# 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Off-diagonal elements of Hamiltonian matrix $H_{12}$ & $H_{21}$: energy of transition from $|1\rangle$ to $|2\rangle$ or amplitude of transition?

$\newcommand{\k}{\left| #1 \right\rangle} \newcommand{\dd}{\frac{d #1}{dt}}$In a Hamiltonian Matrix like this: $$H = \begin{pmatrix} E_{11} & E_{12} \\ E_{21} & E_{22} \end{pmatrix}$$,...
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### Why does time evolution operator have the form $U(t) = e^{-itH}$?

Let's denote by $|\psi(t)\rangle$ some wavefunction at time $t$. Then let's define the time evolution operator $U(t_1,t_2)$ through $$U(t_2,t_1) |\psi(t_1)\rangle = |\psi(t_2)\rangle \tag{1}$$ and ...
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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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### 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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### What is $\langle \phi | H | \psi \rangle$ in QM?

I know that $\langle \phi | \psi \rangle$ is the probability of going from the $\psi$-state to the $\phi$-state, and that $\langle \phi | H | \phi \rangle$ is the expectation value of the energy for ...
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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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### How do contact transformations differ from canonical transformations?

From Goldstein, 3rd edition, section 9.6, page 399 after equation 9.101: [...] The motion of a system in a time interval $dt$ can be described by an infinitesimal contact transformation generated ...
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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 ...
### 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 ...