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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40
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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 collapse in the Heisenberg picture

I've been studying quantum mechanics and quantum field theory for a few years now and one question continues to bother me. The Schrödinger picture allows for an evolving state, which evolves through ...
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How does a particle know how to behave? [duplicate]

How does a particle know it should behave in such and such manner? As a person, I can set mass is so and so, charge is so and so - then set up equation to solve its equation of motion but who ...
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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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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\...
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Why can't two different quantum states evolve into the same final state?

Is it true that two different states cannot evolve into the same final state? Can they achieve this state at different times? If yes, what is the proof?
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How do I enforce the no-slip boundary condition in time dependent incompressible pipe flow?

This is a technical problem which must have been solved already. It won't be in beginners textbooks but there should be a solution somewhere. I welcome reading suggestions. Maybe someone with ...
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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 \...
12
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How to describe time evolution in relativistic QFT?

I must confess that I'm still confused about the question of time evolution in relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT). From symmetry arguments, from the representation of the Poincare group through ...
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Which derivative with respect to time is which in the Heisenberg picture of quantum mechanics?

For an observable $A$ and a Hamiltonian $H$, Wikipedia gives the time evolution equation for $A(t) = e^{iHt/\hbar} A e^{-iHt/\hbar}$ in the Heisenberg picture as $$\frac{d}{dt} A(t) = \frac{i}{\hbar} ...
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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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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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Why is the momentum-space wavefunction for a free particle not a function of time?

Suppose the initial wave function of a free particle is given by $\psi(x,0)$. Now to find how the wave function evolves with time we generally do the Fourier transform of the wave function at $t=0$. ...
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Is it possible to derive Schrodinger equation in this way?

Let's have wave-function $\lvert \psi \rangle$. The full probability is equal to one: $$\langle \Psi\lvert\Psi \rangle = 1.\tag{1}$$ We need to introduce time evolution of $\Psi $; we know it in ...
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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 ...
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What's the relation between path integral and Dyson series?

If one solves the Schrodinger equation $$i\hbar\partial_tU(t,0) = H U(t,0)$$ for time evolution operator $U(t,0)$, one can get the following Dyson series $$U(t,0) = \sum_n(\dfrac{-i}{\hbar})^n\...
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Do atomic orbitals “pulse” in time?

I understand that atomic orbitals are solutions to the time-independent Schrödinger equation, and that they are are analogous to standing waves ("stationary states"). However, even a standing ...
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4answers
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Does Heisenberg equation of motion imply the Schrodinger equation for evolution operator?

Let us choose to postulate (e.g. considering the analogy of the Hamiltonian being a generator of time evolution in classical mechanics) $$ i\hbar \frac{d\hat{U}}{dt}=\hat{H}\hat{U}\tag{1} $$ where $\...
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Extending the ergodic theorem to non-equilibrium systems

I try to make this as short and concise as possible. For equilibrium systems in statistical mechanics, we have the Liouville's theorem which says that the volume in phase space is conserved when the ...
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Can the universe be described by a Markov chain?

This may be a fairly basic question as I don't have a strong background in physics. I intuitively thought that the universe must be able to be described by a Markov chain. That is, I thought you ...
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QM Continuity Equation: Many-Body Version for Density Operator?

I am trying to brush up my rusty intuition on second quantization and many-particle systems and i came across the following problem: In 1-particle QM we have the continuity equation $$ \frac{\...
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Equation of motion for the reduced density matrix

The equation of motion for the density matrix of a many body isolated quantum system is the von Neumann's equation: $\dot{\rho }(t)=i[\rho (t),H]$. How about the equation of motion for the reduced ...
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How to do time evolution of operators in the Heisenberg Picture while staying in the Heisenberg Picture

Consider the time evolution of an operator in the Heisenberg picture: $$\tag{1}i\hbar \frac{d}{d t} \hat{A}_{H}(t) = \left([ \hat{A}_S(t), \hat H_S (t)] + i\hbar \frac{d}{d t} \hat{A}_S(t) \right)_H.$...
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How is Liouville's theorem important to statistical mechanics?

I have come across Liouville's theorem in the first chapter of many statistical mechanics textbooks, still I don't quite get how it is important to statistical mechanics. How is it related to ...
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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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How is time evolution done in numerical GR?

Suppose we're simulating what happens when a fairly massive object falls into a black hole. Say the object starts far away, so that the initial condition is that the metric is the Schwarzschild metric ...
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How is Schrödinger evolution experimentally verified?

This is surely a pretty ignorant question, but I'm just starting out learning physics. In quantum theory the evolution of a particle's wavefunction is supposed to have two stages: deterministic ...
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616 views

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 ...
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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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Why is time evolution unitary?

