Quantum mechanics describes the microscopic properties of nature in a regime where classical mechanics no longer applies. It explains phenomena such as the wave-particle duality, quantization of energy and the uncertainty principle and is generally used in single body systems. Use the ...

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484 views

Elastic collision of photon [closed]

Consider an elastic collision of a photon with 100 eV energy hitting a mirror. How much momentum is exchanged in the collision? Also, can one model the reflection of an elastically colliding photon ...
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5k views

Average Energy of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

In Griffiths, the average potential energy for the quantum harmonic oscillator is given as $$\langle V\rangle~=~\frac{1}{2}\hbar \omega(n+\frac{1}{2}).$$ Is the potential energy of the quantum ...
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479 views

Why does burning things make them black?

It's not clear to me how burning process can transform a material which was previously capable both of absorbing and emitting photon to one which can only absorb them. I would like to hear an educated ...
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2k views

How can we interpret polarization and frequency when we are dealing with one single photon?

If polarization is interpreted as a pattern/direction of the electric-field in an electromagnetic wave and the frequency as the frequency of oscillation, how can we interpret polarization and ...
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2answers
549 views

Quantum entanglement? And quantum double slit

Does quantum entanglement consist only of 2 matter that are connected by each other? And what is the connection between the observer and the matter that is being fired? I'm not a physicist though ...
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1answer
120 views

What are the current obstacles to experimentally testing quantum pseudo telepathy?

Quantum pseudo-telepathy refers to how, in some specific coordination games, isolated players can do better when they have pre-shared some entangled qubits. I understand how it works in theory and ...
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2k views

Expectation value of total energy for the quantum harmonic oscillator [closed]

A particles unnormalized wavefunction is given as $$\psi(x)=2\psi_1+\psi_2+2\psi_3.$$ How can I find $\langle E\rangle $ without calculating $\langle T\rangle$ or $\langle V\rangle $ ...
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1answer
376 views

Open problem? Square of the wave function $\Psi(x)_{x_o} = \delta(x-x_0)$ of a particle localized at a point $x_0$?

Does anybody know the status of the problem to define the wave function (non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics) of a particle localized at a definite point? Landau-Lifshitz says in chapter 1 that this ...
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1answer
310 views

Find the possible energies and corresponding wavefunctions of the Hamiltonian [closed]

The Hamiltonian of an electron stuck within a tunnel in a dialectic cube is found to be $$H=\frac{p^2}{2m}+\frac{1}{2}Kx^2-\frac{e\Phi_0}{a}x$$ Find the possible energies and ...
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2answers
1k views

Occupation Number Representation in Second Quantization Formalism — What do the entries mean?

I'm reading about the second quantization formalism. I can see the advantages of using number states to represent multiparticle states. Here's my question: Let's say we're given a single-particle ...
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2answers
182 views

Measuring the spin of a particle from a singlet state

Imagine that I have a singlet state: $|s\rangle = {1 \over \sqrt2}(| \uparrow_1\downarrow_2 \rangle - |\downarrow_1\uparrow_2\rangle)$ I want to measure the spin along the z axis of the first ...
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0answers
158 views

Commutator problem

I am trying to calculate the following commutator $$[\mathcal{H}_0(r',t'),\psi(r,t)]_-$$ where $\mathcal{H}_0 = (\frac{1}{2m}\nabla^2 + e\mathbf{A}(r',t'))^2 + e\phi(r',t') - \mu$, and $\mu$ is the ...
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2answers
227 views

Workaround to fermion sign problem?

My (rather incomplete) understanding of the NP-hard fermion/numerical sign problem is that it occurs when attempting to converge on a wavefunction for many-body fermion systems (for example, a small ...
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3answers
143 views

Schrödinger Equation: Eigenmomentum?

I'm confused by my books treatment of the Schrödinger equation. In steado f listing my questions at the end of my post, I'll add them as questions in parentheses after the line in question. For a ...
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0answers
218 views

Hydrogen atom in partial differential equations, show it is is independent of time. [closed]

For the hydrogen atom, if $\int|u|^2\ \mbox{d}x=1$ show that the same is true at all later times. Hint: Differentiate the integral with respect to t, taking care about the solution being complex ...
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1answer
1k views

Reduced mass in quantum physics (Hydrogen Atom)

I've gone through an intermediate classical mechanics course, and in solving the two-body problem, we reduce it to a one-body between a larger stationary mass, and a smaller reduced mass. Most ...
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1answer
170 views

Meaning of $C$ in wavefunction equation ($\Psi_{MO} = C_1\phi_A(1s) + C_2\phi_B(1s)$, where $C_1=\pm C_2$)

I've just cracked open a biophysics textbook and it's all fine up until the introduction of the letter C in a wavefunction equation, and declaring C1= ±C2 I've had lectures on eigenfunctions etc. ...
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1answer
93 views

Why does bringing N 1-orbital atoms together yield N levels?

