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Questions tagged [commutator]

A mathematical construct quantifying the difference in effect of applying two operators in two alternate successions. It is the defining product of a Lie algebra, the efficient underlying description of Lie groups, of use in several areas of physics, most notably quantum field theory.

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Show that when angular momentum $L_x$ and $L_y$ commute with operator $G$, then $L_z$ also commutes with $G$

I want to prove that if Angular momentum $L_x$ and $L_y$ commute with an operator $G$, angular momentum $L_z$ also commutes with $G$. if $[L_x , G] = [L_y, G] = 0$ then $[L_z , G] = 0$ I know that $...
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Calculating the Commutation Relation of the Generators of $SO(n)$ [duplicate]

I'm working through problems in the book Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell by Zee, and I'm stuck on one of the harder problems. The problem is Calculate $[J_{(mn)}, J_{(pq)}]$. We are given that $[J_{(...
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Ehrenfest theorem and correlation among observables at the quantum scale

I am studying quantum mechanics and I encountered the famous Ehrenfest Theorem, which states that given an observable $A$, its expectation value time evolution is governed by $\partial_t\langle A\...
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How to differentiate exponentials of operators?

Suppose we have $$e^{At}e^{Bt}=F(t),$$ where $$A, B$$ - operators that do not commute. Now I need to take the derivative $$dF(t)/dt.$$ In which order do I write the operators? $$dF(t)/dt = Ae^{At}e^{...
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Virasoro algebra commutation (part 2)

This was a sub-question in my previous post that I ask separately now. In Introduction to Conformal Field Theory by Blumenhagen and Plauschinn (springer link) the Virasoro algebra is introduced the ...
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Virasoro Algebra commutation

In Introduction to Conformal Field Theory by Blumenhagen and Plauschinn (springer link) the Virasoro algebra is introduced the central extension of the Witt algebra. They give the central extension $$\...
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Inequivalent representations of the CCR. An exercise proposed by Bogoliubov

In his book General Principles of quantum field théory Bogoliubov proposes an exercise. He shows how to use the GNS construction to get the Fock representations ot CCR on a complex hilbert space $E$ ...
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Uncertainity relation of Kinetic energy with position

In R. Shankar's Principle of quantum mechanics book in the problem Now $$\Delta T = \frac{-\hbar^2}{2m} \Delta( p^2)$$ And I don't arrive anywhere using this, but I also know that $\Delta A \...
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Commutation relation Lorentz Algebra

Related question, which I don't understand either. I think is easier to get the Lorentz group algebra as defined by Maggiore, $$ [J^{\mu\nu},J^{\rho\sigma}] = i(\eta^{\nu\rho}J^{\mu\sigma} - \eta^{\...
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Vanishing correlation function

Mirror Symmetry p. 206, Eq. 10.192. I have an operator $\mathcal{O}$ that commutes with my supercharge $\overline{Q}_+ $, $\left[\overline{Q}_+, \mathcal{O} \right]=0$. Why does the correlation ...
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Commutation of alpha dirac matrix

I want to calculate the commutation of $[\hat{x},\vec{\alpha}\;\vec{p}]$. This boils down to $$[\hat{x},\vec{\alpha}\;\vec{p}] = i\hbar\hat{\alpha_x}+\left[\hat{x},\hat{\alpha_x}\right]\hat{p_x} +\...
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Generators of conformal transformations change of basis

I recently started going through Introduction to Conformal Field Theory by Blumenhagen and Plauschinn ( springer link ). On page 11, they glue together the generators of conformal transformations as ...
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Normal ordering of operators: Commutator or no commutator [duplicate]

My exercise for a quantum optics course tells me to "find a normal ordering" for an Operator $\hat{O}(\hat{a},\hat{a}^\dagger)$, which is given as a (rather complicated) string of $\hat{a}$'s and $\...
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Heisenberg Picture from $\left[f(A), B\right] = \left[A, B \right]\frac{\partial f}{\partial A}$

I have a question about the equation below: $$\left[f(A), B\right] = \left[A, B \right]\frac{\partial f}{\partial A}$$ Is this equation valid in the Schrödinger picture, Heisenberg picture, or in ...
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Commutation relations, complex scalar field

Why for the complex scalar field $$ \hat\phi = \int \frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^{3/2}(2E_{\vec{p}})^{1/2}}\left(\hat{a}_{\vec{p}}e^{-p \cdot x} + \hat{b}_{\vec{p}}^\dagger e^{p \cdot x}\right), $$ the ...
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Question about commutators acting on wavefunctions

Consider a commutator acting on a 1D wavefunction: $$[\frac{\hbar}{i} \frac{d}{dx},x]\psi(x)=(\frac{\hbar}{i} \frac{d}{dx}x-x\frac{\hbar}{i} \frac{d}{dx})\psi(x).$$ Now does this mean $\frac{\hbar}{...
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Why symmetry transformations have to commute with Hamiltonian?