Is the reason why the time evolution operator is unitary based on purely physical arguments, i.e. that the physical processes that an isolated system undergoes shouldn't depend on any particular ...
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Heisenberg picture of QM as a result of Hamilton formalism

Consider the formula for the total time-derivative of a physical value in Poisson's formalism: $$\tag{1} \frac{dA}{dt} = -\{H, A\}_{P.B.} + \frac{\partial A}{\partial t}, $$ where $\{A, B\}_{P.B.}$ is ...
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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?
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Does Peskin & Schroeder Eq. (4.26), $U(t_1,t_2)U(t_2,t_3) = U(t_1,t_3)$ imply $[H_0,H_{int}] = 0$?

Peskin & Schroeder equation (4.17) define the operator, \begin{equation} U(t,t_{0})~=~e^{i(t-t_{0})H_{0}}e^{-i(t-t_{0})H} \tag{4.17} \end{equation} where $$H~=~H_0+H_{\text{int}}\tag{4.12}$$ is ...
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Equation 2.27 from Pachos's introduction to topological quantum computing

http://quince.leeds.ac.uk/~phyjkp/Files/IntroTQC.pdf above is the PDF that is hosted on his website. The equation is on page 22 (pg 30 in the pdf). In chapter 2. It is the second equation of the ...
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Why does the density matrix $\rho$ obey a wrong-signed Heisenberg equation of motion?

The density matrix is defined as $$ \rho_\psi ~:=~ \frac{\lvert\psi(t)\rangle \langle \psi(t)\vert}{ \langle \psi(t) |\psi(t)\rangle }$$ in the Schrödinger picture. $\rho_\psi$ is obviously a time ...
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The curious case of the time derivative of the expectation value of the position

Having defined the expectation value of position as follows $$ \langle x \rangle = \int x {\lvert\Psi(x,t)\rvert}^2dx $$ The time derivative of the expectation value is derived in my literature in ...
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QFT Dyson series: why are we solving the Schrodinger equation?

In quantum field theory, the solution of the time evolution operator of the Schrodinger equation (in the interaction picture) is given by Dyson's series, which is used to calculate the S-matrix. Why ...
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Quantum Mechanical Operators in the argument of an exponential

In Quantum Optics and Quantum Mechanics, the time evolution operator $$U(t,t_i) = \exp\left[\frac{-i}{\hbar}H(t-t_i)\right]$$ is used quite a lot. Suppose $t_i =0$ for simplicity, and say the ...
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Expectation value of time-dependent Hamiltonian

I'm trying to solve a problem in QM with a forced quantum oscillator. In this problem I have a quantum oscillator, which is in the ground state initially. At $t=0$, the force $F(t)=F_0 \sin(\Omega t)$ ...
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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 ...
5
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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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If $|\beta \rangle = A(t) |\alpha \rangle$ in Heisenberg picture, then doesn't $|\beta \rangle$ depend on time?

We know that states are time independent in Heisenberg picture. However, if I apply an operator to a state in Heisenberg picture, $$|\beta\rangle= A(t)|\alpha\rangle \equiv \exp(itH) A(0)\exp(−itH)|\...
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Is there an equivalent to the Schrodinger equation for quantum mechanics over the reals?

Many people have considered alternatives to standard quantum mechanics in which the Hilbert space is over the real instead of the complex numbers - see e.g. here, here, here, here, here, and here. In ...
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The unitary time-evolution in the interation picture

I'm currently consuming a course on QFT where we need to define the unitary time-evolution to get the time evolution of the wave function in the interaction picture: $\hat{U}(t_1,t_0) = \exp\left(\...
5
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1answer
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Coherent state evolution for a given non usual Hamiltonian

I am trying to compute the temporal evolution of a coherent state $|\alpha\rangle$ using a given hamiltonian of the form:$$\hat{H}=\hbar \omega(\hat{a}^{\dagger}\hat{a}-\alpha(\hat{a}+\hat{a}^{\dagger}...
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Heisenberg Picture with a time-dependent Schrödinger Hamiltonian

So when the Hamiltonian is time-independent, we can define the Heisenberg state vectors by evolving the Schrödinger state vectors back in time: $$ | \psi \rangle_H = \hat{U}^\dagger (t)|\psi(t) \...
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Why is time-evolution unitary (the sequel)?

One foundational postulate of QM is that a closed physical system at one instant of time, say $t$, is completely described by a wavefunction $\psi \in S^1\subset H$ (where $H$ is a Hilbert space and $...
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Hamiltonian covariant time translation

I am working on vector fields in curved manifolds and arrive at the following question: Why is it that we demand the Hamiltonian to generate time translations: $$[i\mathcal{H}, A_\mu] = \partial_t ...
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Time-dependence of free and interacting Hamiltonians

Consider an interacting field theory with Hamiltonian $$H=H_0+V$$ where $H_0$ is the Hamiltonian of the free theory and $V$ is the added interaction. Now, I know the full Hamiltonian $H$ should be ...
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Who is doing the normalization of wave function in the time evolution of wave function?

In the Schrödinger equation, at any given time $t$ we should jointly add another sub equation, like $$||\psi_t(x)|| = 1$$ where $\psi_t(x) = \Psi(x,t)$, and then try to solve the two equations ...