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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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Commutation of two vector operator [closed]

Consider vectors $\overrightarrow { A } $ and $\overrightarrow { B } $ as operators or vector of operators. If this commutation holds$$[\overrightarrow { A },\overrightarrow { B }]=0$$ Then, is that ...
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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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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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Eigenspaces of angular momentum operator and its square (Casimir operator)

The casimir operator $\textbf{L}^2$ commutates with the elements $L_i$ of the angular momentum operator $\textbf{L}$: $$ [\textbf{L}^2, L_i] = 0. $$ However, the $L_i$ do not commute among ...
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Square bracket notation for anti-symmetric part of a tensor

I know that $A_{[a} B_{b]} = \frac{1}{2!}(A_{a}B_{b} - A_{b}B_{a})$ But how can write $E_{[a} F_{bc]}$ like the above? Can you provide a reference where this notational matter is discussed?
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Does the Heisenberg equation for fields and canonical momentums hold as well for the hamiltonian density operator instead of the Hamiltonian operator?

In quantum field theory, with the field $\phi$ and the momentum $\pi$ being operators, their time evolution is governed (in the Heisenberg-picture) by the Heisenberg equation: \begin{align} \dot{\phi}...
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Equal time commutation relations in canonical quantization of relativistic free fields

Why is equal time commutation relation used in canonical quantization of relativistic free fields? In a relativistic theory, space and time are to be treated on equal footing.
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Commutator of $L^2$ and $X^2$, $P^2$

In our quantum mechanics script, it states that $[L^2, X^2] = 0$ and $[L^2, P^2] = 0$, therefore for the following Hamiltonan $$H = \frac{P^2}{2m} + V(X^2)$$ it is that $[H, L^2] = 0$ therefore $H$ ...
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Quantum State Representation with Commuting Operators

Let $[A,B]=0$. Then, we can find a set of eigenvectors $\{|a_n,b_n\rangle\}$ common to both $A$ and $B$. According to this, and my own understanding, it makes sense to write an arbitrary quantum state ...
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Whence the $i$ in QM Poisson bracket definition?

On p. 87 of Dirac's Quantum Mechanics he introduces the quantum analog of the classical Poisson bracket$^1$ $$ [u,v]~=~\sum_r \left( \frac{\partial u}{\partial q_r}\frac{\partial u}{\partial p_r}- \...
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Why do the ladder operators in harmonic oscillators work?

The Hamiltonian can be diagonalized by transforming $x$ and $p$ to $a$ and $a^\dagger$. I understand how one proceeds from there to find the spectrum of $a^\dagger a$, the ground state $|0\rangle$ and ...
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What is the commutator of the exponential derivative operator and the exponential position operator?

What is the commutator of the exponential derivative operator and the exponential position operator? \begin{align} \left[\exp(\partial_x),\exp(x)\right] =\exp(\partial_x)\exp(x) -\exp(x)\exp(\...
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Help understanding proof in simultaneous diagonalization

The proof is from Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Shankar. The theorem is: If $\Omega$ and $\Lambda$ are two commuting Hermitian operators, there exists (at least) a basis of common eigenvectors ...
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Schrödinger equation for time dependent Hamiltonian and conjugation

The Schrödinger equation for the evolution operator reads: $$ \frac{\partial U}{\partial t} = -\frac{i}{\hbar}HU $$ where for a time dependent Hamiltonian which need not commute with itself at ...
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How to recognize a Complete Set of Commuting Operators (CSCO)

A question about 'completeness'. These two operators are commuting, but I want to know more about their completeness. How do you know if {H}, {B}, {H,B} and/or {$H^2$,B} are forming (a) Complete Set(...
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Commutator $[\hat{p},F(\hat{x})]$ of Momentum $\hat{p}$ with a Position dependent function $F(\hat{x})$?

I heard from my GSI that the commutator of momentum with a position dependent quantity is always $-i\hbar$ times the derivative of the position dependent quantity. Can someone point me towards a ...
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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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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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1answer
696 views

Commutator of Pauli Matrices in two qubit system

For two qubits 1 and 2 with Pauli Matrices $\sigma_{x_1}, \sigma_{x_2}, \sigma_{z_1}, \sigma_{z_2}$, prove that: $$[\sigma_{x_1} \sigma_{x_2}, \sigma_{z_1} \sigma_{z_2}] = 0$$ I am very confused ...
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Is there any plausible reason for the existence of conjugate variables in quantum mechanics?