A common example of this is that when bringing N hydrogen atoms together into a ring. Far apart, assume each electron exists in the 1s state. As we bring them together, instead of each electron ...
2
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1answer
218 views

Almost identical fermions fighting for the same state

In quantum 101, we all learned that identical particles behave strangely, even in the absence of interactions: no two fermions can be in the same state, but bosons love to be in the same state. But ...
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404 views

Is a QFT in a classical curved spacetime background a self-consistent theory?

EDIT: Better rewording by Chris White: Is it possible to have a theory that treats both GR and QFT (e.g. QFT on a curved spacetime dynamically influenced by the standard QFT fields)? Is such a theory ...
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2answers
138 views

Why don't charges move transverse to an EM wave?

Image we have an ultra-high intensity, ultra low frequency laser, with wattage on the order of terawatts and a wavelength on the order of a lightsecond. We rotate it that the electric field component ...
2
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1answer
8k views

Proof that the momentum operator is Hermitian

I am trying to prove that the momentum $p_x$ operator is Hermitian, my approach is the following $$<p_x>~=~\int \Psi^*(\vec{r},t)[-ih\frac{\partial}{\partial x}]\Psi(\vec{r},t)\, d^3r.$$ I try ...
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3answers
165 views

Non-normalizable QM bound state in 4 spatial dimensions?

Edit 26/Sept/13: Fixed Typo in potential I'm solving the following (seemingly simple) quantum-mechanical problem in four spatial dimensions. In natural units ($\hbar^2/2m=1$), the Schrödinger ...
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2answers
292 views

Angular momentum of quantum system

Problem: A physical system is in the common eigenstate of $\hat{L^2}$ and $\hat{L_z}$. Calculate the following quantities: $\langle L_x\rangle,\langle L_y\rangle,\langle L_z\rangle,\langle L_x L_y + ...
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2answers
3k views

Angular Momentum commuting with Hamiltonian

I've been given an assignment where I have to prove that the angular momentum operators $L_j = \varepsilon_{jkl}q_{k}p_{l}$ commute with the Hamiltonian, given as $H = \frac{p^2}{2m} + V(r)$. Now, I ...
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1answer
392 views

Wavefunction's inner product

When two wavefunctions are orthogonal we can write that $$\langle\Psi_n|\Psi_m\rangle=\delta_{mn}$$ This means that $$\langle\Psi_1|\Psi_2\rangle=\langle\Psi_2|\Psi_1\rangle=0$$ But if the two ...
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1answer
522 views

How to determine the amount of light energy (photons) being released from an incandescent light bulb?

I have got this all down pat: 1.Collision with a moving particle excites an atom. 2.This causes an electron to jump to a higher energy level. 3.The electron falls back to its original energy level, ...
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2answers
222 views

More Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) Clarification

If you look at the commutation relation of the position and momentum operators (in 1D position space), you get: $$[\hat{x}, \hat{p}_x] = [x,-i \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial x}] = i \hbar$$ All this ...
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2answers
6k views

What is a phonon?

I am trying to understand intuitively what a phonon is, but for the moment I find it quite difficult (having a limited background in quantum mechanics, an undergraduate course in non-relativistic QM). ...
3
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3answers
237 views

Translation operator to higher order

IN QM, the space translation operator, or generator of Translations is set to be Ie-ie/h_bar*P up to order e. Now my question is what is the physical justification of only going up to order e and do ...
2
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1answer
308 views

Connecting Fermi levels and band diagrams to potential diagrams?

I'm trying to make sense of how you can find the potential diagram given the band diagrams of a few adjacent materials. As a simple example, in semiconducting heterostructures, if you have sandwich ...
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71 views

Quantum unscrambling

This question is similar to the Phys.SE post Retrodiction in Quantum Mechanics, however, it addresses a different issue: how would you design a machine that can measure a simple quantum system and ...
6
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1answer
740 views

Do spin-spin interactions break time reversal symmetry?

