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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
2answers
211 views

How can mean value of a quantity $be$ an operator?

In Laundau & Lifshitz Quantum Mechanics. Non-relativistic theory in $\S29$ a problem is given: PROBLEM Average the tensor $n_in_k-\frac13\delta_{ik}$ (where $\mathbf{n}$ is a unit vector along ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Connection between half and whole integer eigenvalues for orbital angular momentum [duplicate]

I have been trying to follow this derivation from Sakurai and Shankar, pulling from both. I would like to see how the following derivation can be extended to orbital angular momentum, and thus find ...
2
votes
3answers
151 views

Expression of density operator

States in Quantum Mechanics can be thought of as density operators, i.e., positive semi-definite, normalized trace class operators on a Hilbert Space $\mathcal{H}$. In the case ...
6
votes
2answers
789 views

Can expectation value be imaginary?

I was solving a problem and the result of the expectation value of an operator came out to be $-\frac{\hbar}{4}$ $i$. Is this result possible? It seems counter intuitive.
-1
votes
2answers
49 views

Find the eigenvalues of the operator [closed]

A projection operator $P$ is defined as $P^2$=$P$. Use this definition to find the eigenvalues of this operator. In this question is it necessary to define what the projection operator is? And ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Mutually Commutative

What is the definition of a Mutually Commutative set of operators? I've found articles describing a complete set of mutually commutative operators, but I can't actually find what mutually commutative ...
4
votes
0answers
223 views

Is the Hilbert space spanned by both bound and continuous hydrogen atom eigenfunctions?

As e.g. Griffiths says (p. 103, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed.), if a spectrum of a linear operator is continuous, the eigenfunctions are not normalizable, therefore it has no ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Cayley's expansion

Is Cayley's expansion $$\exp(-iH\delta t) \psi(x,t)=\frac{1-\frac{i\delta t}{2}H}{1+\frac{i\delta t}{2}H}\psi(x,t)$$ valid for any operator $H$? What conditions should $H$ fulfill?
3
votes
1answer
136 views

States in light cone string theory

Currently I'm trying to understand string theory in the light cone quantization. I just have had a look into Polchinski (Vol. 1, Introduction to the bosonic string), because – as far as I could see – ...
0
votes
3answers
193 views

QM rotation operator

I have seen the proof that for fermions a rotation of $2 \pi$ does not return a spin angular momentum eigenstate to its original form, but instead multiplies the wavefunction by $-1$. Here is an ...
0
votes
2answers
273 views

Fock Space and fermionic annihilation & creation operators

I have been trying very hard to understand, I am reading Ballentine's book on this topic, but I need help: I realized that I don't understand how many particle states work with the creation & ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

A conjecture about the Møller operator

Consider the Møller operator $$ \Omega_+ = \lim_{t \rightarrow -\infty } e^{i H t } e^{- i H_0 t } , $$ Now, suppose a state $\psi $ is located far away from the potential $V = H- H_0$. I feel that ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

Does this Hamiltonian have point spectrum?

Consider such a Hamiltonian $$ H = - \frac{1}{2} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2} - F x + V(x) ,$$ with $F$ being some constant, and $V(x)= V(x+L)$ being some periodic potential. Does this ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

What is the correct way to treat operators that has “time” in QM? [duplicate]

I don't know if this question has already been resolved but considering that $i\hbar\partial_t$ is the energy operator, and $\partial^2_t$ is the waves operator (or helmholtz), I can't accept that $t$ ...
1
vote
2answers
294 views

What is the expectation value of the position times momentum operator?

Should I write the expectation of the position times momentum operator as: $$\langle xp\rangle = \langle \psi|x (-i\hbar \partial_x) |\psi \rangle$$ or $$\langle xp\rangle = \langle \psi| (-i\hbar ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

What is the missing step in this result regarding the creation operators in Fock space?

In the above extract from Simons and Altman: Condensed Matter Field Theory, I am having trouble getting from (2.3) to (2.4) in the case of Fermions (ζ=-1 and the n(subscript i) values are modulo 2). ...
3
votes
3answers
136 views

Bounded operator - definition?

