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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Spectral properties of CFT

What are the general spectral properties of CFT? I mean what is the "spectrum"/eigenvalues of CFT in 2d and d>2 spacetime dimensions? I understand the "spectrum" and "Fock space" realization of Dirac ...
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229 views

The issue on existence of inverse operations of $a$ and $a^{\dagger}$

I have asked a question at math.stackexchange that have a physical meaning. My assumption: Suppose $a$ and $a^\dagger$ is Hermitian adjoint operators and $[a,a^\dagger]=1$. I want to prove that ...
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How to tackle 'dot' product for spin matrices

I read a textbook today on quantum mechanics regarding the Pauli spin matrices for two particles, it gives the Hamiltonian as $$ H = \alpha[\sigma_z^1 + \sigma_z^2] + ...
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5answers
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Math of eigenvalue problem in quantum mechanics

I learned the eigenvalue problem in linear algebra before and I just find that the quantum mechanics happen to associate the Schrodinger equation with the eigenvalue problem. In linear algebra, we ...
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114 views

Notational techniques for dealing with creation operators on Fock space

This question is trying to see if anyone has some simple notation (or tricks) for dealing with operators acting on coherent states in a Fock space. I use bosons for concreteness; what I'm interested ...
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Show that for QM operator A: $\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\psi A^{\dagger}A\psi dx = \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}(A\psi)^*(A\psi)dx $

I need to show for $$A = \frac{d}{dx} + \tanh x, \qquad A^{\dagger} = - \frac{d}{dx} + \tanh x,$$ that $$\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\psi^* A^{\dagger}A\psi dx = ...
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Coordinate representation of quantum ladder operator?

I can't seem to figure out how to derive the coordinate representation of the $a_+$ ladder operator in quantum mechanics. I know that $a_-$ is $\sqrt{\frac{1}{2mwh}} (mwx + i\dot{p}) $ in which where ...
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273 views

String theory - OPE and primary operators

First, a disclaimer: I am new to Physics SE, and I am primarily a mathematician, not a physicist. I apologise in advance for the possibly poor quality of the question, any and thank you for your ...
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Why is this identity an if, rather than if and only if?

A recent question (Product of exponential of operators) asked who to proved that the exponentials of operators multiply in same manner as those of scalars if and only if the commutator of the ...
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101 views

Explicit evaluation of a radially ordered product

I am trying to understand the application of the operator product expansion to calculate the radially ordered product in the complex plain of $T_{zz}(z)\partial_w X^{\rho}(w)$ which should result in ...
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Deriving a QM expectation value for a square of momentum $\langle p^2 \rangle$

I alredy derived a QM expectation value for ordinary momentum which is: $$ \langle p \rangle= \int\limits_{-\infty}^{\infty} \overline{\Psi} \left(- i\hbar\frac{d}{dx}\right) \Psi \, d x $$ And i ...
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Product of exponential of operators

in the context of non-relativistic quantum mechanics I want to show that, for any $A$ and $B$ operators $$e^{A}e^{B}=e^{A+B} $$ if and only if $$[A,B]=0$$ I remember my professor told use about ...
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How to prove that the symmetrisation Operator is hermitian?

Let $\mathcal{H}_N$ be the $N$ particle Hilbert space. So a quantum state $\left| \Psi \right>$ may be representated by $$\left| \Psi \right> = \left| k_1 \right>^{(1)}\left| k_2 ...
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757 views

Operators explaination and momentum operator in QM

I know and understand why equation below holds. But i am new to operator thing in QM and would need some explaination on this. $$\langle x \rangle = \int\limits_{-\infty}^\infty |\Psi|^2 x \, ...
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Weyl Ordering Rule

While studying Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics I have found that [Srednicki: Eqn. no. 6.6] the quantum Hamiltonian $\hat{H}(\hat{P},\hat{Q})$ can be given in terms of the classical Hamiltonian ...
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Find $\hat{x}$ operator given $\hat{p}$ operator

This is problem $1.2$ of Molecular Quantum Mechanics by Atkins, 4th edition. I'm given the momentum operator $$p=\sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2m}}(A+B)$$ with $$[A,B]=1$$ and I need to find $x$ in this ...
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Is the momentum operator diagonal in position representation?

