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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Higher moments of the kinetic energy operator in QM

I have set myself the task of studying the kinetic energy $T$ in a quantum mechanical system. For the latter, I use the simple case of the Hydrogen atom in the $n=1$ state. Then the wave function is ...
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106 views

Ensemble average of product of spin operators?

How do you evaluate the canonical ensemble average of a product of spins, e.g.: $$[S_zS_x]$$ Where: $$S_x = \frac{\hbar}{2} \begin{pmatrix} 0 & 1\\ 1 & 0\\ \end{pmatrix}$$ $$S_y = ...
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97 views

What do they mean by $\langle u_i |O| u_j\rangle$ in quantum mechanics

UCSD's online QM notes, as usual, starts stating that QM operators are Hermitian and says that operator $O$ elements can be computed by $$O_{ij} = \langle u_j|O|u_i\rangle$$ The $u_i$ are ...
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86 views

How to solve Schrödinger's equation for this potential algebraically?

I want to solve Schrödinger's equation with the potential $$V(x)=\frac{1}{2}mx^2+\lambda x$$ algebraically? Is there any way to construct ladder operators that are similar to the one for the harmonic ...
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How do I find the unitary operator for a combined system?

I want to describe the interaction between a target and a probe and know that this is described by some unitary operator that acts on both systems. My operator needs to implement a $\pi/q$ rotation ...
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Can eigenstates of a Hilbert space be thought of as delta functions?

Say we have an observable that describes a Hilbert space and that observable acts on state kets. Lets take the position observable for example. Then $\langle y|x\rangle = \delta(y - x)$. But can the ...
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What is the operator form of $1/P_x$?

I know that the operator form of $1/P_x$ ($P_x$ is the $x$-component of momentum operator $\mathbf{P}$) should have an integral form like: $$\frac{i}{\hbar}\int\,dx,$$ but I'm not sure about the ...
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Proof for a time-ordering equation in Negele & Orland (1998)

Let $T$ be the time-ordering operator which orders operators $A_1(t_1), A_2(t_2), \ldots$ such that the time parameter decreases from left to right: $T[A_1(t_1) A_2(t_2)] = A_2(t_2) A_1(t_1)$ if $t_2 ...
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58 views

Commutator evolution operator and position operator

Let $H= \frac{p^2}{2m}$, then I am supposed to calculate $[x,e^{-iHt}]$. My idea was to use $[x,p^n]=i \hbar n p^{n-1}$ and so I ended up by using the series for the exponential function with ...
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151 views

An alternative definition of the creation and annihilation operators?

Suppose we have a system of bosons represented by their occupation numbers $$\tag{1} | n_1, n_2, ..., n_\alpha, ... \rangle$$ Then we can define creation and annihilation operators $$\tag{2} ...
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269 views

Quantum Mechanics: Creation and Annihilation operators

Is an eigenvector/eigenstate of the creation operator an eigenvector/eigenstate of the annihilation operator too? Why?
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113 views

Why are Hermitian operators linked to observables?

In Quantum Mechanics, why is it that a self-adjoint operator is linked to an observable? What makes it measureable? And why isn't a non-Hermitian operator linked to an observable? Also, what type of ...
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How does the proof of operator commutativity work with non-continuous operators?

In some books, a proof that if two self-adjoint operators $A$ and $B$ share a common eigenbasis $\{\phi_n\}$, then they commute is given as follows : For any $\phi_n$, $$AB\ \phi_n = a_n\ ...
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55 views

How does the following commutator for measured observables and this operator relation imply the following relation?

$$ \hat{\Omega}_j{(\tilde{q}_j)}=\Omega_j(\tilde{q}_j-\hat{q}_j) $$ $$ [\hat{q}_j,\hat{q}_l]=ik_{jl} $$ Implies $$ [\hat{q}_j,\hat{\Omega}_l]= ...
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551 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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56 views

How does linearity of a measurement imply that the commutator of all measured observables are $c$-numbers?

I really don't understand with the linearity conditions I have where this comes from.
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How to get the position operator in the momentum representation from knowing the momentum operator in the position representation?

