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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Confusion with rotation operator definition in Shankar

In Shankar quantum mechanics on page 306-307 it has the following: 12.2. Rotations in Two Dimensions Classically, the effect of a rotation $\phi_0\mathbf{k}$, i.e., by an angle $\phi_0$ about ...
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Unitary change of X Basis: Shankar Exercise 7.4.9 [closed]

I'm currently working through Shankar's Quantum Mechanics and am stuck on one of his exercises. In Exercise 7.4.9 Shankar would like us to show that: if $\mid x \rangle$ is changed to $\mid ...
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1answer
177 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
55 views

Time derivative of $\hat p$ under time varying Hamiltonian

How does one show that $$ \frac {d\hat p}{dt} = \frac 1{i\hbar}[\hat p, \hat H]$$ is valid even when Hamiltonian is time dependent explicitly? I can see that this is true when $\hat H$ is time ...
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1answer
172 views

Mathematical motivation of OPE?

In Peskin & Schroeder (and also Cheng which I have skimmed through) they motivate the Operator Product Expansion with a lot of words. Is there any way to motivate it mathematically, e.g. Taylor ...
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Commutator $[\hat{p},F(\hat{x})]$ of Momentum $\hat{p}$ with a Position dependent function $F(\hat{x})$?

I heard from my GSI that the commutator of momentum with a position dependent quantity is always $-i\hbar$ times the derivative of the position dependent quantity. Can someone point me towards a ...
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1answer
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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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Interpreting some domain issues of (potential) momentum operators

In the context of mathematical quantum mechanics, a well known no-go theorem known as Hellinger-Töplitz tells us that an unbounded, symmetric operator cannot be defined everywhere on the Hilbert space ...
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1answer
54 views

Proof of inability to obtain global phase

I'm curious if there's a quick proof of the inability to obtain global phase from a quantum state, since they're supposedly indistinguisable. I suppose to measure this, you would need a Hermitian ...
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2k views

Differences between symmetric, Hermitian, self-adjoint, and essentially self-adjoint operators

I am a physicist. I always heard physicists used the terminology "symmetric", "Hermitian", "self-adjoint", and "essentially self-adjoint" operators interchangeably. Actually what is the difference ...
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547 views

What is the commutator of an operator and its derivative?

Is it possible to calculate in a general way the commutator of an operator $O$ which depends on some variable $x$ and the derivative of this $O$ with respect to $x$? $${O}={O}(x)\\ ...
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117 views

Time evolution of a quantum system

A quantum system has Hamiltonian $H$ with normalised eigenstates $\psi_n$ and corresponding energies $E_n$ ($n = 1,2,3...$). A linear operator $Q$ is defined by its action on these states: $$ ...
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Position operator in QFT

My Professor in QFT did a move which I cannot follow: Given the state $$\hat\phi|0\rangle = \int \frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^3 2 E_p} a^\dagger_p e^{- i p_\mu x^\mu}|0\rangle,$$ he wanted to show that this ...
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What exactly is $\hat{\psi}^\dagger(x)$? An operator or a function?

I've recently read Cohen-Tannoudji on quantum mechanics to try to better understand Dirac notation. A homework problem is giving me some trouble though. I'm unsure if I've learned enough yet to ...
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Difficulties with bra-ket notation

I have started to study quantum mechanics. I know linear algebra,functional analysis, calculus, and so on, but at this moment I have a problem in Dirac bra-ket formalism. Namely, I have problem with ...
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39 views

Is it sensible to speak of the parity operator in 4 dimensional Hilbert space?

So I'm dealing with a system of two qubits, with the hamiltonian given by $$H = \left[ \begin{array}{cccc} a & 0 & -b & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & 0 & -b\\ -b & 0 & 0 & 0\\ 0 ...
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1answer
377 views
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177 views

Grassmann number representation for fermions

How one can simultaneously represent fermionic operators and its corresponding Grassmann variables, so that all the anticommutation relations between them and also states would take place? $$ ...
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103 views

Momentum operator in Dirac formalism

Could you derive the momentum operator as follows: Since $\mathcal{T}(\Delta x)=\exp(-ip_{x} \Delta x/ \hslash)$, if we set $\Delta x=x-0$ then it follows that $\left \langle x\right | ...
7
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1answer
152 views

Is there a formalism for talking about diagonality/commutativity of operators with respect to an overcomplete basis?

