The quantum mechanical time evolution operator governs how observables and/or states evolve during finite time steps, and is always unitary. Use this tag for questions about the time evolution operator, or the different equations of motion in the Schrödinger/Heisenberg/Dirac pictures. For ...

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State collapse in the Heisenberg picture

I've been studying quantum mechanics and quantum field theory for a few years now and one question continues to bother me. The Schrödinger picture allows for an evolving state, which evolves through ...
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2answers
579 views

The formal solution of the Schrodinger equation

Consider the Schrödinger equation (or some equation in Schrödinger form) written down as $$ \tag 1 i \partial_{0} \Psi ~=~ \hat{H} \Psi . $$ Usually, one likes to write that it has a formal solution ...
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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 $$ ...
11
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1answer
896 views

What exactly does the Hamiltonian operator tell us?

I'm confused about how energy and time are linked. On the one hand, the Hamiltonian seems to describe the time evolution of the system because in the time dependent Schrodinger equation, $$ \hat H ...
11
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2answers
418 views

How to describe time evolution in relativistic QFT?

I must confess that I'm still confused about the question of time evolution in relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT). From symmetry arguments, from the representation of the Poincare group through ...
10
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1answer
635 views

Is it possible to derive Schrodinger equation in this way?

Let's have wave-function $\lvert \psi \rangle$. The full probability is equal to one: $$\langle \Psi\lvert\Psi \rangle = 1.\tag{1}$$ We need to introduce time evolution of $\Psi $; we know it in ...
9
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0answers
391 views

How do I enforce the no-slip boundary condition in time dependent incompressible pipe flow?

This is a technical problem which must have been solved already. It won't be in beginners textbooks but there should be a solution somewhere. I welcome reading suggestions. Maybe someone with ...
8
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4answers
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Which derivative with respect to time is which in the Heisenberg picture of quantum mechanics?

For an observable $A$ and a Hamiltonian $H$, Wikipedia gives the time evolution equation for $A(t) = e^{iHt/\hbar} A e^{-iHt/\hbar}$ in the Heisenberg picture as $$\frac{d}{dt} A(t) = \frac{i}{\hbar} ...
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4answers
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Does Heisenberg equation of motion imply the Schrodinger equation for evolution operator?

Let us choose to postulate (e.g. considering the analogy of the Hamiltonian being a generator of time evolution in classical mechanics) $$ i\hbar \frac{d\hat{U}}{dt}=\hat{H}\hat{U}\tag{1} $$ where ...
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4answers
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Can the universe be described by a Markov chain?

This may be a fairly basic question as I don't have a strong background in physics. I intuitively thought that the universe must be able to be described by a Markov chain. That is, I thought you ...
7
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2answers
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Equation of motion for the reduced density matrix

The equation of motion for the density matrix of a many body isolated quantum system is the von Neumann's equation: $\dot{\rho }(t)=i[\rho (t),H]$. How about the equation of motion for the reduced ...
6
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6answers
481 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
332 views

Extending the ergodic theorem to non-equilibrium systems

I try to make this as short and concise as possible. For equilibrium systems in statistical mechanics, we have the Liouville's theorem which says that the volume in phase space is conserved when the ...
6
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1answer
228 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
258 views

Quantum Mechanical Operators in the argument of an exponential

In Quantum Optics and Quantum Mechanics, the time evolution operator $$U(t,t_i) = \exp\left[\frac{-i}{\hbar}H(t-t_i)\right]$$ is used quite a lot. Suppose $t_i =0$ for simplicity, and say the ...
5
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2answers
577 views

Heisenberg picture of QM as a result of Hamilton formalism

Consider the formula for the total time-derivative of a physical value in Poisson's formalism: $$\tag{1} \frac{dA}{dt} = -\{H, A\}_{P.B.} + \frac{\partial A}{\partial t}, $$ where $\{A, B\}_{P.B.}$ is ...
5
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2answers
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Expectation value of time-dependent Hamiltonian

I'm trying to solve a problem in QM with a forced quantum oscillator. In this problem I have a quantum oscillator, which is in the ground state initially. At $t=0$, the force $F(t)=F_0 \sin(\Omega t)$ ...
5
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3answers
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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 ...
5
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1answer
275 views

The unitary time-evolution in the interation picture

I'm currently consuming a course on QFT where we need to define the unitary time-evolution to get the time evolution of the wave function in the interaction picture: $\hat{U}(t_1,t_0) = ...
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2answers
754 views

Can the chance of finding a particle diminish over time?