(I updated the question, the new last passage is the important one) If I assume the position of a particle to be represented by an operator $\hat{x}$, and the time evolution to be carried out by the ...
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Schwartz QFT coupling to the photon

I am reading Schwartz's QFT textbook. In Eq. (10.104) he writes: $$ \left[i\partial_\mu-eA_\mu,i\partial_\nu-eA_\nu\right]~=~-e i[\partial_\mu A_{\nu}-\partial_\nu A_{\mu}]~=~ -e i F_{\mu \nu}. \tag{...
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Commutation Relations for Creation & Annihilation Opertors of Two Different Scalar Fields

Let us consider two different scalar fields $\phi$ and $\chi$. The commutation relations for the creation and annihilation operators of the scalar field $\phi$ are given by $$ [a(\textbf{k}), a(\...
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Weyl exponential form of the Canonical Commutation Relations

What is the physical meaning of the $c$-numbers $Q, P\in \mathbb{R}$ in the exponent of the Weyl system $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar} Q \hat{p}\right]$ and $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar}P\hat{q}\right]$? ...
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Generalized commutator/anticommutator via phase factor

We know that the commutator between two operators $A$ and $B$ reads $[A,B]_{-}=AB - BA$, while the anticommutator reads $[A,B]_+=AB + BA$. I am wondering if someone has ever used a generalized ...
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How does $[A,B]=0$ imply the possibility of measuring the corresponding eigenvalues simultaneously?

I came across a webpage where they showed $[A,B]=0$ implies that we can measure it's corresponding eigenvalues simultaneously. I don't understand which step of the mathematical proof points to this ...
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What happens to Pauli's argument (that says that there is no time operator) when applied to $X$ operator for some simple systems?

An argument by Pauli is usually referred to in the literature when it is stated that there cannot be a time operator in quantum mechanics. This argument can be found as a footnote to P63 of W. Pauli, ...
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523 views

Commutation relations in second quantization

I know that for operators $a(\chi_1), a(\chi_2)$ of the same type (fermionic or bosonic) $$ [a(\chi_1), a(\chi_2)]_{-\xi} = [a^\dagger (\chi_1), a^\dagger (\chi_2)]_{-\xi} = 0 \tag{1}$$ where $$\xi ...
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Minus sign in the time ordering operator

The time ordering operator is usually defined as $$\mathcal{T} \left\{A(\tau) B(\tau')\right\} := \begin{cases} A(\tau) B(\tau') & \text{if } \tau > \tau', \\ \pm B(\tau')A(\tau) & \text{if ...
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Given a QFT Hamiltonian, is there a unique Lagrangian?

Consider a QFT in one spatial dimension specified by the following Hamiltonian density: $\mathcal{H} = -i \phi^\dagger \frac{\partial}{\partial x} \phi + V(\phi^\dagger,\phi)$ where $\phi$ is a ...
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Spinor Commutator in Peskin and Schroeder

In (3.87, page. 53) Peskin and Schroeder write $$\psi(\vec{x}) = \int\frac{d^{3}p}{(2\pi)^{3}} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2E_{\vec{p}}}} e^{i\vec{p} \cdot \vec{x}} \sum_{s=1,2} (a_{\vec{p}}^{s}u^{s}(\vec{p}) + b_{...
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564 views

2D Harmonic Oscillator Commutators

So I am given a 2-dimensional harmonic oscillator with $H=H_1+H_2$ where $$H_i=\frac{p_i^2}{2m}+\frac{1}{2}m\omega^2x_i^2$$ Additionally, $$L=x_1p_2-x_2p_1$$ If we define $$A=\frac{1}{2\omega}[H_1-...
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Does this commutation relation hold?

I was wondering whether it is true that $[L_x^2,x^2+y^2+z^2]=0$. I could not find it in the internet and therefore I wanted to ask here whether anybody here knows that this is true or false.
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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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Is $:A: \; \;= A - \left<0\right|A\left|0\right>$ a correct definition of normal ordering?

