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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Time-ordering in QFT

In Srednicki QFT page 37. In the derivation of LSZ reduction formula, he introduces the time-order operator $T$, so no time-dependent creation/annihilation operators are left in the transition ...
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407 views

What is the nature of the correspondence between unitary operators and reversible change?

Why does the formalism of QM represent reversible changes (eg the time evolution operator, quantum gates, etc) with unitary operators? To put it another way, can it be shown that unitary ...
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196 views

Why must quantum logic gates be linear operators?

Why must quantum logic gates be linear operators? I mean, is it just a consequence of quantum mechanics postulates?
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683 views

Intuitive meaning of Hilbert Space formalism

I am totally confused about the Hilbert Space formalism of Quantum Mechanics. Can somebody please elaborate on the following points: The observables are given by self-adjoint operators on the ...
6
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566 views

Eigenvalues of a quantum field?

Fields in classical mechanics are observables. For example, I can measure the value of the electric field at some (x,t). In quantum field theory, the classical field is promoted to an operator-valued ...
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402 views

What is the value of a quantum field?

As far as I'm aware (please correct me if I'm wrong) quantum fields are simply operators, constructed from a linear combination of creation and annihilation operators, which are defined at every point ...
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384 views

When you apply the spin operator, what exactly is does it tell you?

The example I'm trying to understand is: $ \hat{S}_{x} \begin{pmatrix} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\\ \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} \end{pmatrix} = 1/2 \begin{pmatrix} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\\ \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} ...
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925 views

A Short way to show Conservation of Quantum Laplace–Runge–Lenz Vector?

I had been asked to prove the conservation of Quantum Laplace–Runge–Lenz Vector: ...
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359 views

Operator Ordering Ambiguities

I have been told that $$[\hat x^2,\hat p^2]=2i\hbar (\hat x\hat p+\hat p\hat x)$$ illustrates operator ordering ambiguity. What does that mean? I tried googling but to no avail.
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149 views

Constructing the space of quantum states

I want to learn how to construct spaces of quantum states of systems. As an exercize, I tried to build the space of states and to find hamiltonian spectrum of the quantum system whose Hamiltonian is ...
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1answer
841 views

Adjoint of momentum operator

In position basis, we have, $$\langle x \mid \hat p \mid \Psi(t) \rangle = -\imath \hbar \frac{\partial{\langle x \mid \Psi(t) \rangle}}{\partial{x}} $$ Now i know $\hat{p}$ is a hermitian operator ...
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168 views

Notation for differential operators and wave function math

I know that $[\frac {d^2}{dx^2}]\psi$ is $\frac {d^2\psi}{dx^2}$ but what about this one $[\frac {d^2\psi}{dx^2}]\psi^*$? Is it this like $\frac {d^2\psi\psi^*}{dx^2}$ or this like $\frac ...
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938 views

Is H=H* sloppy notation or really just incorrect, for Hermitian operators?

I saw it in this pdf, where they state that $P=P^\dagger$ and thus $P$ is hermitian. I find this notation confusing, because an operator A is Hermitian if $\langle \Psi | A \Psi \rangle=\langle A ...
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4answers
783 views

Is the momentum operator well-defined in the basis of standing waves?

Suppose I want to describe an arbitrary state of a quantum particle in a box of side $L$. The relevant eigenmodes are those of standing waves, namely $$ \left<x|n\right>=\sqrt{\frac{2}{L}}\cdot ...
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Evolution operator for time-dependent Hamiltonian

When i studyed QM I'm only working with non time-dependent Hamiltonians. In this case unitary evolution operator has the form $$\hat{U}=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}Ht}$$ that follows from this equation $$ ...
4
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425 views

Existence of adjoint of an antilinear operator, time reversal

The time reversal operator $T$ is an antiunitary operator, and I saw $T^\dagger$ in many places (for example when some guy is doing a "time reversal" $THT^\dagger$), but I wonder if there is a ...
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4answers
560 views

Hamiltonian in position basis

Let $ H = \frac{-h^2}{2m}\frac{\partial^2 }{\partial x^2}$. I want to find the matrix elements of $H$ in position basis. It is written like this: $\langle x \mid H \mid x' \rangle = ...
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374 views

The cleverest way to calculate $\left[\hat{a}^{M},\hat{a}^{\dagger N}\right]$ with $\left[\hat{a},\hat{a}^{\dagger}\right]=1$

Who can provide me some elegant solution for $$\left[\hat{a}^{M},\hat{a}^{\dagger N}\right]\qquad\text{with} \qquad\left[\hat{a},\hat{a}^{\dagger}\right]~=~1$$ other than brute force calculation? ...
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329 views

Dirac notation question

I don't understand this equality $$\int \!d^3p~\langle\textbf{x}|e^{-i(\hat{\textbf{p}}^2/2m)t}|\textbf{p}\rangle\langle\textbf{p} | \textbf{x}_0 \rangle ~=~\int\! ...
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3answers
364 views

What does it mean to apply an operator to a state?

