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Questions tagged [eigenvalue]

A linear operator (including a matrix) acting on a non-zero *eigenvector* preserves its direction but, in general, scales its magnitude by a scalar quantity *λ* called the *eigenvalue* or characteristic value associated with that eigenvector. Even though it is normally used for linear operators, it may also extend to nonlinear operations, such as Schroeder functional composition, which evoke linear operations.

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In quantum mechanics, given certain energy spectrum can one generate the corresponding potential?

A typical problem in quantum mechanics is to calculate the spectrum that corresponds to a given potential. Is there a one to one correspondence between the potential and its spectrum? If the answer ...
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Why are Only Real Things Measurable?

Why can't we measure imaginary numbers? I mean, we can take the projection of a complex wave to be the "viewable" part, so why are imaginary numbers given this immeasurable descriptor? Namely with ...
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Eigenfunctions of the Runge-Lenz vector

The hamiltonian for the hydrogen atom, $$ H = \frac{\mathbf{p}^2}{2m} - \frac{k}{r} $$ is spherically symmetric and it therefore commutes with the angular momentum $\mathbf{L}$; this causes all its ...
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How to tackle 'dot' product for spin matrices

I read a textbook today on quantum mechanics regarding the Pauli spin matrices for two particles, it gives the Hamiltonian as $$ H = \alpha[\sigma_z^1 + \sigma_z^2] + \gamma\vec{\sigma}^1\cdot\vec{\...
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Discreteness of set of energy eigenvalues

Given some potential $V$, we have the eigenvalue problem $$ -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\Delta \psi + V\psi = E\psi $$ with the boundary condition $$ \lim_{|x|\rightarrow \infty} \psi(x) = 0 $$ If we ...
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Why do we use Hermitian operators in QM?

Position, momentum, energy and other observables yield real-valued measurements. The Hilbert-space formalism accounts for this physical fact by associating observables with Hermitian ('self-adjoint') ...
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How do we know that we have captured the entire spectrum of the Harmonic Oscillator by using ladder operators?

Consider standard quantum harmonic oscillator, $H = \frac{1}{2m}P^2 + \frac{1}{2}m\omega^2Q^2$. We can solve this problem by defining the ladder operators $a$ and $a^{\dagger}$. One can show that ...
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Eigenstate of field operator in QFT

Why don't people discuss the eigenstate of the field operator? For example, the real scalar field the field operator is Hermitian, so its eigenstate is an observable quantity.
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Schrödinger wavefunctional quantum-field eigenstates

The reason that I have this problem is that I'm trying to solve problem 14.4 of Schwartz's QFT book, which've confused me for a long time. The problem is to construct the eigenstates of a quantum ...
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Why are the inner products of the eigenfunctions of an operator with a discrete eigenvalue spectrum guaranteed to exist?

I was reading through a textbook, and the statement was made that the inner products are guaranteed to exist if the eigenvalue spectrum of the operator is discrete. I have come across no support for ...
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Can a normalizable function *always* be decompose into the discrete Hydrogen spectrum?

This question has been bothering me for a while now: can one reconstruct an arbitrary (normalizable) function $\phi(\mathbf r)$ in $\mathbb R^3$, with only the (discrete) set of Hydrogen ...
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Why does the measurement of some observable $A$, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator?

Explain why when we make a measurement of some observable $A$ in QM, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator $A$.
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1answer
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Bloch's Theorem without periodic boundary condition - mathematically rigorous way

I am looking for a proof of Bloch's Theorem which does not use periodic boundary conditions. Sometimes one happens to see non-rigorous demonstrations of Bloch's Theorem without the use of periodic ...
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Why are eigenfunctions which correspond to discrete/continuous eigenvalue spectra guaranteed to be normalizable/non-normalizable?

These facts are taken for granted in a QM text I read. The purportedly guaranteed non-normalizability of eigenfunctions which correspond to a continuous eigenvalue spectrum is only partly justified by ...
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Why are the energy levels of a simple harmonic oscillator equally spaced?

The energy level of a simple harmonic oscillator is $E_n=(n+\frac{1}{2})\hbar\omega$. Is there any physical explanation why these levels are equally spaced ($= \hbar\omega$)? Maybe this link can be ...
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Numerical solution to Schrödinger equation - eigenvalues

This is my first question on here. I'm trying to numerically solve the Schrödinger equation for the Woods-Saxon Potential and find the energy eigenvalues and eigenfunctions but I am confused about how ...
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The conjugate representation in $\mathfrak{su}(2)$

Cheng & Li gives the following problem: Let $\psi_1$ and $\psi_2$ be the bases for the spin-1/2 representation of $\mathfrak{su}(2)$ and that for the diagonal operator $T_3$, \begin{align} ...
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Lower bounds on spectral gaps of ferromagnetic spin-1/2 XXX Hamiltonians?