Let us consider a unitary or antiunitary operator $\hat{U}$, that associates with each quantum state $| \psi \rangle$ another state $\hat{U} | \psi \rangle$. I have read that to $\hat{U}$ be a ...
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General commutation question

If I have three general observables, $\hat{C}$, $\hat{H}$, and $\hat{L}$, and the commutation relation between $\hat{C}$ and $\hat{H}$ is given by, $$ [\hat{C}, \hat{H}] = \hbar \hat{L} $$ At the ...
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QFT Complex scalar field and commutators

The conserved charge is $$Q=i\int\ d^3x(\phi\pi-\phi^\dagger\pi^\dagger)$$ Expressing this in terms of creation annihilation operators gives $$Q=i\int d^3 x \frac{d^3p d^3k}{(2\pi)^3(2\pi)^3}\frac{i\...
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How to efficiently compute the commutator $[\hat{r},\nabla^2]$?

Given a system with Hamiltonian $ \hat{H} = \frac {\hat{p} ^2}{2m} + \hat{V}(r)$ in a certain state $|\psi \rangle$, I want to find if $\langle r \rangle$ varies with time. From $$ i \hbar\frac {d ...
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Proof for $\langle i[A,B]\rangle$ [closed]

I have to prove the following equation: $$ \langle i[A,B]\rangle = 2\mathfrak{Im}\left[\int dV(\overline{B\psi)}(A\psi)\right]\,,$$ where A,B are hermitian operators. Here is my calculation, but I don'...
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Source for mathematical methods [duplicate]

I am just curious about any question and example sources for linear vector spaces, bra-ket notation, operators, commutators and hilbert spaces.
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Field operator commutation: If two operators commute, then their fourier transforms also commute?

Im doing this in the context of field operators $$\psi(x)=\sum_k a_k e^{ikx},$$ $$\psi^T(y)=\sum_k a_k^T e^{-iky},$$ and their being defined as the fourier transform of the creation/annihilation ...
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Lie algebra vs. position and momentum commutators

Most theoretical texts on high energy physics make statements like below: $$[A_i , A_j] = i C^k_{i,j} A_k $$ (I suppose $\hbar$ may or may not be needed) and of course they describe this as being ...
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How does Sakurai reduce a product to a commutator?

The following section is from Modern Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai; can any one help me finding out how this is done? In contrast, if we follow approach 2, we obtain \begin{align} \vert\alpha\...
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Commutator of spacetime translation

In Srednicki's textbook Quantum Field Theory, eq. (95.7) reads: \begin{equation} [\Phi (x, \theta, \theta^{*}), P^{\mu}] = -i\partial^{\mu}\Phi (x, \theta, \theta^{*}). \end{equation} where $\Phi (x,...
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Commutation relations in Gupta-Bleuler formalism

When quantising the EM field thanks to the Gupta-Bleuler formalism, Itzykson and Zuber assume that the canonical commutation rules are $$ [\hat{A}_\rho (t,\vec{x}), \hat{\pi}^\nu(t,\vec{y})]= i \, ...
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Symmetry in quantum mechanics

My professor told us that in quantum mechanics a transformation is a symmetry transformation if $$ UH(\psi) = HU(\psi) $$ Can you give me an easy explanation for this definition?
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Canonical commutation relations for a real scalar field

I am taking my first course in QFT and have come across this problem From the canonical commutation relations for a real scalar field $\hat{\phi}$ show that $$[\partial_i \hat{\phi} , \hat{\phi}...
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Derivation for the commutation relation of $\alpha_m^\mu$ and $\alpha_n^\nu$

I have been trying to derive the commutation relation of $\alpha_m^\mu$ and $\alpha_n^\nu$ in a closed-string mode expansion, but I found an extra factor of $2$ that ruins things out: Given $\dot X = ...
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The products of powers of Hermitian operators

Let's say I have two operators, $\hat{x}^k$ and $\hat{p}_x^l$, where $\hat{x}$ and $\hat{p}_x$ are the ordinary position and momentum operators. It seems fairly straight forward to show that $\hat{x}^...
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Lie algebra: Proof that the commutator of infinitesimal motions is an infinitesimal motion

I am following Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie Algebras by Neumaier and Westra. Setup I am stuck at part of Thm 2.3.1. Consider the matrix group $\mathbb{G}$. The set of $\mathbb{G}$-motions ...
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If infinitesimal transformations commute why don't the generators of the Lorentz group commute?

If infinitesimal transformations commute as proved e.g. on this mathworld.wolfram page, why are the commutators for the generators of the Lorentz group nonzero?
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Why doesn't the anticommutator $\{x,p_x\}$ have an unique value?

