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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Really how can an observable quantity be equal to an operator?

A wave-function can be written as $$\Psi = Ae^{-i(Et - px)/\hbar}$$ where $E$ & $p$ are the energy & momentum of the particle. Now, differentiating $\Psi$ w.r.t. $x$ and $t$ respectively, ...
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Particle in a box - speed probability distribution

Consider a particle in a box with infinite barriers. By solving the Schrödinger we can find the probability of finding the particle at some points in the box. How can we find the probability of ...
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What is the effect of squeezing on the Husimi phase space representation or Q-function?

The effect of the squeezing operator \begin{equation} S = e^{- r (a^2 + a^{\dagger 2}) / 2} \end{equation} on a Wigner phase space representation or W-function of a system with density matrix $\rho$ ...
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Schaum explication of eigenvectors of Lz

In Schaum's Quantum Mechanics, in Chapter 6 Angular Momentum, they say "the eigenvectors of $L^2$ and $L_z$ are functions that depend on the angles $\theta$ and $\phi$ only; hence, we can represent ...
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Change of variables for integral operator

One can write the operator $L=(\sqrt{1-i\partial_x^2}-1)$, as an integral, that is $$(\sqrt{1-i\partial_x^2}-1)B(x,t)=\frac{i}{4\pi^2} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}(\omega(k_o+\kappa)-\omega(k_o))e^{i ...
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Commutators and Operators [closed]

Is commutator of two operators an operator? I searched google but still got no success! I'm very curious to know the answer to this!
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On linear operators and their complex qualities

In the Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Dirac states that all linear operators $\alpha$ over our vector field (over the complex numbers) can be expressed as the sum of a real and an imaginary part ...
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How to transform the Laplacian from momentum space to coordinate space

I'm working through some quantum mechanics problems with solution sets (attempting the problems then looking at the solutions to compare), and a little part of a solution has stumped me. I'm not sure ...
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44 views

How are anti-unitary operators applied?

I was reading about anti-unitary operators from Wikipedia. They give an example of an anti-unitary operator: were $K$ is complex conjugate operation. $\sigma_y$ is defined with respect to two ...
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Commuting observables and CSCO's

I've been looking at some basic quantum mechanics all day in an attempt to better my understanding of the subject. While going over the proof that commuting operators are compatible, I started getting ...
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Would $[\hat{Q},\hat{H}]$ correspond to an observable? [closed]

Would $[\hat{Q},\hat{H}]$ correspond to an observable? Where $\hat{Q}$ is an observable and $\hat{H}$ is the Hamiltonian. Surely that would just mean that $[\hat{Q},\hat{H}]$ would commute i.e. = 0?: ...
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$\hat{L}_{x}$ and $\hat{L}_{y}$ do not commute… or do they?

So $\hat{L}_{x}$ and $\hat{L}_{y}$ do not commute: $$ [ \hat{L}_{x}, \hat{L}_{y}] = i\hbar \hat{L}_{z}$$ But, what if we perform this operation on a state such that: $$\hat{L}_{z} \phi_{l, m_{l}} ...
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Expectation value of total angular momentum $\langle J \rangle$

[I am working with Griffiths Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 3rd Edition. My problem is general but if you want to look I am reading from ch 4.1 in which the weak-field Zeeman Effect is being ...
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Relationship between those two “exponentials”

Let $G$ be a Lie group and $L(G)$ it's Lie algebra. We know that every left-invariant vector field $X$ in $G$ is complete, and so one can consider the integral curve defined for all $t\in \mathbb{R}$ ...
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Proofs on operator algebra [closed]

I'd like to ask the community to please verify the first two proofs below and help me get through the last one since I seem to be stuck. Thank you in advance. Proof 1: Given two noncommutting ...
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How to derive Uncertainty Principle relation?

How to derive Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle relation?
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How might I show that an operator is, by definition, an 'observable'? [closed]

Here is my problem: I understand what is meant by 'observable' but don't have a formal definition at hand. How do I 'show' it?
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1answer
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Fourier transform of a set of L fermions operators

I have a set of L fermion creation and annihilation operators: $\lbrace{\hat{C}^+_1,...,\hat{C}^+_L\rbrace}$ and $\lbrace{\hat{C}^-_1,...,\hat{C}^-_L\rbrace}$. Every $\hat{C}^+_l,\hat{C}^-_l$ ...
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Adiabatic Theorem in Terms of Eigenvector Derivatives

The necessary conditions for quantum Adiabatic Theorem validity is usually stated in terms of eigenvalue gaps for parameterized Hermitian matrices, or Hamiltonians. If $H(t)$ is a parameterized ...
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240 views

Laplace-Beltrami vs d'Alembert operators in flat vs curved space-time

I am confused with the difference between Laplace-Beltrami (LB) and d'Alembert operators in flat/curved space-time. d'Alembert operator in flat space-time (Minkowski) is defined as $$\Box= ...
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1answer
74 views

When can I swap around the order of operators?

