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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Heisenberg picture of QM as a result of Hamilton formalism

Let's have formula of full time-derivative of physical value in Poisson's formalism: $$\tag{1} \frac{df}{dt} = -[H, f]_{P. br.} + \frac{\partial f}{\partial t}, $$ where $[A, B]_{P. br.}$ is Poisson's ...
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What conserved quantities are in 1D free quantum particle

From Laundau & Lifshitz "Quantum Mechanics": If there are two conserved physical quantities $f$ and $g$ whose operators do not commute, then the energy levels of the system are in general ...
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108 views

The square of Pauli-Lubanski operator

Let's have Pauli-Lubanski operator: $$ \hat {W}^{\alpha} = \frac{1}{2}\varepsilon^{\alpha \beta \gamma \delta}\hat {J}_{\beta \gamma}\hat {P}_{\delta} = \frac{1}{2}\varepsilon^{\alpha \beta \gamma ...
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3answers
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The Momentum Operator in QM

I've seen the 'derivation' as to why momentum is an operator, but I still don't buy it. Momentum has always been just a product $m{\bf v}$. Why should it now be an operator. Why can't we just multiply ...
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Bounded and Unbounded (Scattering) States in Quantum Mechanics

I understand that bounded states in quantum mechanics imply that the total energy of the state, $E$, is less than the potential $V_0$ at + or - spatial infinity. Similarly, the scattering state ...
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276 views

Unitary transformations in mixed discrete-continuous representations

I am having trouble with the unitary transformation of a certain Hamiltonian in the paper Zhai, H. Spin-orbit coupled quantum gases. Int. J. Mod. Phys. B 26 no. 1, 1230001 (2012). arXiv:1110.6798 ...
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Quantum Mechanics Basics: product space

Consider a coupled harmonic oscillator with their position given by $x_1$ and $x_2$. Say the normal coordinates $x_{\pm}={1\over\sqrt{2}} (x_1\pm x_2)$, in which the harmonic oscillators decouple, ...
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193 views

Compute the central charge of $bc$ conformal field theory

I have a s****d question, how to calculate the central charge of $bc$ conformal-field theory in Polchinski's string theory, Eq. (2.5.12)? For a $bc$ CFT given by $$S=\frac{1}{2\pi } \int d^2 z \,\,b ...
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What physical value is described by following operator?

Let's have the system of point-like non-interacting particles and it's own angular momentum $$ \mathbf L_{1} = \mathbf L - [\mathbf R_{E} \times \mathbf P], $$ where $\mathbf R_{E}$ - center of energy ...
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1answer
162 views

Axiomatic structure behind Dirac's formulation of QM?

According to the paper Quantum Mechanics Beyond Hilbert Space by J.P. Antoine, several mathematical structures have been devised to make mathematical sense of Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics ...
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Identity of Operator Product Expansion (OPE)

I have one more s****d question in Polchinski's string theory book, Eqs. (2.3.14a) $$ j^{\mu}(z) :e^{ik \cdot X(0,0)}:~ \sim~ \frac{k^{\mu}}{2 z} :e^{ik \cdot X(0,0)}:,$$ where $j^{\mu}_a ...
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Identify the coefficients of Operator Product Expansion (OPE)

Sorry I have a stupid question in Polchinski's string theory book vol 1, p46. For a holomorphic function $T(z)$ with a general operator $\mathcal{A}$, there is a Laurent expansion $$T(z) A(0,0) \sim ...
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1answer
169 views

Number operator and Dirac field (with anticommutation relations)

Before using anticommutation relatives the energy, momentum, charge and number operators of the Dirac field have following expressions: $$ \hat {H} = \int \epsilon_{\mathbf p}\left( \hat ...
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1answer
173 views

Reason behind canonical quantization in QFT?

Reason behind canonical quantization in QFT? In the scalar field theory we simply promote the scalar field, $\phi(x)$ to a set of operators: $\hat{\phi}(x)$. What is the reason behind this?
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What is the most general expression for the coordinate representation of momentum operator?

