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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Spin-1/2 rotation operator: rotation about an angle of $\pi$

The spin-1/2 rotation operator: $$ R_{n}(\alpha) = \begin{pmatrix} cos(\frac{\alpha}{2})-in_{z}sin(\frac{\alpha}{2}) & (-in_{x}-n_{y})sin(\frac{\alpha}{2}) \\ ...
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102 views

Time-ordered product vs path integral

Suppose we have the Green function $$ G(k) \equiv \tag 1\int d^4x e^{ikx}\langle 0| T\left(\partial^{x}_{\mu}A^{\mu}(x)B(0)\right)|0\rangle , $$ which in path integral approach is equal to $$ \tag 2 ...
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43 views

Spectrum of Laplacian on one hemisphere

as is well-known, the spectrum of the Laplace operator on $S^2$, computed via $-\Delta f=\lambda f$, is positive and discrete. What happens to the spectrum if we just take one hemisphere into ...
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34 views

Lorentz invariance of matrix element of Heisenberg operator

The following text is taken by Weinberg book of QFT Volume 1, pg.437 Let's consider $O_l(x)$ an Heinsenberg-picture operator with the Lorentz transformation properties of some sort of free field ...
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Can we create ladder operators for any potential? [duplicate]

I understand the mechanism for the harmonic oscillator, so can we generalize the ladder operator in order to work for any 1-D symmetric potential such as Gaussian potential well?
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Are the eigenstates of an operator time independent?

In the Schrodinger picture, are the eigenstates of an operator time independent? Is it their expectation values that evolve in time rather than the actual eigenstates? For example, say I have an ...
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Why does the measurement of some observable $A$, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator?

Explain why when we make a measurement of some observable $A$ in QM, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator $A$.
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3answers
88 views

Prove time-dependent hamiltonian is hermitian from unitarity of time-evolution operator

When we solve the Schrodinger equation for the time-evolution operator: \begin{equation} i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}U(t,t_{0})=HU(t,t_{0}), \end{equation} We have three cases to be treated ...
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Evolution operator for time-dependent Hamiltonian

When I studied QM I'm only working with time independent Hamiltonians. In this case the unitary evolution operator has the form $$\hat{U}=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}Ht}$$ that follows from this equation $$ ...
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30 views

The commutator between observable and unit radius vector

As I encounter the commutator relating to unit radius vector, I am quite confused. I have just started the learning of quantum mechanics and all I know about the commutator is based on two identities: ...
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45 views

commutation relations in terms of eigenstates scalar product

This question has caught my attention because I was unaware of the fact that the position-momentum canonical commutation relations could be derived out of the only assumption for $\langle x | ...
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71 views

Confusion with time ordering

I am thinking about Proof of correlation function formula in quantum field theory and have realized there is a deeper confusion underpinning that. Consider: $$T\{U_I(T, t_2)\Phi_I(x_1)\}$$ where ...
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Why Use the Non-Relativistic Momentum Operator in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics?

In deriving the Klein Gordon equation one starts out with the relativistic energy relation E^2 = p^2 + m^2 and substitutes the quantum momentum operator that corresponds to non-relativistic QM, p = -i ...
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39 views

Clarification in deriving the radial momentum operator $p_r$

In deriving an expression for $p_r$, a particle's radial momentum, I am unsure what is happening at a certain step. The derivation given in The Physics of Quantum Mechanics by Binney and Skinner is as ...
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162 views

Recovering QM from QFT

Reading through David Tong lecture notes on QFT. On pages 43-44, he recovers QM from QFT. See below link: QFT notes by Tong First the momentum and position operators are defined in terms of ...
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Derivation of canonical position-momentum commutator relation

We know that the position-momentum commutator is fundamental in quantum mechanics, but would it be possible to derive it starting from a different set of first principles, more specifically starting ...
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Fermion Lagrangian with linear momentum versus quadratic momentum

$$ L = \bar{\psi} (\gamma^\mu (p_\mu -A_\mu)- m)\psi \tag{1} $$ $$ L = \bar{\psi} ((\gamma^\mu( p_\mu-A_\mu))^2 - m^2)\psi \tag{2} $$ Is there a difference between the two Lagragians in equations 1 ...
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Definition of leading log terms in one loop corrections for gravity

One loop corrections for gravity usually includes non-local terms in the action such as $R\log(\frac{-\Box}{\mu^2})R$, where $\Box=g^{\mu\nu}\nabla_\mu\nabla_\nu$ is the D'Alembert operator, $R$ is ...
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In the algebraic formulation of Quantum Mechanics, how do probability amplitudes naturally arise?

