upon. Having trouble with equation (2.29), I'm asking the question: Do creation and annihilation ...
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Constructing differential equation from arbitrary Hamiltonian

Suppose I begin with the time-independent Schrodinger equation $$ \left(-\frac{1}{2m}\partial_x^2 + V(x)\right)\psi_n(x) = E_n\psi_n(x), $$ ordinarily we specify the function $V$ and then solve for a ...
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Where can I find a detailed derivation of the form of two body operators in the second quantization?

I've been looking around online for a couple hours now and I can't find a very informative derivation of the form for two body operators in the second quantization. Is there a resource online ...
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Do we get the same answer at any time if we measure a system's energy?

Schrödinger's equation says that the only allowed energy states of a system are the eigenvalues of the energy operator $H$. This means that if we measure the energy of the system at any time we ...
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Really how can an observable quantity be equal to an operator?

A wave-function can be written as $$\Psi = Ae^{-i(Et - px)/\hbar}$$ where $E$ & $p$ are the energy & momentum of the particle. Now, differentiating $\Psi$ w.r.t. $x$ and $t$ respectively, ...
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Particle in a box - speed probability distribution

Consider a particle in a box with infinite barriers. By solving the Schrödinger we can find the probability of finding the particle at some points in the box. How can we find the probability of ...
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What is the effect of squeezing on the Husimi phase space representation or Q-function?

The effect of the squeezing operator \begin{equation} S = e^{- r (a^2 + a^{\dagger 2}) / 2} \end{equation} on a Wigner phase space representation or W-function of a system with density matrix $\rho$ ...
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Schaum explication of eigenvectors of Lz

In Schaum's Quantum Mechanics, in Chapter 6 Angular Momentum, they say "the eigenvectors of $L^2$ and $L_z$ are functions that depend on the angles $\theta$ and $\phi$ only; hence, we can represent ...
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Change of variables for integral operator

One can write the operator $L=(\sqrt{1-i\partial_x^2}-1)$, as an integral, that is $$(\sqrt{1-i\partial_x^2}-1)B(x,t)=\frac{i}{4\pi^2} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}(\omega(k_o+\kappa)-\omega(k_o))e^{i ...
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Commutators and Operators [closed]

Is commutator of two operators an operator? I searched google but still got no success! I'm very curious to know the answer to this!
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How to transform the Laplacian from momentum space to coordinate space

I'm working through some quantum mechanics problems with solution sets (attempting the problems then looking at the solutions to compare), and a little part of a solution has stumped me. I'm not sure ...
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On linear operators and their complex qualities

In the Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Dirac states that all linear operators $\alpha$ over our vector field (over the complex numbers) can be expressed as the sum of a real and an imaginary part ...
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How are anti-unitary operators applied?

I was reading about anti-unitary operators from Wikipedia. They give an example of an anti-unitary operator: were $K$ is complex conjugate operation. $\sigma_y$ is defined with respect to two ...
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Commuting observables and CSCO's

I've been looking at some basic quantum mechanics all day in an attempt to better my understanding of the subject. While going over the proof that commuting operators are compatible, I started getting ...
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Would $[\hat{Q},\hat{H}]$ correspond to an observable? [closed]

Would $[\hat{Q},\hat{H}]$ correspond to an observable? Where $\hat{Q}$ is an observable and $\hat{H}$ is the Hamiltonian. Surely that would just mean that $[\hat{Q},\hat{H}]$ would commute i.e. = 0?: ...
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Relationship between those two “exponentials”

Let $G$ be a Lie group and $L(G)$ it's Lie algebra. We know that every left-invariant vector field $X$ in $G$ is complete, and so one can consider the integral curve defined for all $t\in \mathbb{R}$ ...
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Expectation value of total angular momentum $\langle J \rangle$

[I am working with Griffiths Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 3rd Edition. My problem is general but if you want to look I am reading from ch 4.1 in which the weak-field Zeeman Effect is being ...
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Motivation to introduce von Neumann algebras in addition to $C^*$algebras?

Observables are self-adjoint elements of a $C^*$algebra. As such, this structure seems sufficient to describe physics. A theorem by Gelfand and Naimark says that a $C^*$algebra can always be ...
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Tensor product of operators in QM

If I wanted to find the coefficients of a linear transformation between 2 vectors in the basis for 2 spin $1/2$ paticles (let's say for starters we are not even looking for a unitary transform): ...
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Uniqueness of expression of a Lie group element

Just take the SU(2) group as an example. The three generators are $J_z$, $J_+$, and $J_-$. For an element $ g $, sometimes we want to express it as $$ g = e^{i a J_+} e^{i b J_z} e^{i c J_-} . $$ ...
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Proofs on operator algebra [closed]

I'd like to ask the community to please verify the first two proofs below and help me get through the last one since I seem to be stuck. Thank you in advance. Proof 1: Given two noncommutting ...
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How might I show that an operator is, by definition, an 'observable'? [closed]

Here is my problem: I understand what is meant by 'observable' but don't have a formal definition at hand. How do I 'show' it?
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Fourier transform of a set of L fermions operators

I have a set of L fermion creation and annihilation operators: $\lbrace{\hat{C}^+_1,...,\hat{C}^+_L\rbrace}$ and $\lbrace{\hat{C}^-_1,...,\hat{C}^-_L\rbrace}$. Every $\hat{C}^+_l,\hat{C}^-_l$ ...
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Adiabatic Theorem in Terms of Eigenvector Derivatives

The necessary conditions for quantum Adiabatic Theorem validity is usually stated in terms of eigenvalue gaps for parameterized Hermitian matrices, or Hamiltonians. If $H(t)$ is a parameterized ...
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Laplace-Beltrami vs d'Alembert operators in flat vs curved space-time

I am confused with the difference between Laplace-Beltrami (LB) and d'Alembert operators in flat/curved space-time. d'Alembert operator in flat space-time (Minkowski) is defined as $$\Box= ...
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When can I swap around the order of operators?

