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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An Operator Identity relating to Trace [duplicate]

Suppose that $\hat H$ is an operator (typically a Hamiltonian) and $\beta$ is a positive parameter (typically $\beta=1/k_BT$). Show that $$ \mathbf{Tr}\Big(e^{-\beta\hat H}\Big) \geq ...
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Classical Hamiltonian involving product of factors whose quantum analogues don't commute

Dirac remarked in his quantum mechanics book: One can usually assume that the Hamiltonian is the same function of the canonical coordinates and momenta in the quantum theory as in the ...
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Does there exist a state for which $\Delta\sigma_x^2=\Delta\sigma_y^2=0$? If not, how does one prove it?

I just realized that the uncertainty principle says that $$\Delta\sigma_x^2 \Delta\sigma_y^2 \ge \left(\overline{\hat\sigma_z}\right)^2,$$ where ...
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Uncertainty in position and kinetic energy

How do you find the uncertainties for $x$ and $K$? Knowing that the general uncertainties = $$ \sigma_A \sigma_B \geq 1/2\int \psi ^*[\hat A,\hat B] \psi dx\, $$ I figured out the commutator, for ...
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Where to place the operator?

I believe it's standard to place the operator in between the conjugate of the wavefunction and the wavefunction itself. For instance, $$\langle p\rangle = \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\Psi * ...
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Why is $\hat{p} \circ \hat{p}$ the operator corresponding to $p^2$?

I understand from several heuristic arguments that in one dimension, the quantum-mechanical operator $\hat{p} = -i\hbar\,\partial_x$ corresponds to the classical momentum $p$, in the sense that a ...
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Why are holomorphic boundary CFT2 primary operators massless in the AdS3 bulk?

I saw a claim in this paper that holomorphic boundary CFT$_2$ primary operators correspond to massless states in the AdS$_3$ bulk. Specifically, As always, we simplify the situation by assuming ...
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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 ...
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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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Where Does the Exponent Come From in the Expression for the Rotation Operator

I am currently reading John S. Townsend's "A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics." In section 2.2 he introduces the $\hat J$ operator, which he refers to as "the generator of rotations." He gives the ...
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Self-adjointness

I know I have posted this question before some time ago. But no one could help so I decided to put my problem in another background. The Schrödinger equation of a free scalar field is given by ...
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Evaluate $\langle \mathbf{p} | 1/\hat{r} | \mathbf{p}' \rangle$

In Sakurai's Problem 1.27 b), we use $\langle \mathbf{r} | \mathbf{p}\rangle = e^{i\mathbf{p}\cdot\mathbf{r}/\hbar}$ to show that $$ \langle \mathbf{p} | F(\hat{r}) | \mathbf{p}' \rangle = ...
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Commuting operators and Direct product spaces

Under what conditions is the common eigenspace of two commuting hermitian operators isomorphic to the direct product of their individual eigenspaces? When can an eigenket $|\lambda$1$\lambda$2$>$ ...
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How does Dirac conclude that $X_r(c_r)$ cannot vanish?

On page 32 of Dirac's book Principles of Quantum Mechanics, he considers the case when the linear, Hermitian$^1$ operator $\xi$ satisfies an algebraic equation $$\phi(\xi)\equiv(\xi - c_1)(\xi - ...
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How to prove that if the expectation value of $A$ in any state is real, then $A$ is Hermitian?

If the expectation value of operator $A$ in any state is real, then $A$ is Hermitian. there is an uncompleted proof: $$ \int(c_1\psi_1+c_2\psi_2)^* A (c_1\psi_1+c_2\psi_2)dx$$ ...
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Mapping Issues with Unbounded Operators

Consider the operator-valued generalized function $\phi^{(k)}_{l}:=\phi^{(k)}_{l}$ on space-time $\mathcal{M}$. Now, smooth the operator-valued generalized function with test function $f(x)$ ...
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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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Density matrix formalism and group representation

The postulates of quantum theory can be given in the density matrix formalism. States correspond to positive trace class operators with trace 1 on a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$. Composition is defined ...
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How does Dirac form this conjugate imaginary equation?

On page 30 of Dirac's book $$\xi|P\rangle = a|P\rangle\tag{12}$$ He then says Suppose we have a solution of (12) and we form the conjugate imaginary equation, which will read $$\langle ...
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Ladder Operator killing state

So in my last question, @joshphysics showed me how to prove $K_\pm$ were ladder operators. Now I need to show that there is a lowest state, i.e $$\langle m_0|K_+=K_-|m_0\rangle=0$$ I am not ...
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Measuring non-commuting observable at once

Given an Hilbert space $H$ (finite dimensional for sake of clarity), and two non-commuting operators $$A = \sum_a a |a\rangle\langle a|$$ and $$B=\sum_a b |b\rangle\langle b|,$$ is it possible to find ...
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Expectation value of number operator $\hat{n}$

I'm studying for my quantum mechanics test and I've stumbled on this problem. They want the expectation value of $\hat{n}$, $\langle \hat{n} \rangle$, with this given $\psi$ at $t=0$: $$ \lvert ...
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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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How can (in Dirac's terminology) the product of two “real” linear operators be “not real”?

