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

Whatever matrix I am seeing in quantum mechanics are 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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107 views

The state space is somehow defined by the observables?

In Quantum Mechanics states of a system are described by vectors in a Hilbert space called the state space while the physical quantities associated to the system are described by hermitian operators ...
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103 views

Commutation relations in quantum mechanics

As we know, simple harmonic oscillator can be solved only by commutation relations between creation and annihilation operators, and the Hamiltonian expression. The spin energy is either solved only ...
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1answer
77 views

What is the origin of the quantum operators for $p$ and $E$? [closed]

It is always stated the quantum operators for p and E are the ones we´re familiar with (the operator for energy, $H=i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}$ and the momentum operator, ...
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73 views

Part of a Wigner theorem [closed]

I was trying to understand why there should exist operator in Hilbert space to correspond to any symmetry transformation and found about Wigner's theorem. In it, I can see that any transformed vector ...
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504 views

What is the physical meaning of weak expectation values?

In the two-state formalism of Yakir Aharonov, the weak expectation value of an operator $A$ is $\frac{\langle \chi | A | \psi \rangle}{\langle \chi | \psi \rangle}$. This can have bizarre properties. ...
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72 views

Commutator relationships and the exponential

I am currently trying to prove that the two following commutator relationships are equivalent (for an operator $\hat{A}(s)$ that depends on a continuous parameter $s$), so if one holds the other one ...
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57 views

Should state vectors be considered constant?

By the principle of superposition, a state vector can be defined as $$\begin{align} \psi(x) &= c_1 \psi_1(x) + c_2 \psi_2(x) + \cdots + c_n \psi_n(x) \\ \lvert\psi\rangle &= \begin{pmatrix}c_1 ...
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96 views

Relationship between Quantum superposition and Uncertainty principle

I'm an amateur in quantum mechanics. I am confused after reading the following in the wikipedia article about quantum superposition: If the operators corresponding to two observables do not ...
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104 views

Eigenstates of Ladder Operators

According ot Griffith's Intro to Quantum Mechanics (page 147), if some function $f$ is an eigenfunction of $L^{2}$, then $L_{-}f$ is also an eigenfunction of $L^{2}$. Is $f$ also an eigenfunction ...
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49 views

Sum and Different and angular momentum operators

Why is $\overrightarrow{L_{1}}+\overrightarrow{L_{2}}$ an angular momentum operator, but not $\overrightarrow{L_{1}}-\overrightarrow{L_{2}}$? What does this show about the applicability of the vector ...
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50 views

Expansion operator for quantum mechanics

As a counterpart to the quantum mechanical translation operator (see for example this post) is there a unitary operator which describes the stretching of a line. That is consider I have a chain of ...
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71 views

Dirac equation from a vierbein operator?

Klein-Gordon equation can be derived straightforwardly by getting the mass-energy relation from special relativity in tensorial form, $$\eta^{\mu\nu}p_{\mu}p_{\nu} = m^2c^2$$ and promoting the ...
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59 views

General expectation value

I have a basic question related to finding expectation values of an operator $\hat{Q}$ We know that the expectation of $\hat{Q}$ (in the position space) is given by $$\langle Q \rangle=\int {\Psi^* ...
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108 views

Derivation of Schrodinger's wave equation

To derive $$i \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial t} \psi = H \psi,$$ we start with $$i \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial t} |\alpha \rangle = H| \alpha \rangle$$ and then multiply by $\langle x|$ on the ...
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1answer
54 views

Why do I get negative expectationvalues when I use ladder operators? [closed]

I'm trying to find the expectationvalue for $p^2$ where $p = i\sqrt{\frac{hmw}{2}}(a_{+} - a_{-})$ and i end up with the following result \begin{align*} \langle \psi_0|p^2|\psi_0\rangle &= ...
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97 views

Individual terms in a Hamiltonian matrix

Reference to Problem 2, Chapter 2 in Modern Quantum Mechanics by JJ Sakurai, Consider the following Hamiltonian of a two state system $$ ...
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445 views

Where does the $i$ come from in the Schrödinger equation?