The commutator of position and momentum, $[x,p_x]$, has a unique value given by $i\hbar$. Why doesn't the anticommutator $\{x,p_x\}$ also have a definite value?
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Uncertainty Principle and Commutators

In preparation for an exam I stumbled upon a quantum mechanics task I can´t really solve right know. So i hope someone can maybe give me a hint or two how to understand this. Here is the task: Let $...
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Canonical commutation relation for spherical coordinates?

What coordinates systems can the canonical commutation relation be generalised to? I also ask specifically for spherical coordinates. This is because I want to prove $\hat{\bf p}\cdot{\bf e}_r-{\bf e}...
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Does $[L_z,H] = 0$ imply the state is also an Eigenstate of $H$ is also an eigenstate of $L_z$?

Given that the Hamiltonian $\mathcal{H}$ is rotationally invariant then we know $[L_z,\mathcal{H}] = 0$. Does that imply that an eigenstate of H is also an eigenstate of $\mathcal{H}$? More ...
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Does total $\hat{S}^2$ always commute with total $\hat{S}_z$ even for interacting spins?

I was given the following operator $\hat{f}$ describing the interaction of two spin-$\frac12$ particles: $$\hat{f}=a+b{\hat{\bf S}_1}\cdot{\hat{\bf S}_2}.$$ I was told that I can prove that $\hat{f}$...
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Commutation in coupled Harmonic Oscillators

Starting with a coupled Harmonic Oscillator problem $$ H = \frac{p_1^2 + p_2^2}{2m} + \frac{K}{2}\left[x_1^2 + x_2^2 + \left(x_1 - x_2\right)^2\right] = \left(\frac{p_1^2}{2m} + \frac{2K}{2}x_1^2\...
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Hausdorff expansion

Could someone explain me, what the Hausdorff expansion is? In my quantum mechanics homework I should use something called the Hausdorff expansion which looks like the following: $$e^ABe^{-A}=B+[A,B]+\...
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Square bracket notation of the basis of 16 independent gamma matrices

The question is very simple and I couldn't find an answer. What the notation $\gamma^{ [ \mu} \gamma^{\nu} \gamma^{\rho ]}$ and $\gamma^{ [ \mu} \gamma^{\nu} \gamma^{\rho} \gamma^{\sigma ]}$ means? ...
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Geometrical way to view discretization of energy in quantum mechanics. How commutation relation implies discreteness?

The relation from which discreteness in eigenvalue of the energy of bound state arises is $[x, p]=i\hbar$ followed by the rule that wavefunction should be normalizable. So my question is there a ...
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Finding a closed formula using Baker-Hausdorff formula for a unitary transformation; An endless commutator

Consider the Baker-Hausdorff formula for two operators $a_1$ and $iHt$: $$e^{iHt}a_1 e^{-iHt} =a_1+[iHt,a_1]+\frac{1}{2!}[iHt,[iHt,a_1]]+\frac{1}{3!}[iHt,[iHt,[iHt,a_1]]]+....,$$ where $[A,B]=AB-BA$. ...
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The charge given by a commutator

I saw in the text that $[Q,X]=cX$ and says the operator $X$ has charge $c$ under the generator $Q$. I tried to understand why the coefficient $c$ means the charge. So I used this relation to get the ...
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Symmetry in Fock-space 2-body interaction

The simplest two body interaction term for fermions is $$H = \sum_{ijkl} U_{ijkl} a_i^\dagger a_j^\dagger a_k a_l$$ and I'm trying to determine the symmetries on $U$. Unfortunately I keep getting ...
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Geometric interpretation of the second Bianchi identity?

Assuming a torsion free Christoffel symbol, the covariant derivative can be shown to satisfy the second (differential) Bianchi identity: \begin{equation} [[\nabla_a,\nabla_b],\nabla_c]+[[\nabla_c,\...
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What is the commutator of a reasonably-behaved function of an operator and the derivative of that function? What is $[f(\hat x) ,f'(\hat x) ]$?

I tried to do the usual procedure and expand the commutator, but couldn't proceed after I Taylor-expanded $f(\hat x)$. $$\Big[f(\hat x),\frac{d}{dx}f(\hat x)\Big]=$$ $$f(\hat x)f'(\hat x)-f'(\hat x)...
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Angular momentum coupling

I read about angular momentum coupling on wikipedia and there are a few things i dont understand. What does this mean "spin and orbital angular momentum of a single object belong to different Hilbert ...
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What is the QFT state with two distinguishable fermions present?

I want to describe a system with two non-interacting and definitely different fermions, say an electron neutrino, $\nu_e$, and an electron, $e^-$. The state describing a single electron is given ...
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Commutator of Lie Group Generators

This is from Maggiore's "A Modern Introduction to Field Theory", Page 15. I have a Lie group with matrix generators $$ T^{a}_{R}$$ Where $a$ takes values from 1 to the dimension of the Lie group. ...