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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Matrix representing the quantity - why can some matrices not be physical quantity?

In Heisenberg picture, my textbook says that the following matrix $A = \frac{5}{3}\Sigma_1 + i\frac{4}{3}\Sigma_2$ cannot represent physical quantity. the book says this is because ...
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677 views

Observable: possible outcome of measurement vs (linear) transformation

One of the postulates of quantum mechanics is that every physical observable corresponds to a Hermitian operator $H$, that the possible outcomes of the measurements are eigenvalues of the operator, ...
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700 views

Rotation matrix is always a unitary operator

Can someone explain why the rotation matrix is a unitary, specifically orthogonal, operator?
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Heisenberg picture of QM as a result of Hamilton formalism

Let's have formula of full time-derivative of physical value in Poisson's formalism: $$\tag{1} \frac{df}{dt} = -[H, f]_{P. br.} + \frac{\partial f}{\partial t}, $$ where $[A, B]_{P. br.}$ is Poisson's ...
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Derivatives of operators

How do derivatives of operators work? Do they act on the terms in the derivative or do they just get "added to the tail"? Is there a conceptual way to understand this? For example: say you had the ...
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371 views

Existence of adjoint of an antilinear operator, time reversal

The time reversal operator $T$ is an antiunitary operator, and I saw $T^\dagger$ in many places (for example when some guy is doing a "time reversal" $THT^\dagger$), but I wonder if there is a ...
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Derivative of a Position Eigenket

I was flicking through Zettili's book on quantum mechanics and came across a 'derivation' of the momentum operator in the position representation on page 126. The author derived that ...
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Linearizing Quantum Operators [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Linearizing Quantum Operators I was reading an article on harmonic generation and came across the following way of decomposing the photon field operator. $$ ...
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813 views

How To Use Ladder Operators?

I'm studying for a test in quantum mechanics and I'm having a hard time understanding how to use ladder operators. There are no examples in my text book, only definitions that I can't understand how ...
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Identity of Operator Product Expansion (OPE)

I have one more s****d question in Polchinski's string theory book, Eqs. (2.3.14a) $$ j^{\mu}(z) :e^{ik \cdot X(0,0)}:~ \sim~ \frac{k^{\mu}}{2 z} :e^{ik \cdot X(0,0)}:,$$ where $j^{\mu}_a ...
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242 views

Physical meaning of some operators formed by $|Q\rangle \langle Q|$

In Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics, Suppose that $q$ represents position observable. About $|q\rangle \langle q|$: what does this operator mean? I do get that it results in an operator, but ...
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A physical quantity that is a real combination and commutability

Suppose that a matrix $$A ~=~ x_1 B + x_2 C$$ is a linear combination of two self-adjoint matrices $B$ and $C$. I'm interested in when $A$ represents a physical quantity. When the linear ...
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Commutators involving functions

I am looking for the commutator: $$[e^{aq},p]$$ My approach is to Taylor expand the function: $$[\sum_n \frac{1}{n!}(aq)^n,p]$$ I know that $[q^n,p]=ni\hbar q^{n-1}$ So how do I account for $n$ ...
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564 views

Commutator of Momentum with a Position dependent function

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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Why there is no operator for time in QM? [duplicate]

Is there one central reason why there is no "Time" operator in QM? I know this question has been asked before, but I thought I would try to stimulate some fresh thinking.
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Time ordering and Fermions

Having time ordering operator for fermions, should it reverse sign if it swaps operators with opposite spin variable? In other words should $T[c_{t_1,\uparrow}c_{t_2,\downarrow}^\dagger]$ return ...
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Product of exponential of operators

in the context of non-relativistic quantum mechanics I want to show that, for any $A$ and $B$ operators $$e^{A}e^{B}=e^{A+B} $$ if and only if $$[A,B]=0$$ I remember my professor told use about ...