I'm sure the answer is yes, but how is this shown? Normally for a single spin-1/2 you have a time reversal operator: $-i \sigma_y \hat{K}$ where $\sigma_y$ is the second Pauli matrix and $\hat{K}$ is ...
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2answers
275 views

Rabi oscillation, electron in a box

This page on Rabi oscillation says the Hamiltonian has an interaction term $d \cdot E(t)$, where $d = -$e$r$. (I'm sure what they mean is, that's what the off-diagonal terms of the Hamiltonian look ...
6
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1answer
183 views

Faster than light messages (paradox resolution)

I have a thought experiment which in my understanding leads to faster than light messaging, and I had hoped the physics.SE community could help me resolve it. I should say that most of my ...
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2answers
693 views

Wave function decomposition

Problem: Given the wave function $\Psi_0=A\sin^2(\theta)$ along with the Hamiltonian operator of a physical system: $H=\frac{L^2}{2I}+g B L_z$, find the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of $\hat{H}$ ...
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1answer
739 views

Continuous spectrum (quantum mechanics) [duplicate]

Does a continuous spectrum of an observable always imply that the corresponding eigenvectors will not be normalizable? If yes, how to prove it?
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2answers
2k views

Prove $[A,B^n] = nB^{n-1}[A,B]$

I am trying to show that $[A,B^n] = nB^{n-1}[A,B]$ where A and B are two Hermitian operators that commute with their commutator. However, I am running into a little problem and would like a hint of ...
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0answers
193 views

Collision of 2 neutrons

If two neutrons collide in 3D space and we want to determine the final velocities of both nuetrons (3 components for each neutrons), we can use the conservation of momentum equations and the ...
1
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1answer
122 views

Spinor and Scalar Bose-Einstein condensate

I read about an order paramater that describes a Bose-Einstein condensate. But I don't understand, the classification into "scalar" condensate and "spinor" one. Is it linked with spin of atoms that ...
4
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1answer
1k views

How does one actually compute the amplituhedron?

I was watching Nima's very popular talk (download if you're using chrome) (also mirrored at youtube here) about the "Amplituhedron", which has suddenly become very popular recently. He talks all ...
2
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1answer
371 views

Why doesn't gravity act as a measurement?

I think this must be a very basic question but I couldn't find the answers anywhere. I was starting reading about Quantum Mechanics and these questions came in mind: As I understand the quantum ...
3
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5answers
2k views

What really is the smallest “mass” or “object” in the universe?

As the Wikipedia article Subatomic particles shows, with respect to the sciences, the atom is obviously not the smallest piece of mass. Apparently, if people have already broken down the atom in to ...
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2answers
2k views

Quantum entanglement as practical method of superluminal communication

As I understand it (from a lay physics perspective), quantum entanglement has been experimentally demonstrated - it is a reality. As I understand it, you can measure something like the spin of an ...
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2answers
119 views

Why the wave-particle duality cannot be explained as a traveling-standing wave duality?

This would explain why speed and position cannot be measured at the same time, since either the wave would be traveling (speed) or enclosed and standing (position). The act of enclosing it (to be ...
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3answers
2k views

Simple harmonic oscillator: zero point energy?

Today we had a lecture on the simple harmonic oscillator and its quantum mechanical treatment. My teacher derived the equation for it and finally concluded it has some zero point energy. My ...
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1answer
123 views

How quickly do neutrinos change flavor?

DOE’s Fermilab has switched on its newly upgraded neutrino beam. This is in preparation for the NOvA experiment, which will study neutrinos using a 200-ton particle detector at Fermilab and a ...
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1answer
291 views

process matrix - physical interpretation

I have a (probably) advanced question, concerning quantum process tomography. Let's say I have made a measurement with a single qubit, and calculated a $\chi$-matrix which looks like ...
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2answers
308 views

Unitarity in QFT and measuring unitarity

I am trying to make sense of statements about unitarity in this popular science article about Nima and Jaroslav's new idea. My first query is that it is claimed that unitarity is a pillar of quantum ...
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3answers
179 views

Quantum mechanics: How do the atoms in an electronic circuit enter a smaller orbit on the filament of an incandescent light bulb?

Bear in mind that this is not a homework question, and I have put together some stuff to work on from below: http://www.doublexscience.org/how-fluorescent-lights-work-quantum-mechanics-in-the-home/ ...