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Questions tagged [time-evolution]

The quantum mechanical time evolution operator governs how observables and/or states evolve during finite time steps, and is always unitary. Use this tag for questions about the time evolution operator, or the different equations of motion in the Schrödinger/Heisenberg/Dirac pictures. For time-independent Hamiltonians, the time evolution operator is simply exp(-iHt).

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Wave function of a particle under $V(x)$ (QM)

Suppose I have a particle with mass $m$ and it's under potential of a certain $V(x)$. (NOT an infinite or finite potential well) Also given is the wave function at time $t=0$, $\psi(x,0)$. What is ...
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1answer
36 views

How to understand the kernel as a transition amplitude?

Consider the time evolution operator $U(t_f, t_i)$ that controls the evolution of a wave function according to $|\psi(t_f \rangle = U(t_f, t_i) | \psi(t_i) \rangle$. As I understand it, the Born ...
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27 views

Virtual terms in the Dyson series (time dependent perturbation theory)

Let the interaction evolution operator in the interaction picture be $$U_I(t,t_0)=T \exp \Big( -i \int_{t_0}^t dt_1 H_I(t_1) \Big) ,$$ where $T$ is the time order operator and $H_I=H-H_0$ is the ...
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38 views

Discrete time evolution in a non-Euclidean space?

The time independent schrödinger equation can be written as $$i\frac{\partial \psi}{ \partial t}=H\psi$$ if we consider the case of a 1D particle we can evolve it in time by discretising the ...
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45 views

Time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory yield different results

First, here's the problem statement. Suppose you have an infinite square well of length $a$, where the box extend from $x=0$ to $x=a$. At $t=0$, you add a perturbation $H'$ of the form: \begin{...
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1answer
82 views

Is the Process of Projection of a Generic State Onto a Subspace Impossible? [closed]

I can define (in a standard way) the process of projection of a generic state onto the subspace $\mathcal{G}$ as a process that takes a generic state $|\psi\rangle$ of the Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ ...
5
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1answer
143 views

Fine Tuning of the Universe

I'm an A level student looking into the fine tuning of various constants. Physicists explain the extensive effects that would happen if these constants were to be changed/different and hence, how this ...
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2answers
103 views

Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff (BCH) Formula for the Time Evolution Operator

In following Prof. Toyer's Computational Quantum Physics lecture notes, I came across the following: In computing the Schrödinger equation in real space, one can make a "split operator" Ansatz, for ...
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1answer
81 views

Wave function evolution of an electron [closed]

In many basic quantum mechanics books the wave packet of an electron is described. It will say that the wave packet will broaden as time evolves because of dispersion. But suppose the electron just ...
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2answers
620 views

Probabilities in non-stationary states

I'm confusing myself. Let's represent some state in the eigenbasis for Hydrogen: $$|\psi\rangle = \sum_{n,l,m}|n,l,m\rangle\langle n,l,m|\psi\rangle.$$ Now denote the initial state by $\psi(t=0)\...
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Solving time evolution equations in Hamiltonian formalism

I have 4 time evolution equations and the Hamiltonian $H(X_{1},X_{2},P_{1},P_{2})$ that generates the time evolution depends on 4 canonical coordinates but I would like to solve the differential ...
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1answer
58 views

Why don't the oscillator coherent states disperse in time?

A Gaussian wavepacket is made of a continuum of frequencies (or energies) and stretches in time due to the phenomenon of dispersion: the different plane wave components with different frequencies ...
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1answer
32 views

Derivation of von Neumann Equation for Density Matrices

Consider an ensemble of systems where each system is in one of a set of states $|\alpha_i\rangle$, with proportions $w_i$, such that the density operator is $$ \hat{\rho} = \sum_i w_i |\alpha_i\...
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4answers
112 views

Why do wavefunctions for stationary states include $e^{-iEt/\hbar}$? [duplicate]

Stationary states are separable solutions with $\Psi(x, t)=\psi(x)e^{-iEt/\hbar}$. But why is that there? Griffiths (Section 2.1 Stationary states, equation 2.8) says that observables for these states ...
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1answer
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Time difference between all particles and waves [closed]

Since all elementary particles and waves were created simultaneously in the big-bang (t0) would there be any time difference between any interacting elementary particles and/or waves after t0? I'm ...
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Interaction picture: why the Hamiltonian describing the dynamic doesn't change with the same law as other observables?

First: what happens in a general change of picture? If I have the following equation: $$ A | x \rangle = | y \rangle .$$ To do a change of picture is to apply a unitary $U$ on all vectors of the ...
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1answer
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What's the minimum condition for time evolution operator to be written as $U(t,t_0)=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar} \int_{t_0}^t H(t') dt'}$?

