# Questions tagged [hamiltonian]

The central term in the hamiltonian formalism. Can be interpreted as an energy input, or "true" energy.

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### What does it mean for a Hamiltonian or system to be gapped or gapless?

I've read some papers recently that talk about gapped Hamiltonians or gapless systems, but what does it mean? Edit: Is an XX spin chain in a magnetic field gapped? Why or why not?
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### Why do excited states decay if they are eigenstates of Hamiltonian and should not change in time?

Quantum mechanics says that if a system is in an eigenstate of the Hamiltonian, then the state ket representing the system will not evolve with time. So if the electron is in, say, the first excited ...
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### State of Matrix Product States

What is a good summary of the results about the correspondence between matrix product states (MPS) or projected entangled pair states (PEPS) and the ground states of local Hamiltonians? Specifically, ...
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### Is the Ground State in QM Always Unique? Why?

I've seen a few references that say that in quantum mechanics of finite degrees of freedom, there is always a unique (i.e. nondegenerate) ground state, or in other words, that there is only one state (...
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### The formal solution of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation

Consider the time-dependent Schrödinger equation (or some equation in Schrödinger form) written down as $$\tag 1 i \partial_{0} \Psi ~=~ \hat{ H}~ \Psi .$$ Usually, one likes to write that it has a ...
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### Does the poisson bracket $\{f,g\}$ have any meaning if neither of $f$ or $g$ is the system's Hamiltonian?

Say one has a mechanical system with hamiltonian $H$, and two other arbitrary observables $f,g$. $H$ is super useful since $\{H, \cdot\} = \frac{d}{dt}$. But does $\{f,g\}$ give any useful information ...
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### Is there a physical interpretation to invariant random matrix ensembles?

Disclaimer. I am a graduate student in pure mathematics, so my knowledge of physics more advanced than basic 1st/2nd year undergraduate physics is very limited. I welcome corrections on any ...
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### Is it possible to reconstruct the Hamiltonian from knowledge of its ground state wave function?

Is it possible to "construct" the Hamiltonian of a system if its ground state wave function (or functional) is known? I understand one should not expect this to be generically true since the ...
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### Increasing a potential causes increase in energy levels

Suppose a potential $V(x)$, and suppose a bound particle so the allowed energy levels are discrete. Suppose a second potential $\widetilde{V}(x)$ such that $\widetilde{V}(x) \geq V(x)$ for all $x$ (...
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### How can a Hamiltonian determine the Hilbert space?

Sometimes, when discussing quantum field theory, people speak as if a Hamiltonian determines what the Hilbert space is. For example, in this answer AccidentalFourierTransform says Imagine an $H_0$ ...
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### How does non-Hermitian quantum mechanics (PT-symmetric QM) fit in physics?

In the late nineties Bender has started a research program on what is called PT symmetric QM, or non hermitian QM, in which he has shown that if the hamiltonian enjoys a PT symmetry then the spectrum ...
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### Detailed derivation and explanation of the AKLT Hamiltonian

I am trying to read the original paper for the AKLT model, Rigorous results on valence-bond ground states in antiferromagnets. I Affleck, T Kennedy, RH Lieb and H Tasaki. Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 799 (...
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### Momentum operator acting on a bound state doesn't return an eigenvalue although kinetic energy operator does. Why?

We know that $[\hat{H}, \hat{P}]=i\hbar\frac{\mathrm{d}V}{\mathrm{d}x}$, therefore $\hat{H}$ and $\hat{P}$ commute if $\frac{\mathrm{d}V}{\mathrm{d}x}=0$, which is true for $V=0$. In that case the ...
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### Is there a Hamiltonian for the (classical) electromagnetic field? If so, how can it be derived from the Lagrangian?

The classical Lagrangian for the electromagnetic field is $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4\mu_0} F^{\mu \nu} F_{\mu \nu} - J^\mu A_\mu.$$ Is there also a Hamiltonian? If so, how to derive it? I know how ...
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### Why are Hamiltonian Mechanics well-defined?

I have encountered a problem while re-reading the formalism of Hamiltonian mechanics, and it lies in a very simple remark. Indeed, if I am not mistaken, when we want to do mechanics using the ...
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### Constructing Lagrangian from the Hamiltonian

Given the Lagrangian $L$ for a system, we can construct the Hamiltonian $H$ using the definition $H=\sum\limits_{i}p_i\dot{q}_i-L$ where $p_i=\frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{q}_i}$. Therefore, to ...
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### How is the hamiltonian a hermitian operator?

My book about quantum mechanics states that the hamiltonian, defined as $$H=i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}$$ is a hermitian operator. But i don't really see how I have to interpret this. First of ...
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### Does Hamilton Mechanics give a general phase-space conserving flux?

Hamiltonian dynamics fulfil the Liouville's theorem, which means that one can imagine the flux of a phase space volume under a Hamiltonian theory like the flux of an ideal fluid, which doesn't change ...
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### Why particle hole symmetry and chiral symmetry are called symmetries?

$PHP^{-1}=-H$ (particle-hole symmetry) and $\Gamma H \Gamma^{-1}=-H$ (chiral symmetry) I understand why we get the negative signs but im just a bit confused as to why such equalities mean $H$ is ...
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### Yang Mills Hamiltonian: why do we use the Weyl's temporal gauge?

Do you know why in the quantization of $SU(2)$ Yang-Mills Gauge Theory, it is always chosen the Weyl (temporal) gauge to derive the Hamiltonian? Is it possible to fix another gauge?
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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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### Can we always express the EM-Field Hamiltonian as (possibly time dependent) pair of annihilation and creation operators?

The EM-Field Hamiltonian is, in principle, a functional (with a chosen operator ordering) that is defined on operator-fields $\hat{A}(x)$ and $\partial_\mu \hat{A}$. If you carry out the calculations ...
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### Find the Hamiltonian given $\dot p$ and $\dot q$

I have these equations: $$\dot p=ap+bq,$$ $$\dot q=cp+dq,$$ and I have to find the conditions such as the equations are canonical. Then, I have to find the Hamiltonian $H$. To answer to the first ...
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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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### Constructing a Hamiltonian (as a polynomial of $q_i$ and $p_i$) from its spectrum

For a countable sequence of positive numbers $S=\{\lambda_i\}_{i\in N}$ is there a construction producing a Hamiltonian with spectrum $S$ (or at least having the same eigenvalues for $i\leq s$ for ...
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### Example where Hamiltonian $H \neq T+V=E$, but $E=T+V$ is conserved

I'm looking for an example of a Hamiltonian $H$, where $H\neq T+V$, but the total energy in the system, $E=T+V$, is still conserved. While I'm at it, I might as well add that I'd be most interested ...
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### How to decide whether one can use perturbation theory in QM?

In QM, it is said that perturbation theory can be used in the case in which the total Hamiltonian is a sum of two parts, one whose exact solution is known and an extra term that contains a small ...
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### Lagrange multiplier in spin liquid mean-field theory (Paper by X.G. Wen)

My question is about a step in this paper: PhysRevB.65.165113 (X.G. Wen) page 6 Or alternatively: PhysRevB.90.174417 page 3. All the papers concerning spin liquids and the projective symmetry group ...
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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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### Does the vacuum energy problem of quantum field theory only occur in the Hamiltonian approach, or also in the path integral approach and in AQFT?

In a standard QFT class, you're being indoctrinated that there is the "infinite vacuum energy density problem". (This is sometimes paraphrased as the "cosmological constant problem", which is in my ...