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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Fock space with mixed anti-commutation/commutation relations?

Let's say we have two modes, with the following labeling of occupation number states: $ \lvert \Psi \rangle = \begin{pmatrix} 0,0 \\ 0,1 \\ 1,0 \\ 1,1 \end{pmatrix} $ An example of (what I assume to ...
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Euclidean QFT commutator vanishes for all spacetime separations?

In Minkowski spacetime, the commutator of the Klein-Gordon field operator with itself at different spacetime points evaluates to the advanced minus retarded Green's function of the classical theory, ...
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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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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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Proving that $i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial \mathbf{p}}$ is the operator of $\mathbf{x}$ in momentum space

How can I prove that $i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial \mathbf{p}}$ is the operator of $\mathbf{x}$ in momentum space?
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Commutator expectation value in quantum mechanics

Suppose $A$ and $B$ are operators, $A$ is Hermitian, $B$ anti-hermitian, and their commutator is the identity, i.e. $$[A, B] = I \, .$$ Denoting the eigenvectors of $A$ as $\lvert a \rangle$, so that $...
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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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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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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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Is uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement? [duplicate]

Is the uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement or is it an intrinsic concept in quantum mechanics irrelevant of any measurement? Everyone knows the thought experiment of measuring ...
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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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If Poisson Bracket of Momentum and Position is non-zero, why no Uncertainty Principle?

In Hamiltonian classical mechanics, we have that the Poisson bracket of position and momentum satisfies $$\{q_i, p_j\} = \delta_{ij}$$ But this implies that momentum and position 'generate' changes ...
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Glauber's Formula

In the Cohen-Tannoudji Quantum Physics book, Complement BII, says: [...] two operators $A$ and $B$ with both commute with their commutator. An argument modeled on the preceding one shows that, if we ...
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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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Compatible Observables

My QM book says that when two observables are compatible, then the order in which we carry out measurements is irrelevant. When you carry out a measurement corresponding to an operator $A$, the ...
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Computing the density operator commutation relations (Atland & Simons)

I'm trying to work through Altland and Simons' example of interacting fermions in one dimension. It's in chapter 2, page 70 (you can find it here). They define fermionic operators $$ a_{sk}^\dagger $$...
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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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Quantum Mechanics in a non-inertial reference frame?

In non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics how does one write the momentum and position operator in a non-inertial reference frame? How is the Schrodinger Wave equation modified to account for non-zero ...
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Causality in QFT from vanishing commutator and the EPR paradox

The question relates to this post. As shown in Peskin and Schroeder's introduction to quantum field theory p. 28., $$[\phi(x),\phi(y)] = 0 \;\;\mathrm{if}\;\; (x-y)^2<0$$, which implies the ...
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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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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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Is commutation relation an equivalence relation?

I'm now learning quantum mechanics with Liboff. In the book it deals with "a compete set of mutually compatible observables" in order to make a state maximally informative. How can one find such set? ...
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Evaluating commutator of $[\operatorname{sign}(X),\, \operatorname{sign}(P)]$

I wish to evaluate the following commutator: $[\operatorname{sign}(X),\, \operatorname{sign}(P)]$. Is there a general method for evaluating $[\operatorname{f}(X), \operatorname{f}(P)]$? I thought of a ...
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Tricky operator identity: $[L^2,[L^2,\vec{r}]]=2 \hbar ^2 \{ L^2, \vec{r}\}$?

This operator identity showed up in a course I was taking, and it was given without proof. $$[L^2,[L^2,\vec{r}]]=2 \hbar ^2 \{ L^2, \vec{r}\}$$ The curly brackets denote the anticommutator, $AB+BA$. ...
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Stone-von Neumann theorem

According to Stone-von Neumann theorem, any two canonically conjugate self adjoint operators following the relation: $$[\hat{q},\hat{p}]=i\hbar$$ cannot be both bounded. I am confused about how we ...
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Simultaneous eigenbasis of the energy and momentum operators of a particle in a 1-dimensional box

Does there exist a simultaneous eigenbasis of the energy operator $T=\hat{p}^2/2m$ and the momentum operator $\hat{p}=-i\hbar\, d/dx$, for a particle in a 1-dimensional box of unit length? Actually, ...
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Derivation of canonical position-momentum commutator relation