In the algebraic formulation of quantum mechanics, consider $\mathcal{B}(\mathcal{H})$ as the set of all bounded operators on $\mathcal{H}$ (with involution, norm, etc.), which form a C*-algebra $C$. ...
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Interpretation of $\langle \phi | A | \psi \rangle$ [duplicate]

If the current state of some quantum system is $| \psi \rangle$, what is the physical interpretation of $$ \langle \phi | A | \psi \rangle $$ where $|\phi\rangle$ is some other -maybe the same- ...
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42 views

Second Quantization: The Identity Operator does not Commute?

Let me take the simplest possible example. Consider the fermonic Fock-space $\Lambda^*(\mathbb{C}^n)$ built out of a finite-dimensional, oriented single-particle Hilbert space $\mathbb{C}^n$ with ...
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Books for linear operator and spectral theory

I need some books to learn the basis of linear operator theory and the spectral theory with, if it's possible, physics application to quantum mechanics. Can somebody help me?
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61 views

Operator algebra for momentum and magnetic vector potential

Let $\vec{A}$ be the magnetic vector potential and $\vec{p}$ be momentum. $$ \vec{p} \cdot \vec{A} \psi = (\vec{p} \cdot \vec{A}) \psi + \vec{A} \cdot (\vec{p} \psi) $$ $$ \vec{A} \cdot \vec{p} \psi ...
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118 views

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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3answers
310 views

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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Can momentum have a complex expectation value?

I'm making examples of wave functions to incorporate in a QM exam. I came up with the following wave function, which gives me some troubles: $$\psi(x,0) = \begin{cases} A(a-x), & -a \leq x \leq ...
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2answers
253 views

Mutual or same set of eigenfunctions if two operators commute

If two operators commute, do they have "a mutual set of eigenfunctions", or "the same set of eigenfunctions"? My quantum chemistry book uses these as if they are interchangeable, but they do not seem ...
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1answer
41 views

Expectation to uncertainty

We know that in the case of $O$ being an operator, $\langle O^2\rangle-\langle O\rangle^2$ equals to uncertainty as long as $\langle\rangle$ means the mean value (expectation value). if we have $A$ ...
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What does the Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR) tell me about the overlap between Position and Momentum bases?

I'm curious whether I can find the overlap $\langle q | p \rangle$ knowing only the following: $|q\rangle$ is an eigenvector of an operator $Q$ with eigenvalue $q$. $|p\rangle$ is an eigenvector of ...
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Spin operators in quantum mechanics

I'm reading for my exam on Monday. In my notes I have written that the teacher has told us that: $S_1 \cdot S_2 = [(S_1 + S_2)^2 - S_1^2 - S_2^2]/2 = S_{tot}^2 - \frac{3 \hbar^2}{4}$ Where $S_i = ...
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1answer
75 views

Expectation value of an operator and commutator relation

I have a quantum operator $A.$ It's expectation value is constant respect to time. I mean $$\langle \psi(t)|A|\psi(t)\rangle$$ is a constant values. If I know $|\psi(t)\rangle$ is not an eigenstate ...
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Is there a time operator in quantum mechanics?

The question in the title has been asked many times on this site before, of course. Here's what I found: Time as a Hermitian operator in QM? in 2011. Answer states time is a parameter. Is there an ...
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Inserting the resolution of identity correctly

In a text on path integrals, I find the following: \begin{equation} \langle q_{j+1}|e^{-i(\hat{p}/2m)\delta t}|q_j\rangle = \int\frac{dp}{2\pi}\langle q_{j+1}|e^{-i(\hat{p}/2m)\delta ...
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Perturbation Theory Question

How can you work out the average perturbation, from a normal hamiltonian, of all states that rely on the quantum numbers of s = __ and l = __, with the perturbation being proportional to the product ...
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1answer
71 views

Momentum in quantum harmonic oscillator with step up and step down operators [closed]

I'm hitting a wall in my understanding of the momentum operator in a quantum harmonic oscillator. I've showed that $p = (a^\dagger - a)\sqrt{\frac{m w \hbar}{2}}i$ where $a^\dagger$ and $a$ are the ...
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3answers
103 views

Derivation of momentum operator

From a video lecture on quantum mechanics at MIT OCW I found that you didn't need to know Schrödinger's equation to know the momentum operator which is $\frac{\hbar}{i}\frac{\partial}{\partial x}$. ...
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1answer
77 views

How do we take the limit of this quantum operation?

