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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Once a quantum partition function is in path integral form, does it contain any operators?

Once a quantum partition function is in path integral form, does it contain any operators? I.e. The quantum partition function is $Z=tr(e^{-\beta H})$ where $H$ is an operator, the Hamiltonian of the ...
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Conceptual questions on the path integral formulation of QFT

I'm currently trying to teach myself the path integral formulation of QFT (having studied the canonical approach previously), but I'm having some conceptual difficulties that I hope I can clear up ...
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48 views

Possible values for $L_x$

I've a physical system with $l=1$ and I have to calculate the values I can obtain if I measure $L_x$ and their probability. I know that: the values I can obtain are $\ m=0, \pm 1$ $\displaystyle ...
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What quantum measurement formalism is easiest to implement physically?

As part of my studies and research, I have learned to work with three different measurement formalism which I define to avoid any ambiguity with the nomenclature: General measurements, which are ...
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60 views

Lippmann-Schwinger equation and $T$ expansion

Lippmann-Schwinger equation, in operator form, is: $$ T=V+V\frac{1} {E-H_0+i \hbar \varepsilon} T=:V+V\Theta_0T, $$ where $H_{tot}=H_0+{V}$ is the hamiltonian ($H_0$ is the free particle hamiltonian ...
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Electric field operator in 2D geomatry

In the free field (3D), transverse electric field operator is given by the below expression; $$e^{\bot}(\textbf{R}) =i \sum_{\textbf{p},\lambda}\Big( \frac{\hbar cp}{2V\epsilon_{0}}\Big)^{1/2} ...
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Why is momentum quantized in a 1D box even though the operator doesn't give eigenstates?

We don't get eigenstates of momentum when we operate momentum operator in the wave function of particle in a 1D box problem yet we say momentum is quantized in this situation. Why is it so?
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Completeness relations of eigenstates in the Heisenberg picture

I've been reading Srednicki's introduction to path integrals and I'm slightly unsure of the notation that he uses for the completeness relation of position eigenstates in the Heisenberg picture. In ...
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What does $(I + iδH^t)(I-iδH)$ equal to? [on hold]

$I$ is equal to 1, $δ$ is a small change. According to 43:04-43:10 of this video http://theoreticalminimum.com/courses/quantum-mechanics/2012/winter/lecture-4 \begin{align} \ i{ δ }(H^t-H)=0 ...
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Meaning of expectation value of product of non-commuting operators

Let $\hat{A}$ and $\hat{B}$ be Hermitian observables with spectra labeled by $a$ and $b$. Then we can write \begin{equation} \hat{A} = \sum_a a\, \hat{P}_a \end{equation} \begin{equation} \hat{B} = ...
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Klein-Gordon Field Angular Momentum Operator in Terms of Creation and Annihilation Operators [on hold]

I am computing the angular momentum operator for real Klein-Gordon field (essentially question six of here (though please note this is not a homework question, I am following through Tong's course via ...
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60 views

How to deal with eigenvectors which are not square integrable?

In Quantum Mechanics there is one type of situation I'm still unsure on how to deal with. First of all, I want to make clear I'm trying to understand how to deal with this rigorously. What I'm talking ...
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484 views

Schroedinger equation for hydrogen atom

I have got a problem understanding the meaning of the Laplace operator in the Schrödinger equation for the hydrogen atom. $$\Big(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m_e} \Delta_{r_e} - \frac{\hbar^2}{2M_P} \Delta_{r_p} ...
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Lowering operator and degenerate eigenvalue [duplicate]

In this video at 5:00: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xniXpD3bCYU David Miller derives how the lowering operator $\hat a$ produces some wave function that has the eigenvalue $(n-1)$; thus it ...
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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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Derivation of the low-energy effective Hamiltonian

In the quantum mechanics, the Hamiltonian $H$ satisfies the Schroedinger equation $$ H\psi = E\psi. $$ Suppose that $P$ is a projection operator, and $Q=1-P$. The low-energy effective Hamiltonian is ...
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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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Proof for Negele and Orland equation (2.34)

The equation (2.34) of Negele and Orland has $$\mathcal H_\text{A}(\hat{\mathbf p},\hat{\mathbf x}) = \frac{1}{2m}\left(\hat {\mathbf p} - \frac e c \mathbf A(\hat{\mathbf x})\right)^2.\tag{2.34a}$$ ...
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44 views

What is time evolution operator?

Could you explain to me (level 1 years undergrade) what is a time evolution operator? I read on Wikipedia, and it confuses me.
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What is the meaning of commuting Hamiltonians?

I have two quantum mechanical Hamiltonians such that \begin{equation} [\hat{H}_1,\hat{H}_2] = 0, \end{equation} where $\hat{H}_1$ and $\hat{H}_2$ act on the same set of states. What is there to ...
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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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284 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 ...
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Boson ladder operator $n+1$ factor [closed]

Looking at Boson creation and annihilation operators, I come across that \begin{equation} b_a|n_\alpha\rangle=\sqrt{n_\alpha}|n_\alpha-1\rangle \end{equation} and \begin{equation} ...
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Adjoint Fokker-Plank operator

In Zwanzig's book "nonequilibrium statistical mechanics" he defines the Fokker-Plank equation for a probability distribution $f$ and with it an operator $D$: $${ \partial f(a,t) \over \partial t} = ...
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Definition of Hamilton operator

The Hamilton operator is by definition a self-adjoint operator $H\text{: }D\left(H\right)\to\mathcal{H}$ with $D\left(H\right)\subset\mathcal{H}$ a dense linear subspace of the Hilbert space ...
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$\hat{L}_{x}$ and $\hat{L}_{y}$ do not commute… or do they?

