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Questions tagged [hamiltonian]

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

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5answers
18k 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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3answers
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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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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 ...
31
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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 (...
26
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1answer
21k 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\...
26
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3answers
836 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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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
2k views

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 ...
21
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5answers
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Why is the ground state important in condensed matter physics?

This might be a very trivial question, but in condensed matter or many body physics, often one is dealing with some Hamiltonian and main goal is to find, or describe the physics of, the ground state ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
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How do I simulate an atom?

Let us assume I wish to simulate a Helium atom, since there does not exist a closed-form solution. However, I presume I would need to simulate the time-dependent Schrodinger wave equation. I would ...
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4answers
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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 ...
18
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2answers
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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 ...
18
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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^\...
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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 ...
17
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1answer
834 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 ...
16
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
16
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1answer
736 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 $H_0$ ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
15
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
15
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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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4answers
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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 $x$ (...
14
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2answers
6k 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: $$H = \begin{pmatrix} E_{11} & E_{12} \\ E_{21} & E_{22} \end{pmatrix}$$,...
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3answers
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What is meant by unitary time evolution?

According to the time evolution the system changes its state the with the passage of time. Is there any difference between time evolution and unitary time evolution?
12
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1answer
4k views

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 \...
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2answers
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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
1k 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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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})+\...
11
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1answer
974 views

On Groenewold's Theorem and Classical and Quantum Hamiltonians

I recently encountered Groenewold's Theorem or the Groenewold-Van Hove Theorem which shows that there is no function which can satisfy the following mapping $$ \{A,B\} \to \frac{1}{i\hbar}[A,B].$$ ...
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4answers
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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 ...
11
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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
608 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?
11
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1answer
350 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 ...
10
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2answers
605 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 ...
10
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2answers
877 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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2answers
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How to get Hamiltonian of QED from lagrangian?

I have the QED lagrangian: $$ L = \bar {\Psi}(i \gamma^{\mu }\partial_{\mu} + q\gamma^{\mu}A_{\mu} - m)\Psi + \frac{1}{16 \pi}F_{\alpha \beta}F^{\alpha \beta} . $$ I tried to get hamiltonian by ...
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2answers
2k views

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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4answers
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Does the Hilbert space include states that are not solutions of the Hamiltonian?

I've studied Quantum Mechanics and I know the usual answer "The dimension of the Hilbert Space is the maximum number of linear independent states the system can be found in". There is something about ...
9
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2answers
559 views

Time evolution in quantum mechanics of states not contained in the Hilbert space

Eigenstates of, for example, $\hat p$, are not elements of the standard quantum mechanical Hilbert space, i.e. $\psi(x)=e^{ipx}\notin\mathcal L^2(\Bbb R)$. This prompts the question of - given that ...
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3answers
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What is a "picture" in quantum mechanics?

One of the basic ingredients of quantum mechanics is the possibility of working in different "pictures". Thus, while we normally work in the Schrödinger picture, in which states evolve according to ...
9
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4answers
884 views

Can an Electromagnetic Gauge Transformation be Imaginary?

The Hamiltonian of a non-relativistic charged particle in a magnetic field is $$\hat{H}~=~\frac{1}{2m} \left[\frac{\hbar}{i}\vec\nabla - \frac{q}{c}\vec A\right]^2$$. Under a gauge transformation ...
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2answers
2k views

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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1answer
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Why does Quantum Field Theory use Lagrangians rather than Hamiltonians? [duplicate]

Why does Quantum Field Theory use usually Lagrangians rather than Hamiltonains? I heard many reasons, but I'm not sure which is true. Some say it's just a matter of beauty, so Lagrangians are more ...
9
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2answers
404 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 ...
9
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2answers
20k views

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 \...
9
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3answers
3k views

Is there a valid Lagrangian formulation for all classical systems?

Can one use the Lagrangian formalism for all classical systems, i.e. systems with a set of trajectories $\vec{x}_i(t)$ describing paths? On the wikipedia page of Lagrangian mechanics, there is an ...
9
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3answers
812 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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