Let's assume we have a wave function described by a wave equation and it is a function of space and time $\psi : \mathbb{R}^4 \rightarrow \mathbb{C}$. This function needs to be normalized, so if I ...
4
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2answers
436 views

The curious case of the time derivative of the expectation value of the position

Having defined the expectation value of position as follows $$ \langle x \rangle = \int x {\lvert\Psi(x,t)\rvert}^2dx $$ The time derivative of the expectation value is derived in my literature in ...
4
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2answers
806 views

QFT Dyson series: why are we solving the Schrodinger equation?

In quantum field theory, the solution of the time evolution operator of the Schrodinger equation (in the interaction picture) is given by Dyson's series, which is used to calculate the S-matrix. Why ...
4
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1answer
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Is there a known equation for evolution of classical particle probability density?

Suppose we have some very imprecise knowledge of classical particle's coordinates and momentum: what we can only tell is the probability density to find it in some point of phase space. This is ...
4
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How long does it take to a local perturbation to propagate along a quantum system?

Imagine to have a one-dimensional system in its ground state, and to apply a local perturbation at one edge of the system. How does the system evolve after being perturbed? More specifically, how ...
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Time Evolution Operator in Interaction Picture (Harmonic Oscillator with Time Dependent Perturbation)

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data Consider a time-dependent harmonic oscillator with Hamiltonian $$\hat{H}(t)=\hat{H}_0+\hat{V}(t)$$ $$\hat{H}_0=\hbar \omega \left( ...
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3answers
315 views

Constructing solutions to the time-dependent Schrödinger's equation

The following question is from David Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: Problem 2.13 A particle in the harmonic oscillator potential starts out in the state $$\Psi(x,0) = A[3 ...
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2answers
142 views

Time evolution of a wavepacket

I do not understand why if $H\psi = E\psi$, then the time-evolution of the wavefunction is given by $e^{-iEt/h}\psi(x)$.
3
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1answer
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Time evolution in quantum mechanics

We know that an operator A in quantum mechanics has time evolution given by Heisenberg equation: $$ \frac{i}{\hbar}[H,A]+\frac{\partial A}{\partial t}=\frac{d A}{d t} $$ Can we derive from this ...
3
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2answers
224 views

“Inverted” quantum oscillator

I'm trying to understand the problem of the "inverted" oscillator, which has the following Hamiltonian: $$ \hat{H}=\frac{\hat{p}^{2}}{2m}-\frac{k\hat{x}^{2}}{2} $$ Suppose that a particle at the ...
3
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1answer
118 views

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 ...
3
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Does the second law of thermodynamics tell me how the entropy changes?

In thermodynamics I can e.g. compute the properties of ideal gases with certain energies $U_1,U_2$ in boxes with certain volumes $V_1$ and $V_2$. Say I have two such boxes and they have some specific ...
3
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1answer
256 views

Schrodinger basis kets with Time-dependent Hamiltonian

I was reading through the proof of the Adiabatic Theorem (in Sakurai) and I realised I'm not quite sure how Schrodinger Basis kets behave when we have a time-dependent Hamiltonian. I know that with a ...
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Picture-independence of quantum mechanics

I've been thinking about the equivalence of the Heisenberg and Schrödinger pictures of quantum mechanics in the following terms lately: a quantum system is a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ equipped with ...
3
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1answer
65 views

Effective theories and unbounded operators

If you have two operators, one the true Hamiltonian $H$ and one we call an effective Hamiltonian $H_{eff}$ and say they agree on every eigenvector with eigenvalue up to $E_{eff}.$ Above that, they can ...
3
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Time evolution of a classical system [closed]

For a harmonic oscillator the Liouville operator is given by $$L = p \partial_q- q \partial_p.$$ Now I have a phase space distribution $f(t,q,p)$ for which it holds (in general) $$f(t+\tau,q,p)= ...
3
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0answers
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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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Who is doing the normalization of wave function in the time evolution of wave function?

