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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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 ...
7
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2answers
518 views

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} $...
10
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1answer
336 views

In quantum mechanics, how exactly do we associate Hermitian operators to classical observables? [duplicate]

In a first course on quantum mechanics, everybody learns some version of the following statement: Postulate: To every classical observable $A$ of a physical system, there corresponds a Hermitian ...
6
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1answer
517 views

How to compute the normal ordered angular momentum of a Klein-Gordon real scalar in terms of ladder operators?

I'm trying to compute the angular momentum $$Q_i=-2\epsilon_{ijk}\int{d^3x}\,x^kT^{0j}\tag{1}$$ where ${T^\mu}_\nu=\frac{\partial\mathcal{L}}{\partial(\partial_\mu\phi)}\partial_\nu\phi-{\delta^\mu}_\...
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1answer
54 views

How to make an intuitive sense of the definition of Hermitian adjoint? [on hold]

How to make an intuitive sense of the definition of Hermitian adjoint? Why it is defined in that way? What is the different between operators and matrices?
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4answers
843 views

Why the Hamiltonian and the Lagrangian are used interchangeably in QFT perturbation calculations

Whenever one needs to calculate correlation functions in QFT using perturbations one encounters the following expression: $\langle 0| some\ operators \times \exp(iS_{(t)}) |0\rangle$ where, ...
12
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1answer
194 views

Explaining causal completion axiom in Haag-Kastler axioms?

There are several variants of the Haag-Kastler axioms for algebraic quantum field theory. Usually one associates an algebra $\mathcal{A}(O)$ to each open region $O$ of spacetime. An often-suggested ...
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0answers
52 views

Euler-Lagrange Equation in Quantum Field Theory

The quantum fields are operator valued distributions. In some sloppy books like Peskin and Schroeder the Euler-Lagrange equation are used to get the equations of motion. What does it mean to take a ...
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0answers
53 views

Expectation value of an Observable and Eigenstates

I am learning about Quantum Mechanics at the moment and I was wondering about Eigenfunctions and Observables. The question I would like to ask is, If a wavefunction is not an eigenstate of an ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Eigenkets in matrix representation [on hold]

We use base kets in matrix representation of an operator $X$. Could the base kets be possibly be eigenkets also, of operator X? (Here, I'm taking X as a general operator , not only observable,i.e. ...
6
votes
2answers
160 views

Why hermitian, after all? [duplicate]

This question is going to look a lot like a duplicate, but I've read dozens of related posts and they don't touch the subject. Here we go. Why are observables represented by hermitian operators? ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Random operator in heisenberg/schrödinger picture (heisenberg's equation of motion) [closed]

Consider a system whose hamiltonian isn't explicitly dependent on time. Let A be the operator for the eigenvalue a in the Schrödinger picture and $A_H=U^\dagger A U$ the corresponding operator in the ...
2
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2answers
352 views

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$2$\rangle$...
3
votes
1answer
440 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
191 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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1answer
170 views

Expectation value of total angular momentum $\langle J \rangle$

[I am working with Griffiths Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 3rd Edition. My problem is general but if you want to look I am reading from ch 4.1 in which the weak-field Zeeman Effect is being ...
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0answers
48 views

How to understand the momentum operator in a exponential function? [closed]

What's the integral expression or matrix expression of the quantum parlance $$U\left( {x - \Delta {x_i}} \right) = \left\langle {x|\exp \left( { - i\Delta {x_i}P} \right)|U} \right\rangle ,$$ where $...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

How to form the matrix representation of $|O|^3$

I'm interested in getting the matrix representation of the absolute value of an operator. I know the matrix representation of the operator $O$. Now how do I take its absolute value?
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2answers
106 views

Properties of spectrum of a self-adjoint operator on a separable Hilbert space

So, if I understand it correctly, the spectrum of a self-adjoint operator on a Hilbert space $H$ consists of two parts: $ \newcommand{\ket}[1]{\,\lvert{#1}\rangle} \newcommand{\op}[1]{\hat{#1}} $ ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

Commutation relations in second quantization

I know that for operators $a(\chi_1), a(\chi_2)$ of the same type (fermionic or bosonic) $$ [a(\chi_1), a(\chi_2)]_{-\xi} = [a^\dagger (\chi_1), a^\dagger (\chi_2)]_{-\xi} = 0 \tag{1}$$ where $$\xi ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Quantum Operators: An Identity

I came across the following neat property: For an operator $\hat{A}$ which is a linear combination of creation and annihilation operators, we have: $$ \langle e^{\hat{A}} \rangle = e^{\langle \...
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7answers
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Why is a Hermitian operator a “quantum random variable”?

To me, as a stupid mathematician, a random variable is a measurable function from some probability space $(\Omega, \sigma, \mu)$ to $(\Bbb{R}, B(\Bbb{R}))$. This makes sense. You have outcomes, events,...
0
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0answers
37 views

How can $\hat p = - i \hbar \partial_q$ be derived starting from the definitions of $\hat q$ and $\hat p$ in terms of creation/destruction operators? [duplicate]

Consider the position and momentum operators $\hat q$ and $\hat p$, defined respectively in terms of creation and destruction operators in the usual way: $$ \hat q = c (\hat a + \hat a^\dagger), \...
13
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2answers
533 views

Must bounded operators have normalisable eigenfunctions and discrete eigenvalues?