Consider a density matrix of a free particle in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Nice, quasi-classical particles will be well-approximated by a wavepacket or a mixture of wavepackets. The ...
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2answers
60 views

Finding the spectrum of a curious hamiltonian

I wish to analyse the following hamiltonian, i.e. find its eigenvalues and eigenstates. $$H = \frac{1}{2}\epsilon(\sigma _z \otimes \mathbb{1} + 1\otimes \sigma _z) - \Delta (\sigma _x \otimes \sigma ...
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1answer
85 views

Where does the partial derivative come from in Sakurai's derivation of the momentum operator?

How is the momentum operator derived in Dirac formalism? I am reading Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai and he gives the following derivation. But I don't understand how he goes from the third equation to ...
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3answers
218 views

How to derive $[x_i, F(\vec p)] = i \hbar \frac {\partial F(\vec p)}{\partial p_i}$

Wikipedia indicates that the following relation is "easily shown": $[x_i, F(\vec p)] = i \hbar \frac {\partial F(\vec p)}{\partial p_i}$, however I'm having some trouble showing it. I think I'm just ...
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1answer
57 views

Defining creation and annihilation operators

Creation and annihilation operators can be defined in several different ways, some more general than others. We usually choose to denote by $a$ the annihilation operator and by $a^\dagger$ the ...
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371 views

Find $\hat{x}$ operator given $\hat{p}$ operator

This is problem $1.2$ of Molecular Quantum Mechanics by Atkins, 4th edition. I'm given the momentum operator $$p=\sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2m}}(A+B)$$ with $$[A,B]=1$$ and I need to find $x$ in this ...
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Mathematical understanding of Quantum Mechanics

Assuming that $\phi(r) = F (\psi(r))$ for some operator $F$ in Quantum Mechanics. Then, in our lecture today, we said that $$\phi(r) = \langle r|F |\psi\rangle = \int_{\mathbb{R}} \langle r |F| r' ...
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2answers
90 views

Domain of simple quantum harmonic oscillator

When discussing the spectral theory of unbounded operators, one often starts with an operator defined on a densely defined subspace of your Hilbert space, and then proves that the operator is ...
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3answers
169 views

Intuition on positive-operator valued measures (POVM)

I'm having a little trouble understanding what positive-operator valued measure (POVM) are- in particular why/how they are non-negative. For instance, if they just represent measurements, what about ...
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1answer
427 views

The cleverest way to calculate $\left[\hat{a}^{M},\hat{a}^{\dagger N}\right]$ with $\left[\hat{a},\hat{a}^{\dagger}\right]=1$

Who can provide me some elegant solution for $$\left[\hat{a}^{M},\hat{a}^{\dagger N}\right]\qquad\text{with} \qquad\left[\hat{a},\hat{a}^{\dagger}\right]~=~1$$ other than brute force calculation? ...
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1answer
80 views

Momentum Representation vs Position Representation

We are given an operator $g$ from $\mathcal{l}^2(\mathbb{Z})$ to $\mathcal{l}^2(\mathbb{Z})$, i.e., the space of functions that are square summable over $\mathbb{Z}$ such that ...
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Split property for type III algebras entails practical separability

I am reading Halvorson's thesis (http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/346/1/main-new.pdf), however I don't understand a proof at p.50 where he tries to explain why the split property allows a local agent ...
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Does the commutator of anything with itself not vanish?

In a quantum mechanics exam one question was to write the commutator of a couple of operators. Everybody got points taken away since they did not write $[Q_i, Q_i] = 0$ for all the operators $Q_i$ in ...
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1answer
79 views

Determine eigeinvalue and eigenvector of two operators R and L [closed]

Question: Let H be a Hilbert space with countable-infinite orthonormal basis ${|n>}_{n \in N}$. The two operators R and L on H are defined by their action on the basis elements \begin{align} ...
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1answer
30 views

Translational operator on potential

In https://wiki.oulu.fi/download/attachments/14553161/lattice.pdf I have a problem with the translational operator: The second line under the first figure says $$\tau^\dagger(a)V(x)\tau(a)=V(x+a).$$ ...
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An Operator Identity relating to Trace [duplicate]

Suppose that $\hat H$ is an operator (typically a Hamiltonian) and $\beta$ is a positive parameter (typically $\beta=1/k_BT$). Show that $$ \mathbf{Tr}\Big(e^{-\beta\hat H}\Big) \geq ...
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184 views

Classical Hamiltonian involving product of factors whose quantum analogues don't commute

Dirac remarked in his quantum mechanics book: One can usually assume that the Hamiltonian is the same function of the canonical coordinates and momenta in the quantum theory as in the ...
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1answer
66 views

Does there exist a state for which $\Delta\sigma_x^2=\Delta\sigma_y^2=0$? If not, how does one prove it?