I'm puzzled about a statement from Dirac's book, The principles of quantum mechanics, (§8, p.28): As a simple examples of this result, it should be noted that, if $\xi$ and $\eta$ are real, in ...
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Commutativity of Position Operators

Does the position operator $q_{i}$ of one harmonic oscillator commute with the position operator $q_{j}$ of another different harmonic oscillator? In other words, is $q_{i} q_{j} = q_{j} q_{i}$ true? ...
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Time evolution of a quantum system

A quantum system has Hamiltonian $H$ with normalised eigenstates $\psi_n$ and corresponding energies $E_n$ ($n = 1,2,3...$). A linear operator $Q$ is defined by its action on these states: $$ ...
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Is there a formalism for talking about diagonality/commutativity of operators with respect to an overcomplete basis?

Consider a density matrix of a free particle in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Nice, quasi-classical particles will be well-approximated by a wavepacket or a mixture of wavepackets. The ...
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Is there is a specific original source where the “quantum operator ordering issue” is stated?

During my research, when the quantum operator ordering ambiguity is mentioned is deemed usually in the likes of "the well-known problem of ordering in quantum mechanics". However, could anybody point ...
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How is it shown that the composition of two real operators is generally not real? [duplicate]

Dirac on page 28 of his QM book writes: Thus the conjugate complex of the product of two linear operators equals the product of the conjugate complexes of the factors in the reverse order. As ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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What are absolutely continuous spectrum and singularly continuous spectrum?

I am now reading some mathematical note on Anderson localization. It mentioned two types of continuous spectrum. What are absolutely continuous spectrum and singularly continuous spectrum? I only had ...
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Is there any operator behind probability, in quantum mechanics?

In Quantum mechanics, the probability of finding a particle at position $x$ is given by $|\psi(x)|^2$, where $\psi$ is the wave function. Wonder what is the operator which gives this probability? Is ...
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What is the commutator of the exponential derivative operator and the exponential position operator?

What is the commutator of the exponential derivative operator and the exponential position operator? \begin{align} \left[\exp(\partial_x),\exp(x)\right] = \exp(\partial_x)\exp(x) - ...
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Directional derivatives in the multivariable Taylor expansion of the translation operator

Let $T_\epsilon=e^{i \mathbf{\epsilon} P/ \hbar}$ an operator. Show that $T_\epsilon\Psi(\mathbf r)=\Psi(\mathbf r + \mathbf \epsilon)$. Where $P=-i\hbar \nabla$. Here's what I've gotten: ...
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Translation Operator on two operators

On my last HW set, we were asked to show that the operator $$\hat T = \exp(-ic\hat p /\hbar)$$ acts as a translation operator ($\hat T^\dagger q\hat T=q+c)$. This was simple to show using commutators ...
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Quantum graph theory: complex spectra

In quantum graph theory, what are the properties of a given graph to own complex conjugated complex eigenvalues, either finite or infinite? Spectral graph theory is as far as I know a not completely ...
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Creation and Annihilation Operators

Let $\widehat{a}^{+}_{i}$ and $\widehat{a}_{i}$ be the usual bosonic creation and annihilation operators. Consider $$\widehat{q}_{i} = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2m_{i}w_{i}}}(\widehat{a}_{i}+ ...
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How can I write a Gaussian state as a squeezed, displaced thermal state

I would like to write a Gaussian state with density matrix $\rho$ (single mode) as a squeezed, displaced thermal state: \begin{gather} \rho = \hat{S}(\zeta) \hat{D}(\alpha) \rho_{\bar{n}} ...
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Approach to expressing $|n\rangle\langle n| $ as a polynomial when eigenvalues are degenerate?

If ${|n\rangle}$ are eigenvectors of an operator $A$ then $|n\rangle\langle n| $ can be expressed in terms of a finite order polynomial $$|n\rangle\langle n| =\prod_{m\ne n} \frac{A-a_m}{a_n-a_m}$$ ...
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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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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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Different mathematical methods in quantum mechanics?

My understanding is that in quantum mechanics the wavefunction may be expressed as a function or as a ket vector (composed of many orthogonal ket vectors). I'm not too sure about the further ...
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Intuitive meaning of the exponential form of an unitary operator in Quantum Mechanics

I'm an undergraduate student in Chemistry currently studying quantum mechanics and I have a problem with unitary transformations. Here in my book, it is stated that Every unitary operator ...
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Motivating the ansatz for the infinitesimal translation operator

I'm reading Sakurai's Modern QM right now and in the first chapter he states a number of conditions required for a translation operator: unitarity, ...
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Sums of operators in practice

Consider a one dimensional harmonic oscillator. We have: $$\hat{n} = \hat{a}^{\dagger} \hat{a} = \frac{m \omega}{2 \hbar} \hat{x}^2 + \frac{1}{2 \hbar m \omega} \hat{p}^2 - \frac{1}{2}$$ And: ...
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Eigenstates of a Hermitian field operator

Consider a Hermitian field operator $\phi(x)$ with eigenstates satisfying $$ \phi(x) |\alpha\rangle = \alpha(x) | \alpha \rangle $$ I'm trying to determine the inner product between the eigenstates. ...
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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: $$ ...