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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
2answers
329 views

Operator vs. Matrix in quantum formalism

We use in Dirac formalism of QM the tool of operators and kets in spatial and spin spaces to obtain eigenvalues and eigenkets. But the operation here is simply that of a matrix multiplication. Now ...
0
votes
2answers
120 views

$(H\Psi(x,t))^*=H\Psi^*(x,t)$?

In the solutions of an exercise I got confused about the following equality $$(H\Psi(x,t))^*=H\Psi^*(x,t).$$ Is this true in general? Or in special cases? It seems to imply that H is a real matrix ...
6
votes
2answers
234 views

What is the connection between Hilbert Space and path integrals?

Given a space of states $|\rangle$, $|x\rangle$, $|x,y\rangle$, with the creation operators such as $\hat{\phi}(x)|y,z\rangle=|x,y,z\rangle$ for creating a particle at position $x$ and so on. How ...
5
votes
3answers
750 views

What is meant by a “c-number”?

In Chapter 2 of David Tong's QFT notes, he uses the term "c-number" without ever defining it. Here is the first place. However, it's easy to check by direct substitution that the left-hand side ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Is there a simple expression for $[x,e^{ixp}]$?

I'm sure this exists somewhere, but somewhat surprisingly it is not that easy to google.* The commutators $$ \left[x,e^{i(ax^2+b(xp+px)+cp^2)}\right] $$ of position and the exponential of a quadratic ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

OPE of parity even theories in CFT.

If I consider an OPE of some operators, which belong to a theory where parity is not violated, will I have a constraint on the kind of operators appearing in the right hand side ? For example, I ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Could you explain this flow of calculation?

I am reading this book, Quantum Optics by Walls and Milburn. I am working on Chapter 6 which is about the Stochastic Methods. I don't understand a calculation in this chapter. Let $w(t)$ be the ...
6
votes
1answer
259 views

Must bounded operators have normalisable eigenfunctions and discrete eigenvalues?

When we have bound states, to my knowledge, we have states that are normalisable and a discrete energy spectrum. However, in the case of scattering states that have a continuous energy spectrum, the ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Decompose a Hermitian Operator into Eigenvalues and Projectors

Quantum Computing - A Gentle Introduction by Eleanor Rieffell and Wolfgang Polak states on p57 : Any Hermitian operator $O$ with eigenvalues $\lambda_j$ can be written as $O = \sum_j \lambda_j ...
4
votes
1answer
281 views

The uncertainty in angular momentum

It is known that the different spatial components of the angular momentum don't commute with each other. $$ [L_x,L_y] \propto L_z \\ [L_y,L_z] \propto L_x \\ [L_z,L_x] \propto L_y $$ Also it is known ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Difference between operators used to represent quantum gates vs that to represent physical observables?

I have learnt that informations about a physical observable property is buried in the state vector of a quantum system. To get the possible value of a property all we need to do is multiply the state ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Gauge covariant derivative of a creation operator

Suppose we define the (gauge) covariant derivative or as $$\tilde{\nabla}=\nabla+ie\textbf{A},$$ where the vector potential $\textbf{A}$ has a matrix structure where only the diagonal has nonzero ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Definition of the “support” of the reduced density matrix

Some of the papers in condensed matter physics use the word "support" (space). For example, the following papers use the support especially for the reduced density matrix. ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Commutator of position and momentum

I'm reading Sakurai's Quantum Mechanics. One of the problem in the book asks to use the relation $$ \langle{x}|p\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi\hbar}}e^{\frac{ipx}{\hbar}} $$ to evaluate ...
0
votes
2answers
189 views

Hermitian conjugate of differential operator

Help me find $\hat{B^\dagger}$, when we know that $$\hat{B}=i\frac{d}{dr}$$ with the condition that $\hat{B}$ is defined in spherical coordinates. My approach: $$ ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

How/Why did Feynman relate the element of Hamiltonian matrix $H_{12}$ to the amplitude to go from $|1\rangle$ to $| 2\rangle$?

$$ \newcommand{\bk}[2]{\left\langle #1 | #2 \right\rangle} \newcommand{\ket}[1]{\left| #1 \right\rangle} \newcommand{\bra}[1]{\left\langle #1 \right|} \newcommand{\biik}[3]{\left\langle #1 | #2| ...
3
votes
3answers
181 views

