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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Commutator for time?

I know that in quantum mechanics, we can define space as the operator $\hat{x}=i\hbar \frac{d}{dp}$ in momentum space,and that position does not commute with momentum. However, in general relativity, ...
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73 views

What am I REALLY doing when I take the Fourier transform of the momentum operator

I was playing around with some equations and found a surprising relationship when I took the fourier transform of the momentum operator Define $\hat P = \frac{\hbar}{i} \partial_x$, then $F(\hat P) = ...
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72 views

What is the difference between a parameter, a variable, and an operator in QM?

On the question why time isn't an operator, people will usually say that time is a parameter in QM (Time as a Hermitian operator in QM?) and not a variable. Can someone please distinguish between a ...
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2answers
50 views

Multivariable functions of Grassmann numbers

I'm trying to derive the closed form of the fermionic coherent state defined by the relation: $$ f_i|\vec{\eta}\rangle = \eta_i |\vec{\eta}\rangle \tag{4.10} $$ My book (Atland and Simons, Condensed ...
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2answers
84 views

Finding the matrix representation of a superoperator

I am trying to express superoperator (e.g. the Liouvillian) as matrices and am having a hard time finding a way to do this. For instance, given the Pauli matrix $\sigma_y$, how do I find the matrix ...
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93 views

Why isn't the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated in terms of spacetime?

As I understand it, there are two "versions" of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: Position-Momentum uncertainty \begin{equation} \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} \end{equation} where ...
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1answer
37 views

A series of bound states covering an interval

Generally, the bound states (normalizable eigenvectors) of a Hamiltonian have discrete eigenvalues. Is it possible for the eigenvalues to cover an interval? Say, $(a,b)$? That is, for each $E \in ...
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1answer
108 views

About the orthogonality of the Hamiltonian eigenstates for the the continuous energy spectrum

I would like first to describe a strange case that I encountered. $ \ \ - $ I solved the Schrodinger equation with a potential barrier (a potential well limited by a finite height wall which decrease ...
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1answer
40 views

Regarding calculations with plane waves

I'm dealing with some basic calculations with plane waves and I'm having some trouble with an idea. It has been said in another question that if you take to momenta like, for example ...
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2answers
47 views

Expectation value with plane waves [duplicate]

Hey guys Im a little confused with the concept of plane waves and how to perform an expectation value. Let me show you by an example. Suppose you have a wave function of the form ...
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3answers
734 views

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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1answer
41 views

Multiplication properties about trace of two operators [closed]

Consider two operators $A$ and $B$, their functions $e^A$ and $e^B$ and a basis that mutual diagonalizes $A$ and $B$. Can I say that $$Tr\left[e^Ae^B\right]=Tr\left[e^A\right]Tr\left[e^B\right]~?$$ ...
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1answer
69 views

Tensor operators and transformation of $O^s_{\ell}|j,m,\alpha\rangle$

In H. Georgi's Lie Algebras in Particle Physics one defines a tensor operator transforming under the spin-$s$ representation of $SU(2)$ as the set of operators $O^s_{\ell}$ (for $\ell=-s...s$) such ...
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68 views

Non Hermitian Quantum Mechanics

I was just reading about Non-Hermitian Quantum Mechanics dealing with Hamiltonians $H$ that are not Hermitian operators. Then it is unclear that we get orthonormal eigenstates. Now, I was reading a ...
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1answer
62 views

Different kinds of trace for statistical ensembles

In the chapter 7 of the book "A Modern Course in Statiscal Physics" by L. Reichl, we found $Tr[\hat{\rho}]=1$ for microcanonical ensembles and $Tr_N[\hat{\rho}]=1$ for canonical and grandcanonical ...
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2answers
116 views

Rectangular window $\psi$ wave-function and the calculus of $\langle p^2\rangle$ for it

I'm currently considering a rectangular window $\psi$ function: $$ \psi(x) = \begin{cases}\left(2a\right)^{-1/2}&\text{for } |x|<a \\ 0&\text{otherwise.} \end{cases} $$ I am interested in ...
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66 views

Derivation of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation

I was trying to understand the derivation of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation in Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, Section 6.1. Our teacher presented a much simpler derivation, similar to that on ...
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2answers
87 views

Calculation of $\langle p\rangle$ and $\langle p^2\rangle$ for wave function [closed]

Given the wave function $$\psi(x)=A\exp\left[-a \left(\frac{mx^{2}}{\hbar}+it\right)\right]$$ I would like to calculate $\sigma_{p}$. \begin{align}\langle p\rangle &=\int ...
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1answer
38 views

How does the Hermiticity of an operator imply that functions have an expansion in in multiple bases?