Question. Are there any references or techniques which can be applied to obtain energy gaps for ferromagnetic XXX spin-1/2 Hamitlonians, on general interaction graphs, or tree-graphs? I'm interested ...
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Eigenvalues of the Lagrangian?

It is often stated that the Lagrangian formalism and the Hamiltonian formalism are equivalent. We often hear people talk about eigenvalues of Hamiltonians but I have never ever heard a word about ...
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1answer
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Why are the eigenvalues of a linearized RG transformation real?

The RG transformation $R_\ell$ maps a set of coupling constants $[K]$ of a model Hamiltonian to a new set of coupling constants $[K']=R_\ell[K]$ of a coarse-grained model where the length scale is ...
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1answer
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How Do We Define Integration over Bra and Ket Vectors?

I'm having trouble understanding the completeness condition for bra and ket vectors in Hilbert space, especially in the continuous case. The discrete case makes a fair amount of sense; given any ...
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Does the trace distance specify a unique state

In quantum information, we frequently use the trace distance (see definition) to look at how similar two states are. If I had a known complete set of states $\{\rho_i\}$ and some unknown state $\...
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Eigenvalues of a quantum field?

Fields in classical mechanics are observables. For example, I can measure the value of the electric field at some (x,t). In quantum field theory, the classical field is promoted to an operator-valued ...
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Riemann zeta and quantum physics?

Sometimes I read about connections between "advanced math" and quantum physics, but I am skeptical of these claims. I can believe or understand the connections to calculus, vector calculus, ...
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Understanding the Jacobian Matrix

Taking the example of a two dimensional system, desribred by the following ODE's: \begin{align} \frac{dx_1}{dt}&=f_1(x_1,x_2)\\ \frac{dx_2}{dt}&=f_2(x_1,x_2) \end{align} The Jacobian Matrix ...
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Coherent state being the eigenstate of the annihilation operator

From what I understand, the physical relevance and interest of a coherent state is that its dynamics closely resembles the one of its classical analogue. For example, for a quantum SHO $\langle x \...
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Does the Hermitian operator $H=-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$ have imaginary eigenvalues?

In quantum mechanics, Hermitian operators play a very important role because they possess real eigenvalues. Considering $-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$, it is a Hermitian operator (Actually it's the simplest ...
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2answers
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How can an inverted anharmonic potential $V(x)=-x^4$ have discrete bound states?

I've been watching the lectures on mathematical physics by Carl Bender on youtube where he uses the non-Hermitian Hamiltonian methods to prove that the inverted anharmonic potential $V(x)=-x^4$ has a ...
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2answers
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Eigenvalue problem for differential equations in QM

I have a very simple question with regard to numerical methods in physics. I want to solve the eigenvalue problem for a particle moving in an arbitrary potential. Let's take 1D to be concrete. I.e. I ...
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1answer
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Eigenvalues of spherical harmonics in $d$ dimensions

I'm working on the Schrodinger equation for a hydrogen atom in a $d$-dimensional space, so I'm interested in the possible eigenvalues of the angular momentum part of the $d$-dimensional Laplace ...
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2answers
970 views

How to guarantee square integrable solutions to time-independent Schrödinger's equation?

Given the time-independent Schrödinger’s equation in one dimension $$H\psi = E\psi$$ what restrictions can we place on V(x) (inside the hamiltonian) and E to guarantee that the solutions won't have ...
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1answer
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Constructing differential equation from arbitrary Hamiltonian

Suppose I begin with the time-independent Schrodinger equation $$ \left(-\frac{1}{2m}\partial_x^2 + V(x)\right)\psi_n(x) = E_n\psi_n(x), $$ ordinarily we specify the function $V$ and then solve for a ...
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Role of physics in the zeta function $\zeta$ and the Riemann hypothesis

Hilbert and Polya suggested a physical way to verify the Riemann hypotesis about $\zeta(x)$. If the Riemann hypotesis is true, we can state all eigenvalues of physical problems are real. What is the ...
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Bounded and Unbounded (Scattering) States in Quantum Mechanics

I understand that bounded states in quantum mechanics imply that the total energy of the state, $E$, is less than the potential $V_0$ at + or - spatial infinity. Similarly, the scattering state ...
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Why is the ground state energy of particle in a box not zero?