As mentioned also in Bounded and Unbounded Operator, an operator $A$ is said to be bounded, if $$\|Af\|\leq k \|f\|,$$ where the constant $k$ does not depend on the choice of $f$ (let us consider a ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Showing a measurement operator has a particular form

I came across an exercise (Ex 1.16) in 'Quantum Measurement and Control' by Wiseman and Milburn that I am having some trouble with. Suppose we have some system $S$ coupled with two meters in states ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

Wave functions as $x$ goes to infinity

This problem emerged when I was going through some QM exercises: I've been asked to find the commutator $[A,B]$ where $A,B$ are defined as $$A\psi(x)=x\frac{\partial }{\partial x}\psi(x),$$ ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Reducing unitary evolution operator of a two-spin system to the evolution operator of one of the spins

Consider a system of two spins $s_1$ and $s_2$, each of which can be in one of two states, represented by 0 or 1. A basis for the Hilbert space of this system would be {|0,0>,|0,1>,|1,0> and |1,1>}, ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

If I want to determine a particle's momentum or position, do I get this information from the wave function?

I am confused about how one measures the dynamical variables (eg position) of a particle. I thought the wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ was the probability amplitude and $|\Psi(x,t)|^2$ represents the ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

How to prove that the position operator in momentum is $i\hbar \partial/\partial p$ - One Missing Sign [duplicate]

I am trying to prove that the position operator in momentum space is $i\hbar \partial/\partial p$ but my derivation is missing one sign. Can someone spot the error? Start with $$<\hat x> ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What am I REALLY doing when I take the Fourier transform of the momentum operator

I was playing around with some equations and found a surprising relationship when I took the fourier transform of the momentum operator Define $\hat P = \frac{\hbar}{i} \partial_x$, then $F(\hat P) = ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

What is the difference between a parameter, a variable, and an operator in QM?

On the question why time isn't an operator, people will usually say that time is a parameter in QM (Time as a Hermitian operator in QM?) and not a variable. Can someone please distinguish between a ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Multivariable functions of Grassmann numbers

I'm trying to derive the closed form of the fermionic coherent state defined by the relation: $$ f_i|\vec{\eta}\rangle = \eta_i |\vec{\eta}\rangle \tag{4.10} $$ My book (Atland and Simons, Condensed ...
3
votes
2answers
507 views

Finding the matrix representation of a superoperator

I am trying to express superoperator (e.g. the Liouvillian) as matrices and am having a hard time finding a way to do this. For instance, given the Pauli matrix $\sigma_y$, how do I find the matrix ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

Why isn't the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated in terms of spacetime?

As I understand it, there are two "versions" of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: Position-Momentum uncertainty \begin{equation} \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} \end{equation} where ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

A series of bound states covering an interval

Generally, the bound states (normalizable eigenvectors) of a Hamiltonian have discrete eigenvalues. Is it possible for the eigenvalues to cover an interval? Say, $(a,b)$? That is, for each $E \in ...
1
vote
2answers
167 views

About the orthogonality of the Hamiltonian eigenstates for the the continuous energy spectrum

I would like first to describe a strange case that I encountered. $ \ \ - $ I solved the Schrodinger equation with a potential barrier (a potential well limited by a finite height wall which decrease ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Regarding calculations with plane waves

I'm dealing with some basic calculations with plane waves and I'm having some trouble with an idea. It has been said in another question that if you take to momenta like, for example ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Expectation value with plane waves [duplicate]

Hey guys Im a little confused with the concept of plane waves and how to perform an expectation value. Let me show you by an example. Suppose you have a wave function of the form ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does non-commutativity in quantum mechanics require us to use Hilbert spaces?

I am reading Why we do quantum mechanics on Hilbert spaces by Armin Scrinzi. He says on page 13: What is new in quantum mechanics is non-commutativity. For handling this, the Hilbert space ...
-2
votes
1answer
94 views

Multiplication properties about trace of two operators [closed]

Consider two operators $A$ and $B$, their functions $e^A$ and $e^B$ and a basis that mutual diagonalizes $A$ and $B$. Can I say that $$Tr\left[e^Ae^B\right]=Tr\left[e^A\right]Tr\left[e^B\right]~?$$ ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Tensor operators and transformation of $O^s_{\ell}|j,m,\alpha\rangle$

In H. Georgi's Lie Algebras in Particle Physics one defines a tensor operator transforming under the spin-$s$ representation of $SU(2)$ as the set of operators $O^s_{\ell}$ (for $\ell=-s...s$) such ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

