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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155 views

Commutator not transitive

I noticed the following: $$[L_{+},L^2]=0,\qquad [L_{+},L_3]\neq 0,\qquad [L^2,L_3]=0.$$ This would suggest, that $L^2,L_+$ have a common system of eigenfunctions, and so do $L^2,L_3$, but $L_+,L_3$ ...
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153 views

Tricky operator identity: $[L^2,[L^2,\vec{r}]]=2 \hbar ^2 \{ L^2, \vec{r}\}$?

This operator identity showed up in a course I was taking, and it was given without proof. $$[L^2,[L^2,\vec{r}]]=2 \hbar ^2 \{ L^2, \vec{r}\}$$ The curly brackets denote the anticommutator, $AB+BA$. ...
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216 views

Countable Matrix Representation

In my quantum mechanics class, my professor explained that the Hamiltonian along with position and momentum operators can be represented by matrices of countable dimension. This is especially usefull ...
4
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128 views

Algebraic formulation of QFT and unbounded operators

In AQFT one specifies the structure of the observables as a $C^*$-algebra. This seems to excludes algebras that don't have a norm, such as the Heisenberg algebra. Fortunately for this case one turns ...
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87 views

Diagonalize a dot product with Pauli matrices

How can I diagonalize the following operator? $$\lambda \hat{\vec{\sigma}}\cdot\vec{r}$$ where $\lambda$ is a real constant, $\hat{\vec{\sigma}}=(\hat{\sigma_{x}},\hat{\sigma_{y}},\hat{\sigma_{z}}) ...
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87 views

Change of QM Momentum operator under coordinate transformation

Can any one please let me know what is the general procedure to construct the momentum operator under some coordinate transformation? For example, I understand that if ...
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1answer
116 views

What is the Weyl algebra of a confined bosonic particle?

The abstract Weyl Algebra $W_n$ is the *-algebra generated by a family of elements $U(u),V(v)$ with $u,v\in\mathbb{R}^n$ such that (Weyl relations) $$U(u)V(v)=V(v)U(u)e^{i u\cdot v}\ \ Commutation\ ...
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1answer
137 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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293 views

Commutator of $L^2$ and $X^2$, $P^2$

In our quantum mechanics script, it states that $[L^2, X^2] = 0$ and $[L^2, P^2] = 0$, therefore for the following Hamiltonan $$H = \frac{P^2}{2m} + V(X^2)$$ it is that $[H, L^2] = 0$ therefore $H$ ...
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1answer
89 views

Harmonic oscillator

Let $|0\rangle,...$ be the states of the harmonic oscillator. Then a squeezed state was defined as $|\xi\rangle =S(\xi)|0\rangle $, where $S(\xi):=e^{\frac{1}{2}( \xi (a^{ \dagger ^2}-a^2))}$, where ...
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248 views

Do eigenvectors of quantum operators span the whole Hilbert Space?

I am trying to solve an exercise in Shankar's QM book (concretely 4.2.1), and I am asked the probability of each possible value for the operator $L_x$ when the particle is in a certain eigenstate of ...
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255 views

Evaluating commutator of $[\operatorname{sign}(X),\, \operatorname{sign}(P)]$

I wish to evaluate the following commutator: $[\operatorname{sign}(X),\, \operatorname{sign}(P)]$. Is there a general method for evaluating $[\operatorname{f}(X), \operatorname{f}(P)]$? I thought of a ...
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1answer
193 views

Quantum mechanics problem? [closed]

I had a test on Quantum mechanics a few days ago, and there was a problem which I had no clue how to solve. Could you please explain me? The problem is: Let's look at the $\hat H=E_0[|1 \rangle ...
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1answer
143 views

Time Dependent Position Operator

How does one find the time dependent position expectation value for a wave function? I thought we could simple take the time dependent wave and apply the position operator like normal, but this gave ...
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76 views

Commutators with function

I have following exercise: If $[C,D]$ is a c-number and $f(x)$ is a well-behaved function (i.e. all derivatives exist and are finite), show that: $$[C, f(D)]=[C,D]f'(D)$$ where $f'(D) = ...
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233 views

Are all scattering states un-normalizable?

I am an undergraduate studying quantum physics with the book of Griffiths. in 1-D problems, it said a free particle has un-normalizable states but normalizable states can be obtained by sum up the ...
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110 views

When should one apply the unitary time evolution operator?

When is it appropriate to use $\hat U$, the unitary time evolution operator? For example, say I had a system in a certain potential that is changed to a different one at time $t = 0$. Would it be ...
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436 views

How does one determine ladder operators systematically?

In textbooks, the ladder operators are always defined," and shown to 'raise' the state of a system, but they are never actually derived. Does one find them simply by trial and error? Or is there a ...
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186 views

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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1answer
123 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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1answer
105 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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1answer
100 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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59 views

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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190 views

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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215 views

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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74 views

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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1answer
68 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 ...
4
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2answers
178 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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428 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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1answer
126 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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243 views

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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62 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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1answer
922 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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59 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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521 views

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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92 views

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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1answer
478 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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1answer
317 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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1answer
88 views

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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1answer
288 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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1answer
318 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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1answer
154 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 ...
2
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1answer
159 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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2answers
107 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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109 views

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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929 views

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
102 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
108 views

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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2answers
96 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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3answers
693 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 ...