I was doing this question: Using $\left< x \middle| p\right> = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi \hbar}}e^{ipx/\hbar}$ show that: $$ \left<x \middle| \hat{p} \middle| \psi \right> = -i\hbar ...
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How to act an operator on a two-particle spin state?

I'm doing an assignment for my quantum class at the moment and I'm having trouble figuring out how to act a Spin operator on a two-particle state - specifically in finding the eigenvalues - I've spent ...
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$su(1,1) \cong su(2)$?

The three generators of $su(2)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ [J_0 , J_\pm] = J_\pm , \quad [J_+, J_- ] = +2J_0 .$$ The three generators of $su(1,1)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ ...
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How can I tell if the spectrum of an operator in QM is degenerate?

I know that the collection of all the eigenvalues of an operator $\hat{Q}$ is called its point spectrum, and sometimes two or more linearly independent eigenfunctions share the same eigenvalue, and in ...
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Why/How is this Wick's theorem?

Let $\phi$ be a scalar field and then I see the following expression for the square of the normal ordered version of $\phi^2(x)$. $$T(:\phi^2(x)::\phi^2(0):) ~=~ 2<0|T(\phi(x)\phi(0))|0>^2 $$ ...
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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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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, ...
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Quantum Harmonic Oscillators

I'm having trouble with quantum harmonic oscillators and I'm not sure how to approach these questions: . I'd really like to get my head around these concepts but I'm struggling to understand fully. ...
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How do you find the projection operator onto an eigenspace if you don't know the eigenvector?

I was working on exercise 2.60 of Nielsen-Chuang which is as follows: Show that $\vec{v}\cdot\vec{\sigma}$ has eigenvalues $\pm 1$, and that the projectors onto the corresponding eigenspaces are ...
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Can I Weyl-order the following Hamiltonian?

I am trying to perform a path integral but I am having trouble with the Weyl ordering of my Hamiltonian. The Lagrangian of the system in question is $$L~=~\frac{1}{2}f(q)\dot{q}^2,$$ where $f(q)$ ...
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When trying to see what symmetries an operator generates, how do you “decide” what coordinate to apply it to?

Suppose I have $\hat{O}_{1}=-i\hbar\partial_{x}$ then \begin{eqnarray} e^{-i\gamma\hat{O}_{1}/\hbar}x\,e^{i\gamma\hat{O}_{1}/\hbar}=x+\gamma \end{eqnarray} and \begin{eqnarray} ...
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Fluctuation operator and partial wave

Can someone please explain to me why the expression $[-\Box + U''(\Phi(r))]$ is called the fluctuation operator? I was also wondering how to derive the following for the $l^{th}$ partial wave of the ...
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Time Evolution of Position Operator

I am trying to understand why $$e^{-it\triangle}xe^{it\triangle}=x-2it\nabla$$ where $x$ is just multiplication operator by $x$. In particular, the text says this can be seen by differentiating with ...
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Does the time ordering operator have a rigorous definition?

In quantum field theory, the time ordering operator (TOO) appears in the formal expressions for the scattering amplitudes. It acts upon a product of operators that each depends on time, and returns ...
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What exactly implies the need of quantum mechanics for self-adjoint and not only symmetric operators? [duplicate]

We know that quantum mechanics requires self-adjoint operators, not only symmetric. Can we say that this follows ONLY from the two following axioms of quantum mechanics, namely that each observable ...
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Deriving cross product from angular momentum algebra

Is it possible to derive: \begin{equation} \hat{L}=\hat{r}\times \hat{p} \end{equation} from the angular momentum algebra: \begin{equation} [\hat{L}_i,\hat{L}_j]=i\ \hbar\ \epsilon_{ijk}\hat{L}_k\ ? ...
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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 ...
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What is the idea behind canonical quantization?

From what I understand, canonical quantization of a classical theory consists of replacing the observables by abstract operators, of which only the commutation rules, which have to correspond to the ...
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About shift operators

The question is this: Does $$L_+ L_- Y_{lm} $$ ,where $Y_{lm}$ is a spherical harmonic function, equals to zero. If so, why? The two operators above are defined as $$L_+ ={L_x + iL_y } $$ $$L_-={L_x ...
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Physical significance of Cayley Transform

In the book on Quantum Mechanics by Capri (in Chapter 6), its said that an operator $A$ is self adjoint if the operator, $U$ given by $$ U = (A - i I)(A + i I)^{-1} = -(I+iA)(I-iA)^{-1} = -\text ...
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Why do $S_x$ and $S_y$ flip up/down spin states but $S_z$ does not?

By using the notation $S\lvert s,m_s\rangle$, such that $\bigl\lvert\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2}\bigr\rangle=\lvert+\rangle$ and $\bigl\lvert\frac{1}{2},-\frac{1}{2}\bigr\rangle=\lvert-\rangle$ we can ...