I have a question about deriving the coordinate representation of momentum operator from the commutation relation, $[x,p]= i$. One derivation (ref W. Greiner's Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction, 4th ...
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212 views

Operator norm of creation and annihilation operators

Are the creation and the annihilation operators $a(f)$ and $a^{\dagger}(f)$ for the bosonic Fock space bounded? What is their norm? So far I did not have found any note about this in the linked ...
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490 views

quantum mechanics current operators

How to derive the charge current and the energy current operators in second quantized form in Quantum mechanics ? Also if you could comment in a similar way on the entropy current operator, that will ...
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146 views

Operator on Function of Momentum (QM)

I have exactly 0 clue on how to start this problem, but I would be forever grateful for a hint in the right direction. Given the operators $\hat x=x$ and $\hat p=-i\hbar \frac{d}{dx}$, prove the ...
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Unitary spacetime translation operator

Srednicki writes: We can make this a little fancier by defining the unitary spacetime translation operator $$ T(a) \equiv \exp(-iP^\mu a_\mu/ \hbar) $$ Then we have $$ T(a)^{-1} \phi(x) T(a) = ...
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162 views

Time-ordered Derivative and Equal-time Commutator

In Green, Schwarz & Witten Superstring theory, Vol. I, page 141, I don't understand how pulling the derivative inside the Time-ordered product can give an Equal-time Commutator: $$\tag{3.2.44} ...
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188 views

Does the Renormalization of QFT Contradict Canonical Quantization?

Does the renormalization of QFT contradict canonical quantization? In canonical quantization, you take the classical fields and canonical momenta and turn them into operators, and you require that ...
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Differences between symmetric, Hermitian, self-adjoint, and essentially self-adjoint operators

I am a physicist. I always heard physicists used the terminology "symmetric", "Hermitian", "self-adjoint", and "essentially self-adjoint" operators interchangeably. Actually what is the difference ...
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Proof for the completeness of eigenfunctions of a self-adjoint operator

I always heard the eigenfunctions of a self-adjoint operator form a complete basis. Where can I find a proof in infinite dimension space? Presumably readable for physicists.
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468 views

Schrödinger equation in position representation

$$ \DeclareMathOperator{\dif}{d \!} \newcommand{\ramuno}{\mathrm{i}} \newcommand{\exponent}{\mathrm{e}} \newcommand{\ket}[1]{|{#1}\rangle} \newcommand{\bra}[1]{\langle{#1}|} ...
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How to promote algebraic expressions to operators in quantum mechanics?

Okay, I know that in quantum mechanics the quantum observable is obtained from the classical observable by the prescription $$ X \rightarrow x,\quad P \rightarrow -i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x} ...
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Why are eigenfunctions which correspond to discrete/continuous eigenvalue spectra guaranteed to be normalizable/non-normalizable?

These facts are taken for granted in a QM text I read. The purportedly guaranteed non-normalizability of eigenfunctions which correspond to a continuous eigenvalue spectrum is only partly justified by ...
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Commutator with a square root

How to find the commutator $[a, \sqrt{a^\dagger a}]$? Here $a$ is a usual bosonic annihilation operator, and $[a, a^\dagger] = 1$. The first thing I tried is $$ [x,A] = [x, \sqrt{A}]\sqrt{A} + ...
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Are higher order mixed partial derivatives of wave function with different ordination equal?

For example, given two operators: $$A = \frac{\partial}{\partial x}+\frac{\partial}{\partial y},$$ $$B =\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2}{\partial y^2} + 1.$$ Deriving commutator ...
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Expectation value of position in infinite square well

I'm looking for some help to a question. I'm working in the infinite square well, and I have the wavefunction: $$\psi(x,t=0)=A\left( i\sqrt{2}\phi_{1}+\sqrt{3}\phi_{2} \right).$$ For every time t, ...
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Non-associative operators in Physics

Are non-associative operators (or other kind of elements) used in Physics? For example, in QM I'm looking for something like this: $A(BC)|\psi\rangle \ne (AB)C|\psi\rangle$ NOTE: I think that this ...
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1answer
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Replacing an operator with its expectation value

While dealing with a circling particle in an spherical symetric potential our professor said that we can replace an operator of $z$ component of angular momentum $\hat{L}_z$ with the expectation value ...
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Can one define an acceleration operator in quantum mechanics?

It seems most books about QM only talk about position and momentum operators. But isn't it also possible to define a acceleration operator? I thought about doing it in the following way, starting ...
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Non-Hermiticity when Fourier transforming onto a finite lattice

I'm doing numerical simulations. I have the Haldane model in a honeycomb lattice where $$ H = \sum \limits_{<ij>}a^\dagger_i b_j + h.c $$ Where $i$ belongs to sublattice $A$, and $j$ to ...
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From position space to momentum space

Lets say I have a state vector $\left|\Psi(t)\right\rangle$ in a position space with an orthonormal position basis. If I now use an operator $\hat{p}$ on this basis I will get basis which corresponds ...
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1answer
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Observables - what are they?

