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

1
vote
5answers
712 views

Observable: possible outcome of measurement vs (linear) transformation

One of the postulates of quantum mechanics is that every physical observable corresponds to a Hermitian operator $H$, that the possible outcomes of the measurements are eigenvalues of the operator, ...
4
votes
1answer
767 views

The implication of anti-commutation relations in quantum mechanics

All the textbooks I saw are very clear about the implications of commutating operators in quantum mechanics. However, much less is said about anti-commutation relations. Does it have a general ...
2
votes
1answer
455 views

Question on ladder operators

Suppose we have a finite , discrete set of orthonormal states $|k\rangle $ We can construct raising and lowering operators intuitively, for example $$a_+ =\sum_{k=1}^nC_{k+1}|k+1\rangle \langle k|$$ ...
4
votes
2answers
523 views

Why is the Dirac operator so important - in both physics and mathematics?

Why is the Dirac operator considered so important - in both physics and (pure) mathematics?
12
votes
4answers
888 views

Energy is actually the momentum in the direction of time?

By comparatively examining the operators a student concludes that `Energy is actually the momentum in the direction of time.' Is this student right? Could he be wrong?
3
votes
2answers
879 views

Hermitian operator and reality of eigenvalues

Prove or disprove: The eigenvalues of an operator are all real if and only if the operator is hermitian. I know the proof in one way; that is, I know how to prove that if the operator is hermitian, ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Linearizing Quantum Operators [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Linearizing Quantum Operators I was reading an article on harmonic generation and came across the following way of decomposing the photon field operator. $$ ...
4
votes
1answer
202 views

Linearizing Quantum Operators

I was reading an article on harmonic generation and came across the following way of decomposing the photon field operator. $$ \hat{A}={\langle}\hat{A}{\rangle}I+ \Delta\hat{a}$$ The right hand side ...
4
votes
4answers
527 views

Unitary Operator as a complex valued function

A book on Quantum Mechanics by Schwinger states, "A unitary operator can be considered to be a complex valued function of a Hermitian operator." Please give a hint on how to prove this assertion.
0
votes
1answer
497 views

Weird operator and wavefunctions

How can one show that $\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\psi^*(x)(d/dx+\tanh x)(-d/dx+\tanh x)\psi(x) dx=\int_{-\infty}^{\infty} |(d/dx+\tanh x)\psi(x)|^2 dx$, where $\psi$ is normalized?
2
votes
1answer
185 views

Degeneracy and the Hamiltonian

How many linearly independent eigenfunctions can be associated with one degenerate eigenvalue of the Hamiltonian operator? (Is there a limit since it contains a 2nd order differential operator?) ...
2
votes
2answers
943 views

Derivative of the product of operators

I'm asked to show that $\frac{d(\hat{A}\hat{B})}{d\lambda} = \frac{d\hat{A}}{d\lambda}\hat{B} + \hat{A}\frac{d\hat{b}}{d\lambda}$ With $\lambda$ a continuous parameter Should I use the definition ...
11
votes
1answer
104 views

Metric interpretation of self-adjoint extensions?

I am wondering if beyond physical interpretation, the one dimensional contact interactions (self-adjoint extensions of the the free Hamiltonian when defined everywhere except at the origin) have a ...
34
votes
2answers
453 views

Physical interpretation of different selfadjoint extensions

Given a symmetric (densely defined) operator in a Hilbert space, there might be quite a lot of selfadjoint extensions to it. This might be the case for a Schrödinger operator with a "bad" potential. ...
2
votes
1answer
410 views

Expectation of a commutation relation

Is there any significance to: $\langle[H,\hat{O}]\rangle =0$ (which can easily be shown) where $H$ is the Hamiltonian, $\hat{O}$ is an arbitrary operator? Thanks.
5
votes
1answer
460 views

Simultaneously commuting set

How does one determine the members of an simultaneously commuting set (of operators)? For example, I have read that for orbital angular momentum, the set is {$H,L^2,L_z$}. How does one know that these ...
2
votes
2answers
487 views

Operator relation involving the logarithm of an operator?

Dirac gives the relation: $\exp(iaq)f(q,p) = f(q, p - a\hbar)\exp(iaq)$ where $\hbar$ is Planck's constant. Can anybody give me the corresponding relation when the $\exp$ function is a $\ln$?
0
votes
2answers
256 views

How is an arbitrary operator usually denoted in quantum mechanics?

Which symbols are usually used to denote an arbitrary operator in quantum mechanics, such as O in the following example? $O \mbox{ is Hermitian} \Leftrightarrow \Im{\left< O \right>} = 0$
3
votes
2answers
220 views

Is there a four dimensional form of Born's Rule -redub

Generalizing Born's Rule for 4-dimensions $x_4$, write $$\langle a\rangle = \int\Psi A\Psi^* \mathrm{d}x_4$$ Is this consistent with quantum mechanics? Is this a generalized form of the Born's ...
3
votes
2answers
586 views

Commutators and Hermiticity - Exam question

I'm doing old exam questions, and here is one that on first glance seemed rather simple to me, but I just can't get it: Given are two operators $A$ and $B$, and all we know about them is that ...
4
votes
4answers
702 views

How to calculate the quantum expectation of frequency of a particle?

I know how to calculate the expectation of < $\Psi$|A|$\Psi$ > where the operator A is the eigenfunction of energy, momentum or position, but I'm not sure how to perform this for a pure frequency. ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Applications of the Spectral Theorem to Quantum Mechanics

I'm currently learning some basic functional analysis. Yesterday I arrived at the spectral theorem of self-adjoint operators. I've heard that this theorem has lots of applications in Quantum ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How to construct the radial component of the momentum operator?

I'm having trouble doing it. I know so far that if we have two Hermitian operators $A$ and $B$ that do not commute, and suppose we wish to find the quantum mechanical Hermitian operator for the ...
9
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the Physical Meaning of Commutation of Two Operators?

I understand the mathematics of commutation relations and anti-commutation relations, but what does it physically mean for an observable (self-adjoint operator) to commute with another observable ...
0
votes
1answer
662 views

Proving Operator identities (Quantum Physics)

How would I go about showing: $$\hat{A}^{\dagger} + \hat{B}^{\dagger} = \left( \hat{A} + \hat{B} \right) ^{\dagger}$$
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Time as a Hermitian operator in QM?

In non-relativistic QM, on one hand we have the following relations: $$\langle x | P | \psi \rangle ~=~ -i \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial x} \psi(x),$$ $$\langle p | X | \psi \rangle ~=~ i \hbar ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Mathematical background for Quantum Mechanics [duplicate]

What are some good sources to learn the mathematical background of Quantum Mechanics? I am talking functional analysis, operator theory etc etc...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Meaning of the anti-commutator term in the uncertainty principle

What is the meaning, mathematical or physical, of the anti-commutator term? $\langle ( \Delta A )^{2} \rangle \langle ( \Delta B )^{2} \rangle \geq \dfrac{1}{4} \vert \langle [ A,B ] \rangle \vert^{2} ...