Non Hermitian Quantum Mechanics

I was just reading about Non-Hermitian Quantum Mechanics dealing with Hamiltonians $H$ that are not Hermitian operators. Then it is unclear that we get orthonormal eigenstates. Now, I was reading a ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Different kinds of trace for statistical ensembles

In the chapter 7 of the book "A Modern Course in Statiscal Physics" by L. Reichl, we found $Tr[\hat{\rho}]=1$ for microcanonical ensembles and $Tr_N[\hat{\rho}]=1$ for canonical and grandcanonical ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Rectangular window $\psi$ wave-function and the calculus of $\langle p^2\rangle$ for it

I'm currently considering a rectangular window $\psi$ function: $$ \psi(x) = \begin{cases}\left(2a\right)^{-1/2}&\text{for } |x|<a \\ 0&\text{otherwise.} \end{cases} $$ I am interested in ...
4
votes
0answers
220 views

Derivation of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation

I was trying to understand the derivation of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation in Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, Section 6.1. Our teacher presented a much simpler derivation, similar to that on ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

Calculation of $\langle p\rangle$ and $\langle p^2\rangle$ for wave function [closed]

Given the wave function $$\psi(x)=A\exp\left[-a \left(\frac{mx^{2}}{\hbar}+it\right)\right]$$ I would like to calculate $\sigma_{p}$. \begin{align}\langle p\rangle &=\int ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

How does the Hermiticity of an operator imply that functions have an expansion in in multiple bases?

In Shankar QM it is stated that since the $\boldsymbol K$ operator is Hermitian, vectors, which are expanded in the $\boldsymbol X$ basis with components $f(x) = \langle x | f \rangle$, must have an ...
2
votes
3answers
561 views

Do we need an orthonormal basis in Quantum Mechanics?

I was wondering if it is important in Quantum Mechanics to deal with operators that have an orthonormal basis of eigenstates? Imagine that we would have an operator (finite-dimensional) acting on a ...
-1
votes
2answers
189 views

Proving that conservation of momentum doesn't apply to electron in H-atom

To prove that the conservation of linear momentum doesn't apply to electron in H-atom, is it sufficient to show that angular momentum operator ($\hat L$) and momentum operator ($\hat p$) do not ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Can changing representation change the meaning of density operator?

I had posted a question What is the actual meaning of the density operator?. After that I understood that if I have the expression of a density operator $$\rho=\sum_{i=1}^{i=k}p_i|\psi_i\rangle ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

Basis spin states

We are given a system of $N$ spin states and the following (non-hermitian) Hamiltonian $$H = \frac{N \hbar \nu}{2M} \sin(\alpha)+ \sum_{i=1}^N \frac{\hbar \omega_i }{2} \sigma_{z,i} + \frac{\hbar \nu ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Bopp operators and Wigner-Weyl representation

I am learning about the Wigner-Weyl transformations to move a $c$-number Lindblad operator $A(x,p)$ back into operator form. As far as I know, to move back and forth normally requires a four variable ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Can one representation of a projector operator be re-arranged to get another?

I have a vector space $V$ and a subspace of $V$, $W$. Let $P$ be the projection operator for subspace $W$. Also let the dimension of $W$ be $d$. Also I have two orthonormal basis $(a_1,a_2,...a_d)$ ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Group representation acting on operators (QFT)

I have found in many texts the following statement: Let $T_g$ be a representation of a group (of transformations, e.g. rotations, translations, Lorentz transformations ) acting on a given Hilbert ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

Does quantum mechanics only deal with Hermitian/self-adjoint operators?

Whatever matrix I am seeing in quantum mechanics all all Hermitian matrices. We are using their eigenvalues for different types of work. Fortunately all their eigenvalues are real. Have you ever seen ...
1
vote
3answers
199 views

The Hermitian operator can have many outer product representations?

Let $H$ be a Hermitian operator, so it can be written as $$H=\lambda_1P_1+\lambda_2P_2........\lambda_kP_k,$$ where $\lambda_i$ are eigen values and $P_i$ corresponding projector operators for the ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Charge operator and the Goldstone boson

Can you explain a one question from Goldstone theorem about charge operator, what does it mean when theory said that charge operator annihilate vacuum and even it create new state of vacuum, which is ...