So $\hat{L}_{x}$ and $\hat{L}_{y}$ do not commute: $ [ \hat{L_{x}}, \hat{L_{y}}] = i\hbar \hat{L_{z}}$ But, what if we perform this operation on a state such that: $\hat{L_{z}} \phi_{l, m_{l}} = ...
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201 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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29 views

One-electron reduced density matrix: Argument for positive semidefiniteness

I cannot follow an argument for positive-semidefiniteness of the one-electron density matrix given in "Molecular Electronic-Structure Theory" by Helgaker/Jorgensen/Olsen. First some definitions: ...
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35 views

How to construct the operator and the physical experiment needed to perform an arbitrary 'measurement in a basis'?

I have taken an introductory level course in QM and have covered some advanced topics by myself and don't really understand what it means to 'measure in a particular basis'. A projective measurement ...
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Does every hermitian operator represent a measurable quantity?

In Quantum mechanics, observables are represented by hermitian operator. But does every hermitian operator represent a observable? If not , how do we know that whether a hermitian operator represent ...
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Both Eigenvalues and Operators are “Observables”? [duplicate]

I am having a bit of difficulty wading through the what seems to be multiple usages for Observables in Quantum Mechanics. " Mathematically observables are postulated to be Hermitian operators.. " ...
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Time-ordering and Dyson series

In Dyson series we use a time-ordered exponential by arguing that a Hamiltonian at two different instants of time does not commute. Why is it that so? Can anyone explain with example why should the ...
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120 views

Can operators be argument of Dirac Delta function

In one part of Marc Bee's book on Quasielastic Neutron Scattering, he defines the pair correlation function $$ G(\textbf r,t) = \frac{1}{(2\pi)^3}\int I(\textbf Q,t)\text e^{-i\textbf Q.\textbf r}\ ...
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Why isn't the time-derivative considered an operator in quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

Based on my understanding when doing quantum mechanics we deal with a small set of mathematical objects: namely scalars, kets, bras, and operators. But then in the Schrodinger equation we have this ...
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50 views

Eigenstates of a harmonic oscillator

Using ladder operators, I can find eigenstates $\psi_n$ with eigenenergies $$E_n=\hbar\omega\left(n+\frac{1}{2}\right). $$ In my textbook, ladder operators work like $$ a\psi_n = c_n \psi_{n-1}$$ $$ ...
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Find the expression of $j_+$ and $j_-$operators [closed]

I have just started to do exercises about quantum mechanics and I have some difficulties. I have a particle with spin $j=1$ and the Hamiltonian is $H=\gamma(j_xj_y+j_y j_x)$ (where $\gamma$ is a ...
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Self-adjoint extensions with 'teletransporting' boundary conditions

When choosing a self-adjoint extension of a Hamiltonian, in general one can obtain domains in which (i) the probabilities teleport* between points on the boundary and (ii) boundary conditions ...
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Can the inverse operator be expressed as a series?

I've seen the claim that a function of an operator can be defined as a series. For example, say $A: H_1 \mapsto H_2$ is an operator. Then $$ e^A \equiv \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{A^n}{n!}. \tag{1}$$ In ...
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Do I have some freedom when I define the quantum SHO ladder operators? [closed]

I tried to solve the quantum harmonic oscillator via the operator method. After doing it and looking up the solution I noticed that for some reason the ladder operators got an additional factor of (i) ...
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Continuous spectrum of hydrogen atom

I wonder if there is a nice treatment of the continuous spectrum of hydrogen atom in the physics literature--showing how the spectrum decomposition looks and how to derive it.
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A particle in a 1D box: what is the meaning of velocity?

In the box $x = 0$ to $x = L$, $V = 0$, and for $x < 0$ and $x > L$, $V = \infty$ (infinite potential well). The eigenvalues of the Hamiltonian are: $$E_n = \frac{n^2 h^2}{8L^2} \, .$$ Since ...
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Evolution operator for time-dependent Hamiltonian

When I studied QM I'm only working with time independent Hamiltonians. In this case the unitary evolution operator has the form $$\hat{U}=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}Ht}$$ that follows from this equation $$ ...
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In QFT do we always use normal-ordered Hamiltonian? [duplicate]

In quantization of the Dirac field I learned that we use normal ordering to get rid of negative energy vacuum state. From this point is there any reason we would use original Hamiltonian?
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Why does time evolution operator have the form $U(t) = e^{-itH}$?

Let's denote by $|\psi(t)\rangle$ some wavefunction at time $t$. Then let's define the time evolution operator $U(t_1,t_2)$ through $$ U(t_2,t_1) |\psi(t_1)\rangle = |\psi(t_2)\rangle \tag{1}$$ and ...
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What is a single-phonon?

From what I understood from wikipedia, as well as some other resources, each phonon corresponds to a normal mode oscillation, and the creation operator to create a phonon of wavevector $k$ is: $$ ...
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Why is only one quantity of angular momentum i.e. $L_z$ quantized & not $L_x$ & $L_y$?

This is quoted from Arthur Beiser's Concepts of Modern Physics: Why is only one quantity of $\mathbf{L}$ quantized? The answer is related to the fact that $\mathbf{L}$ can never point in any ...
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$[A_1, H] =[A_2, H] = 0$ but $[A_1, A_2] \neq 0$?

I am having a difficult time understanding this problem. Suppose $[A_1, A_2] \ne 0,$ $[A_1, H] = 0,$ $[A_2, H] = 0.$ Show that the energy eigenstates of $H$ are in general ...
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72 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 ...
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Is Hamiltonian a differential operator in second quantization?

Normally, a free particle Hamiltonian is written $$ \hat{H} = - \frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \Delta $$ which is a differential operator because Laplacian $\Delta$ is. On the other hand, in second ...