I was doing this question: Using $\left< x \middle| p\right> = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi \hbar}}e^{ipx/\hbar}$ show that: $$ \left<x \middle| \hat{p} \middle| \psi \right> = -i\hbar ...
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1answer
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How to act an operator on a two-particle spin state?

I'm doing an assignment for my quantum class at the moment and I'm having trouble figuring out how to act a Spin operator on a two-particle state - specifically in finding the eigenvalues - I've spent ...
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Uniqueness of expression of a Lie group element

Just take the SU(2) group as an example. The three generators are $J_z$, $J_+$, and $J_-$. For an element $ g $, sometimes we want to express it as $$ g = e^{i a J_+} e^{i b J_z} e^{i c J_-} . $$ ...
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$su(1,1) \cong su(2)$?

The three generators of $su(2)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ [J_0 , J_\pm] = J_\pm , \quad [J_+, J_- ] = +2J_0 .$$ The three generators of $su(1,1)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ ...
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Proof for Negele and Orland equation (2.34)

The equation (2.34) of Negele and Orland has $$\mathcal H_\text{A}(\hat{\mathbf p},\hat{\mathbf x}) = \frac{1}{2m}\left(\hat {\mathbf p} - \frac e c \mathbf A(\hat{\mathbf x})\right)^2.\tag{2.34a}$$ ...
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How can I tell if the spectrum of an operator in QM is degenerate?

I know that the collection of all the eigenvalues of an operator $\hat{Q}$ is called its point spectrum, and sometimes two or more linearly independent eigenfunctions share the same eigenvalue, and in ...
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1answer
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Quantum Harmonic Oscillators

I'm having trouble with quantum harmonic oscillators and I'm not sure how to approach these questions: . I'd really like to get my head around these concepts but I'm struggling to understand fully. ...
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How do you find the projection operator onto an eigenspace if you don't know the eigenvector?

I was working on exercise 2.60 of Nielsen-Chuang which is as follows: Show that $\vec{v}\cdot\vec{\sigma}$ has eigenvalues $\pm 1$, and that the projectors onto the corresponding eigenspaces are ...
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1answer
139 views

Can I Weyl-order the following Hamiltonian?

I am trying to perform a path integral but I am having trouble with the Weyl ordering of my Hamiltonian. The Lagrangian of the system in question is $$L~=~\frac{1}{2}f(q)\dot{q}^2,$$ where $f(q)$ ...
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When trying to see what symmetries an operator generates, how do you “decide” what coordinate to apply it to?

Suppose I have $\hat{O}_{1}=-i\hbar\partial_{x}$ then \begin{eqnarray} e^{-i\gamma\hat{O}_{1}/\hbar}x\,e^{i\gamma\hat{O}_{1}/\hbar}=x+\gamma \end{eqnarray} and \begin{eqnarray} ...
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Fluctuation operator and partial wave

Can someone please explain to me why the expression $[-\Box + U''(\Phi(r))]$ is called the fluctuation operator? I was also wondering how to derive the following for the $l^{th}$ partial wave of the ...
3
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1answer
113 views

Time Evolution of Position Operator

I am trying to understand why $$e^{-it\triangle}xe^{it\triangle}=x-2it\nabla$$ where $x$ is just multiplication operator by $x$. In particular, the text says this can be seen by differentiating with ...
3
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What exactly implies the need of quantum mechanics for self-adjoint and not only symmetric operators? [duplicate]

We know that quantum mechanics requires self-adjoint operators, not only symmetric. Can we say that this follows ONLY from the two following axioms of quantum mechanics, namely that each observable ...
2
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3answers
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Deriving cross product from angular momentum algebra

Is it possible to derive: \begin{equation} \hat{L}=\hat{r}\times \hat{p} \end{equation} from the angular momentum algebra: \begin{equation} [\hat{L}_i,\hat{L}_j]=i\ \hbar\ \epsilon_{ijk}\hat{L}_k\ ? ...
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Does the time ordering operator have a rigorous definition?

