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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Dirac notation - specific acting orientation for operators

I have this doubt: Imagine two operators $A$ and $B$ and the state $\psi$. I know that the following statement is true: $$\langle\psi| A|\psi\rangle^*=\langle\psi| A^\dagger|\psi\rangle$$ But ...
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2answers
116 views

Prove that a translation operator times a reflection operator is unitary and Hermitian [closed]

I am trying to prove some properties of the product of the (unitary) translation operator $\hat{T}(a)\psi(x) = \psi(x-a)$ and the (Hermitian) reflection operator $\hat{R} \psi(x) = \psi(-x)$. In ...
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83 views

Relativistic Commutation relation for momentum and position

We all know that the canonical commutation relation give you $$[x_i,p_j]=i\hbar\delta_ij,$$ is there a relativistic version such as $$[x^a,p_b]=i\hbar\delta_a^b?$$ If so what is the time ...
2
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1answer
312 views

Simple QFT simulation - how to do it

I would like to write a simple QFT simulation for a free scalar field with a cubic interaction term. However, I got stuck a bit. I will try to describe what I think I understand. I want to have a ...
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2answers
70 views

Expectation value of an imaginary operator acting on a real function

In a video (http://youtu.be/r_gBQ_qhg8U?t=9m58s) it's stated that a matrix element of an imaginary operator acting on a real wave function is zero, i.e. $$\langle\text{real}|\text{imaginary}|\text{...
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135 views

What does a line above a commutator, e.g. $\overline{[x, H]}$ mean?

What does this notation mean in relation to quantum mechanics? $$\overline{[x,H]}\qquad\text{or}\qquad\overline{[p,H]}\tag{1}$$ I know $[x,H]$ is just the commutator e.g $xH-Hx$, and the anti-...
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1answer
57 views

Calculate mean number of particles of time evolution coherent state [closed]

I seem to be missing some identities. I know you need to calculate P_n = |<n|alpha_t>|^2 and mean number of particles is the infinite sum of nP_n. However I ...
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65 views

Show that $|n\rangle$ is correctly normalized [closed]

Prove that $$|n\rangle = \frac1{\sqrt{n!}} (\hat a^\dagger)^n |0\rangle$$ is correctly normalized. I know I must show its bra-ket equals 1 but I don't know what bra-ket notation really means, so I ...
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123 views

Canonical Commutation Relations in arbitrary Canonical Coordinates

If one were to formulate quantum mechanics in an arbitrary canonical coordinate system, does he impose canonical commutation relations using Dirac's recipe? $$[\hat{Q}_i,\hat{P}_j]~=~i\hbar~\{q_i,p_j\...
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131 views

Is there a physical significance to non-normal states of the algebra of observables?

Quantum theory may be formalized in several different ways. Generally, the physical discussion of different states of a quantum system distinguishes pure and mixed states, and then subsumes both in a ...
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102 views

Closure relation for degenerate eigenkets

Consider an observable in quantum mechanics, with a degenerate eigenvalue in a continuous spectrum. Is it possible for such an eigenvalue to have a finite degeneracy? If the degeneracy is infinite, ...
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96 views

Particle Hole Transformation of Hamiltonian

The particle hole transformation for a bipartite lattice $\Lambda$ (with sublattices $A$ and $B$) can be written as $$U^\dagger c_{i,\uparrow} U = \epsilon(i) c^\dagger_{i\uparrow} \\ U^\dagger c_{i,\...
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196 views

Inverse Quantum Operator

In the quantum harmonic oscillator problem, how would one go about calculating $$\left\langle n\left|\frac{1}{X^2}\right|n\right\rangle$$ using raising and lowering operators $a^{\dagger}, a$ only, ...
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31 views

The momentum representation of $x$ and $ [x,p]$ [duplicate]

To deduce the momentum representation of $[x,p]$, we can see one paradom $$<p|[x,p]|p>=iℏ$$ $$<p|[x,p]|p>=<p|xp|p>−<p|px|p>=p<p|x|p>−p<p|x|p>=0$$ Why? If we ...
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0answers
53 views

Why Hamiltonian is Hermitian? [duplicate]

Everyone knows that this is needed to make eigenvalues real, but still why we enforcing such a structure at first place? An arbitrary operator can have as complex as real eigenvalues, we can simply ...
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2answers
442 views

Is there any theorem that suggests that QM+SR has to be an operator theory?

UPDATE To make my question more precise, I'll define what I mean by an operator theory: An operator theory is a theory in which the dynamical objects are operators, i.e., the equations of motion ...
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1answer
52 views

Show that translation and rotation operator are unitary

I have a problem understanding how to show that operators are unitary if they are not in the "normal" matrix form. The translation operator is defined as $$(T_v \psi)(x) = \psi(x-v)$$ and the ...
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1answer
44 views

Distinguishing degenerate states physically

Suppose there is a free particle on a circle with radius r. The energy spectrum is then $$E_n = \frac{n^2\hbar^2}{2mr^2} \,.$$ Thus, when $n \neq 0$, then the spectrum of energies is degenerate ...
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1answer
114 views

Why are eigenspaces of a Hermitian operator mutually orthogonal? [closed]

In Quantum Mechanics, from the properties of the solution of Schrodinger's Equation inside the infinite well, is that they are: Mutually orthogonal for different eigenvalues. Orthonormal. Complete. ...
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1answer
188 views

Explaining causal completion axiom in Haag-Kastler axioms?

There are several variants of the Haag-Kastler axioms for algebraic quantum field theory. Usually one associates an algebra $\mathcal{A}(O)$ to each open region $O$ of spacetime. An often-suggested ...
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99 views

Relation of field creation operators to path integral?

Applying two field creation operators to a vacuum I get: $$\hat{\psi}^\dagger(x)\hat{\psi}^\dagger(y)|0\rangle = (\hat{\phi}(x)\hat{\phi}(y) - s^{-1}(x-y)) |0\rangle$$ where the quantum field ...
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1answer
57 views

Unitary Transfomation from One Basis to Another [closed]

So we have two orthonormal linearly independent basis $\{ |\phi_1 \rangle, \dots, |\phi_n \rangle \}$ and $\{ |\psi_1 \rangle, \dots, |\psi_n \rangle \}$. We can express the basis vectors of the ...
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2answers
344 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 ...
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132 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 ...
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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 ...
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933 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 ...
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1answer
178 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 ...
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1answer
61 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 ...
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1answer
66 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 ...
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527 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 ...
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1answer
98 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 $O = \sum_j \lambda_j P_j$...
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423 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 ...
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1answer
48 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 ...
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2answers
120 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 ...
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1answer
134 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. http://journals.aps.org/prb/...
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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 $\langle{x}|[X,P]|...
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2answers
340 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: $$ \langle\psi|\hat{B}\psi\rangle=\int_{...
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1answer
175 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\...
3
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3answers
261 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
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1answer
275 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 that:...
0
votes
1answer
181 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} \rvert\...
2
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
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1answer
58 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 ...
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1answer
152 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" ...
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231 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 ...
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2answers
57 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 ...
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1answer
60 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 ...
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0answers
47 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}) \hat{a}^\dagger(y'_{...
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votes
1answer
91 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 wrong)...
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439 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 ...