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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Linear Operators and their representations

I am currently learning Quantum mechanics on a slightly advanced level. I am curious in knowing if there are Linear Operators (Linear Maps) in the Hilbert Space (finite dimensional ones) that don't ...
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Showing that an operator is Hermitian

Consider the operator $$T=pq^3+q^3p=-i\frac{d}{dq}q^3-iq^3\frac{d}{dq}$$ defined to act on the Hilbert Space $H=L^2(\mathbb{R},dq)$ with the common dense domain $S(\mathbb{R})$. Here $S(\mathbb{R})$ ...
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Lorentz transformation implemented by a non-unitary operator.

One often come across in QFT sentences like the following, for instance: ...under a Lorentz transformation $\Lambda$ implemented by the unitary operator $U(\Lambda)$, a Dirac field transforms ...
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Matrix element of an operator

Suppose we want to calculate the following matrix element. $$ \langle \alpha |\hat{o}|\beta\rangle $$ Where $\alpha$ and $\beta$ are two arbitrary basis states in a many-particle basis set, and ...
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Space and time translation of quantum field

In book I am studying, the authors want to calculate the spectral representation of the g-lesser (and g-greater) functions and find a general expression for these. In order to do so they start with ...
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Action of Parity operator on Impulse representation

Is my derivation of the action of the parity operator $\mathbb{P}$ on the $|p\rangle$ representation correct? $$\left( \mathbb{P}\tilde\psi \right)(p)= - \tilde\psi (p).$$ Obtained from $$\left( ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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60 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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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) \text{ ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...