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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Time Evolution of Position Operator

I am trying to understand why $$e^{-it\triangle}xe^{it\triangle}=x-2it\nabla$$ where $x$ is just multiplication operator by $x$. In particular, the text says this can be seen by differentiating with ...
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Does the time ordering operator have a rigorous definition?

In quantum field theory, the time ordering operator (TOO) appears in the formal expressions for the scattering amplitudes. It acts upon a product of operators that each depends on time, and returns ...
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What exactly implies the need of quantum mechanics for self-adjoint and not only symmetric operators? [duplicate]

We know that quantum mechanics requires self-adjoint operators, not only symmetric. Can we say that this follows ONLY from the two following axioms of quantum mechanics, namely that each observable ...
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Deriving cross product from angular momentum algebra

Is it possible to derive: \begin{equation} \hat{L}=\hat{r}\times \hat{p} \end{equation} from the angular momentum algebra: \begin{equation} [\hat{L}_i,\hat{L}_j]=i\ \hbar\ \epsilon_{ijk}\hat{L}_k\ ? ...
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Why can we not choose the stress tensor in a CFT to be identically symmetric?

The stress tensor for a conformal field theory (or any quantum field theory) can be derived from the action $S$ by the functional derivative $$T^{\mu \nu} ~=~ -\frac{2}{\sqrt{|g|}}\frac{\delta ...
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Total Hamiltonian of a system of two particles

In my QM class, we talked about the total Hamiltonian of a system of two spin $1/2$ particles: \begin{equation} H^T=H_1\otimes\mathbb{1}+\mathbb{1}\otimes H_2. \end{equation} It was suggested that ...
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Tensor product of operators in QM

If I wanted to find the coefficients of a linear transformation between 2 vectors in the basis for 2 spin $1/2$ paticles (let's say for starters we are not even looking for a unitary transform): ...
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61 views

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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What is the idea behind canonical quantization?

From what I understand, canonical quantization of a classical theory consists of replacing the observables by abstract operators, of which only the commutation rules, which have to correspond to the ...
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About shift operators

The question is this: Does $$L_+ L_- Y_{lm} $$ ,where $Y_{lm}$ is a spherical harmonic function, equals to zero. If so, why? The two operators above are defined as $$L_+ ={L_x + iL_y } $$ $$L_-={L_x ...
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Physical significance of Cayley Transform

In the book on Quantum Mechanics by Capri (in Chapter 6), its said that an operator $A$ is self adjoint if the operator, $U$ given by $$ U = (A - i I)(A + i I)^{-1} = -(I+iA)(I-iA)^{-1} = -\text ...
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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 do $S_x$ and $S_y$ flip up/down spin states but $S_z$ does not?

By using the notation $S\lvert s,m_s\rangle$, such that $\bigl\lvert\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2}\bigr\rangle=\lvert+\rangle$ and $\bigl\lvert\frac{1}{2},-\frac{1}{2}\bigr\rangle=\lvert-\rangle$ we can ...
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Why is it “disconcerting” if the components of an operator do not commute?

A symmetrized operator is given by $$\hat{R}=\frac{1}{2\hat{H}}\hat{N}+\hat{N}\frac{1}{2\hat{H}}.$$ With $\hat{H}$ the Hamiltonian and $\hat{N}$ the first moment of energy. The defined $\hat{R}$ is ...
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Cayley transform to von Neumann theorem

Self-ajointness of an operator can be found using the Cayley transform of the operator, if its unitary, $$ U = (A - i I)(A + i I)^{-1} $$ From this we can go about finding the deficiency subspaces ...
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56 views

What really is the self-adjoint extension?

Going through the Quantum mechanics book by Capri, am time and again held with some stupid doubts on this topic of self-adjointness. We have for the momentum operator in finite domain, $$ p = ...
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Eigenvectors of $p_x$ in a particular domain

Defining the $p_x$ operator for the problem of particle in a infinite well. In the book by Capri on Quantum mechanics, the domain of the operator is given by, $$ p = -i\hbar \frac{\partial ...
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58 views

Quantum state of a system after measurements with non-commutative operators

a) Assume two operators $A$ and $B$. 1) Assume $$[A,B]=0 $$ and $$ ψ= \sum c_n u_n ~~~~\text a~ wavefunction~ describing~ the~ state~ of~ the~ system $$ with $$Aψ=a_n u_n $$ $$Bψ=b_n u_n$$ If we ...
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161 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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148 views

When is matrix representation of a Hermitian operator invertible?

If I have a Hermitian operator $H:V \to V$ on a finite-dimensional vector space $V$, and I write down its matrix representation in some basis $B$ with matrix representation being $[H]_B$, then in what ...
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Commutator of fermionic operators

The fermionic creation/annihilation operators are defined by the anti-commutation relations: $$ \{a_k^{\dagger},a_q^{\dagger}\} = 0 = \{a_k,a_q \} $$ $$ \{a_k^{\dagger},a_q\} = \delta_{kq} \, .$$ I ...
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Using creation and annihilation operators to prove the expression for the $n$th excited state in terms of the vacuum state

How does one prove that the $n^{th}$ excited state of a quantum harmonic oscillator (QHO) can be obtained by applying the creation operator $a^{\dagger}$ $n$-times to the vacuum state $\vert ...
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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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Has anyone published the procedure to generalize ladder operators for any potential in Schrodinger's equation?

I know that the ladder operator for the quantum harmonic oscillator \begin{align} H\psi_m = \left(\dfrac{p^2}{2m}+\dfrac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2\right)\psi_m=E_m\psi_m \end{align} is \begin{align} A = ...
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Does it mean anything if the commutator of an operator with the Hamiltonian is equal to the Hamiltonian?