In Shankar QM it is stated that since the $\boldsymbol K$ operator is Hermitian, vectors, which are expanded in the $\boldsymbol X$ basis with components $f(x) = \langle x | f \rangle$, must have an ...
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3answers
184 views

Do we need an orthonormal basis in Quantum Mechanics?

I was wondering if it is important in Quantum Mechanics to deal with operators that have an orthonormal basis of eigenstates? Imagine that we would have an operator (finite-dimensional) acting on a ...
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1answer
45 views

Trace of derivatives of unitary operators [closed]

I have been studying some lecture notes on the non-linear sigma model and I came up with some difficulties involving a trace. I have the following unitary operator $$ U=\exp\left( ...
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2answers
116 views

Proving that conservation of momentum doesn't apply to electron in H-atom

To prove that the conservation of linear momentum doesn't apply to electron in H-atom, is it sufficient to show that angular momentum operator ($\hat L$) and momentum operator ($\hat p$) do not ...
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1answer
37 views

Can changing representation change the meaning of density operator?

I had posted a question What is the actual meaning of the density operator?. After that I understood that if I have the expression of a density operator $$\rho=\sum_{i=1}^{i=k}p_i|\psi_i\rangle ...
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51 views

Basis spin states

We are given a system of $N$ spin states and the following (non-hermitian) Hamiltonian $$H = \frac{N \hbar \nu}{2M} \sin(\alpha)+ \sum_{i=1}^N \frac{\hbar \omega_i }{2} \sigma_{z,i} + \frac{\hbar \nu ...
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32 views

Hamiltonian of a linear chain of atoms and canonical quantization

When we want to re-formalize the Hamiltonian of a linear chain of atoms which has the following form: , we define the ladder operators as: and we use the following relations: to show that we ...
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25 views

Bopp operators and Wigner-Weyl representation

I am learning about the Wigner-Weyl transformations to move a c-number Lindblad operator A(x,p) back into operator form. As far as I know, to move back and forth normally requires a four variable ...
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2answers
49 views

Can one representation of a projector operator be re-arranged to get another?

I have a vector space $V$ and a subspace of $V$, $W$. Let $P$ be the projection operator for subspace $W$. Also let the dimension of $W$ be $d$. Also I have two orthonormal basis $(a_1,a_2,...a_d)$ ...
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2answers
90 views

Group representation acting on operators (QFT)

I have found in many texts the following statement: Let $T_g$ be a representation of a group (of transformations, e.g. rotations, translations, Lorentz transformations ) acting on a given Hilbert ...
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3answers
120 views

Does quantum mechanics only deal with Hermitian/self-adjoint operators?

Whatever matrix I am seeing in quantum mechanics all all Hermitian matrices. We are using their eigenvalues for different types of work. Fortunately all their eigenvalues are real. Have you ever seen ...
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3answers
116 views

The Hermitian operator can have many outer product representations?

Let $H$ be a Hermitian operator, so it can be written as $$H=\lambda_1P_1+\lambda_2P_2........\lambda_kP_k,$$ where $\lambda_i$ are eigen values and $P_i$ corresponding projector operators for the ...
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36 views

Charge operator and the Goldstone boson

Can you explain a one question from Goldstone theorem about charge operator, what does it mean when theory said that charge operator annihilate vacuum and even it create new state of vacuum, which is ...
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42 views

How can we prove the quantum mean of the operator $a_{\vec{k}}^{\dagger}a_{\vec{k}^{\prime}}$? [closed]

Suppose that the total momentum of a system is conserved, namely $[p,H]=0$. So, how can we prove the quantum mean of the operator $a_k^{\dagger}a_{k^{\prime}}$ in the language of second quantization ...
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0answers
29 views

What is the physical significance of the two integration constants that appear in the ladder operator decomposition of the Quantum Hamiltonian?

If I have a simple one dimensional Hamiltonian of the form \begin{align} H = V - \partial_x^2 \end{align} and if I know one zero energy state solution $H\psi_0=0$ then I can use the Wronskian to ...
2
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1answer
113 views

Is there a connection between Lie Groups and observable quantities in physics?

Good evening everybody. I have some questions about the relation between Lie groups and observables in physics. Indeed, taking the example of spin formalism of Quantum mechanics I know that Pauli's ...
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93 views

Calculating the square of angular momentum operator in cylindrical coordinates

I want to evaluate the square of angular momentum, $L^2$, in cylindrical coordinates. I found components of $L$ in cylindrical coordinate. How can I find eigenvalue and eigenfunction of $L_z$?
2
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1answer
128 views

Is there a simple way of finding the eigenstates of the creation and annihilation operator in QM?