Wick Theorem, ordering & CFT

I'm having a little trouble with correlation functions wick theorem and ordering in the context of OPE and CFT, for string theory. (1) My first question, the propagator is: $$<X(z) X(w)> = ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Free Vacuum vs Interacting Vacuum and Wick's theorem

I'm studying perturbation theory in QFT and I stumbled on a conceptual problem. My understanding of the interplay between LSZ reduction formula and the Gell-Mann & Low perturbation series is ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Transformation of operator matrix under change of basis [duplicate]

How does operator matrix transform under change of basis? If $\rvert \beta\rangle$ and $\rvert \alpha \rangle$ are two bases related by transformation $ \rvert\beta_m\rangle = \sum_n S_{mn} ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

How to determine the trace and determinat of a differential operator?

How to determine the trace and determinant of the operator like $\Box$ or $\nabla^2$ etc. But first of all how to find the same for the simpler operator $\frac{d}{dx}$? I proceeded as follows. What ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Deriving the form of generators of transformations

I'm struggling to understand a bit of quantum mechanics relating to the transformation generators. This specific bit contains quite a few guesses and assumtions which probably do make sense in ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

Book question positive square root on quantum operator

On p.86 Section 2.2.4 of the Quantum computation and quantum information book by Nielsen, $M_{o}$ is defined as the positive square root of the positive operator. Is the "positive square root" ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

How the position operator and the position basis are correctly defined?

In Quantum Mechanics, if one deals with wave functions, the Hilbert space in question is $L^2(\mathbb{R}^n)$ for a particle in $n$-dimensions, and the position operator corresponding to the $i$-th ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Operator algebra in integral form

In QM courses one can quite often see expressions like: $ \langle x| \hat{p} | \psi \rangle = \int dp \langle x| \hat{p} |p\rangle \langle p| \psi \rangle $ but I'm a bit confused as to how it ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Is this treatment of the momentum operator in the Dirac formalism allowed?

I have a problem understanding a specific bit of Dirac notation. Take, as an example this derivation: I'm dubious about the step from line 3 to 4. When momentum operator acts on the momentum ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Determining this vacuum expectation

I am trying to find the analytic expression for the result that follows from evaluating this vacuum expectation value: $\langle0\vert;\prod_{i=1}^M \prod_{j=1}^N \hat{a}(y_{ij}) ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Physical interpretation of the creation operators in string theory?

Is there any way to describe phsycially which each creation operator $a^{(i)+}_{n}$ in string theory does to the ground state string? Here would be my guess (although it is likely to be totally ...
4
votes
2answers
280 views

Why don't non-Hermitian operators with all real-eigenvalues correspond to observables? [duplicate]

Suppose you could construct an operator that was non-Hermitian but had all real eigenvalues or could at least be restricted in a way to create only real eigenvalues, why would this operator not ...
4
votes
2answers
227 views

Quantum and Classical Liouville operators

In the Heisenberg picture of Quantum Mechanics, for an observable $\hat{A}$, we have the famous Heisenberg equation giving the time evolution of the operator: ($\hat{H}$ is the Hamiltonian operator) ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

When do two operators act on the same Hilbert space?

Suppose I want to represent the quantum state of a spinless particle. To do so, I employ a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}_X$, which is an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space equipped with a position ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Is it possible to define the logarithm of creation/annihilation operators?

This is just a curiosity I had recently. I am going to let the reader interpret the context of the question, in their own way!
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Probability amplitude for motion from $x_i$ to $x_f$ in Heisenberg picture

In M. Nakahara's book Geometry, Topology and Physics on page 19, the probability amplitude for a particle to move from $x_i$ at time $t_i$ to $x_f$ at time $t_f$ is given as $$ \tag{1} \langle x_f, ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

Is there an intuitive explanation to the fact that the solutions to the time-independent Schrödinger equation form a complete basis?

We were always told that the solutions to the time-independent Schrödinger equation form a complete eigenbasis for the space of all functions (all functions?) but I never understood why this is the ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

Infinitesimally change a operator in QM

Reading Balian, "From Microphysics to Macrophysics", I've found the following identity: If we change the operator $\hat{{\mathbf{X}}}$ infinitesimally by $\hat{{\delta\mathbf{X}}}$, the trace of an ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What special significance does the eigendecomposition of a mixed density operator hold over other pure state decompositions?

