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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Lorentz transformation - Bjorken & Drell

I'm trying to derive (14.25) in Bjorken & Drell (B&D) QFT. This is $$\tag{14.25}U(\epsilon)A^\mu(x)U^{-1}(\epsilon) = A^\mu(x') - \epsilon^{\mu\nu}A_\nu(x') + \frac{\partial ...
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152 views

Lippmann-Schwinger solution

What's wrong with this general solution of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation: $$ |\psi_k \rangle=|\phi_k \rangle+G_k V|\psi_k \rangle $$ Taking the inner product with $\langle\phi_{k'}|$ \begin{align} ...
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How did the operators come about?

This relates a little bit to my previous question (Experimentally, what categorizes a measurement as corresponding to a certain observable?), but it's different in a way and more historical. One of ...
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102 views

Kraus operator rank

All quantum operations $\mathcal{E}$ on a system of Hilbert space dimension $\mathcal{d}$ can be generated by an operator-sum representation containing at most $\mathcal{d^2}$ elements. Extending ...
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109 views

Eigenvalues being physical observables

I think I'm comfortable with the PDE solutions to the Schrodinger equation. But as soon as we start putting these values in a matrix (in dirac notation), I lose my understanding and everything ...
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Proving that $i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial \mathbf{p}}$ is the operator of $\mathbf{x}$ in momentum space

How can I prove that $i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial \mathbf{p}}$ is the operator of $\mathbf{x}$ in momentum space?
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801 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 ...
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How does Dirac define the representative of $\{\langle\phi\frac{d}{dq}\}\psi\rangle = \langle\phi\{\frac{d}{dq}\psi\rangle\}$

On pate 89 of Dirac's book, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, he writes: Let us treat the linear operator $\frac{d}{dq}$ according to the general theory of linear operators of section 7. We ...
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1answer
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Eigenfunctions of Schrodinger equation

Why the solutions of the Schrodinger equation are called the eigenfunctions? For an electron moving in one dimensional lattice the eigenfunctions are given by$$\psi(x)=u_k(x)e^{ikx}.$$
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Does the Hermitian operator $H=-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$ have imaginary eigenvalues?

In quantum mechanics, Hermitian operators play a very important role because they possess real eigenvalues. Considering $-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$, it is a Hermitian operator (Actually it's the simplest ...
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Is there any non-hermitian operator on Hilbert Space with all real eigenvalues?

The property of hermitian is the sufficient condition for eigenvalue being real. Is there any non-hermitian operator on Hilbert Space with all real eigenvalues? If there exist, then can all ...
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221 views

What is the right order of creation operators?

I started to learn some basics of second quantisation and specifically its use in quantum chemistry. Currently I'm reading this book by Péter R. Surján, and here is small excerpt from it. If one ...
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Why is quantum mechancis is not content with symmetric operators, but wants self-adjoint operators?

A symmetric operator has only real eigenvalues and different eigenvectors corresponding to different eigenvalues are orthogonal. These are exactly what we want for a physical observable. I think ...
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1answer
56 views

Discrete vs Continuous spectra of operators [duplicate]

Why is it that if an operator $Q$ has a discrete spectra, that the eigenfunctions are all in Hilbert space? Why is it that if the spectrum is continuous we automatically know that the eigenfunctions ...
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257 views

Hilbert space and Hamiltonians

Assume a system described by a Hamiltonian H, and assume that the eigenstates of H, $φ_i$(r) are integrable in absolute square. We say that these states belong to a Hilbert space (they can even form a ...
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Hamiltonian acting on sum operator

I am following a derivation in a book. It is implementing a state $|{\psi}\rangle$ into the eigenvalue equation $\hat{H}|{\psi}\rangle=E|{\psi}\rangle$. The $|{\psi}\rangle$ term contains a ...
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1answer
34 views

Spin operators commutation

Why do the spin operators $ S_{x1}$ and $S_{x2}$ of two particles along the $x$-axis commute i.e $S_{1x}S_{x2}-S_{2x}S_{1x}=0 $ ?
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Physical observables and hermiticity