I know that $$\tag{1}\hat{p}~=~-i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial x}~.$$ How can I get $$\tag{2}\hat{x}~=~i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial p}~?$$ I think this simple and I'm just over thinking it, ...
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How functions become operators in quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

What used to be functions in the context of classical mechanics like position, linear momentum, angular momentum, etc in quantum mechanics are operators (these operators act on the state to get ...
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456 views

How are anyons possible?

If $|ψ\rangle$ is the state of a system of two indistinguishable particles, then we have an exchange operator P which switches the states of the two particles. Since the two particles are ...
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240 views

How to derive or justify the expressions of momentum operator and energy operator?

It has been noted here$\! { \, }^{\text(1, 2)}$, for instance, that $$\mathbf{F} = \frac{d}{dt}\!\!\biggl[ \, \mathbf{p} \, \biggr]$$ is true in all contexts. Likewise, in notable contexts it is ...
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Is there a formalism for talking about diagonality/commutativity of operators with respect to an overcomplete basis?

Consider a density matrix of a free particle in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Nice, quasi-classical particles will be well-approximated by a wavepacket or a mixture of wavepackets. The ...
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255 views

Harmonic Oscillator Energy to Momentum Expectation Value

If we are given a wave function written in terms of harmonic oscillator energy eigenfunctions how can we determine the maximum possible momentum expectation value? It's a combination of the first two ...
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219 views

Does the Time Evolution Operator Commute with any Other Operators?

Does the time evolution operator in quantum mechanics commute with any other operators, with a commutator of zero? Also, what exactly is the utility of the time evolution operator, is it more ...
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140 views

Why does $[xp_{y},x]$ commute?

I'm looking at a solution in my book that says $[xp_{y},x]$ commutes. Does bracket notation imply: $[A,B]=AB-BA$ so that $[xp_{y},x]=xp_{y}x-xxp_{y}$ Taking the comment from Max Graves and ...
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133 views

What are the Time Operators in Quantum Mechanics? [duplicate]

I don't understand at all what the time operators are in quantum mechanics. I thought that given a wave function, because it's a function of time, we could simple put in any time in the future to find ...
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98 views

Angular momentum representation

It is well know that, using position representation $$\langle r\lvert L\rvert \psi\rangle =r \times (-i\hbar\nabla\langle r|\psi\rangle )=r \times (-i\hbar\nabla\psi(r)).$$ However, I read ...
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Observable Operator on a Superposition?

I'm probably missing something obvious and basic here but I can't make sense of certain usages of Observables as present in basic treatments of Quantum Mechanics that i've come across. $$ ...
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Proving that the hermitian conjugate of the product of two operators is the product of the two hermitian congugate operators in opposite order

I have reach a step in a problem of my quantum mechanics textbook that requires me to prove the following. $$\hat{A}=(\hat{Q}\hat{R})^{\dagger} = \hat{R}^{\dagger}\hat{Q}^{\dagger}$$ I tried to ...
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3answers
99 views

Help with understanding an Operator definition

The operator $\hat{F}$ is defined by $F\psi(x)=\psi(x+a)+\psi(x-a)$ Does this mean $\hat{F}=(x+a)+(x-a)$ and that $\hat{F}$ is operating on $\psi(x)$?
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1answer
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Resolution of identity in interacting QFT

$\mathbf{Background:}$ Consider a free scalar field $\phi$ ($\mathcal{L}_0 = \frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu \phi \partial^\mu \phi + \frac{1}{2}m^2 \phi^2$). In the Hamiltonian viewpoint, this system has a ...
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92 views

Quantum operator catastrophe

Assume we look at an interaction between 2 fermions $V \sum_{k_i,k_j,k_m,k_n} c_{k_i}^\dagger c_{k_j}^\dagger c_{k_m} c_{k_n} \delta_k $ where $\delta_k$ conserves momentum. We can directly write ...
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523 views

Why Don't the Ladder Operators Commute?

I have two problems with ladder operators. The first is that I feel they should somehow result in measurable things. The asymmetry of applying the plus operator versus the minus operator is very ...
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161 views

Representation of Hamiltonian in terms of “creation” and “destruction” operators

Let's have Schrodinger equation or Dirac equation in Schrodinger form: $$ i \partial_{0}\Psi = \hat {H}\Psi . $$ Sometimes we can introduce some operators $\hat {A}, \hat {B}$ (the second is not ...
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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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Why are Only Real Things Measurable?

