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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Do mutual eigenkets imply commutation of two operators?

I have been working on this question. I have solved it, and I would like to check whether my line of reasoning is right or wrong Question: Prove that if there exists a mutual complete set of ...
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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 ...
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Do commutation relations exist between superfields?

To quantize a theory, Klein gordon field for example, commutation relations are stablished. Or anticommuting ones in the fermionic case. If I have the Wess.Zumino model or the free model: $$S~=~\int\...
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commutators in an uncertainty relationship derived from a partition function?

The maximum information principle for the discrete case gives rise to a partition function (>>> see details here) $$Z(\lambda_1,\ldots, \lambda_m) = \sum_{i=1}^n \exp\left[\lambda_1 f_1(x_i) + \cdots ...
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commutator to entropy in an uncertainty relationship?

Question: Does there exist a commutator to entropy in an uncertainty relationship? Similar Energy and time for instance.
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Full time-derivative of a function and Schrodinger equation

From Hamiltonian formalism there is well known equation, $$ \frac{d F}{dt} = \frac{\partial F}{\partial t} + \{F, H\}_{PB}, $$ where $ \{H, F\}_{PB}$ is the Poisson bracket. After using Hamiltonian ...
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Eigenstate of position+momentum?

I'm studying Quantum Mechanics on my own, so I'm bound to have alot of wrong ideas - please be forgiving! Recently, I was thinking about the quantum mechanical assertion (postulate?) that states with ...
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What is the most general expression for the coordinate representation of momentum operator?

I have a question about deriving the coordinate representation of momentum operator from the canonical commutation relation, $$[x,p]= i.$$ One derivation (ref W. Greiner's Quantum Mechanics: An ...
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Operator on Function of Momentum (QM)

I have exactly 0 clue on how to start this problem, but I would be forever grateful for a hint in the right direction. Given the operators $\hat x=x$ and $\hat p=-i\hbar \frac{d}{dx}$, prove the ...
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Unitary spacetime translation operator

Srednicki writes: We can make this a little fancier by defining the unitary spacetime translation operator $$ T(a) \equiv \exp(-iP^\mu a_\mu/ \hbar) $$ Then we have $$ T(a)^{-1} \phi(x) T(a) = \...
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Time-ordered Derivative and Equal-time Commutator

In Green, Schwarz & Witten Superstring theory, Vol. I, page 141, I don't understand how pulling the derivative inside the Time-ordered product can give an Equal-time Commutator: $$\tag{3.2.44} \...
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What physical significance has the Heisenberg Group?

I read that the canonical commutation relation between momentum and position can be seen as the Lie Algebra of the Heisenberg group. While I get why the commutation relations of momentum and momentum, ...
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The correspondence between Poisson bracket and Commutators in Quantum Mechanics

I don't understand canonical quantization. In passing from classical to quantum, one replaces the Poisson brackets with the commutators. I don't really understand this. How can we generally show that ...
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Commutator of Lorentz boost generators : visual interpretation

I have always struggled to visualize the correctness of the commutation relation for the generators of the boost in the Lorentz group. We have $$[K_i,K_j] = i \epsilon_{ijk} L_k$$ I fail to picture ...
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Commutator with a square root

How to find the commutator $[a, \sqrt{a^\dagger a}]$? Here $a$ is a usual bosonic annihilation operator, and $[a, a^\dagger] = 1$. The first thing I tried is $$ [x,A] = [x, \sqrt{A}]\sqrt{A} + \sqrt{...
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Imposing anti-commutation relations on fermionic quasi-particles

In many theories of CMT, we assume the nature of quasi-particles (without giving proper justifications). For example, we assume nature of quasi-particles to be fermionic in case of a interacting ...
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Are higher order mixed partial derivatives of wave function with different ordination equal?

For example, given two operators: $$A = \frac{\partial}{\partial x}+\frac{\partial}{\partial y},$$ $$B =\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2}{\partial y^2} + 1.$$ Deriving commutator $[A,...
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Deriving the Angular Momentum Commutator Relations by using $\epsilon_{ijk}$ Identities

I've been trying to derive the relation $$[\hat L_i,\hat L_j] = i\hbar\epsilon_{ijk} \hat L_k $$ without doing each permutation of ${x,y,z}$ individually, but I'm not really getting anywhere. ...
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Gradient involved commutator in $\phi^4$ theory