I understand that we want to solve for non-zero values of wave function. I always thought that is to avoid the obvious answer to Schrodinger equation. But from physical standpoint, if we have a ...
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Momentum of particle in a box

Take a unit box, the energy eigenfunctions are $\sin(n\pi x)$ (ignoring normalization constant) inside the box and 0 outside. I have read that there is no momentum operator for a particle in a box, ...
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Can I determine the potential term in the Schrödinger equation based on the eigenvalues? [duplicate]

Let's imagine I knew a certain system could be described by a one-dimensional Schroedinger equation. I know the mass/momentum term, but not the shape of the potential. Further for some reason I know ...
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1answer
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What is the physical meaning of complex eigenvalues?

I understand the mathematical origin of complex eigenvalues, and that complex eigenvalues come in pairs. But what is the meaning of the imaginary part? In particular I refer to an acoustic problem (...
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Eigenvalue for the creation operator for a coherent state [closed]

For a coherent state $$ |\alpha\rangle=e^{-\frac{|\alpha|^{2}}{2}}\sum_{n}\frac{\alpha^{n}}{\sqrt{n!}}|n\rangle $$ I can't solve the eigenvalue problem for $\hat{a}^{\dagger}|\alpha\rangle$ where $\...
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1answer
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Can any physical rigid body be represented by an ellipsoid with the same angular dynamics?

According to wikipedia, the inertia tensor of an ellipsoid with semi-axes $a,b,c$ and mass $m$ is $$\left[\begin{array}{ccc} \frac{m}{5}(b^2+c^2)&0&0\\ 0&\frac{m}{5}(a^2+c^2)&0\\ 0&...
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Imaginary Eigenvalue Of A Hermitian Operator

The eigenfunctions of a Hermitian operator are real. But consider a function $\psi(x)=e^{-\kappa x}$, $x\in\mathbb{R}$, where $\kappa$ is a real constant. Then, $$\hat p \psi(x)=-i\hbar \frac{d}{dx}e^{...
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5answers
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Math of eigenvalue problem in quantum mechanics

I learned the eigenvalue problem in linear algebra before and I just find that the quantum mechanics happen to associate the Schrodinger equation with the eigenvalue problem. In linear algebra, we ...
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2answers
640 views

Contradiction between Rabi oscillation and energy shifts in AC Stark effect

If you expose an atomic 2-level system to a time dependent periodic electromagnetic wave, according to the AC-Stark effect (or Autler-Townes Effect) we experience an energy shift of the quantum system....
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0answers
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Physical meaning of Laplace-Beltrami eigenfunctions?

The eigenfunctions of Laplace-Beltrami operator are often used as the basis of functions defined on some manifolds. It seems that there is some kind of connection between eigen analysis of Laplace-...
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2answers
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Quantum Mechanics Notation for BRA KET

I've been given this homework problem, but I do not understand its notation. Please perform the following where the wavefunctions are the normalized eigenfunctions of the harmonic oscillator ...
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Something special about energy eigenstates when it comes to time evolution?

A particle is subject to an infinite square well potential with $$V(x)= \begin{cases} 0 & −a \lt x \lt a\\ \infty & \,\,\,\,\text{otherwise} \end{cases}$$ At a time $t=0$ its ...
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Is there a simple way of finding the eigenstates of the creation and annihilation operator in QM?

How can I find the eigenstates of creation and annihilation operator in QM? My attempt: Such eigenstate will obey: $$ a^{\dagger} |\psi \rangle = \alpha |\psi \rangle. $$ We can expand $|\psi \...
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Can the wavefunction of a free particle always be written as some linear combination of more basic wavefunctions?

In various explanations I've read, from what I've gathered all particles have a wavefunction $\Psi(\mathbf{r},t)$ where $\mathbf{r}$ is the cartesian coordinates in however many dimensions you're ...
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2answers
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What does $\left|x,t\right>$ actually mean (Heisenberg picture)?

I am pretty much confused with this notation I believe. The Heisenberg states are denoted by $\left|x,t\right>$ and the Schrodinger states are given by $\left|x(t)\right>$. It seems like both of ...
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Quantum mechanics - measuring position

I am watching Susskind's Stanford Lectures on quantum mechanics. The eigenvectors (eigenfunctions) of the position operator are of the form $\delta(x-k)$. But $$\int\delta^{*}(x-k)\delta(x-k)\, \...