Is $\frac{d }{dt} e^{H(t)}=H(t)' e^{H(t)}$ the minimum condition for time evolution operator to be written as $U(t,t_0)=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar} \int_{t_0}^t H(t') dt'}$? Further, what's the minimum ...
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2answers
117 views

How does a Hamiltonian 'generate' a unitary?

I know that the unitary (propagator) is given by $$U=e^{iHt}\tag{1}.$$ But I actually never saw how a Hamiltonian translates into a unitary. For example when I consider a two-level rotation in a ...
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1answer
61 views

What people mean by “state evolving with the interacting/free theory”?

This is a quite basic question but I confess it is something I didn't get up to this point. When defining the Moller operators and hence the $\cal{S}$-matrix one usually considers "states $\Psi$ ...
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2answers
62 views

Are quantum mechanical orbits specified uniquely by a Hamiltonian and initial state?

EDIT: This is completely wrong, don't bother reading. Consider a finite dimensional quantum mechanical system, say an $N$-qubit system so that $\text{dim}(\mathcal{H})=2^{N}$. Let's prepare our ...
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1answer
32 views

Dependence of wave function with time, especially probability density function. And Continuity equation

I was learning Basic Quantum mechanics. I cam across the fluid equation in QM, which suggests $\Psi^*\Psi$ is probability density function. Consider the two statements below Probability will change ...
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1answer
60 views

How does time-translation symmetry morph into evolution in time?

I am reading Ballentine's textbook "Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development". In it he transitions from discussing time-symmetry to discussing evolution (of the state) in time. I'm finding it ...
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2answers
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Are $\hat x$ and $\hat p$ assumed to be time-independent operators?

In the book Quantum Mechanics by Cohen-Tannoudji, at $G_{III}$, it is given that and then in the comment section, it is also given that so I'm pretty confused in here, because in one side, they say ...
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Time dependence of the momentum operator for a free particle

I was studying Modern Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai, and at the page 85, it is given the analysis of a free particle. There, the author assumes that Hamiltonian is $$\hat H = \frac{ \hat p ^2}{ 2m},$$...
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2answers
60 views

Two ways to define wave function in Heisenberg picture

I found two ways to define a wave function in Heisenberg picture, $| \psi(t) \rangle_\mathrm{H}=\mathrm e^{\mathrm i H t/\hbar} | \psi(t) \rangle_\mathrm{S}$ which further gives $|\psi(t) \rangle_\...
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2answers
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Does $i\hbar \frac{d \hat A }{d t} = [\hat A (t_0), \hat H]$ hold when $H$ is time-dependent, but $[H(t_0), H(t'_0)] = 0$?

It is known that - given in Sakurai, ch2.2, p83 - in Heisenberg's picture, for a Hamiltonian, $H$, independent of time, the time evolution of any operator $\hat A$ is given by $$i\hbar \frac{d \hat ...
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1answer
46 views

Example of time-dependent factorization of a Hilbert space

In these notes on entanglement in QFT it is pointed out that in the Heisenberg picture the factorization of a Hilbert space is time-dependent (pages 18 and 19): In the Schrödinger picture, it is ...
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49 views

Operators evolution

I have a little question about equation for creation/annihilation operators. Usually we obtain time evolution equation for these operators from Heisenberg equation. for example: $$\frac{da_l}{dt} = -...
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47 views

Calculating the evolution at any moment $t$ of a density matrix

I was reading the paper https://arxiv.org/abs/1303.4686, where we are given $N$ systems, all with the same Hamiltonian $$H=\sum_i \varepsilon_i \mid i\rangle\langle i\mid ~,$$ such that the joint ...
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1answer
81 views

Utility of the time-ordered exponential

Is the time-ordered exponential $$ \mathcal{T}\exp\left\{-i\int_{t_0}^tdt'V(t')\right\}\tag{1} $$ just a mnemonic device for the series $$ \begin{aligned} 1 + (-i)\int_{t_0}^tdt_1 \, V(t_1) +{} &...
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Time-dependent perturbation theory in a degenerate system

In the derivation of probability transition of time-dependent perturbation theory (see for example these notes, from Ben Simons from Cambridge University), I have only encountered treatments of non-...
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4answers
175 views

Does the Schrodinger wave function associated with a non-moving free particle change in time?

I'm a bit confused by an answer given on this question. In the answer with the animation of a moving free (chargeless) particle and a non-moving free particle (or a free particle with a non-zero ...
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1answer
58 views

Phase in time evolution operator for time-dependent Hamiltonian [duplicate]

In Quantum Mechanics, a state vector $|\psi\rangle$ will evolve in time according to $$|\psi(t)\rangle=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}\hat H t}|\psi(0)\rangle$$ Imagine we have a system such that, for a short ...
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25 views

Timescales of plasma recombination and fluorescence?