Why can't we measure imaginary numbers? I mean, we can take the projection of a complex wave to be the "viewable" part, so why are imaginary numbers given this immeasurable descriptor? Namely with ...
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55 views

Unitary Confirmation

I am asked to show that an new defined operator: $$U_{\beta} = \exp(\displaystyle\frac{i\beta L_z}{\hbar})$$ is unitary, where $$L_z = -i\hbar\,\,(x\displaystyle\frac{\partial}{\partial y} - y ...
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1answer
369 views

Wick's theorem proof details

Let's have Wick's theorem in following form: for fields $$ A_{i}(x) ~=~ A_{i}^{+}(x) + A_{i}^{-}(x), $$ where first summand contains creation operator and the second contains destruction one, is a ...
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Identity in quantum operator tutorial

I'm reading this tutorial by Ben Simons entitled Operator methods in quantum mechanics in connection with his course in advanced QM, and I'm a bit puzzled by an identity in page 25, a bit above ...
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220 views

Quantum Mechanics Operator Hermiticity

If $A$ and $B$ are Hermitian operators, show that $$C~:=~i[A,B]$$ is Hermitian too. My work: $$\begin{gather} C=i(AB-BA) \\ \langle\psi\rvert C\lvert\phi\rangle = i\langle\psi\rvert ...
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680 views

A “Hermitian” operator with imaginary eigenvalues

Let $${\bf H}=\hat{x}^3\hat{p}+\hat{p}\hat{x}^3$$ where $\hat{p}=-id/dx$. Clearly ${\bf H}^{\dagger}={\bf H}$, because ${\bf H}={\bf T} + {\bf T}^{\dagger}$, where ${\bf T}=\hat{x}^3\hat{p}$. In this ...
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What exactly is $\hat{\psi}^\dagger(x)$? An operator or a function?

I've recently read Cohen-Tannoudji on quantum mechanics to try to better understand Dirac notation. A homework problem is giving me some trouble though. I'm unsure if I've learned enough yet to ...
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2answers
359 views

How to prove that $i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial \mathbf{p}}$ is the operator of $\mathbf{x}$ in momentum space?

How to prove that $i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial \mathbf{p}}$ is the operator of $\mathbf{x}$ in momentum space?
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Normal ordering and path integrals

What is the manifestation of normal ordering for creation/annihilation operators in the path-integral formalism?
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Scattering matrix and braid operators (Yang-Baxter equation)

From the definition, I understand that the operators are scattering matrices in the Yang-Baxter equation. But this paper, 'Quantum entanglement and topological entanglement' by Louis H Kauffman and ...
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Simple Quantum Mechanics Question about The Commutator of Translation Operators

Say there is $\hat{J} = \exp[-i \hat{p} l/ \hbar]$ and $\hat{U}= \exp[-i\hat{H}t/ \hbar]$, where $\hat{H}$ is time-independent. Can we say anything about $[\hat{J},\hat{U}]$? Is it zero? How do we ...
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Proof that the momentum operator is Hermitian

I am trying to prove that the momentum $p_x$ operator is Hermitian, my approach is the following $$<p_x>~=~\int \Psi^*(\vec{r},t)[-ih\frac{\partial}{\partial x}]\Psi(\vec{r},t)\, d^3r.$$ I try ...
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101 views

Translation operator to higher order

IN QM, the space translation operator, or generator of Translations is set to be Ie-ie/h_bar*P up to order e. Now my question is what is the physical justification of only going up to order e and do ...
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225 views

Continuous spectrum (quantum mechanics) [duplicate]

Does a continuous spectrum of an observable always imply that the corresponding eigenvectors will not be normalizable? If yes, how to prove it?
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518 views

Prove $[A,B^n] = nB^{n-1}[A,B]$

I am trying to show that $[A,B^n] = nB^{n-1}[A,B]$ where A and B are two Hermitian operators that commute with their commutator. However, I am running into a little problem and would like a hint of ...
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132 views

By saying a physical state has some 'symmetry', what do we really mean?

Here our arguments are restricted to the realm of the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG) proposed by Prof. Wen, Quantum Orders and Symmetric Spin Liquids. Xiao-Gang Wen. Phys. Rev. B 65 no. 16, 165113 ...