The matrix elements of the momentum operator in position representation are: $$\langle x | \hat{p} | x' \rangle = -i \hbar \frac{\partial \delta(x-x')}{\partial x}$$ Does this imply that $\langle x ...
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Question about the linearity of wave functions

For piece-wise constant potential, the potential energy is constant so the time dependent wave function can take the form $\psi(x,t)=C_1e^{i(kx- \omega t)}+C_2e^{i(-kx-\omega t)}$ where ...
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326 views

Klein-Gordon Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR)

In the complex Klein-Gordon field we regard as dynamical variables the field $\phi$, the complex conjugate of the field $\phi^*$, and the momenta $\pi$, $\pi^*$. I can't see how should arise the ...
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254 views

commutation of operator product expansion

In CFT, when we have an OPE: $$O_1(z)O_2(w)=\frac{O_2(w)}{(z-w)^2}+\frac{\partial O_2(w)}{(z-w)}+...$$ this holds inside a time-ordered correlation function, so $O_1(z)O_2(w)=O_2(w)O_1(z)$. Does it ...
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Can I prove boundedness of an operator without checking it for its whole domain?

(I don't have a direct reference so this is a little fishy and I'll delete it if nobody recognises what I'm talking about, but I though for starters I'll ask anyway) I've heard at university that if ...
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Why there is no operator for time in QM? [duplicate]

Is there one central reason why there is no "Time" operator in QM? I know this question has been asked before, but I thought I would try to stimulate some fresh thinking.
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Derivatives of operators

How do derivatives of operators work? Do they act on the terms in the derivative or do they just get "added to the tail"? Is there a conceptual way to understand this? For example: say you had the ...
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501 views

Evaluate Commutator with Partial Derivatives

I need to evaluate the following commutator... $[x(\frac{\partial}{\partial y})-y(\frac{\partial}{\partial x}),y(\frac{\partial}{\partial z})-z(\frac{\partial}{\partial y})]$ i tried applying an ...
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Sum of two density matrices: $\rho=p_1\rho_1+p_2\rho_2$

Suppose we have $$\rho=p_1\rho_1+p_2\rho_2$$ Where $\rho_1$ and $\rho_2$ are density matrices with $p_1+p_2=1$ I'm trying to show this is also a density matrix If we let $$\rho_1=\sum_i^n ...
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209 views

Once I have the eigenvalues and the eigenvectors, how do I find the eigenfunctions?

I am using Mathematica to construct a matrix for the Hamiltonian of some system. I have built this matrix already, and I have found the eigenvalues and the eigenvectors, I am uncertain if what I did ...
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364 views

Physical Significance of Operator Norm/Spectral Norm of a Quantum Operator

Is there any physical significance of operator norm/spectral norm of a hermitian operator?
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852 views

“An operator is hermitian”. Implications?

Alastair Rae states that there are 4 postulates of Quantum Mechanics in his text on the subject matter. The first part of his second postulate can be stated as: Every dynamical variable may be ...
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577 views

How to evaluate spin operators in second quantization for spin symmetry-broken Slater determinants?

Suppose we have the following Slater determinant: \begin{equation} | \Psi \rangle = \prod \limits_{i,i'} a^+_{i\alpha} a^+_{i'\beta} | \rangle \end{equation} where $a^+_{i\alpha}$ creates an electron ...
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Matrix elements of momentum operator in position representation

I have two related questions on the representation of the momentum operator in the position basis. The action of the momentum operator on a wave function is to derive it: $$\hat{p} ...
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2answers
649 views

Constructing the exponential form of a unitary operator

I think I've got this figured out but wanted to make sure I'm doing this right. Working with operators that satisfy bosonic commutation relations $[b,b^\dagger] = 1$, I define a very general unitary ...
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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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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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197 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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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 ...
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638 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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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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411 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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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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408 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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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
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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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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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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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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 $$ ...
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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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733 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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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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337 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\! ...