I am currently working on a very simple model for the radiation from electric arcs. As both fluorescence (internal electronic transition) and plasma recombination occur, I would like to compare the ...
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1answer
128 views

What does Ehrenfest's theorem actually mean?

I am told that Ehrenfest's theorem, applied to a physical observable $\hat A$, is: $$\frac{d\langle\hat A\rangle}{dt}= \frac{i}{\bar h}\langle[\hat H,\hat A]\rangle$$ I don't understand how to use ...
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1answer
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Time dependence of expectation value $\hat O$ if $\frac{\partial \hat O}{\partial t} = 0$

I am given the following derivation in my lectures: $$\frac{\partial}{\partial t} \langle \hat O \rangle = \frac{\partial}{\partial t}\int_{-\infty}^{\infty} \psi^* \hat O \ \psi \ dx$$ $$\implies ...
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1answer
103 views

Why in quantum mechanics must orthogonal states stay orthogonal? [duplicate]

Given two states $|A(t)\rangle$ and $|B(t)\rangle$. If $\langle A(0)|B(0)\rangle=0$ then for all $t$, $\langle A(t)|B(t)\rangle=0$. This is a fundamental rule of quantum mechanics. And we can imply ...
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1answer
66 views

Is a quantum channel essentially either a unitary evolution or a measurement?

I'd like to understand exactly what people mean when they speak of quantum channels. As I understand it, we can represent a channel by a set of Kraus operators, $M_i$, which satisfy $\sum_{i}M^{\...
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2answers
441 views

Logarithm of Operators in Quantum Mechanics

In an operators algebra $\mathcal{A}$ one can consider a self-adjoint (i.e. real) operator $H$ and note that $$U=e^{iH}$$ exists and is unitary. A mathematical question will be whether any unitary ...
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1answer
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What does “Real-time” mean?

In the context of describing Real-time dynamics of Lattice gauge theories, have they specifically mentioned real-time in order to differentiate it from imaginary-time. Or does it have any other ...
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1answer
102 views

Time evolution of a free particle with a given initial state [closed]

My homework problem reads: Consider a free particle in one dimension. Write an expression for the wavefunction $\psi(x, t)$ given an initial state $\psi_0(x) = Ae^{-ax^2}$ at $t = 0$, where $A$ is ...
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2answers
276 views

Matrix elements of the free particle Hamiltonian

The Hamiltonian of a free particle is $\hat H = \frac{\hat p^2}{2m}$, in position representation $$ \hat H = -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \Delta \;. $$ Now consider two wave functions $\psi_1(x)$ and $\psi_2(x)...
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1answer
62 views

“General” for time evolution of quantum state

I am reading a book in which at some point they find the time-evolved wavefunction $\phi_0(\mathbf{r},t)$ from the static $\phi_0(\mathbf{r})$. They say that "employing the Heisenberg time evolution ...
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1answer
146 views

How come there are Schrödinger Picture operators with explicit time dependence?

In the Schrödinger picture, observables are said to be time independent (see Cohen, for example) operators. However, when deriving the Heisenberg Equation of Motion $$i\hbar\frac{d}{dt}A_H(t)=[A_H(t),...
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2answers
86 views

Time evolution of stationary states [closed]

Let's say we have a state $ \phi=\sum_i c_i \phi_i $ where the $ \phi_i $ denote energy eigen vectors with non degenerate eigen values. Now if a measurement of the energy is done this state ...
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1answer
313 views

Does Haags Theorem forbid Time-Evolution?

I didn't quite grasp the essence of Haags Theorem in the the way it is presented (for example on wikipedia), but the issue seems to be that if one wants to represent infinitely degrees of freedom ...
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2answers
178 views

What's the time derivative of the Annihilation operator?

I've been dealing with annihilation operator recently where you can see related information Time derivative of the state vector as expressed in abstract Hilbert space vs. as a wavefunction How to ...
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1answer
55 views

Does it make sense to ask: what is the probability of a particle being found in a certain state at time $t>0$?

I am dealing with a problem which involves a quantum system of orthonormal two states, $\left|\nu_1\right>$ and $\left|\nu_2\right>$, which are eigenstates of a time-independent Hamiltonian, ...
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1answer
72 views

What is the state of particle at time $t$ if at $t=0$ it is in an eigenstate of $\hat{A}$, and $\hat{A}$ commutes with $\hat{H}$?

EDIT: added (assuming $\lambda$ to be non-degenerate). Based on the specifics of the question, we don't in fact know whether this is the case, so it may be that $\left|\lambda\right>$ is not an ...
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1answer
68 views

Can I use time evolving block decimation (TEBD) to simulate the dynamics for many body localized systems?

In the many-body localized phase, the system is described by quasi-local integrals of motion ("l-bits"). The entanglement does grow logarithmically with time. So if I use TEBD to get the real-time ...