Is it necessary for an operator to be Hermitian in order to be a physical observable or is it just sufficient that the operator obeys the eigenvalue equation? If I were to check whether an operator is ...
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111 views

About the postulates of quantum mechanics and self-adjointness

I am a freshman trying to understand the very basics of quantum mechanics but I met barriers at the beginning. What really matters is the postulates of quantum mechanics and their relationship with ...
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97 views

Apparent spacetime dependence of creation and annihilation operators

I'm currently going through An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Hartmut Wittig I've stumbled upon. Having trouble with equation (2.29), I'm asking the question: Do creation and annihilation ...
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1answer
58 views

How does an operator transform under time reversal?

We know that a time-reversal operator $T$ can be represented as $$T=UK$$ where $U$ is some unitary operator and $K$ is the complex conjugation operator. Then under time-reversal operation, a quantum ...
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1answer
46 views

Projection operators in a direct product space

The things I'm pretty sure I understand: Let's say I have a single particle hamiltonian $H$ represented by a $2$x$2$ matrix, so it has two eigenstates $|\lambda_1\rangle$ and $|\lambda_2\rangle$. I ...
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What is the relation between renormalization and self-adjoint extension?

What is the relation between renormalization and self-adjoint extension? It seems that a renormalization scheme can be rigorously treated mathematically using the self-adjoint extension theory. Is ...
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1answer
189 views

Is kinetic energy in QM a state-property or is it distributed?

Suppose we have a quantum mechanical system, which is well described by its wave function in r-representation $\Psi$. We are interested in the properties of an observable, say the kinetic energy $T$. ...
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1answer
28 views

Addition of angular momenta, coefficient in the |10> state

In Griffith's text, they apply the lowering operator on the |$11\rangle$ state to get the |$10\rangle$ state. They show this result in two forms on pg. 185: $S_{-}\left(\uparrow\uparrow\right) = ...
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String Excited States / Spectrum

I am working through David Tong's lecture notes on string theory. The bit I am stuck on is page 41/42 in Chapter 2. The PDF file is here. In 2.3.2 "The First Excited States" on page 41/42, he says: ...
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443 views

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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240 views

How to replace $T$-product with retarded commutator in LSZ formula?

I am reading Itzykson and Zuber's Quantum Field Theory book, and am unable to understand a step that is made on page 246: Here, they consider the elastic scattering of particle $A$ off particle $B$: ...
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113 views

Question about equation 2.27 from Pachos's Introduction to topological quantum computing

http://quince.leeds.ac.uk/~phyjkp/Files/IntroTQC.pdf above is the PDF that is hosted on his website. The equation is on page 22 (pg 30 in the pdf). In chapter 2. It is the second equation of the ...
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179 views

Shape of the state space under different tensor products

I am currently studying generalized probabilistic theories. Let me roughly recall how such a theory looks like (you can skip this and go to "My question" if you are familiar with this). Recall: In a ...
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33 views

How to derive a new form of Hamiltonian operator in quantum mechanics using canonical commutation relation? [closed]

How does one derive $$\hat{H} = \frac{1}{2}\hat{p}^2m(\hat{q}) - \frac{i}{2}\hat{p}\frac{m'(\hat{q})}{m^2(\hat{q})} + V(\hat{q})$$ from hamiltonian $$\hat{H} = \hat{p}\frac{1}{2m(\hat{q})}\hat{p} + ...
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62 views

Why does the raising and lowering operator not affect total angular momentum?

