Questions tagged [hamiltonian]

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

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43
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5answers
14k views

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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1answer
4k views

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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3answers
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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 ...
20
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1answer
17k views

Evolution operator for time-dependent Hamiltonian

When I studied QM I'm only working with time independent Hamiltonians. In this case the unitary evolution operator has the form $$\hat{U}=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}Ht}$$ that follows from this equation $$ i\...
19
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2answers
835 views

Can one write down a Hamiltonian in the absence of a Lagrangian?

How can I define the Hamiltonian independent of the Lagrangian? For instance, let's assume that i have a set of field equations that cannot be integrated to an action. Is there any prescription to ...
17
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5answers
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Where does the $i$ come from in the Schrödinger equation?

I am currently trying to follow Leonard Susskind's "Theoretical Minimum" lecture series on quantum mechanics. (I know a bit of linear algebra and calculus, so far it seems definitely enough to follow ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the Hamiltonian of General Relativity?

We know that reparametrization-invariance of an action leads to a Hamiltonian which is identically zero. Check Edmund Bertschinger: Symmetry Transformations, the Einstein-Hilbert Action, and Gauge ...
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3answers
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Correct way to write the eigenvector of a diagonalized hamiltonian in second quantization

I am studying diagonalization of a quadratic bosonic Hamiltonian of the type: $$ H = \displaystyle\sum_{<i,j>} A_{ij} a_i^\dagger a_j + \frac{1}{2}\displaystyle\sum_{<i,j>} [B_{ij} a_i^\...
16
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1answer
525 views

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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4answers
1k views

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 ...
14
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4answers
934 views

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 $x$ (...
14
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1answer
597 views

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 $H_0$ ...
14
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4answers
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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 ...
14
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1answer
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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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2answers
799 views

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 ...
12
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1answer
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What exactly does the Hamiltonian operator tell us?

I'm confused about how energy and time are linked. On the one hand, the Hamiltonian seems to describe the time evolution of the system because in the time dependent Schrodinger equation, $$ \hat H \...
11
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2answers
2k views

In the quantum hamiltonian, why does kinetic energy turn into an operator while potential doesn't?

When we go from the classical many-body hamiltonian $$H = \sum_i \frac{\vec{p}_i^2}{2m_e} - \sum_{i,I} \frac{Z_I e^2 }{|\vec{r}_i - \vec{R}_I|} + \frac{1}{2}\sum_{i,j} \frac{ e^2 }{|\vec{r}_i - \vec{...
11
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1answer
977 views

The position-representation matrix elements of the propagator for a particle in a ring

I have a question about obtaining matrix elements of time evolution operator. I have the following Hamiltonian for a particle in a ring with magnetic field $$H=\dfrac {\hbar ^{2}} {2mR^{2}}\left[ -i\...
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2answers
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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 ...
11
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1answer
483 views

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 ...
11
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2answers
4k views

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

$$ \newcommand{\k}[1]{\left| #1 \right\rangle} \newcommand{\dd}[1]{\frac{d #1}{dt}} $$ In a Hamiltonian Matrix like this: $$H = \begin{pmatrix} E_{11} & E_{12} \\ E_{21} & E_{22} \end{...
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6answers
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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 ...
10
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3answers
1k views

In the Schrödinger equation, can I have a Hamiltonian without a kinetic term?

To find out the stationary states of Hamiltonian, we will be finding the eigenvalues and eigenstates. Is there any condition that form of the Hamiltonian should be like, $$\hat{H}=\hat{T}(\hat{p})+\...
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3answers
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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 ...
10
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4answers
10k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
706 views

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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1answer
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Validity of Bogoliubov transformation

In condensed matter physics, one often encounter a Hamiltonian of the form $$\mathcal{H}=\sum_{\bf{k}} \begin{pmatrix}a_{\bf{k}}^\dagger & a_{-\bf{k}}\end{pmatrix} \begin{pmatrix}A_{\bf{k}} &...
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1answer
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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 ...
10
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1answer
491 views

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?
10
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1answer
265 views

Do systems with level crossings have unstable eigenbases?

It's folklore dating back to von Neumann and Wigner that time-dependent Hamiltonian systems tend not to have level crossings of their energy eigenvalues. However, we can of course consider smoothly ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
412 views

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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2answers
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How to express a Hamiltonian operator as a matrix

Suppose we have Hamiltonian on $\mathbb{C}^2$ $$H=\hbar(W+\sqrt2(A^{\dagger}+A))$$ We also know $AA^{\dagger}=A^{\dagger}A-1$ and $A^2=0$, letting $W=A^{\dagger}A$ How can we express $H$ as $H=\hbar \...
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3answers
725 views

Regularisation of infinite-dimensional determinants

Can a regularisation of the determinant be used to find the eigenvalues of the Hamiltonian in the normal infinite dimensional setting of QM? Edit: I failed to make myself clear. In finite dimensions,...
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0answers
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Exact diagonalization by Bogoliubov transformation

I am developing a model of multiple gaps in a square lattice. I simplified the associated Hamiltonian to make it quadratic. In this approximation it is given by, $$ H = \begin{pmatrix} \xi_\mathbf{k} ...
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1answer
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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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4answers
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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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3answers
334 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
719 views

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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4answers
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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 ...
8
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2answers
214 views

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 ...
8
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2answers
344 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
846 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
500 views

Hamiltonians, Creation/Annihilation Operators, Recursion

The following is some preamble for motivation which can be skipped; the quesiton will be posed at the end. I recently started studying the creation and annihilation operators $\hat a^\dagger$ and $\...
8
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1answer
521 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
116 views

Hamilton operator in absence of causal order?

I hope, this question isn't too broad or vague. In a recent paper, Ognyan Oreshkov et al. worked out a theory of quantum correlations in absence of any causal order, dropping the assumptions of a ...
8
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1answer
577 views

Temperature in the Hamiltonian limit

There is a well known connection between statistical mechanics in D spatial dimensions and quantum field theory in D-1 spatial dimensions. Changing the temperature in statistical mechanics corresponds ...