In the Schrodinger equation, at any given time $t$ we should jointly add another sub equation, like $$||\psi_t(x)|| = 1$$ where $\psi_t(x) = \Psi(x,t)$, and then try to solve the two equations ...
2
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6answers
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What does a unitary transformation mean in the context of an evolution equation?

Let be the unitary evolution operator of a quantum system be $U(t)=\exp(itH)$ for $t >0$. Then what is the meaning of the equation $$\det\bigl(I-U(t)e^{itE}\bigr)=0$$ where $E$ is a real ...
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4answers
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Which Schrödinger equation is correct?

In the coordinate representation, in 1D, the wave function depends on space and time, $\Psi(x,t)$, accordingly the time dependent Schrödinger equation is $$H\Psi(x,t) = ...
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2answers
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The equivalence between Heisenberg and Schroedinger pictures

In quantum mechanics, the two pictures of Schroedinger and Heisenberg are taken as equivalent, where in the former wavefunctions are time variants and operators are not, and in the latter it is the ...
2
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3answers
247 views

Why does Hamiltonian follow the property $H^*_{ij} = H_{ji} $?

I was reading Feynman's Lectures III's Hamiltonian Matrix. There I found this property of Hamiltonian Matrix: The Hamiltonian has one property that can be deduced right away, namely, that ...
2
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1answer
124 views

Is continuous evolution from one eigenstate of operator $O$ to another $O$-eigenstate possible?

Eigenvectors associated with distinct values of an observable are orthogonal, according to quantum mechanics. Does this entail that a quantum system cannot continuously evolve from one eigenstate ...
2
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Time evolution of a reduced density matrix

For a bipartite quantum system evolving under some master equation, is the time derivative of the reduced density matrix equal to the partial trace of the time derivative of the matrix? In other ...
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Time evolution in Quantum Mechanics abstract state space

As I've learned the first postulate from Quantum Mechanics can be stated as follows: The states of a quantum system are described by vectors in a complex Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$. The book ...
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Why do we consider the evolution (usually in time) of a wave function?

Why do we consider evolution of a wave function and why is the evolution parameter taken as time, in QM. If we look at a simple wave function $\psi(x,t) = e^{kx - \omega t}$, $x$ is a point in ...
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2answers
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Why is time evolution unitary?

Is the reason why the time evolution operator is unitary based on purely physical arguments, i.e. that the physical processes that an isolated system undergoes shouldn't depend on any particular ...
2
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1answer
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Why does $tr \ e^{-\frac{i}{h}\hat{H}t}= \int d^nr \left< \textbf{r}| e^{-\frac{i}{h}\hat{H}t} | \textbf{r} \right>$ hold?

I would like to consider the trace of the time evolution operator $e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}\hat{H}t}$ Apparently in single-particle quantum mechanics is can be represented as $$ tr \ ...
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2answers
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How to solve the inverse square law equation of motion

From $$m\boldsymbol{\ddot{r}}=\boldsymbol{\hat{r}} f(r)$$ I can get $$r''-r \theta '^2=-\frac{k}{m r^2}$$ $$2 r' \theta '+r \theta ''=0$$ Now it seems that all the books tells me the method to solve ...
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1answer
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What really generates time evolution?

A fundamental principle of quantum mechanics, as far as I can tell, states that the Hamiltonian generates time evolution. A common result about generators are the following: let $\mathrm T$ be the ...
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1answer
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Relationship between a formal vector derivative and time evolution of an operator

I'm an undergraduate in physics, with all the lack of knowledge inherent in that. In two of my classes, my professors introduced two equations which look eerily similar. The first, from general ...