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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Apply Hamiltonian to position eigenstates

Let $\hat{H}$ be the free Hamilton operator, is it then true that $$\langle {\bf r}| \hat{H} ~=~ - \frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \Delta \langle {\bf r}|~?$$ Where $\Delta\equiv \nabla^2$. I currently don't see ...
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Prove that this operator is unitary

$\hat{O}\equiv(1/\sqrt{2\pi})\int e^{-iNz}dz$ $\hat{O}^\dagger\equiv(1/\sqrt{2\pi})\int e^{iN'x}dx$ We have the operator $\hat{O}$ and its Hermitian adjoint $\hat{O}^\dagger$, in the one dimensional ...
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Can someone clarify what should and should not be an operator in my verification of the 1D solution to the SE for a free particle?

I just worked out the 1D free particle solution to the Schrödinger equation. My wave function was \begin{equation} \psi(x,t) = Ae^{i(px-Et)/\hbar} \end{equation} So I plugged this into both sides ...
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Simultaneous eigenket

J. J. Sakurai states in his "Modern Quantum Mechanics", this fact as a theorem ($\pi$ is the parity operator): Suppose $$[H,\pi]=0$$ and $| n>$ is a nondegenerate eigenket of $H$ with ...
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Unitary operator algebra and multiplying by identity

If $\hat{H}$ is Hermitian, with eigenvalues $a_k$, then $$\hat{H} = \sum_k a_k \left|\psi_k\right> \left<\psi_k\right|.$$ I read that it then follows that $$\begin{align*} e^{i\hat{H}} = ...
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68 views

Commutator between square position and square momentum [duplicate]

I need (as a part of one exercise) to find commutator between $\hat{x}^2$ and $\hat{p}^2$ and my derivation goes as follows: $$[\hat{x}^2,\hat{p}^2]\psi = [\hat{x}^2\hat{p}^2 - ...
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Computing $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$

Given Hamiltonian $H=\frac{P^2}{2}+\frac{\omega^2}{2}Q^2$, compute $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$, where $T$ is the time-ordering of the product, $|0\rangle$ is the ground state. Now set ...
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65 views

Problem with momentum operator

Why is there no problem with the eigenfunction of the momentum operator being non-normalisable? How can it be a valid quantum state?
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RH side of the Uncertainty principle: when is it a number and when an expectation value?

The uncertainty principle between the position $x$ and the momentum $p$ is given by: $$ \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \hbar/2,$$ whereas for the $x$ and $y$ components of the angular momentum is given by: ...
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Why are the spin operators defined as they are?

$$\begin{align*}S_z &= \frac{\hbar}{2} \left(\left|+\right>\left<+\right| - \left|-\right>\left<-\right|\right)\\ S_y &= i\frac{\hbar}{2} \left(\left|-\right>\left<+\right| - ...
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Product on Tensor Products

I'm trying to understand how products on tensor products work. For instance, in quantum mechanics, you have ($x$ tensor $y$) times ($z$ tensor $a$), where $x$, $y$, $z$, $a$ are all operators acting ...
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91 views

How much information does the Hamiltonian contain in quantum mechanics? [closed]

Given a Hamiltonian, let's say of a many-body system, through the Schrodinger equation,in principle we can find the eigenfunctions and their corresponding eigenvalues (spectrum). Now given an ...
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Why we cannot describe operator for force $F$ in quantum mechanics?

In quantum mechanics we describe operators corresponding to momentum but we don't define operator for force what is the reason behind it?
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60 views

How to find creation and annihilation operators? [duplicate]

I get confused when trying to find this. Please describe it as simply as possible, but keep in mind I have no budget whatsoever to pay for textbooks, so here goes: How do you find the creation and ...
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70 views

Why are the charge operator $Q$ and the baryon number operator $B$ unbounded?

A friend recommended me to read PCT, Spin and Statistics, and All That written by R. F. Streater and A. S. Wightman. In page 5 to 6, here's what the authors of this book have to say: [...] In ...
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Expectation value of operators in quantum mechanics

Can the expectation value of an operator be zero?
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Show that a function takes the following form using the definition for the function of an operator

If $f(z)$ is a function with a Taylor series expansion $$f(z)=\sum _{ n=0 }^{ \infty }{c_n z^n },$$ then we define $$f(M)=\sum _{ n=0 }^{ \infty }{c_n M^n }.$$ First consider ...
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The delta function as an eigenfunction of the position operator explanation

$\delta (\textbf{r})$ can be interpreted as a wavefunction. [...] It is non-vanishing only for $\textbf{r}=0$. [...] $\delta(\textbf{r})$ is an eigenfunction of the position operator with ...
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When generalizing from discrete (but infinite) eigenstates to continuous eigenstates, Why do we change the definition?