When we have bound states, to my knowledge, we have states that are normalisable and a discrete energy spectrum. However, in the case of scattering states that have a continuous energy spectrum, the ...
1
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1answer
110 views

Functional Analysis for Quantum Mechnanics [duplicate]

I have completed three sequences of courses in QM, and I'm very much eager to to do the functional analysis of QM on my own in my spare time. Can someone suggest some books? I like books with ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

Quantum non-unitary transformation? [closed]

Let us say that I apply a non-unitary transformation $\def\ket#1{| #1\rangle} \def\braket#1#2{\langle #1|#2\rangle} \hat A$ to the ket's: $$\ket{\psi} \rightarrow \hat A \ket{\psi}$$ $$\ket{\phi}\...
1
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3answers
60 views

Time dependence of canonical variables

As far as I understand it, at least in scalar QFT, the canonical variables are the field operator $\hat{\phi}(x)$ and its conjugate momentum $\hat{\pi}_{\phi}(x)=\frac{\partial\mathcal{L}}{\partial\...
4
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4answers
589 views

Are quantum operators dimensionless?

I'm slightly confused as to whether quantum (hermitian) operators, which we get by promoting observables to operators, are dimensionless or not? Clearly the Hamiltonian of the system, say of the ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Cross-product within commutator

I've been trying to prove some commutator identities of angular momentum, and I don't want to go brute force and prove for each coordinate seperately. So I tried using the Levi-Civita formalism for ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Does an odd potential commute with parity operator?

I can prove when a Hamiltonian commute with the partity operator if the potential is even. But what about an odd potential? my understanding is that the parity operator mirrors the coordinate system, ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Product of two Pauli matrices for two spin $1/2$

In the lecture, my professor wrote this on the board $$ \begin{equation} \begin{split} (\vec{\sigma}_{1}\cdot\vec{\sigma}_{2})|++\rangle &= |++\rangle \;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;(\...
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0answers
45 views

Derivation involving finite unitary transformation [closed]

Hi I just want to confirm a short derivation involving a particular finite unitary transformation which is important in QM. My working is as follows: Given the finite unitary transformation defined ...
4
votes
2answers
56 views

Heisenberg EOM for $\langle x \rangle$ in momentum eigenstate - where is my error?

Equation of motion for expectation value of a quantum particle in a momentum eigenstate: $$\frac{d}{dt} \langle x \rangle = \frac{1}{i h} \langle [x,H] \rangle$$ and since it's in a momentum ...
3
votes
3answers
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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} \psi(x)=-i\hbar\...
8
votes
2answers
286 views

Deriving the expectation of $[\hat X,\hat H]$

For a free particle of mass $m$, with Hamiltonian $$\hat{H} = \frac {\hat{P}^2} {2m},$$ where $$\hat{P} = -i \hbar \frac{\partial} {\partial x}.$$ The commutative relation is given by $$[\hat{X}, \...
23
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3answers
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What's wrong with this derivation that $i\hbar = 0$?

Let $\hat{x} = x$ and $\hat{p} = -i \hbar \frac {\partial} {\partial x}$ be the position and momentum operators, respectively, and $|\psi_p\rangle$ be the eigenfunction of $\hat{p}$ and therefore $$\...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Question about Eigenvalues of Hermetian Operators Being Real Numbers

I'm still slogging through Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum and I've reached another area that baffles me. Susskind uses the following to show that the eigenvalues of Hermitian operators ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Entangled wave function and polarisation operator

I was working on the following problem from Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy by T. Engel (3rd Edition), and was stumped in a few places. I wish get some feedback on my solution The problem is the ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Confusion About Operators

Hello I am currently studying introductory QM and am confused about bases and operators. If I have an operator $\hat{Q}$, does this represent a change of basis matrix? In other words, does $\hat{Q} | \...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the Momentum Operator?

I know the equation for the momentum operator, but what exactly is the momentum operator? It's bizarre to me that taking the derivative of the wave function, which is an operator, should return ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Number operator in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics $a^{\dagger}a$ is defined as the number operator, where $[a,a^{\dagger}]=1$. Why cannot we define $aa^{\dagger}$ as number operator instead of the usual definition?
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2answers
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Eigenstates of a shifted harmonic oscillator

Let's say I have a quantum harmonic oscillator $H = \omega a^\dagger a$, where $a^\dagger$ is the raising operator and $a$ is the lowering operator and $H |n\rangle = \omega n |n\rangle$. Now assume ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Verification of proof of complete set of commuting operators

Hi I am interested in the validity of the following proof. I am interested in the validity of this particular proof as I am aware of how to prove this result in a different way. Theorem: If two ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Expectation value in second quantization

I am stuck calculating a simple expectation value for an operator, which is expressed in second quantization. I know the result, but I fail to proof it. Lets say I have one-particle wave function $|\...
3
votes
1answer
372 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Calculating eigenvalues for operator [closed]

Given relation $[a,a^\dagger]=I$. Operator $K$ is defined as $K=a^\dagger a+\lambda a^\dagger+\lambda^* a$. I need to find the eignevalues of operator $K$. How realtion that involves commutator could ...
10
votes
2answers
638 views

Non-separable solutions of the Schroedinger equation

I'm studying an undergraduate Quantum Mechanics course and I have some doubts about the solution of the Schroedinger equation by the separation of variables method. If we suppose that the solutions ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Why is Wick contraction a $c$-number?

It is mentioned in Fetter's Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems (in contraction part of section 8 Wick's Theorem), that: contractions are c numbers in the occupation-number Hilbert space, not ...
0
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0answers
35 views

Glauber formula, Baker

somewhere I read here: $[A,F(B)]=[A,B]F'(B)$ is used to prove Glauber's formula $\exp(A+B).\exp([A,B]/2)$ I have tried and looked everywhere to try and understand this to no avail. The first is in ...
2
votes
1answer
316 views

Simple QFT simulation - how to do it

I would like to write a simple QFT simulation for a free scalar field with a cubic interaction term. However, I got stuck a bit. I will try to describe what I think I understand. I want to have a ...