I am currently trying to follow Leonard Susskind's "Theoretical Minimum" lecture series on quantum mechanics. (I know a bit of linear algebra and calculus, so far it seems definitely enough to follow ...
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1answer
44 views

Spherical Polar Proof for Non-Commutativity of Indivdual Quantum Angular Momentum Operators

How can the following commutation relation be solved through spherical polar coordinates $[\hat{L}_{z}$,$\hat{L}_{x}]$ = $\imath\hbar\hat{L}_{y}$ I understand the derivation through partial ...
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1answer
56 views

Explicit form of the translation operator generators in the Poincare group?

Let $P_0$ be the generator for temporal translation and $P_1, P_2, P_3$ be for spatial translations. Let $p_μ$ be the momentum operator in the $x_μ=x^μ$ direction. I watched a lecture where the guy ...
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110 views

Ladder operators - commutation relations and their properties

At the beginning of Fetter, Walecka "Many body quantum mechanics" there is a statement, that every property of creation and annihilation operators comes from their commutation relation (I'm ...
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2answers
103 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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1answer
59 views

How does this quantisation relation come about?

I'm currently doing a course in string theory and in the lecture notes it is stated: $$ [x^-, p^+]~=~-i \tag{1}$$ I am fine with this. However, after trying (and failing) a question, I looked at ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the Quantum Mechanical Operator for Electric Potential?

I understand that charge and electric potential are conjugate observables in QM. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugate_variables The quantum mechanical operator for charge, q, is simply equal ...
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56 views

how can act fractional operator on kets?

Knowing $\hat{A}\left|ψ\right\rangle$ and $\hat{B}\left|ψ\right\rangle$ , how to find answer of ($\hat{A}+\hat{B} )^ {1/2} \left|ψ\right\rangle $ Note : may $\hat{A}$ and $\hat{B}$ are not in the ...
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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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Advection Operator shift in scalar product

Can someone help me with advection operator shifts? I can't figure out the rule for the shift inside of a scalar product. The terms $(u,(v\cdot \nabla)\delta v)_\Omega$ and $(u,(\delta v\cdot ...
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1answer
106 views

Sakurai Exercise 2.17 (Harmonic Oscillator, Ladder operators) [closed]

I the field of the harmonic oscillator and ladder operators I am trying to solve exercise 2.17 from Sakurai and want to proof the following relation $$ \langle x^{2n} \rangle = (2n - 1)!! \langle ...
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why we dont have “direct” velocity operator just as $p$? ( as use $p$ space not $v$? ) in quantum?

why there is no direct velocity operator on quantum mechanic while there is for mumentum ( $p_{x}=d/dx$ ) Also why use mumentum space not velocity ?
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953 views

Weyl exponential form of the Canonical Commutation Relations

What is the physical meaning of the $c$-numbers $Q, P\in \mathbb{R}$ in the exponent of the Weyl system $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar} Q \hat{p}\right]$ and $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar}P\hat{q}\right]$? ...
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49 views

Orbital angular momentum eigenstates in the $|\mathbf{r}\rangle$ representation

Consider the orbital angular momentum operators $L^2$ and $L_z$. In the $|\mathbf{r}\rangle$ representation using spherical coordinates those operators actions are given by ...
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Can I *always* decompose a normalizable function into the discrete Hydrogen spectrum?

This question has been bothering me for a while now: can one reconstruct an arbitrary (normalizable) function $\phi(\mathbf r)$ in $\mathbb R^3$, with only the discrete set of Hydrogen wavefunctions ...
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175 views

Momentum operator representation

If $\hat{p}$ acts on position eigenstate, it is $$\tag{1}\hat{p}\left|x\right\rangle=+i\hbar\frac{\partial }{\partial x}\left|x\right\rangle .$$ But in general $$\tag{2}\hat{p} = -i\hbar ...
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Proof that trace is independent of representation [closed]

$$\begin{align} \sum_{a'} \langle a'|X|a'\rangle &=\sum_{a',b',b''} \langle a'|b'\rangle \langle b'|X|b''\rangle\langle b''|a'\rangle \\ &=\sum_{b',b''} \langle b''|b'\rangle \langle ...
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Confusion with Weinberg's QFT book, volume 1, chapter 3: time translation and Heisenberg picture

Sorry if this is a naive question, but I am new to QFT. In the treatment of scattering in section 3.1 of The quantum theory of fields, vol.1, Weinberg first presented the general transformation rule ...
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49 views

Proof that a Hermitian Matrix is not defective?