Let's say I have an operator $\hat{A}$ and a state $|\psi\rangle$. What exactly is the state $\hat{A}|\psi\rangle$? Is it just another different state that I am describing using my $\hat{A}$ and ...
2
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1answer
181 views

What is the operator for the edge current of a fracional quantum Hall state?

The edge of a fractional quantum Hall state is a chiral conformal field theory. In the Laughlin case it corresponds to the chiral boson, $$ S = \frac{1}{4\pi} \int dt dx ...
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Difficulties with bra-ket notation

I have started to study quantum mechanics. I know linear algebra,functional analysis, calculus, and so on, but at this moment I have a problem in Dirac bra-ket formalism. Namely, I have problem with ...
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2answers
585 views

What does the Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR) tell me about the overlap between Position and Momentum bases?

I'm curious whether I can find the overlap $\langle q | p \rangle$ knowing only the following: $|q\rangle$ is an eigenvector of an operator $Q$ with eigenvalue $q$. $|p\rangle$ is an eigenvector of ...
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1answer
408 views

Holstein-Primakoff and Dyson-Maleev representation

In Holstein-Primakoff and Dyson-Maleev representation, spin operators are represented by bosonic operators. Roughly speaking, a state with $S^z=S-m$ corresponds to a state containing $m$ bosons. In ...
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208 views

Proof of $Dq-qD=1$ where $D=\frac{\partial }{\partial q}$ is the differential operator

Can anyone provie me the proof of $Dq-qD=1$ where $D=\frac{\partial }{\partial q}$ refers to the differential operator? Or if it's something special to quantum mechanics, why is it? Is this ...
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261 views

Physical meaning of some operators formed by $|Q\rangle \langle Q|$

In Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics, Suppose that $q$ represents position observable. About $|q\rangle \langle q|$: what does this operator mean? I do get that it results in an operator, but ...
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1answer
381 views

State normalization in Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics

Let us divide the time $T$ into $N$ segments each lasting $δt = T/N$. Then we write $\langle q_F | e^{−iHT} |q_I \rangle = \langle q_F | e^{−iHδt} e^{−iHδt} . . . e^{−iHδt} |q_I \rangle $ Our ...
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3answers
3k views

Proof of Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR)

I am not sure how $QP-PQ =i\hbar$ where $P$ represent momentum and $Q$ represent position. $Q$ and $P$ are matrices. The question would be, how can $Q$ and $P$ be formulated as a matrix? Also, what is ...
3
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2answers
264 views

Why does $i ( LK-KL )$ represent a real quantity?

According to my textbook, it says that $i( LK-KL )$ represents a real quantity when $K$ and $L$ represent a real quantity. $K$ and $L$ are matrices. It says that this is because of basic rules. ...
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197 views

Ordering Ambiguity in Quantum Hamiltonian

While dealing with General Sigma models (See e.g. Ref. 1) $$\tag{10.67} S ~=~ \frac{1}{2}\int \! dt ~g_{ij}(X) \dot{X^i} \dot{X^j}, $$ where the Riemann metric can be expanded as, $$\tag{10.68} ...
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229 views

How to express continuous values as a matrix

Usually a quantity of a matrix is defined as the eigenvalues of the matrix. If so, how can anyone express continuous values, as in Schrodinger picture, into a matrix?
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66 views

A physical quantity that is a real combination and commutability

Suppose that a matrix $$A ~=~ x_1 B + x_2 C$$ is a linear combination of two self-adjoint matrices $B$ and $C$. I'm interested in when $A$ represents a physical quantity. When the linear ...
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173 views

Matrix representing the quantity - why can some matrices not be physical quantity?

