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 this Hamiltonian have point spectrum?

Consider such a Hamiltonian $$ H = - \frac{1}{2} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2} - F x + V(x) ,$$ with $F$ being some constant, and $V(x)= V(x+L)$ being some periodic potential. Does this ...
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48 views

What is the correct way to treat operators that has “time” in QM? [duplicate]

I don't know if this question has already been resolved but considering that $i\hbar\partial_t$ is the energy operator, and $\partial^2_t$ is the waves operator (or helmholtz), I can't accept that $t$ ...
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125 views

What is the expectation value of the position times momentum operator?

Should I write the expectation of the position times momentum operator as: $$\langle xp\rangle = \langle \psi|x (-i\hbar \partial_x) |\psi \rangle$$ or $$\langle xp\rangle = \langle \psi| (-i\hbar ...
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40 views

What is the missing step in this result regarding the creation operators in Fock space?

In the above extract from Simons and Altman: Condensed Matter Field Theory, I am having trouble getting from (2.3) to (2.4) in the case of Fermions (ζ=-1 and the n(subscript i) values are modulo 2). ...
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29 views

Showing a measurement operator has a particular form

I came across an exercise (Ex 1.16) in 'Quantum Measurement and Control' by Wiseman and Milburn that I am having some trouble with. Suppose we have some system $S$ coupled with two meters in states ...
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2answers
133 views

Wave functions as $x$ goes to infinity

This problem emerged when I was going through some QM exercises: I've been asked to find the commutator $[A,B]$ where $A,B$ are defined as $$A\psi(x)=x\frac{\partial }{\partial x}\psi(x),$$ ...
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1answer
32 views

Reducing unitary evolution operator of a two-spin system to the evolution operator of one of the spins

Consider a system of two spins $s_1$ and $s_2$, each of which can be in one of two states, represented by 0 or 1. A basis for the Hilbert space of this system would be {|0,0>,|0,1>,|1,0> and |1,1>}, ...
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65 views

If I want to determine a particle's momentum or position, do I get this information from the wave function?

I am confused about how one measures the dynamical variables (eg position) of a particle. I thought the wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ was the probability amplitude and $|\Psi(x,t)|^2$ represents the ...
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1answer
103 views

How to prove that the position operator in momentum is $i\hbar \partial/\partial p$ - One Missing Sign [duplicate]

I am trying to prove that the position operator in momentum space is $i\hbar \partial/\partial p$ but my derivation is missing one sign. Can someone spot the error? Start with $$<\hat x> ...
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28 views

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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77 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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53 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
109 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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102 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
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
50 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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1answer
63 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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758 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
70 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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46 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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75 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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2answers
117 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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82 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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92 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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104 views

How do I prove the equivalence of chirality and helicity operators acting on a massless Dirac spinor?

I have massless Dirac equation and chirality and helicity operators which are given as $$ \hat {P}_{ch}\Psi = \gamma_{5}\Psi, \quad \hat {P}_{h}\Psi = \frac{(\hat {\mathbf S} \cdot \mathbf ...
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1answer
39 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
205 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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2answers
579 views

Schrödinger equation in position representation

We start from an abstract state vector $ \newcommand{\ket}[1]{|{#1}\rangle} \ket{\Psi}$ as a description of a state of a system and the Schrödinger equation in the following form $$ ...
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1answer
47 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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1answer
42 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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277 views

Ambiguity in number of basis vectors [duplicate]

The dimension of the Hilbert space is determined by the number of independent basis vectors. There is a infinite discrete energy eigenbasis $\{|n\rangle\}$ in the problem of particle in a box which ...
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3answers
191 views

About the postulates of quantum mechanics and self-adjointness

I am a freshman trying to understand the very basics of quantum mechanics but I met barriers at the beginning. What really matters is the postulates of quantum mechanics and their relationship with ...
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59 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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4answers
263 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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2answers
134 views

Eigenvalues being physical observables

I think I'm comfortable with the PDE solutions to the Schrodinger equation. But as soon as we start putting these values in a matrix (in dirac notation), I lose my understanding and everything ...
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40 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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33 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
51 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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3answers
121 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 ...
2
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2answers
94 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
128 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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1answer
39 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
212 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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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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32 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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3answers
106 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
119 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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109 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 $L_z$?
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1answer
132 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 ...