My notes define: $$ L_{\pm} = L_{x} \pm i L_{y} $$ and states: $$ [L_{z},L_{\pm}] = \pm \hbar L_{\pm} $$ I'm fine with this as it's easy to show the result with some ugly algebra. It then says: ...
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Constructing matrix for spin in Stern-Gerlach experiment for arbitrary angle

This is a conceptual question about a problem in Sakurai. I understand how to solve the problem, but there's something about it that irks me, and it feels like I'm missing something. In the problem, ...
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1answer
45 views

Eigenvalues of Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics

The eigenvalue equation of the $L^2$ operator is given by $$L^2f_l^m = \hbar ^2l(l+1)f_l^m$$ Side: So a determinate state for some observable $Q$ is a state where every measurement of $Q$ returns ...
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Antilinear operators [duplicate]

I'm a bit confused about antilinear operators: A (a|n>+b|m>)=(a* A|n>+b* A|m>) How follows now that ...
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75 views

Creation and annihilation operators in Hamiltonian

If I find a Hamiltonian $H = \sum_{k} \varepsilon_k a_k^{\dagger} a_k + \sum_k V_k a_k^{\dagger} a_k$ then I was wondering: As far as I know this is many body theory and so these operators act on ...
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Why is normal ordering a valid operation?

Why is normal ordering even a valid operation in the first place? I mean it can give us some nice results, but why can we do the ordering for the operators like that? Is its definition motivated by ...
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1answer
57 views

Uncertainty relation for non-simultaneous observation

Heisenberg's uncertainty relation in the Robertson-Schroedinger formulation is written as, $$\sigma_A^2 \sigma_B^2 \geq |\frac{1}{2} \langle\{\hat A, \hat B\}\rangle -\langle \hat A\rangle\langle ...
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Finding the expectation value of the annihilation operator with respect to a given state

Using dirac notation we were given a state vector $$|\Psi(t=0)\rangle = A\sum\limits_{q=0}^Q \frac{1}{(q+i)} |\phi_q\rangle$$ Where $\phi$ is part of a complete orthonormal set. I found the ...
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Question about derivation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

I am looking at the derivation presented here. The first thing I am unsure about is where the form of $\psi_0=Ae^{\frac{-m\omega x^2}{2\hbar}}$ came from. Also, is this form for all $\psi$, or just ...
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1answer
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Quantum mechanics, operator commutes with Hamiltonian

My textbook said, if an operator $\hat{O}$ commutes with the Hamiltonian, then we can use the eigen vectors of the Hamiltonian as a basis of the Hilbert space, then express the operator $\hat{O}$ in ...
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Does the angular momentum vector operator $\hat{\vec{J}}$ have no eigenstates?

Angular momentum projection operators $\hat J_z$ and $\hat J_y$ don't commute, as don't the other combinations of different projections. But this means that there's no such state in which the whole ...
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1answer
69 views

Creation and annihilation operators

In our lecture today, we introduced two kinds of creation and annihilation operators. I want to restrict myself to the antisymmetric case: The first operator $a_k^{\dagger}$ creates a state ...
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2answers
72 views

Tricks at manipulating creation/annihilation operators

Manipulation of terms in algebras different from the standard one (e.g. boolean algebra) can be a bit unnatural but there are always shortcuts that can help you. I was wondering if there is a list ...
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Second quantization, creation and annihilation operators

I found two notions of states for second quantization. One representation uses occupation numbers here, for example Another one creates the n+1 th particle in a collection of n existent states. see ...
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Why does the measurement of some observable $A$, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator?

Explain why when we make a measurement of some observable $A$ in QM, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator $A$.
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What lives in the Hilbert Space? [duplicate]

Consider the eigenvalue equation: $$\hat{Q}\Psi = q\Psi$$ where $q$ and $\Psi$ are eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the hermitian operator $\hat{Q}$. If the spectrum of the hermitian operator is ...
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1answer
68 views

Commutation relation of position and momentum using Dirac notation

This is likely a very trivial/silly question, but in following a derivation of the position and momentum commutation relation using the dirac notation, I am having trouble justifying a certain step. ...
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Angular momentum - maximum and minimum values for $m_{\ell}$

I want to work out the maximum and minimum values for $m_{\ell}$. I know that $\lambda \geq m_{\ell}$, therefore $m_{\ell}$ is bounded. In the lectures notes there is the following assumption: $$ ...