In Heisenberg picture, my textbook says that the following matrix $A = \frac{5}{3}\Sigma_1 + i\frac{4}{3}\Sigma_2$ cannot represent physical quantity. the book says this is because ...
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1answer
610 views

The Hermiticity of the Laplacian (and other operators)

Is the Laplacian operator, $\nabla^{2}$, a Hermitian operator? Alternatively: is the matrix representation of the Laplacian Hermitian? i.e. $$\langle \nabla^{2} x | y \rangle = \langle x | ...
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2answers
355 views

Derivative of a Position Eigenket

I was flicking through Zettili's book on quantum mechanics and came across a 'derivation' of the momentum operator in the position representation on page 126. The author derived that ...
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4answers
455 views

Why are the inner products of the eigenfunctions of an operator with a discrete eigenvalue spectrum guaranteed to exist?

I was reading through a textbook, and the statement was made that the inner products are guaranteed to exist if the eigenvalue spectrum of the operator is discrete. I have come across no support for ...
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161 views

The notion of bounded states in quantum mechanics and their characterization with operators

Is there any case of potential $V$, such that the continuity of the operator $H=c\ \Delta+V$ is not spoiled? And I don't know any non-differnetial operator examples for continous spectra. I ...
3
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3answers
543 views

Existence of creation and annihilation operators

In a multiple particle Hilbert space (any space of any multi-particle system), is it sufficient to define creation and annihilation operators by their action (e.g. mapping an n-particle state to an ...
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3answers
321 views

What is the physical meaning of weak expectation values?

In the two-state formalism of Yakir Aharanov, the weak expectation value of an operator $A$ is $\frac{\langle \chi | A | \psi \rangle}{\langle \chi | \psi \rangle}$. This can have bizarre properties. ...
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1answer
485 views

How do I solve these integrals of wave function and operator?

First integral $$\int \Psi^*({\bf r},t)\hat {\bf p} \Psi({\bf r},t)\, d^3r,$$ where the $\Psi({\bf r},t)=e^{i({\bf k}\cdot{\bf r}-\omega t)}\,\,\,$ and $\hat {\bf p}=-i\hbar \nabla$. Second one ...
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2k views

How should I interpret the expectation value $\langle x p\rangle$ in quantum mechanics?

$xp$ is not a hermitian operator and hence doesn't represent an observable. Then, how can we interpret the expression $$ \langle x p \rangle \text{,} $$ the expectation value of position times ...
3
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1answer
371 views

Hermitian operator ?? is this possible

we know that the operator $ H= - \hbar ^{2} \frac{d^{2}}{dx^{2}}+ V(x) $ is hermitian isn't it ?? however what would happen if the potential were still real but it depends on the Wave function, for ...
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262 views

Properties of expectation values of quantum operators [closed]

$$\langle \hat A \rangle \langle \hat B \rangle=\langle \hat A\hat B \rangle,$$ $$\langle \hat A \rangle + \langle \hat B \rangle=\langle \hat A + \hat B \rangle,$$ $$\langle \hat A^2 \rangle ...
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174 views

When does a function of an operator act in the same way as the operator?

"Consider an operator $A = r - a$, where $r$ is an operator and $a$ is a constant. Consider only those state kets $V_i$ in the Hilbert space such that $AV_i = 0$ ($A$ acting on $V_i$). Define a ...
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1answer
202 views

Inverse of a sum of two easy matrices

Let $A$ be a symmetric positive semidefinite matrix and $I$ the identity matrix. Given the linear equation $$ y = A(A + \sigma^2I)^{-1} x $$ Write $A$ in terms of its eigenvectors $|u_i\rangle$, ...
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1answer
878 views

Operators and Commutator Definitions

I have several problems with General Definitions of an Operator and Commutator : the product of operators is generally not commutative: $$\hat A \hat B \not= \hat B\hat A .$$ what is this means ...
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1answer
116 views

Positive Permutation Tensor

I have seen that one can make an operator with $$ L^i=\epsilon^{ijk}x_{j}\partial_{k} $$ But what if I want to make instead items that are sums, instead of differences. For instance ...
4
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1answer
181 views

Eigenvalue of $L_z$

In section 4.3 of Griffths' "Introduction to Quantum Mechanics", just below Figure 4.6, the sentence begins Let $\hbar \ell$ be the eigenvalue of $L_z$ at this top rung... Why is this valid? ...
2
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1answer
230 views

How could $\textbf{S}^2$ not be a multiple of the identity?

I'm self-studying quantum mechanics with Sakurai's book (Modern Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition) and came across the following in reference to the operator $\textbf{S}^2$: As will be shown in ...
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1answer
643 views

Probability of getting a particular spin

I'm a beginner in quantum mechanics, and I'm a bit confused about states and the probability to measure certain values. I would like to understand at least the following simplified situation: ...