I am wondering how to take the following limit: \begin{align} L= \lim_{\tau \to \infty} \frac{1}{\tau} \int_{-\tau/2}^{\tau/2} dy \, \left(1 - \frac{1}{\sqrt{ \pi} \sigma } ...
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Hamiltonian in commutator contradiction [duplicate]

Consider the following: $$[ \hat H, \hat x]=\left[-\frac{\hbar^2 \hat p^2}{2m}+V,\hat x\right]\ne0 \text{ in general}$$ But $$[ \hat H, \hat x]=\left[i\hbar \frac{\partial }{\partial t},\hat ...
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Glauber's Formula

In the Cohen-Tannoudji Quantum Physics book, Complement BII, says: [...] two operators $A$ and $B$ with both commute with their commutator. An argument modeled on the preceding one shows that, if we ...
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1answer
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Nonabelian global symmetries, $SO(N)$ charges in terms of creation and annihilation operators

Consider an $SO(N)$ symmetric theory of $N$ real scalar fields,$$\mathcal{L} = {1\over2} \partial_\mu \Phi^a \partial^\mu \Phi^a - {1\over2} m^2 \Phi^a \Phi^a - {1\over4} \lambda (\Phi^a ...
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230 views

Time-ordering and Dyson series

In Dyson series we use a time-ordered exponential by arguing that a Hamiltonian at two different instants of time does not commute. Why is it that so? Can anyone explain with example why should the ...
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Once a quantum partition function is in path integral form, does it contain any operators?

Once a quantum partition function is in path integral form, does it contain any operators? I.e. The quantum partition function is $Z=tr(e^{-\beta H})$ where $H$ is an operator, the Hamiltonian of the ...
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How do I know that I've found all eigenstates of an operator? [closed]

Given some Hermitian operator $\hat{A}$, how do I know that I've found all its eigenstates? For Hermitian $n \times n$ matrices, this is easy, because then I know that that the number of eigenstates ...
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293 views

A particle in a 1D box: what is the meaning of velocity?

In the box $x = 0$ to $x = L$, $V = 0$, and for $x < 0$ and $x > L$, $V = \infty$ (infinite potential well). The eigenvalues of the Hamiltonian are: $$E_n = \frac{n^2 h^2}{8L^2} \, .$$ Since ...
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State operator map, and scalar fields in $R\times S^{D-1}$ to $R^D$

This question is generalized version of my previous questions State operator map in $R \times S^{D-1}$ to $R^D$ , State-operator map, and scalar fields and State operator correponding $i.e$ $S^1\times ...
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71 views

Operators for a Perturbed Hamiltonian: Heisenberg Picture ($\hat{x}$, $\hat{p}$)

Problem I am trying to calculate the Equations of Motion in the Heisenberg picture for $\hat{x}$ and $\hat{p}$ in a perturbed Hamiltonian, $$ \tag{1} \hat{H} = \hat{H}_0 + \hat{H}' $$ Assume ...
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62 views

How to Fourier transform creation/annihilation operators?

Zee's QFT in a Nutshell pages 65-66. For a complex scalar QFT $$ \varphi(\vec{x},t) = \int\frac{d^Dk}{\sqrt{(2\pi)^D2\omega_k}}\left[a(\vec{k})\mathrm{e}^{-i(\omega_kt-\vec{k}\cdot\vec{x})} + ...
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1answer
56 views

Momentum operator derivation in QFT from QM

In David Tong`s QFT notes there is a chapter about the derivation of the momentum operator from quantum mechanics (page 44) where he is showing that the momentum operator can be expressed by the ...
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What is the Physical Meaning of Commutation of Two Operators?

I understand the mathematics of commutation relations and anti-commutation relations, but what does it physically mean for an observable (self-adjoint operator) to commute with another observable ...
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71 views

Do different creation/annihilation operators always commute?

In a complex (non-hermitian) scalar QFT, is it correct that the creation/annihilation operators $a,a^\dagger$ (particle) and $b,b^\dagger$ (anti-particle) commute, i.e. $[a,b] = [a,b^\dagger] = ...