I just realized that the uncertainty principle says that $$\Delta\sigma_x^2 \Delta\sigma_y^2 \ge \left(\overline{\hat\sigma_z}\right)^2,$$ where ...
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1answer
99 views

Uncertainty in position and kinetic energy

How do you find the uncertainties for $x$ and $K$? Knowing that the general uncertainties = $$ \sigma_A \sigma_B \geq 1/2\int \psi ^*[\hat A,\hat B] \psi dx\, $$ I figured out the commutator, for ...
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2answers
346 views

Where to place the operator?

I believe it's standard to place the operator in between the conjugate of the wavefunction and the wavefunction itself. For instance, $$\langle p\rangle = \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\Psi * ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Why is $\hat{p} \circ \hat{p}$ the operator corresponding to $p^2$?

I understand from several heuristic arguments that in one dimension, the quantum-mechanical operator $\hat{p} = -i\hbar\,\partial_x$ corresponds to the classical momentum $p$, in the sense that a ...
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2answers
93 views

Why are holomorphic boundary CFT2 primary operators massless in the AdS3 bulk?

I saw a claim in this paper that holomorphic boundary CFT$_2$ primary operators correspond to massless states in the AdS$_3$ bulk. Specifically, As always, we simplify the situation by assuming ...
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4answers
2k views

Applications of the Spectral Theorem to Quantum Mechanics

I'm currently learning some basic functional analysis. Yesterday I arrived at the spectral theorem of self-adjoint operators. I've heard that this theorem has lots of applications in Quantum ...
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0answers
46 views

Where Does the Exponent Come From in the Expression for the Rotation Operator

I am currently reading John S. Townsend's "A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics." In section 2.2 he introduces the $\hat J$ operator, which he refers to as "the generator of rotations." He gives the ...
6
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1answer
146 views

Self-adjointness

I know I have posted this question before some time ago. But no one could help so I decided to put my problem in another background. The Schrödinger equation of a free scalar field is given by ...
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1answer
240 views

Evaluate $\langle \mathbf{p} | 1/\hat{r} | \mathbf{p}' \rangle$

In Sakurai's Problem 1.27 b), we use $\langle \mathbf{r} | \mathbf{p}\rangle = e^{i\mathbf{p}\cdot\mathbf{r}/\hbar}$ to show that $$ \langle \mathbf{p} | F(\hat{r}) | \mathbf{p}' \rangle = ...
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130 views

Commuting operators and Direct product spaces

Under what conditions is the common eigenspace of two commuting hermitian operators isomorphic to the direct product of their individual eigenspaces? When can an eigenket $|\lambda$1$\lambda$2$>$ ...
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2answers
47 views

How does Dirac conclude that $X_r(c_r)$ cannot vanish?

On page 32 of Dirac's book Principles of Quantum Mechanics, he considers the case when the linear, Hermitian$^1$ operator $\xi$ satisfies an algebraic equation $$\phi(\xi)\equiv(\xi - c_1)(\xi - ...
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1answer
73 views

How to prove that if the expectation value of $A$ in any state is real, then $A$ is Hermitian?

If the expectation value of operator $A$ in any state is real, then $A$ is Hermitian. there is an uncompleted proof: $$ \int(c_1\psi_1+c_2\psi_2)^* A (c_1\psi_1+c_2\psi_2)dx$$ ...
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1answer
48 views

Mapping Issues with Unbounded Operators

Consider the operator-valued generalized function $\phi^{(k)}_{l}:=\phi^{(k)}_{l}$ on space-time $\mathcal{M}$. Now, smooth the operator-valued generalized function with test function $f(x)$ ...
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76 views

Density matrix formalism and group representation

The postulates of quantum theory can be given in the density matrix formalism. States correspond to positive trace class operators with trace 1 on a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$. Composition is defined ...