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Questions tagged [spherical-harmonics]

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21
votes
3answers
9k views

Integral of the product of three spherical harmonics

Does anyone know how to derive the following identity for the integral of the product of three spherical harmonics?: \begin{align}\int_0^{2\pi}\int_0^\pi Y_{l_1}^{m_1}(\theta,\phi)Y_{l_2}^{m_2}(\...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Plotting the CMB power spectrum - Why $C_\ell \ell (\ell+1)$ rather than only $C_\ell$?

I can't find any convincing answer for the following question : Why do we always (or often) plot the CMB power spectrum in this way? I mean the vertical axis is $C_\ell \ell (\ell+1)$ and not only $...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do we need the Condon-Shortley phase in spherical harmonics?

I'm confused with different definitions of spherical harmonics: $$Y_{lm}(\theta,\phi) = (-1)^m \left( \frac{(2l+1)(l-m)!}{4\pi(1+m)!} \right)^{1/2} P_{lm} (\cos\theta) e^{im\phi}$$ For example here ...
8
votes
1answer
554 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
160 views

Why are circular unit vectors often defined as $\hat{\mathbf e}_\pm = \mp (\hat{\mathbf e}_x \pm i \hat{\mathbf e}_y)/\sqrt{2}$

When dealing with circular polarizations, spherical harmonics, and generally with any vector-valued rotationally-invariant quantity, it is often a requirement to define complex-valued unit vectors of ...
6
votes
2answers
597 views

How to calculate the angular momentum states of isotropic quantum harmonic oscillator?

While trying to calculate the angular momentum states for the first non trivial even and odd states ($N=2$ and $N=3$). When $N=n_x + n_y + n_z$ By solving the radial problem one can see that there 6 ...
5
votes
1answer
766 views

Regular solution vs irregular solution

My Quantum Mechanics textbook (John S. Townsend's A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics) mentions regular solutions and irregular solutions. It claims that regular solutions (at the origin) to the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why must the angular part of the Schrodinger Equation be an eigenfunction of L^2?

I was reading about the solution to the Schrodinger Equation in spherical coordinates with a radially symmetric potential, $V(r)$, and the book split the wavefunction into two parts: an angular part ...
5
votes
4answers
265 views

What are the boundary conditions for the Hydrogen Atom which cause the polar power series to need to terminate?

I am trying to solve the Hydrogen Atom, and I am stuck in the polar equation. To simplify, I have taken the special case in which $m=0$ to get the Legendre Equation: $$(1-x^2)P''(x)-2xP'(x)+AP(x)$$ $$(...
5
votes
2answers
362 views

Expectation Value $\langle \frac{1}{r^2} \rangle$ using Hellmann–Feynman theorem

Suppose we have the hydrogen atom$$ H ~=~ \frac{p_r ^2}{2m} + \frac{L^2}{2mr^2} -\frac{e^2}{r} \,.$$And have solved the Schrodinger equation finding $$E_n = - \frac{me^4}{2 \hbar ^2 n^2} $$ and $$ Ψ_{...
5
votes
2answers
346 views

How can mean value of a quantity $be$ an operator?

In Laundau & Lifshitz Quantum Mechanics. Non-relativistic theory in $\S29$ a problem is given: PROBLEM Average the tensor $n_in_k-\frac13\delta_{ik}$ (where $\mathbf{n}$ is a unit vector along ...
4
votes
2answers
480 views

In a spherically symmetric central potential why do we look for eigenfunctions of the angular momentum operator?

In finding the solutions to the wave equation for a spherically symmetric potential $V(r)$, we look for the eigenfunctions of $\hat L^2$ and $\hat L_z$ operators. However, what is the reasoning behind ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does $\ell=0$ correspond to spherically symmetric solutions for the spherical harmonics?

In quantum mechanics why do states with $\ell=0$ in the Hydrogen atom correspond to spherically symmetric spherical harmonics?
4
votes
1answer
491 views

Calculating the angular power spectrum of a section of sky

To calculate the angular power spectrum $C_l$ of the whole sky, one uses the variance of the coefficients of the spherical harmonics in the temperature fluctuation field. I.e. $$C_l = \frac{1}{2l+1}\...
4
votes
1answer
605 views

The dipole radiation pattern and spherical harmonics $Y_{10}$

I am studying the multipole expansion of electromagnetic wave radiation pattern, and it is said that any fields can be decomposed into the spherical harmonics $Y_{lm}$. However, for $l=1$, which ...
4
votes
1answer
398 views

A dielectric sphere in an initially uniform electric field and representation theory of SO(3)

I learned recently that the highest order spherical harmonic required to represent the spatial distribution of decay products of a particle can be used to determine its spin, by using arguments ...
4
votes
2answers
76 views

Musical Instrument that Exhibits Spherical Harmonics

A guitar string exhibits standing wave patterns when its struck, some superposition of sines and cosines, a drum head exhibits a superposition of Bessel functions when its struck. Is there any ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

What is an anapolar moment?