It is known that in general, a mixed state can have multiple pure state decompositions. However, it has a unique eigendecomposition in the absence of degenerate eigenvalues. What is the special ...
5
votes
3answers
446 views

Physical meaning of quantum operators

Let's say we have a wavefunction $\psi$ and a measurement operator $\hat A$. I understand how eigenvalues and eigenvectors of $\hat A$ describe the possible outcomes of the measurement. I also ...
3
votes
3answers
411 views

Eigenvalue for the creation operator for a coherent state [closed]

For a coherent state $$ |\alpha\rangle=e^{-\frac{|\alpha|^{2}}{2}}\sum_{n}\frac{\alpha^{n}}{\sqrt{n!}}|n\rangle $$ I can't solve the eigenvalue problem for $\hat{a}^{\dagger}|\alpha\rangle$ where ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

“This operator is odd under parity”

In problem 8.10 of Schaum's Quantum Mechanics they say: "We see that under the parity operator $r \rightarrow r$, $\theta \rightarrow \pi - \theta$ and $\phi \rightarrow \pi + \phi$ .. since ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

How do you prove that the number operator commutes with a general Hamiltonian?

If you have a hamiltonian, in the case of a bosonic system $$ H=\sum_{ij}H_{ij}a_i^\dagger a_j, $$ and the number operator $$ N=\sum_{i}a_i^{\dagger}a_i. $$ How do you show that they commute? I have ...
3
votes
2answers
100 views

Prove that if $\hat H | a_n\rangle=a_n|a_n\rangle$, then $f(\hat H)| a_n\rangle=f(a_n)|a_n\rangle$

In Quantum Mechanics you have the eigenvalue equation: $$\hat H | a_n\rangle=a_n|a_n\rangle \tag{1}$$ where $\hat H$ is the Hamiltonian operator, $\{|a_n\rangle\}$ is a complete set of eigenstates ...
4
votes
4answers
158 views

How to determine the observables rigorously?

In Quantum Mechanics, as I know, if a system is described by a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$, each physical quantity is associated with some hermitian operator $A : U\subset \mathcal{H}\to \mathcal{H}$ ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Conceptual questions on the path integral formulation of QFT

I'm currently trying to teach myself the path integral formulation of QFT (having studied the canonical approach previously), but I'm having some conceptual difficulties that I hope I can clear up ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Possible values for $L_x$

I've a physical system with $l=1$ and I have to calculate the values I can obtain if I measure $L_x$ and their probability. I know that: the values I can obtain are $\ m=0, \pm 1$ $\displaystyle ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

What quantum measurement formalism is easiest to implement physically?

As part of my studies and research, I have learned to work with three different measurement formalism which I define to avoid any ambiguity with the nomenclature: General measurements, which are ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Electric field operator in 2D geomatry

In the free field (3D), transverse electric field operator is given by the below expression; $$e^{\bot}(\textbf{R}) =i \sum_{\textbf{p},\lambda}\Big( \frac{\hbar cp}{2V\epsilon_{0}}\Big)^{1/2} ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Completeness relations of eigenstates in the Heisenberg picture

I've been reading Srednicki's introduction to path integrals and I'm slightly unsure of the notation that he uses for the completeness relation of position eigenstates in the Heisenberg picture. In ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Meaning of expectation value of product of non-commuting operators

Let $\hat{A}$ and $\hat{B}$ be Hermitian observables with spectra labeled by $a$ and $b$. Then we can write \begin{equation} \hat{A} = \sum_a a\, \hat{P}_a \end{equation} \begin{equation} \hat{B} = ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Lippmann-Schwinger equation and $T$ expansion

Lippmann-Schwinger equation, in operator form, is: $$ T=V+V\frac{1} {E-H_0+i \hbar \varepsilon} T=:V+V\Theta_0T, $$ where $H_{tot}=H_0+{V}$ is the hamiltonian ($H_0$ is the free particle hamiltonian ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

How to deal with eigenvectors which are not square integrable?

In Quantum Mechanics there is one type of situation I'm still unsure on how to deal with. First of all, I want to make clear I'm trying to understand how to deal with this rigorously. What I'm talking ...
4
votes
2answers
536 views

Schroedinger equation for hydrogen atom

I have got a problem understanding the meaning of the Laplace operator in the Schrödinger equation for the hydrogen atom. $$\Big(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m_e} \Delta_{r_e} - \frac{\hbar^2}{2M_P} \Delta_{r_p} ...