How can I find the eigenstates of creation and annihilation operator in QM? My attempt: Such eigenstate will obey: $$ a^{\dagger} |\psi \rangle = \alpha |\psi \rangle. $$ We can expand $|\psi ...
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1answer
35 views

Finding a basis for minimal representation of a wavefunction (extracting symmetries)

I asked something like this on Math StackExchange, but now that I think about it, this probably belongs better over here. I want to find all linear operators (non necessarily hermitian) $\{\hat{A}\}$ ...
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1answer
51 views

Divergence in the total momentum opertator in QFT

The classical expression for the total momentum operator is $$P^{i} = -\int d^3x \, \pi(x) \, \partial_{i} \phi(x),$$ which, after second quantisation, using $$\hat{\phi}(x) = \int \frac{d^3k}{(2 ...
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2answers
126 views

QM: operators like $\hat{\mathbf{r}} \cdot \hat{{\mathbf{p}}}$

How would we treat an operator of the form $ \hat{\mathbf{A}} \propto \hat{\mathbf{r}} \cdot \hat{{\mathbf{p}}} $ ? Would it have eigenstates that are also eigenfunctions of position and/or momentum? ...
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1answer
76 views

Where does this commutator relation come from?

What is the origin of this relation: $$ [H,a_n^\dagger] = \epsilon_n a_n^\dagger $$ for Hamiltonian $H$, creation operator $ a_n^\dagger $, and eigenvalue $ \epsilon_n $. The square brackets denote ...
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1answer
43 views

Wigner's Theorem and discrete Symmetries

According to my skript: A pure state is a ray: $\quad$ $\{λψ\}$, where $ψ ∈ \mathcal H$, $||ψ|| =1$ fixed and $λ ∈ \mathbb C$, $|λ| = 1$. Pure states are uniquely given by 1-dimensional orthogonal ...
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1answer
56 views

How can I write the anderson hamiltonian as a matrix? [closed]

How can I write this Hamiltonian: $$ H = \sum E_d \hat{n}_d + \sum_k \epsilon_k\hat{n}_k + \sum_k V_{kd} (\hat{a}^\dagger_k \hat{a}_d + \hat{a}^\dagger_d \hat{a}_k) $$ in matrix form using its ...
2
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0answers
83 views

Lorentz transformation - Bjorken & Drell

I'm trying to derive (14.25) in Bjorken & Drell (B&D) QFT. This is $$\tag{14.25}U(\epsilon)A^\mu(x)U^{-1}(\epsilon) = A^\mu(x') - \epsilon^{\mu\nu}A_\nu(x') + \frac{\partial ...
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230 views

How did the operators come about?

This relates a little bit to my previous question (Experimentally, what categorizes a measurement as corresponding to a certain observable?), but it's different in a way and more historical. One of ...
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34 views

How does Dirac define the representative of $\{\langle\phi\frac{d}{dq}\}\psi\rangle = \langle\phi\{\frac{d}{dq}\psi\rangle\}$

On pate 89 of Dirac's book, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, he writes: Let us treat the linear operator $\frac{d}{dq}$ according to the general theory of linear operators of section 7. We ...
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172 views

Does the Hermitian operator $H=-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$ have imaginary eigenvalues?

In quantum mechanics, Hermitian operators play a very important role because they possess real eigenvalues. Considering $-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$, it is a Hermitian operator (Actually it's the simplest ...
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2answers
121 views

Why is quantum mechancis is not content with symmetric operators, but wants self-adjoint operators?

A symmetric operator has only real eigenvalues and different eigenvectors corresponding to different eigenvalues are orthogonal. These are exactly what we want for a physical observable. I think ...
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1answer
162 views

Discrete vs Continuous spectra of operators [duplicate]

Why is it that if an operator $Q$ has a discrete spectra, that the eigenfunctions are all in Hilbert space? Why is it that if the spectrum is continuous we automatically know that the eigenfunctions ...
4
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4answers
262 views

What is the right order of creation operators?

I started to learn some basics of second quantisation and specifically its use in quantum chemistry. Currently I'm reading this book by Péter R. Surján, and here is small excerpt from it. If one ...
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311 views

Hilbert space and Hamiltonians

Assume a system described by a Hamiltonian H, and assume that the eigenstates of H, $φ_i$(r) are integrable in absolute square. We say that these states belong to a Hilbert space (they can even form a ...