I just read this: Anapolar Dark Matter I'm not sure i've heard the term 'anapolar' before, so i google and i found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toroidal_moment This confuses me, my ...
4
votes
0answers
176 views

EM Field Quantization in Spherical polars

Is it possible to quantize the electromagnetic field in spherical polar coordinates instead of cartesian ones? Such that creation and annihilation operators correspond to harmonic oscillator modes ...
3
votes
3answers
238 views

Systematic expansion of $e^{i\vec{k}\cdot\vec{r}}$ in atomic physics in terms of Legendre polynomials and identifying different $l$ terms

In the context of light-matter interaction one often makes the approximation $e^{i\vec{k}\cdot\vec{r}}\approx 1$. Keeping higher order terms in $e^{i\vec{k}\cdot\vec{r}}$ give magnetic dipole, ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Spherical harmonics

Given the following potential: $$V(\theta,\phi)=\frac{Q}{a}\left(\sin\theta \cos\phi+\frac{1}{2}\cos^2\theta\right)$$ on the surface of a sphere of radius $a$ I am trying to solve Laplace's Equation ...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

What does the spherical-harmonic notation $Y^{m}_l(\hat{\textbf{r}})$ mean, and how does it relate to the usual $Y^m_l(\theta, \varphi)$?

By using the plane wave expansion, the decomposition of stationary harmonic plane wave into partial waves can be given by $$ e^{i\textbf{k}\cdot\textbf{r}} = e^{ikz} = e^{ikr\cos\theta} = \sum^{\infty}...
3
votes
2answers
394 views

Why 3 dipole terms in a multipole expansion?

As can be seen on this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multipole_expansion when we take a multipole expansion without assuming azimuthal symmetry we end up with $2l+1$ coefficients for the $l^{th}$ ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

My basis set isn't orthonormal?

I'm implementing a little QM calculation just for fun and to make sure I understand how it works (calculating the helium ground state energy). My problem is that my basis set doesn't seem to be ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Hydrogen wave function in momentum space

We can seperate the wave function of an hydrogen atom in a radial and an angle part: $$ \phi_{n,l,m} (\mathbf{r}) = R_{n,l,m}(r) Y_{l,m}(\vartheta,\varphi) \, , $$ where $Y_{l,m}$ are the spherical ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Klein Gordon equation in Schwarzschild spacetime (spherical harmonic mode expansion)

My Question: In his GR text, Robert Wald claims that solutions, $\phi$, to the Klein-Gordon equation, $\nabla_a\nabla^a \phi = m^2 \phi$, in Schwarzschild spacetime can be expanded in modes of the ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

Are there higher genus equivalent of spherical harmonics?

So the equation of a surface with topology S2 can be expanded out in terms of spherical harmonic functions. (I believe). A torus T2 which is just S1xS1 can be expanded out in terms of ordinary ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

State with non-zero angular momentum - cannot be described by spherical harmonic?

For a state with non-zero angular momentum, why is it that it cannot be described by the spherically symmetric spherical harmonic?
3
votes
1answer
175 views

One body harmonic oscillator states expressed in terms of creation operators

I am reading trough chapter one of Moshinsky's "The harmonic Oscillator in Modern Physics". However i am having some trouble with the mathematics in section 8 of chapter 1. I will sketch a summary of ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

A nice overview (and maybe derivation) of the Poincaré transformations of the Vector Spherical Harmonics

With $Y_{lm}(\vartheta,\varphi)$ being the Spherical Harmonics and $z_l^{(j)}(r)$ being the Spherical Bessel functions ($j=1$), Neumann functions ($j=2$) or Hankel functions ($j=3,4$) defining $$\psi_{...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

Do relativistically-contracted electron states have the same energy and angular momentum values?

I've been reading that electron bound states are defined by four quantum numbers, $n$, $l$, $m_l$, and $m_s$, respectively the principal quantum number, the azimuthal quantum number, the magnetic ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Do translation formulae for generalised solid spherical harmonics exist?

I'm aware of the solid spherical harmonics functions, which are basically the surface spherical harmonics $Y^m_{\ell}(\theta,\varphi)$ with an additional monomial term along the radial direction: $R^...
3
votes
0answers
177 views

Conventions in defining spherical harmonics and associated Legendre polynomials

Relevant Background Spherical harmonics are defined with several different conventions: the definition used in quantum mechanics according to Wikipedia is $Y_l^{\,m}(\theta,\phi) = (-1)^m\sqrt{\frac{...
2
votes
5answers
483 views

What is the geometry of DeBroglie standing waves?