I am taking an introductory course into Quantum Mechanics. To me to seems pretty simple to prove most properties of Hermitian operators. However, I am stuck at an edge case, proving that if an ...
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62 views

QFT: Ground State Momentum - Normalisation of States

In my notes I have, $$ \left\langle \mathbf{p} \left| \mathbf{q} \right.\right\rangle = \left\langle 0 \left| {a(\mathbf{p})}\ {a(\mathbf{q})}^{\dagger} \right| 0 \right\rangle $$ I am not sure how ...
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1answer
94 views

Conservation of momentum in infinite square well

This is inspired by Griffiths QM section 2.2, on the infinite square well, which is about how far I've gotten (so, sorry if this is addressed later in the book). For any given starting wavefunction, ...
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290 views

Wick's theorem for calculating OPE

I am trying to understand a calculation using Wick's theorem. Let $T(z)$ be the analytic part of a stress-energy tensor, and $\phi(z)$ a free boson field. Now, ...
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1answer
99 views

Galilean relativity in QM

Intro I've been trying to show that the generator of boosts can be written in operator form as can be seen here, as: $$ B = \sum_i m_i x_i(t) - t \sum_i p_i $$ As a reminder the transformation ...
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Commutation of two vector operator [closed]

Consider vectors $\overrightarrow { A } $ and $\overrightarrow { B } $ as operators or vector of operators. If this commutation holds$$[\overrightarrow { A },\overrightarrow { B }]=0$$ Then, is that ...
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1answer
131 views

Kronecker sum or direct sum?

When we write $$H=\sum_k H_k$$ in condensed matter physics, are we using Kronecker sum or direct sum? I think this is direct sum. However, Wikipedia says it is Kronecker sum. Can anyone give some ...
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2answers
93 views

Manipulation of operators in quantum mechanics

I'm reading some notes on quantum mechanics that state the following. $$\langle x\rvert \left( \hat{x} + \frac{i\hat{p}}{m\omega}\right) \lvert E \rangle = 0 \Rightarrow \left( x+ ...
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2answers
62 views

Why do $\hat{X}$ and $\hat{P}$ have to correspond to position and momentum?

As far as I understand, in QM we treat observables as operators, and the eigenvalues of these operators are the possible values we can measure of the observables. It is usually simpler to work in the ...
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1answer
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Why aren't $\hat{x}$ and $\hat{p}$ considered functions of time in the expectation value?

In Griffiths Intro to QM (2nd edition), he gives the equation $$ \frac{d}{dt} \langle Q \rangle = \frac{i}{\hbar}\langle [\hat{H},\hat{Q}] \rangle + \left\langle ...
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571 views

Binomial expansion of non-commutative operators

I would like to determine the general expansion of $$(A+B)^n,$$ where $[A,B]\neq0$, i.e. $A$ and $B$ are two generally non-commutative operators. How could I express this in terms of summations of ...
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Why should an generator acts on an operator with the Lie bracket?

When we deal with ordinary symmetries which form a Lie group, we have an corresponding Lie algebra with a structure of Lie bracket $[,]$. A infinitesimal transformation can act on a state or an ...
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123 views

Radial quantum number for infinite circular well

For completeness, I will sketch the solution of a particle in an infinite circular well first and then get to my question. I apologize in advance since the introduction is standard undergraduate ...
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437 views

Is there any theorem that suggests that QM+SR has to be an operator theory?

UPDATE To make my question more precise, I'll define what I mean by an operator theory: An operator theory is a theory in which the dynamical objects are operators, i.e., the equations of motion ...
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159 views

Proof for Negele and Orland equation (2.34)

The equation (2.34) of Negele and Orland has $$\mathcal H_\text{A}(\hat{\mathbf p},\hat{\mathbf x}) = \frac{1}{2m}\left(\hat {\mathbf p} - \frac e c \mathbf A(\hat{\mathbf x})\right)^2.\tag{2.34a}$$ ...