My course notes say that normal ordering is defined as $$:A: \;\; = A - \left< 0\right| A \left| 0\right>.\tag{1}$$ This works for $A = aa^\dagger$ and all already normal ordered expressions. ...
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Decoupled physics of the complex scalar field

The canonical commutation relations for a complex scalar field are of the form $$[\phi(t,\vec{x}),\pi(t,\vec{y})]=i\delta^{(3)}(\vec{x}-\vec{y})$$ $$[\phi^{*}(t,\vec{x}),\pi^{*}(t,\vec{y})]=i\delta^{(...
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Non-abelian current commutators

There many articles, in which non-abelian current commutators are computed. The general result is that quantum corrections lead to additional term in commutator $$[J^a_\mu (x), J^b_\nu (y)] \delta (x^...
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Meaning of expectation value of product of non-commuting operators

Let $\hat{A}$ and $\hat{B}$ be Hermitian observables with spectra labeled by $a$ and $b$. Then we can write \begin{equation} \hat{A} = \sum_a a\, \hat{P}_a \end{equation} \begin{equation} \hat{B} = \...
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Commuting observables and CSCO's

I've been looking at some basic quantum mechanics all day in an attempt to better my understanding of the subject. While going over the proof that commuting operators are compatible, I started getting ...
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1answer
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Proving $[a_k^\dagger, a_q^\dagger]=0$

I am trying to prove the commutation relations between the creation and annihilation operators in field theory. I was already able to show that $[a_k, a_q^\dagger]=i\delta(k-q)$. I want to show that $[...
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Is obtaining the coordinate representation of momentum operator from commutator more fundamental than generator of translation

Related post: What is the most general expression for the coordinate representation of momentum operator? There are two methods of obtaining the coordinate representation of momentum in quantum ...
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The Physical Meaning behind a Commutator [duplicate]

I've just been introduced to the idea of commutators and I'm aware that it's not a trivial thing if two operators $A$ and $B$ commute, i.e. if two Hermitian operators commute then the eigenvalues of ...
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A few simple questions about Grassmann numbers: commutation relations and derivatives

I'm trying to learn about Grassmann numbers from the book "Condensed Matter Field Theory" by Altland and Simons, but I am currently encountering some difficulties. I have several smaller questions ...
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1answer
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Is is possible to have a pair commuting observables only in a single direction?

In quantum mechanics, for two observables to be compatible, successive measurements of the observables, say $A$ and $B$, should yield the same result as earlier, i.e if we do the measurements with the ...
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Commutation relations of the generators of the Lorentz group

$$ J^{\mu\nu} = i(x^\mu\partial^\nu-x^\nu\partial^\mu). \tag{3.16}$$ We will soon see that these six operators generate the three boosts and three rotations of the Lorentz group. To determine ...
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1answer
230 views

Differential operators inside commutators

I started learning QED and I'm making my way through some introductory literature. I encountered a problem in a section that derives the commutator between the fields, $\left[A_i(x);E^j(y) \right] $. ...
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1answer
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Commutation relations in quantum mechanics

As we know, simple harmonic oscillator can be solved only by commutation relations between creation and annihilation operators, and the Hamiltonian expression. The spin energy is either solved only ...
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1answer
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Spin operator: tricky proof using gamma matrices

I have not dealt with the gamma matrices extensively so I am having a bit of trouble here. Basically I want to show that the spin operator defined by $$ \mathbf{\hat{S}} = \frac{1}{2}\gamma^5 \gamma^...
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1answer
567 views

prove: $[p^2,f] = 2 \frac{\hbar}{i}\frac{df}{dx}p - \hbar^2 \frac{d^2f}{dx^2}$

I need to prove the commutation relation, $$[p^2,f] = 2 \frac{\hbar}{i}\frac{\partial f}{\partial x} p - \hbar^2 \frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial x^2}$$ where $f \equiv f(\vec{r})$ and $\vec{p} = p_x \...
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1answer
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How far can you get (in quantum mechanics) with just commutation relations?

Clearly it is possible to derive a set of commutation relations from some Hamiltonian, and certainly they give useful and interesting invariants when investigating the behavior of quantum systems. ...
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207 views

What is the commutator of a Poisson bracket and the covariant derivative?

Consider a classical vector field $V^\mu$ on a curved background. We make a 3+1 split of coordinates into $t,x^i$, where $x^i$ are coordinates on spatial hypersurfaces $\Sigma$ and $t$ the parameter ...