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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Diagonalization Of $(\sigma_x+\sigma_y)$

Can this matrix $(\sigma_x\pm\sigma_y)$ be diagonalised? Clearly, if $\sigma_x$ is diagonalized by a similarity transformation $S_1\sigma_x{S_1}^{-1}$, then $\sigma_y$ can't be diagonalized by $S_1$, ...
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75 views

Eigenvalues of Infinite Dimensional Matrix [duplicate]

If I take a infinite-dimensional square matrix, what can I say about its eigenvalue spectrum? Will they have a discrete infinity of eigenvalues or continuous infinity of them?
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305 views

Imaginary Eigenvalue Of A Hermitian Operator

The eigenfunctions of a Hermitian operator are real. But consider a function $\psi(x)=e^{-\kappa x}$, $x\in\mathbb{R}$, where $\kappa$ is a real constant. Then, $$\hat p \psi(x)=-i\hbar ...
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Help Simplifying a Commutator Equation

For the SHO, our teacher told us to scale $$p\rightarrow \sqrt{m\omega\hbar} ~p$$ $$x\rightarrow \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{m\omega}}~x$$ And then define the following $$K_1=\frac 14 (p^2-q^2)$$ $$K_2=\frac ...
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Commutators involving functions

I am looking for the commutator: $$[e^{aq},p]$$ My approach is to Taylor expand the function: $$[\sum_n \frac{1}{n!}(aq)^n,p]$$ I know that $[q^n,p]=ni\hbar q^{n-1}$ So how do I account for $n$ ...
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109 views

Simple Commutator question

For some reason this is really tripping me up: $$[q_rq_sp_r,q_sp_rq_s]$$ Where $r$ and $s$ are different. Is this just zero because $p_r$ on $q_s =0$. I am trying to simplify this and I feel like 0 ...
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172 views

Mathematical motivation of OPE?

In Peskin & Schroeder (and also Cheng which I have skimmed through) they motivate the Operator Product Expansion with a lot of words. Is there any way to motivate it mathematically, e.g. Taylor ...
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301 views

Example of application of creation/annihilation operators in matrix form

I was wondering how it would sound like the creation/annihilation of particles that we usually do in the context of Dirac formalism, with matrices and vectors. As a reminder we know that: ...
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48 views

Implementing a transformation as $UaU$ and not $UaU^{-1}$?

I know one associates to each symmetry transformation a unitary/antiunitary operater...etc. But equation 3.123 in Peskin and Schroeder (PS) says that parity is implemented as $(\mathbf{p}$ is the ...
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533 views

Representation of operators in quantum mechanics

For which systems we represent the Hamiltonian as a differential operator and for which system we represent it by a matrix? Can the momentum be represented by a matrix operator?
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184 views

Continuity domain for momentum operator

I know this is essentially a mathematic question, but I received no answer on math SE. Moreover it has a direct application in physics, so I thought to ask this here too. The momentum operator in one ...
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273 views

Question about creation operator and its Hermitian adjoint

The definition of creation operator for bosonic system is $$a^{\dagger}|... n_i ...\rangle = \sqrt{n_i + 1} |... n_i + 1 ...\rangle $$ If I take Hermitian adjoint of this I will get ...
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103 views

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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520 views

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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161 views

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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87 views

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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86 views

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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215 views

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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173 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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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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167 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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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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137 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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189 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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438 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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108 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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320 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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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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198 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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244 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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101 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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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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138 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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107 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
108 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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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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224 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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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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79 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 ...
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208 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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685 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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155 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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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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68 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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Commutator $[\hat{p},F(\hat{x})]$ of Momentum $\hat{p}$ with a Position dependent function $F(\hat{x})$?

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 ...