In a phi fourth theory, the Hamiltonian density is: $$\mathcal{H}=\frac{1}{2}\pi^2+\frac{1}{2}(\nabla \phi)^2+\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2+\frac{\lambda}{4!}\phi^4$$ Now I impose the usual equal time ...
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Proof $\left[ {\hat H,{{\hat p}_i}} \right] = - \frac{\hbar }{i}\frac{{\partial \hat H}}{{\partial {{\hat q}_i}}}$ [closed]

I have a problem with the Hamiltonian, I don't think anything to solve it!! So could you give me some hints! Knowing that: $$\left[ {{{\hat p}_i},{{\hat q}_k}} \right] = \frac{\hbar }{i}{\delta _{ik}...
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Energy eigenvalues of a Q.H.Oscillator with $[\hat{H},\hat{a}] = -\hbar \omega \hat{a}$ and $[\hat{H},\hat{a}^\dagger] = \hbar \omega \hat{a}^\dagger$

I just finished deriving the commutators: \begin{align} [\hat{H}, \hat{a}] &= -\hbar \omega \hat{a}\\ [\hat{H}, \hat{a}^\dagger] &= \hbar \omega \hat{a}^\dagger\\ \end{align} On the ...
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Proof for commutator relation $[\hat{H},\hat{a}] = - \hbar \omega \hat{a}$

I know how to derive below equations found on wikipedia and have done it myselt too: \begin{align} \hat{H} &= \hbar \omega \left(\hat{a}^\dagger\hat{a} + \frac{1}{2}\right)\\ \hat{H} &= \...
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Translation Operator and Position Basis

In Modern Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai, at page 46 while deriving commutator of translator operator with position operator, he uses $$\left| x+dx\right\rangle \simeq \left| x \right\rangle.$$ But for ...
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Moyal Product in Non Commutative Quantum Mechanics

Can someone please explain me what is a Moyal product? Also, how does putting $$X_a(\psi) ~=~ x_a\star\psi$$ realise $$[X_a,X_b]=i\theta_{ab}{\bf 1}?$$ Ref: Quantum mechanics on non-commutative ...
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Matrix representation for fermionic annihilation operator

My guess it should look something like this: $ c_\sigma = (\left|0\right>\left<\uparrow\right|+\left|\downarrow\right>\left<\downarrow\uparrow\right|)\delta_{\sigma,\uparrow}+(\left|0\...
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QFT basics for Klein-Gordon fields

I am teaching myself QFT from Peskin for next years maths course and I have two questions: What is a c-number? Is it a complex number, and if so why does it mean, $[\hat{\phi}(x),\hat{\phi}(y)]~=~<...
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Quantum commutator

I'm given this commutator: $$\left[PXP,P\right]$$ Being $P\psi=-i\hbar\partial_x\psi$, and $X\psi=x\psi$ I've solved it in two ways, the first one is just aplying the commutator to some function $\...
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Quantum mechanical analogue of conjugate momentum

In classical mechanics, we define the concept of canonical momentum conjugate to a given generalised position coordinate. This quantity is the partial derivative of the Lagrangian of the system, with ...
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Find $\hat{x}$ operator given $\hat{p}$ operator

This is problem $1.2$ of Molecular Quantum Mechanics by Atkins, 4th edition. I'm given the momentum operator $$p=\sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2m}}(A+B)$$ with $$[A,B]=1$$ and I need to find $x$ in this ...
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Klein-Gordon Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR)

In the complex Klein-Gordon field we regard as dynamical variables the field $\phi$, the complex conjugate of the field $\phi^*$, and the momenta $\pi$, $\pi^*$. I can't see how should arise the (...
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State space of QFT, CCR and quantization, and the spectrum of a field operator?

In the canonical quantization of fields, CCR is postulated as (for scalar boson field ): $$[\phi(x),\pi(y)]=i\delta(x-y)\qquad\qquad(1)$$ in analogy with the ordinary QM commutation relation: $$[x_i,...
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Evaluate Commutator with Partial Derivatives

I need to evaluate the following commutator... $[x(\frac{\partial}{\partial y})-y(\frac{\partial}{\partial x}),y(\frac{\partial}{\partial z})-z(\frac{\partial}{\partial y})]$ i tried applying an ...
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Causality and Quantum Field Theory [duplicate]

I have a problem with proof of causality in Peskin & Schroeder, An Introduction to QFT, page 28. To avoid confusion I use three vectors notation, rewriting the Eq. (2.53) for $y=0$ as follows: $[\...
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What conservation law corresponds to this local $U(1)$ symmetry of the CCR?