We know that the position-momentum commutator is fundamental in quantum mechanics, but would it be possible to derive it starting from a different set of first principles, more specifically starting (...
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Derivation of (2.45) in Peskin and Schroeder

I'm having trouble understanding the step $$\left[\pi (\vec{x},t),\int d^{3}y ~(\frac{1}{2} \pi (\vec{y},t)^{2}+\frac{1}{2}\phi (\vec{y},t)(-\nabla^{2} +m^{2})\phi (\vec{y},t)) \right]$$ $$ =\int d^{...
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Schrödinger field operators and their commutation relations

I've got several questions regarding the so called second quantization of the Schrödinger equation. My professor introduced the field operators for the Schrödinger field by simply stating them as ...
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Do we need to expand the potential in a power series to show $[x, V(x)] = 0$?

Today in class (Intro to QM) we went over a couple of commutators. Among them was $[x, V]$, where $V=V(x)$ is a potential. What the teacher said to prove this is zero was: let's assume $V$ is analytic ...
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Can non-central hamiltonians commute with $\vec{L}^2$?

Central potentials $V(r)$ trivially commute with the operator $\vec{L}^2$ in quantum mechanics because the latter is a function of the angular coordinates $(\theta,\phi)$ only. Non-central potentials, ...
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Measuring non-commuting observable at once

Given an Hilbert space $H$ (finite dimensional for sake of clarity), and two non-commuting operators $$A = \sum_a a |a\rangle\langle a|$$ and $$B=\sum_a b |b\rangle\langle b|,$$ is it possible to find ...
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Source of Ladder Operators

This might be a silly question but I am curious as to where the ladder operators in quantum mechanics come from. For example, in introductory texts on quantum mechanics, they try to solve the ...
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Finding the creation/annihilation operators

Using Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$, for the Lagrangian density $${\cal L}=\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi^{\dagger}-m^2\phi \phi^{\dagger}$$ of the complex scalar field, we have the field $...
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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 commutation relation, $[x,p]= i$. One derivation (ref W. Greiner's Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction, 4th ...
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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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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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Equivalent Rotation using Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff relation

Is there a way in which one can use the BCH relation to find the equivalent angle and the axis for two rotations? I am aware that one can do it in a precise way using Euler Angles but I was wondering ...
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How did Heisenberg come up with the Canonical Commutation relation ($\hat X \hat P-\hat P\hat X=i\hbar$)?

All answers to questions like this dodge the question by saying it's a postulate of Matrix Mechanics, so let me rephrase it. Instead of how to derive the CCR, how does it follow from Heisenberg's ...
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Does Microcausality follow from Lorentz Invariance?

In a Lorentz Invariant theory, does microcausality automatically hold? In a free theory this is obvious. In an interacting theory I found some 'proof's in this paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.1483 ...
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Commutation relations in QFT and the principle of locality

My question is, given two space-time points $x^{\mu}$ and $y^{\mu}$, if the events that occur at these points are simultaneous, i.e. $x^{0}=y^{0}$, are the two events necessarily space-like separated? ...
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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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Derivation of Schwingers action principle from Heisenberg Equation and CCR - Why does it work with Anticommuting variations?

In the Book "Quantum Field Theory I" by Manoukian, in section 4.3, from what I understood, he derived the quantum-action-principle of Schwinger only by using unitary time-evolution of the field ...
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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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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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Classical Limit of Commutator

In Dirac's book Principles of quantum mechanics (4th ed., pgs 87-88), he seems to give a very elementary argument as to how the commutator $[X,P]$ reduces to the Poisson brackets ${x,p}$ in the limit $...
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The implication of anti-commutation relations in quantum mechanics

All the textbooks I saw are very clear about the implications of commutating operators in quantum mechanics. However, much less is said about anti-commutation relations. Does it have a general ...
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Virasoro operators commutation relations [closed]

For the commutation relation in quantising the bosonic string $$\left[L_n,L_{m}\right]=(n-m)L_{n+m}+\frac{D}{12}n(n^2-1)\delta_{n+m,0}$$ we can then calculate this for $m=-n$ in between the vacuum ...
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Commutators, Measurement, and Causality in QFT

In Peskin and Schroeder pg. 27-28, they discuss Klein-Gordon theory and causality. For a spacelike separation $(x-y)^2 < 0$, they show that $$\langle 0| \phi(x)\phi(y) |0\rangle \neq 0$$ They go ...
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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 ...