The propagator function for discrete eigenstates is $$u(t)=\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}|E_n\rangle\langle E_n|e^{-iE_nt/ \hbar } \tag{1}\ .$$ But when we have continuous eigenstates, (like for the case of ...
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101 views

Why tensor product? [duplicate]

Let $A$ an $B$ be two discrete observables (like spins). When exactly and why we have to consider their tensor product when talking about the mutual observation of the corresponding phenomena?
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How can mean value of a quantity $be$ an operator?

In Laundau & Lifshitz Quantum Mechanics. Non-relativistic theory in $\S29$ a problem is given: PROBLEM Average the tensor $n_in_k-\frac13\delta_{ik}$ (where $\mathbf{n}$ is a unit vector along ...
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51 views

Connection between half and whole integer eigenvalues for orbital angular momentum [duplicate]

I have been trying to follow this derivation from Sakurai and Shankar, pulling from both. I would like to see how the following derivation can be extended to orbital angular momentum, and thus find ...
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Expression of density operator

States in Quantum Mechanics can be thought of as density operators, i.e., positive semi-definite, normalized trace class operators on a Hilbert Space $\mathcal{H}$. In the case ...
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Can expectation value be imaginary?

I was solving a problem and the result of the expectation value of an operator came out to be $-\frac{\hbar}{4}$ $i$. Is this result possible? It seems counter intuitive.
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Find the eigenvalues of the operator [closed]

A projection operator $P$ is defined as $P^2$=$P$. Use this definition to find the eigenvalues of this operator. In this question is it necessary to define what the projection operator is? And ...
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Mutually Commutative

What is the definition of a Mutually Commutative set of operators? I've found articles describing a complete set of mutually commutative operators, but I can't actually find what mutually commutative ...
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142 views

Is the Hilbert space spanned by both bound and continuous hydrogen atom eigenfunctions?

As e.g. Griffiths says (p. 103, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed.), if a spectrum of a linear operator is continuous, the eigenfunctions are not normalizable, therefore it has no ...
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Cayley's expansion

Is Cayley's expansion $$\exp(-iH\delta t) \psi(x,t)=\frac{1-\frac{i\delta t}{2}H}{1+\frac{i\delta t}{2}H}\psi(x,t)$$ valid for any operator $H$? What conditions should $H$ fulfill?
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States in light cone string theory

Currently I'm trying to understand string theory in the light cone quantization. I just have had a look into Polchinski (Vol. 1, Introduction to the bosonic string), because – as far as I could see – ...
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QM rotation operator

I have seen the proof that for fermions a rotation of $2 \pi$ does not return a spin angular momentum eigenstate to its original form, but instead multiplies the wavefunction by $-1$. Here is an ...
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188 views

Fock Space and fermionic annihilation & creation operators

I have been trying very hard to understand, I am reading Ballentine's book on this topic, but I need help: I realized that I don't understand how many particle states work with the creation & ...
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A conjecture about the Møller operator

Consider the Møller operator $$ \Omega_+ = \lim_{t \rightarrow -\infty } e^{i H t } e^{- i H_0 t } , $$ Now, suppose a state $\psi $ is located far away from the potential $V = H- H_0$. I feel that ...
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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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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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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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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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Bounded operator - definition?

As mentioned also in Bounded and Unbounded Operator, an operator $A$ is said to be bounded, if $$\|Af\|\leq k \|f\|,$$ where the constant $k$ does not depend on the choice of $f$ (let us consider a ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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What is the difference between a parameter, a variable, and an operator in QM?

On the question why time isn't an operator, people will usually say that time is a parameter in QM (Time as a Hermitian operator in QM?) and not a variable. Can someone please distinguish between a ...
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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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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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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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40 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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About the orthogonality of the Hamiltonian eigenstates for the the continuous energy spectrum

I would like first to describe a strange case that I encountered. $ \ \ - $ I solved the Schrodinger equation with a potential barrier (a potential well limited by a finite height wall which decrease ...