I often read in books that an observable is represented by an Hermitean operator. But it is deceiving as operator isn't the observable. As far as I've read the observable is denoted like $\langle ...
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Discreteness of set of energy eigenvalues

Given some potential $V$, we have the eigenvalue problem $$ -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\Delta \psi + V\psi = E\psi $$ with the boundary condition $$ \lim_{|x|\rightarrow \infty} \psi(x) = 0 $$ If we ...
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An application of Toeplitz operators

I want to find an application of the Toeplitz operators. All I need is a known problem (not an open problem) which solution use the theory of Toeplitz operators. I don't need all the details but I ...
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1answer
83 views

Eigenvalue $a_n$

Q1: In Zetilli's book page 166 (ch. "Postulates of QM", eq. 3.1) i encountered an expression $\hat{A}|\psi\rangle = a_n|\psi_n\rangle$. I know this is an eigenvalue equation, but i have seen another ...
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Why is this not a realisable operation on a quantum system?

Let $\rho = \begin{bmatrix}\ 1&0 \\ 0&0 \end{bmatrix}$, $\rho' = \begin{bmatrix}\ 0&0 \\ 0&1 \end{bmatrix}$, $\rho'' = \dfrac{1}{2}\begin{bmatrix}\ 1&1 \\ 1&1 \end{bmatrix}$ ...
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Quantum Mechanical Operators in the argument of an exponential

In Quantum Optics and Quantum Mechanics, the time evolution operator $$U(t,t_i) = \exp\left[\frac{-i}{\hbar}H(t-t_i)\right]$$ is used quite a lot. Suppose $t_i =0$ for simplicity, and say the ...
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Schrodinger equation in momentum space [duplicate]

I have a problem this is: When I solve the Schrodinger equation in momentum space, I had done as this: $\begin{array}{l} i\hbar \frac{{\partial \Psi }}{{\partial t}} = - \frac{\hbar ...
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Proof $\left[ {\hat H,{{\hat p}_i}} \right] = - \frac{\hbar }{i}\frac{{\partial \hat H}}{{\partial {{\hat q}_i}}}$ [closed]

I have a problem with the Hamiltonian, I don't think anything to solve it!! So could you give me some hints! Knowing that: $$\left[ {{{\hat p}_i},{{\hat q}_k}} \right] = \frac{\hbar }{i}{\delta ...
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1answer
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Some Dirac notation explanations

Equation for an expectation value $\langle x \rangle$ is known to me: \begin{align} \langle x \rangle = \int\limits_{-\infty}^{\infty} \overline{\psi}x\psi\, d x \end{align} By the definition we ...
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How do we know that $\psi$ is the eigenfunction of an operator $\hat{H}$ with eigenvalue $W$?

I am kind of new to this eigenvalue, eigenfunction and operator things, but I have come across this quote many times: $\psi$ is the eigenfunction of an operator $\hat{H}$ with eigenvalue $W$. ...
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1answer
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Statistical sum of physical quantities in a quantum system

Let $C = A + B$ (statistical sum, so $\mathbb{E}[C] = \mathbb{E}[A] + \mathbb{E}[B]$), and let $p(A = a) = 1$. Are the following true? $\mathbb{E}[C^2] = a^2 + 2a\mathbb{E}[B] + \mathbb{E}[B^2]$ ...
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1answer
139 views

Energy eigenvalues of a Q.H.Oscillator with $[\hat{H},\hat{a}] = -\hbar \omega \hat{a}$ and $[\hat{H},\hat{a}^\dagger] = \hbar \omega \hat{a}^\dagger$

I just finished deriving the commutators: \begin{align} [\hat{H}, \hat{a}] &= -\hbar \omega \hat{a}\\ [\hat{H}, \hat{a}^\dagger] &= \hbar \omega \hat{a}^\dagger\\ \end{align} On the ...
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A particlar normal ordering problem [duplicate]

Say we have an expression of the form: $$ \left<0\right|:\phi(x)^2: : \phi(y)^2:\left|0\right>, $$ where $\phi$ is some scalar field. I have heard the claim several times, that in evaluating ...
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Coherent State, Unitary Operators, Harmonic Oscillator

Consider the operator: $$O = e^{\theta(a^\dagger b - b^\dagger a)}$$ where $\theta$ is a constant. $O$ is a unitary operator. $a$, $a^\dagger$, $b$, and $b^\dagger$ are ladder operators for two ...
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455 views

Proof for commutator relation $[\hat{H},\hat{a}] = - \hbar \omega \hat{a}$

I know how to derive below equations found on wikipedia and have done it myselt too: \begin{align} \hat{H} &= \hbar \omega \left(\hat{a}^\dagger\hat{a} + \frac{1}{2}\right)\\ \hat{H} &= ...
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1answer
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The matrix element of a normal-ordered operator

Eq (1.137) in Negele and Orland gives the following identity for a normal-ordered operator $A(a_i^\dagger,a_i)$: $$\langle \phi|A(a_i^\dagger,a_i)|\phi'\rangle=A(\phi_i^*,\phi'_i)e^{\sum ...