For questions on quantum mechanics, a branch of physics dealing with physical phenomena at microscopic scales, where the action is on the order of the Planck constant.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

20
votes
2answers
383 views

Why do odd dimensions and even dimensions behave differently?

It is well known that odd and even dimensions work differently. Waves propagation in odd dimensions is unlike propagation in even dimensions. A parity operator is a rotation in even dimensions, ...
11
votes
4answers
276 views

Correct spaces for quantum mechanics

The general formulation of quantum mechanics is done by describing quantum mechanical states by vectors $|\psi_t(x)\rangle$ in some Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ and describes their time evolution by ...
11
votes
1answer
362 views

Quantization of angular momentum: is Dirac's proof wrong?

I'm trying to understand the physicist's proof of the theorem on the spectral structure of angular momentum operators (I'm being told that this proof is due to Dirac). I will refer to Ballentine's ...
10
votes
6answers
818 views

Mathematics needed in the study of Quantum Physics

As a 12th grade student , I'm currently acquainted with single variable calculus, algebra, and geometry, obviously on a high school level. I tried taking a Quantum Physics course on coursera.com, but ...
10
votes
1answer
196 views

Does this notion of morphism of noncommutative rings appear in the ring theory literature?

Definition: Let $R, S$ be two rings. A classical morphism $\phi : R \to S$ is a function from elements of $R$ to elements of $S$ which restricts to a homomorphism (of rings, in the usual sense) on ...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

Physical (Quantum Mechanical) Significance of completeness of Hilbert Spaces.

I'm not sure if the question is very 'mathematical',but I'm asking any way. I have a basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and I'm studying Hilbert spaces. I was wondering what is the physical ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

Topological Quantum Field theories

I was wondering about the following on TQFTs. It is said that TQFTs have vanishing Hamiltonians $\hat{\mathcal{H}}$. Firstly, I would like to ask: Why is this so? Secondly, consider the ...
7
votes
2answers
200 views

“Fun” question: anyone know why $e$ (Euler's Number) was chosen for wave functions?

First, let me say that this is merely something I have always wondered about, and can never seem to find a good reference for. I simply want to know... the geek in me. Why was $e$ (Euler's Number) ...
7
votes
1answer
331 views

Do these two sets of matrices form groups?

Stimulated by some Physics backgrounds, consider the following two sets of matrices. Notations and definitions:Let $A,B$ be two complex $n\times n$ matrices, then $\left [ A,B \right ...
7
votes
1answer
64 views

A non-integrable representation of the Heisenberg Algebra

Let $\mathfrak h$ be the Heisenberg algebra in dimension 1, generated by vectors $P$, $Q$ and $I$ satisfying $[P,Q] = I$, $[P,I] = [Q,I] = 0$. A representation of $\mathfrak h$ on a Hilbert space $X$ ...
6
votes
1answer
199 views

Orthogonal projections with $\sum P_i =I$, proving that $i\ne j \Rightarrow P_{j}P_{i}=0$

I am reading Introduction to Quantum Computing by Kaye, Laflamme, and Mosca. As an exercise, they write "Prove that if the operators $P_{i}$ satisfy $P_{i}^{*}=P_{i}$ and $P_{i}^{2}=P_{i}$ , then ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

How to find interesting operators for a quantum system?

How can we find "interesting" operators for a quantum mechanical system? I can think of the following method: Given some system with an associated Hilbert space $V$ and Hamiltonian $H:V\rightarrow ...
6
votes
3answers
105 views

A Weird Contradiction about angular momentum operator in quantum mechanics

I am starting with the standard definition of an angular momentum operator in quantum mechanics given as $$\mathbf{L} = k(\mathbf{r}\times\mathbf{p}) = k(\mathbf{r}\times\nabla),$$ where ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Kernel of adjoint operator

This problem is puzzling me, even though it should be really simple. Let $L=-\partial_x^2 + \frac 1 2 x^{-2}$ be an operator defined on $D(L)=C^\infty_c(0,+\infty)\subset L^2(0,+\infty)$. Its adjoint ...
6
votes
0answers
321 views

Studying quantum mechanics without physics background

I am a first year PhD math student, and I am wondering if I should study quantum mechanics even though I don't have an undergrad background in physics. I posted this question in physics ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