I asked a similar question here . But never received a complete answer. So I've made the question more specific to DeBroglie waves. So from what I've read DeBroglie waves are indeed standing waves ...
2
votes
2answers
967 views

Irreducible form of Spherical tensor operators

In the section on spherical tensors in Sakurai, he introduces the idea of going from Cartesian tensors to irreducible spherical tensors. He states the following: A spherical harmonic can be written ...
2
votes
1answer
324 views

Analogy to Fourier transform in spherical coordinates with boundary at a certain radius

Suppose, we have a wavefuction $\phi(\vec{x})$ which is restricted in a sphere, with the spherical boundary condtion $$\phi(\vec{x}=R)=\phi_0.$$ How can I do the 'Fourier transformation' as the case ...
2
votes
2answers
436 views

Angular momentum of quantum system

Problem: A physical system is in the common eigenstate of $\hat{L^2}$ and $\hat{L_z}$. Calculate the following quantities: $\langle L_x\rangle,\langle L_y\rangle,\langle L_z\rangle,\langle L_x L_y + ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Choosing $A_l=0$ to guarantee bounded potential in infinity

I'm taking a course in Electrodynamics and quite often, when using the spherical approach $$\Phi=\sum\limits_{l~=~0}^{\infty}\left(A_lr^l+B_lr^{-(l+1)}\right)P_l(\cos\gamma),$$ there's the argument ...
2
votes
1answer
314 views

How are spherical harmonics useful outside class? [closed]

I've learned about spherical harmonics (Legendre polynomials $\longrightarrow$ Associated Legendre polynomials $\longrightarrow$ orthogonality relations $\longrightarrow$ normalization coefficient(s) $...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Acoustic wave equation for a closed sphere

I am looking to model the nodal surfaces in a resonating closed sphere. The sound source is external. What sort of wave equation will reveal the spherical harmonics depending on the frequency, speed ...
2
votes
1answer
480 views

Why do closed shells have a spherical symmetric charge density?

When repeating multi-electron atoms, I often read that closed shells have a symmetric charge density. It was justified by the following addition theorem for spherical harmonics everytime: $\sum\...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

If there are eigenstates of $L_z$ in a degenerate subspace, are there also eigenstates of $L^2$?

The question arises from an exercise but tackles deeper understanding of angular momentum operators. Suppose we have a 2D harmonic oscillator and an infinite square well in the third dimension: \...
2
votes
0answers
84 views

Can spherical harmonics be used in relativity equations?

I have a neutral pion of mass $m_{\pi}$, and it decays into two photons. In it's reference frame the decay is isotropic. One of the photons has a helicity of $+\hbar$ and the other $-\hbar$. In ...
2
votes
0answers
181 views

Can you write the Einstein equation as an eigenvalue equation for analytical solutions (to local problems) on non-flat spacetimes

In reading about various local solutions to Einstein's field equation it is easy to forget that they almost all assume a flat background spacetime (at least asymptotically). Considering this made me ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Spherical Formulation of Quantum Mechanics

I always wondered, during my QM courses, if we don't explore enough of the freedom that the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Classical Dynamics give us. Classically, we can always make canonical ...
2
votes
0answers
397 views

Meaning of different Stokes' coefficients in harmonic expansion of gravitational potential

I know that geophysical quantities, such as gravitational potential, can be written in terms of spherical harmonics: $$W(r,\phi,\lambda;t) = \frac{G m_e}{r} + \frac{G m_e}{r} \sum_{l=2}^{N_{max}}\left(...
2
votes
0answers
166 views

Is there an intuitive interpretation of the shape of the angular momentum eigenstate?

I was watching a MIT lecture video on angular momentum eigenstate. Toward the end of the lecture, the professor had shown some plots of the first few spherical harmonics, in an attempt to explain ...
2
votes
0answers
188 views

The product of three spherical harmonics in higher dimension

As I see, e.g., in this question, a closed formula for the following integral \begin{equation} \int_{\mathbb{S}^N} Y_{\ell_1\ldots \ell_N}\,Y_{\ell'_1\ldots\ell'_N}\,Y_{\ell''_1\ldots \ell''_N}\, d^N ...
2
votes
0answers
501 views

Degeneracy, spherical harmonics

In a 3D oscillator, the energy levels are known to be $(n_x + n_y + n_z + \frac{3}{2})\hbar \omega = (n + \frac{3}{2})\hbar \omega$. Say for $n = 1$, any of the $n$'s can be $1$ and the rest are $0$. ...
2
votes
0answers
361 views

One more relation with spherical spinors

Let's have the spherical spinors: $$ \mathbf {Y}_{j, m, l = j \pm \frac{1}{2}} = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2l + 1}}\begin{pmatrix} \pm \sqrt{l \pm m +\frac{1}{2}}Y_{l, m - \frac{1}{2}} \\ \sqrt{l \mp m +\frac{1}{...