In quantum field theory, the time ordering operator (TOO) appears in the formal expressions for the scattering amplitudes. It acts upon a product of operators that each depends on time, and returns ...
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233 views

What is the meaning of commuting Hamiltonians?

I have two quantum mechanical Hamiltonians such that \begin{equation} [\hat{H}_1,\hat{H}_2] = 0, \end{equation} where $\hat{H}_1$ and $\hat{H}_2$ act on the same set of states. What is there to ...
2
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234 views

Tensor product of operators in QM

If I wanted to find the coefficients of a linear transformation between 2 vectors in the basis for 2 spin $1/2$ paticles (let's say for starters we are not even looking for a unitary transform): ...
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1answer
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Why can we not choose the stress tensor in a CFT to be identically symmetric?

The stress tensor for a conformal field theory (or any quantum field theory) can be derived from the action $S$ by the functional derivative $$T^{\mu \nu} ~=~ -\frac{2}{\sqrt{|g|}}\frac{\delta ...
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1answer
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What is the idea behind canonical quantization?

From what I understand, canonical quantization of a classical theory consists of replacing the observables by abstract operators, of which only the commutation rules, which have to correspond to the ...
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1answer
52 views

About shift operators

The question is this: Does $$L_+ L_- Y_{lm} $$ ,where $Y_{lm}$ is a spherical harmonic function, equals to zero. If so, why? The two operators above are defined as $$L_+ ={L_x + iL_y } $$ $$L_-={L_x ...
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Physical significance of Cayley Transform

In the book on Quantum Mechanics by Capri (in Chapter 6), its said that an operator $A$ is self adjoint if the operator, $U$ given by $$ U = (A - i I)(A + i I)^{-1} = -(I+iA)(I-iA)^{-1} = -\text ...
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Why do $S_x$ and $S_y$ flip up/down spin states but $S_z$ does not?

By using the notation $S\lvert s,m_s\rangle$, such that $\bigl\lvert\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2}\bigr\rangle=\lvert+\rangle$ and $\bigl\lvert\frac{1}{2},-\frac{1}{2}\bigr\rangle=\lvert-\rangle$ we can ...
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Why is it “disconcerting” if the components of an operator do not commute?

A symmetrized operator is given by $$\hat{R}=\frac{1}{2\hat{H}}\hat{N}+\hat{N}\frac{1}{2\hat{H}}.$$ With $\hat{H}$ the Hamiltonian and $\hat{N}$ the first moment of energy. The defined $\hat{R}$ is ...
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Cayley transform to von Neumann theorem

Self-ajointness of an operator can be found using the Cayley transform of the operator, if its unitary, $$ U = (A - i I)(A + i I)^{-1} $$ From this we can go about finding the deficiency subspaces ...
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1answer
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What really is the self-adjoint extension?

Going through the Quantum mechanics book by Capri, am time and again held with some stupid doubts on this topic of self-adjointness. We have for the momentum operator in finite domain, $$ p = ...
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1answer
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Quantum state of a system after measurements with non-commutative operators

a) Assume two operators $A$ and $B$. 1) Assume $$[A,B]=0 $$ and $$ ψ= \sum c_n u_n ~~~~\text a~ wavefunction~ describing~ the~ state~ of~ the~ system $$ with $$Aψ=a_n u_n $$ $$Bψ=b_n u_n$$ If we ...
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Using creation and annihilation operators to prove the expression for the $n$th excited state in terms of the vacuum state

How does one prove that the $n^{th}$ excited state of a quantum harmonic oscillator (QHO) can be obtained by applying the creation operator $a^{\dagger}$ $n$-times to the vacuum state $\vert ...
3
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1answer
60 views

Eigenvectors of $p_x$ in a particular domain

Defining the $p_x$ operator for the problem of particle in a infinite well. In the book by Capri on Quantum mechanics, the domain of the operator is given by, $$ p = -i\hbar \frac{\partial ...
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1answer
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Commutator of fermionic operators

The fermionic creation/annihilation operators are defined by the anti-commutation relations: $$ \{a_k^{\dagger},a_q^{\dagger}\} = 0 = \{a_k,a_q \} $$ $$ \{a_k^{\dagger},a_q\} = \delta_{kq} \, .$$ I ...
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1answer
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Has anyone published the procedure to generalize ladder operators for any potential in Schrodinger's equation?

I know that the ladder operator for the quantum harmonic oscillator \begin{align} H\psi_m = \left(\dfrac{p^2}{2m}+\dfrac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2\right)\psi_m=E_m\psi_m \end{align} is \begin{align} A = ...