'Quantum' approach to classical probability

Quantum mechanics defines a state of a system as a superposition of 'classical' states with complex coefficients, thus reducing many problems to linear algebra. Can classical statistics be approached ...
5
votes
2answers
385 views

Regarding Ladder Operators and Quantum Harmonic Oscillators

When dealing with the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator Operator $H=-\frac{d^{2}}{dx^{2}}+x^{2}$, there is the approach of using the Ladder Operator: Suppose that are two operators $L^{+}$ and $L^{-}$ and ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Physical interpretation of $q$-deformation

I am currently reading the paper Quantum Group Particles and Non-Archimedean Geometry by Volovich and Aref'eva. Here they discuss the difference between $q$-deformation and $\hslash$-deformation. In a ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Spectral theorem in Quantum Mechanics

In Quantum Mechanics one often looks at self-adjoint(unbounded and closed) linear operators $A,B$ that are defined dense on $L^2$. My question is: Is it true that if we have $[A,B]=0$, where $[,]$ is ...
4
votes
4answers
296 views

Applications of Operator Algebras to modern physics

I think that recently I've started to lean in my interest more towards operator algebras and away from differential geometry, the latter having many applications to physics. But while taking physics ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Solving $y'' + (ax+b)y = 0$

This is a problem in quantum mechanics when one considers a linear potential; in physics-speak the equation would be written as $$\frac{d^2\psi}{dx^2} + \frac{2m}{\hbar^2}(E-ax)\psi = 0,$$ with ...
4
votes
5answers
110 views

General solution of $\frac{d^{2}u}{d\rho^{2}}=\frac{l\left(l+1\right)}{\rho^{2}}u$

In his discussion of the radial wave function of hydrogen Griffiths (Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed, p.146) gives the general solution ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

Geometric meaning of block-diagonalization of a matrix

some times we need to do block-diagonalization in favor of easy computation. For instance, for a matrix like this $$ \begin{bmatrix} A_{11} & A_{12} & A_{13} & 0 & 0 & 0\\ A_{21} ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Uniqueness of solutions to Schrödinger's equation

Consider \begin{cases} u_t(x,t)=\sqrt{-1} u_{xx}(x,t), \quad (x,t)\in[0,2\pi]\times[0,\infty)\\ u(x,0)=f(x),\quad x\in[0,2\pi] \end{cases} where $f(\cdot) \in C^\infty$ is periodic with period ...
4
votes
1answer
269 views

Dirac Orthonormality Proof - Can't Make Sense of Complex Integral

I'm having trouble rationalizing a particular statement that is, surely, present in many quantum mechanics textbooks. The following statement comes from the orthnormalization condition for ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Quantum Information: Deutsch-Jozsa Algorithm

There is a step in the construction of this algorithm which I'm not understanding: $\displaystyle \left[\sum_x \frac{| x \rangle}{\sqrt{2^n}}\right]\left[\frac{ | 0 \rangle -| 1 \rangle ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Quantum Hermiticity Bra-Ket notation please

If $A$ and $B$ are Hermitian operators, show that $$C~:=~i[A,B]$$ is Hermitian too. My work: $$\begin{gather} C=i(AB-BA) \\ \langle\psi\rvert C\lvert\phi\rangle = i\langle\psi\rvert ...
4
votes
1answer
373 views

Derivative of a bra?

I understand that $$ \frac{\mathrm d}{\mathrm dt} \langle\psi|\psi\rangle =\left[\frac{\mathrm d}{\mathrm dt} \langle\psi|\right]|\psi\rangle + \langle\psi|\left[\frac{\mathrm d}{\mathrm ...
3
votes
3answers
266 views

Quantum Mathematics?

As per my last question, this has less to do with cold, hard, and fast calculations and more to do with the interplay between mathematics and philosophy...but as armchair philosophers aren't as hard ...
3
votes
3answers
76 views

Unitary invariance

Why is it that for any non-negative matrix $M$ and unitary matrix $U$, we have $$\sqrt{UMU^\dagger}=U\sqrt{M}U^\dagger$$? This question has to do with Problem 2c from this sheet. I think I am ...
3
votes
4answers
117 views

Which book to read on quantum-related mathematics

Recently I watched the "Big Bang Theory" and decided to google about quantum mechanics. It really intrigued me. But I also understood that I am too stupid to understand even the basic mathematics in ...
3
votes
5answers
800 views

Hydrogen atom in partial differential equations

For the hydrogen atom, if $$\int |u|^2 ~dx = 1,$$ at $t = 0$, I am trying to show that this is true at all later times. What I need help is with differentiating the integral with respect to $t$, and ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

If the expectation $\langle v,Mv \rangle$ of an operator is $0$ for all $v$ is the operator $0$?