It is known that canonical commutation relations do not fix the form of momentum operator. That means that if canonical commutation relations (CCR) are given by $$[\hat{x}^i,\hat{p}_j]~=~i\hbar~\...
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Validity of Bogoliubov transformation

In condensed matter physics, one often encounter a Hamiltonian of the form $$\mathcal{H}=\sum_{\bf{k}} \begin{pmatrix}a_{\bf{k}}^\dagger & a_{-\bf{k}}\end{pmatrix} \begin{pmatrix}A_{\bf{k}} &...
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In QFT, why does a vanishing commutator ensure causality?

In relativistic quantum field theories (QFT), $$[\phi(x),\phi^\dagger(y)] = 0 \;\;\mathrm{if}\;\; (x-y)^2<0\,.$$ On the other hand, even for space-like separation $$\phi(x)\phi^\dagger(y)\ne0\,.$...
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Constructing the exponential form of a unitary operator

I think I've got this figured out but wanted to make sure I'm doing this right. Working with operators that satisfy bosonic commutation relations $$[b,b^\dagger] = 1,$$ I define a very general ...
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Theories with non-vanishing commutators outside the lightcone

I'm reading Weinberg's new book on Quantum Mechanics, and in Chapter 8.7 "Time-Dependent Perturbation Theory" he derives the usual Dyson series for the $S$ matrix when the interaction Hamiltonian $V_I(...
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Commutator with exponential $[A, \exp(B)]$

How can I tell if $A$ and $\exp(B)$ commute? For $[A, B]$ it's simply $AB-BA$ and for $[\exp(A), \exp(B)]$ I think it'd be $\exp(A)\exp(B) - \exp(B)\exp(A) = \exp(A+B) - \exp(B+A) = 0$. Update: it's ...
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Canonical transformation and Hamilton's equations

I was trying to prove, that for a transformation to be Canonical, one must have a relationship: $$ \left\{ Q_a,P_i \right\} = \delta_{ai} $$ Where $Q_a = Q_a(p_i,q_i)$ and $P_a = P_a(p_i,q_i)$. Now ...
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QED Commutation Relations Implications

In Brian Hatfield's book on QFT and Strings there is the following quote: In particular $$ [A_i (x,t), E_j(y,t)] = -i \delta_{ij}\delta(x-y) $$ implies that $$ [A_i(x,t),\nabla \cdot E(y,t)] = -i\...
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Commutation relation of $J^2$ and $R(\alpha,\beta,\gamma)$

If $R(\alpha,\beta,\gamma)$ is the Rotation operator and $\alpha,\beta,\gamma$ are Euler angles and $J$ is the total angular momentum then how to get to this: $$[J^2,R]~=~0?$$ This is stated in ...
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Canonical Commutation Relations

Is it logically sound to accept the canonical commutation relation (CCR) $$[x,p]~=~i\hbar$$ as a postulate of quantum mechanics? Or is it more correct to derive it given some form for $p$ in the ...
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Example of two linearly independent, nowhere vanishing vector fields in $\mathbb{R}^{2}$

I knew that two linearly independent and nowhere-vanishing vector fields provide a basis for the tangent space at each point in $\mathbb{R}^{2}$. Is it necessary that these two vector fields commute? ...
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Does the canonical commutation relation fix the form of the momentum operator?

For one dimensional quantum mechanics $$[\hat{x},\hat{p}]=i\hbar. $$ Does this fix univocally the form of the $\hat{p}$ operator? My bet is no because $\hat{p}$ actually depends if we are on ...
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Momentum as Generator of Translations

I understand from some studies in mathematics, that the generator of translations is given by the operator $\frac{d}{dx}$. Similarly, I know from quantum mechanics that the momentum operator is $-i\...
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Why Must Conserved Currents of Lorentz Symmetry Satisfy the Lorentz Algebra

I've seen it written many times that the commutation relation $[M^{I-},M^{J-}]=0$ is required for Lorentz invariance in the light cone gauge quantisation of the bosonic string. This follows ...
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Does uncertainty imply noncommutativity?

We already know that non-commutativity of observables leads to uncertainty in quantum mechanics cf. e.g. this and this Phys.SE post. What about the opposite: Does uncertainty imply noncommutativity? ...
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What does the Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR) tell me about the overlap between Position and Momentum bases?

I'm curious whether I can find the overlap $\langle q | p \rangle$ knowing only the following: $|q\rangle$ is an eigenvector of an operator $Q$ with eigenvalue $q$. $|p\rangle$ is an eigenvector of ...
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Non-commuting operators can't share any eigenvector

In an introductory Quantum Mechanics textbook, I found the following statement: For two Hamiltonians $H$ and $H'$, non commuting with each other, but commuting with the same group of translations ${...