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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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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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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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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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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208 views

Is kinetic energy in QM a state-property or is it distributed?

Suppose we have a quantum mechanical system, which is well described by its wave function in r-representation $\Psi$. We are interested in the properties of an observable, say the kinetic energy $T$. ...
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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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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 ...
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Differentiation operator with respect to observable acting as a function of the observable?

In his Principles of Quantum Mechanics Dirac writes: $$\int \langle \phi \frac{d}{dq}|q'\rangle dq' \psi(q')=\int \phi(q') dq' \frac{d\psi(q')}{dq'}.$$ To me it is rather strange, and it seems as if ...
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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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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 $L_z$?
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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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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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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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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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Time-ordering in QFT

In Srednicki QFT page 37. In the derivation of LSZ reduction formula, he introduces the time-order operator $T$, so no time-dependent creation/annihilation operators are left in the transition ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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164 views

Lippmann-Schwinger solution

What's wrong with this general solution of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation: $$ |\psi_k \rangle=|\phi_k \rangle+G_k V|\psi_k \rangle $$ Taking the inner product with $\langle\phi_{k'}|$ \begin{align} ...
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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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Proving that $i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial \mathbf{p}}$ is the operator of $\mathbf{x}$ in momentum space

How can I prove that $i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial \mathbf{p}}$ is the operator of $\mathbf{x}$ in momentum space?
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Intuitive meaning of Hilbert Space formalism

I am totally confused about the Hilbert Space formalism of Quantum Mechanics. Can somebody please elaborate on the following points: The observables are given by self-adjoint operators on the ...
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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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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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Is there any non-hermitian operator on Hilbert Space with all real eigenvalues?

The property of hermitian is the sufficient condition for eigenvalue being real. Is there any non-hermitian operator on Hilbert Space with all real eigenvalues? If there exist, then can all ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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44 views

Hamiltonian acting on sum operator

I am following a derivation in a book. It is implementing a state $|{\psi}\rangle$ into the eigenvalue equation $\hat{H}|{\psi}\rangle=E|{\psi}\rangle$. The $|{\psi}\rangle$ term contains a ...
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Spin operators commutation

Why do the spin operators $ S_{x1}$ and $S_{x2}$ of two particles along the $x$-axis commute i.e $S_{1x}S_{x2}-S_{2x}S_{1x}=0 $ ?
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Physical observables and hermiticity

Is it necessary for an operator to be Hermitian in order to be a physical observable or is it just sufficient that the operator obeys the eigenvalue equation? If I were to check whether an operator is ...
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Projection operators in a direct product space

The things I'm pretty sure I understand: Let's say I have a single particle hamiltonian $H$ represented by a $2$x$2$ matrix, so it has two eigenstates $|\lambda_1\rangle$ and $|\lambda_2\rangle$. I ...
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56 views

What is the relation between renormalization and self-adjoint extension?

What is the relation between renormalization and self-adjoint extension? It seems that a renormalization scheme can be rigorously treated mathematically using the self-adjoint extension theory. Is ...
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31 views

Addition of angular momenta, coefficient in the |10> state

In Griffith's text, they apply the lowering operator on the |$11\rangle$ state to get the |$10\rangle$ state. They show this result in two forms on pg. 185: $S_{-}\left(\uparrow\uparrow\right) = ...
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String Excited States / Spectrum

I am working through David Tong's lecture notes on string theory. The bit I am stuck on is page 41/42 in Chapter 2. The PDF file is here. In 2.3.2 "The First Excited States" on page 41/42, he says: ...
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Why does the raising and lowering operator not affect total angular momentum?

My notes define: $$ L_{\pm} = L_{x} \pm i L_{y} $$ and states: $$ [L_{z},L_{\pm}] = \pm \hbar L_{\pm} $$ I'm fine with this as it's easy to show the result with some ugly algebra. It then says: ...
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Constructing matrix for spin in Stern-Gerlach experiment for arbitrary angle

This is a conceptual question about a problem in Sakurai. I understand how to solve the problem, but there's something about it that irks me, and it feels like I'm missing something. In the problem, ...
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54 views

Eigenvalues of Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics

The eigenvalue equation of the $L^2$ operator is given by $$L^2f_l^m = \hbar ^2l(l+1)f_l^m$$ Side: So a determinate state for some observable $Q$ is a state where every measurement of $Q$ returns ...
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Creation and annihilation operators in Hamiltonian

If I find a Hamiltonian $H = \sum_{k} \varepsilon_k a_k^{\dagger} a_k + \sum_k V_k a_k^{\dagger} a_k$ then I was wondering: As far as I know this is many body theory and so these operators act on ...
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Why is normal ordering a valid operation?

Why is normal ordering even a valid operation in the first place? I mean it can give us some nice results, but why can we do the ordering for the operators like that? Is its definition motivated by ...
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Finding the expectation value of the annihilation operator with respect to a given state

Using dirac notation we were given a state vector $$|\Psi(t=0)\rangle = A\sum\limits_{q=0}^Q \frac{1}{(q+i)} |\phi_q\rangle$$ Where $\phi$ is part of a complete orthonormal set. I found the ...
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Question about derivation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

I am looking at the derivation presented here. The first thing I am unsure about is where the form of $\psi_0=Ae^{\frac{-m\omega x^2}{2\hbar}}$ came from. Also, is this form for all $\psi$, or just ...
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Does the angular momentum vector operator $\hat{\vec{J}}$ have no eigenstates?

Angular momentum projection operators $\hat J_z$ and $\hat J_y$ don't commute, as don't the other combinations of different projections. But this means that there's no such state in which the whole ...
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Creation and annihilation operators

In our lecture today, we introduced two kinds of creation and annihilation operators. I want to restrict myself to the antisymmetric case: The first operator $a_k^{\dagger}$ creates a state ...
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95 views

Tricks at manipulating creation/annihilation operators

Manipulation of terms in algebras different from the standard one (e.g. boolean algebra) can be a bit unnatural but there are always shortcuts that can help you. I was wondering if there is a list ...
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Second quantization, creation and annihilation operators

I found two notions of states for second quantization. One representation uses occupation numbers here, for example Another one creates the n+1 th particle in a collection of n existent states. see ...
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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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What lives in the Hilbert Space? [duplicate]

Consider the eigenvalue equation: $$\hat{Q}\Psi = q\Psi$$ where $q$ and $\Psi$ are eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the hermitian operator $\hat{Q}$. If the spectrum of the hermitian operator is ...
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93 views

Commutation relation of position and momentum using Dirac notation

This is likely a very trivial/silly question, but in following a derivation of the position and momentum commutation relation using the dirac notation, I am having trouble justifying a certain step. ...