Question says it all, really. I have $[\hat{H},\hat{O}]=-2i\hbar\hat{H}$. Does this mean that the operator $\hat{O}$ (an observable) is special in some way?
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Expectation value of Commutator of Hermitian operators [closed]

Assume $\hat{A},\hat{B},\hat{C}$ are Hermitian. $$[\hat{A},\hat{B}]=i\hat{C}$$ and $$\hat{A}|a\rangle=a|a\rangle.$$ Then $$\langle a|i\hat{C}|a\rangle=\langle a|[\hat{A},\hat{B}]|a\rangle =0 .$$ ...
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How to do time evolution of operators in the Heisenberg Picture while staying in the Heisenberg Picture

Consider the time evolution of an operator in the Heisenberg picture: $$\tag{1}i\hbar \frac{d}{d t} \hat{A}_{H}(t) = \left([ \hat{A}_S(t), \hat H_S (t)] + i\hbar \frac{d}{d t} \hat{A}_S(t) ...
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What is the physical interpretation of the automorphism on bounded operators induced by an S matrix?

In a QFT, the S-matrix $S$ is a unitary operator, that fixes the vacuum and commutes with the unitary operators implementing the action of the Poincare group on an appropriate Hilbert space $H$. ...
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Does Peskin & Schroeder Eq. (4.26), $U(t_1,t_2)U(t_2,t_3) = U(t_1,t_3)$ imply $[H_0,H_{int}] = 0$?

Peskin & Schroeder equation (4.17) define the operator, \begin{equation} U(t,t_{0})~=~e^{i(t-t_{0})H_{0}}e^{-i(t-t_{0})H} \tag{4.17} \end{equation} where $$H~=~H_0+H_{\text{int}}\tag{4.12}$$ is ...
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About the orthogonality of the Hamiltonian eigenstates for the the continuous energy spectrum

I would like first to describe a strange case that I encountered. $ \ \ - $ I solved the Schrodinger equation with a potential barrier (a potential well limited by a finite height wall which decrease ...
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24 views

Identity operator in terms of the energy eigenstates in case of continuous spectrum

Let us confine ourselves to the 1d case. If we define the momentum eigenvector $|k\rangle $ as $$ \langle x |k\rangle = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi}} e^{i k x} ,$$ we have the identity operator decomposed ...
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What is the difference between a parameter, a variable, and an operator in QM?

On the question why time isn't an operator, people will usually say that time is a parameter in QM (Time as a Hermitian operator in QM?) and not a variable. Can someone please distinguish between a ...
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36 views

Are measurement results only orthogonal?

Are all measurement operators on a quantum mechanical system defined by a Hilbert space, such that all possible post-measurement states are orthogonal? For example measuring a qubit in some ...
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Normal matrix is diagonalizable [migrated]

If $[A,A^*]=0$ ($A^*$ is a conjugate transpose of $A$), that is, $A$ is a normal matrix, How is $A$ diagonalizable? Or, this is just a definition of normal matrix?
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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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Precisely when is a matrix representation of Hermitian operator also Hermitian?

I asked a question on math exchange Are properties of linear operators reflected in matrix representations with different output and input basis?. In that question I asked: if I had a Hermitian ...
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235 views

Why does replacing bra and ket basis vectors by their row and column representations give the wrong matrix representation in a non-orthogonal basis?

I have a Hermitian operator (for a 2D Hilbert space) given by $$H=|\psi\rangle \langle \psi|+|\phi\rangle \langle \phi|$$ where $|\psi\rangle$ and $|\phi\rangle$ are normalized but not necessarily ...
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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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Why is the electric field operator normalized by a volume?

I came across the following definition of the electric field operator: But I am not sure what this $V$, the "volume of a box", is about. It seems to enter the discussion in order to have standing ...
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Expectation of momentum in the bound state

Is it logically correct to assert that the expectation of the momentum $$\langle \hat p \rangle=0$$ for any bound state because it is bound to some finite region? What is the physical interpretation ...
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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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How do I prove that the del squared operator commutes with the angular momentum operator? [closed]

I need to prove in Cartesian coordinates that $[\nabla^{2},\hat{L_{z}}]= 0$ I know that the angular momentum operator is defined as: $\hat{L_{z}}=x\hat{p_{y}}-y\hat{p_{x}}$ And the del squared is ...
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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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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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Ballentine's proof of (one half of) Stone's theorem

Reading Ballentine's "Quantum Mechanics; A Modern Development" I got stuck on his really short proof of what I think is Stone's theorem. On page 65 (paperback, reprint of 2008) he writes about about a ...
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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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$p^4$ in radial coordinates not Hermitian

Griffiths' quantum textbook claims in question 6.15 that "$p^2$ is Hermitian, but $p^4$ is not, for hydrogen states with $l=0$." First off, I am puzzled at his use of terminology. An operator is ...
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Translation Operators

Show that if the wave function $\langle x|\psi\rangle$ is modified by a position-dependent phase $\langle x|\psi\rangle \to e^{\frac{ip_ox}{\hbar}}\langle x|\psi\rangle$ then $\langle x\rangle ...
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Translation Operator

Let $|\psi\rangle \to |\psi'\rangle = \hat{T}(\delta x)|\psi\rangle$ for infinitesimal $\delta x.$ Show that $\langle x \rangle' = \langle x \rangle + \delta x$ and $\langle p_x \rangle' = \langle ...