I ran into this a while back and convinced my self that it was true for all finite dimensional vector spaces with complex coefficients. My question is to what extent could I trust this result in the ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Hermite Differential Equation - Non-integer values of $\lambda$

The Hermite differential equation, given by : $$ \frac{d^2y}{dx^2} - 2x \frac{dy}{dx} + \lambda y = 0 $$ has solutions of the $$ y(x) = \mathcal{H_n(x)} $$ when $ \lambda \: \epsilon \:\mathcal{Z_+} ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Can the $0$-norm represent determinism?

In Scott Aaronson's Quantum Computing since Democritus, he presents classical probability theory as based on the $1$-norm, and QM as based on the $2$-norm. Call $\{v_1,\ldots,v_N\}$ a unit vector ...
3
votes
1answer
751 views

Relationship between dual space and adjoint of a linear operator

I am having a hard time understanding the concept of adjoint of a linear operator. Given a finite dimensional Hilbert space $H$ over a field $F$, I know the dual space is the vector space $H^*$ of all ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

Mathematical explanation of problems behind time and space derivatives being second order

$\left(\nabla^2 - \frac{1}{c^2}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2}\right)\phi = \frac{m^2c^2}{\hbar^2}\phi$ with the wave function $\phi$ being a relativistic scalar: a complex number which has ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

What are the requirements for a “test” function to show operators commute?

To show that two operators $\hat{A}$ and $\hat{B}$ commute, we can check whether $\hat{A}\hat{B}f(x)$ = $\hat{B}\hat{A}f(x)$. My question is regarding the function $f(x)$. To check that $\hat{A}$ and ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Function space in QM

I need to understand how one can think of a function as a vector (in Hilbert space, more specifically) so I can follow along QM texts. I've read this question's answers, but they were uninspiring to ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Bra-ket multiplication

I'm studying a little bit of bra-ket notation and I found this property: $$\langle n| H_1 H_2|m\rangle=\sum_{k} \langle n|H_1|k\rangle \langle k|H_2|m\rangle$$ Is this property true? Why? Thank you! ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Defining conditional quantum probability

My knowledge of quantum mechanics is very limited, but I will try to ask a purely mathematical question here. If there is a text or resource that explains this, I would definitely appreciate any ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Solving a PDE arising from physics

Is there a way to find an analytic solution to the following PDE? $i \partial _t \psi = - \gamma \partial _x ^2 \psi - c x $cos$(\omega t) \psi $, where $\psi (x,t)$ is defined (in $x$) on the ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

A question about Moyal product

In Geometric quantization theory the Moyal product is one of main tools. We know Moyal product for the smooth functions $f$ and $g$ on $ℝ^{2n}$ takes the form $f\star g = fg + \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Is the partial trace congruent under a change of basis?

My intuition tells me that the partial trace should be congruent under a change of basis. That is, if I have some matrix $A$ in the space of linear operators acting on a joint hilbert space: $A \in ...
3
votes
1answer
31 views

Essential selfadjointness preserved under unitarily transfomration?

I am wondering if essential selfadjointness of an operator in a Hilbert space is preserved under unitarily transformations. In other terms: let $H,H'$ be two isomorphic Hilbert spaces, with an ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Selfadjointness of Coulomb Hamiltonian in d>=3 dimensions

I know that the Coulomb-Hamiltonian $H=-\Delta - |\cdot|^{-1}$ is self-adjoint with $dom(H)=H^2(\mathbb R^3)$. This follows by the Kato-Rellich-Theorem. Has the corresponding quadratic form a form ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Can a unitary matrix be constructed from any doubly stochastic matrix?

Here is a question that came up while I was thinking about the foundations of quantum mechanics: Consider a unitary $n\times n$ complex matrix $U$, with elements $u_{ij}$. We know that the rows and ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

To show a set of projectors summing to the identity implies mutually orthogonal projectors

The general setting is the study of positive operator measures in quantum mechanics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_operator-valued_measure instead of the projector operator measures. Going ...
3
votes
0answers
31 views

Standard deviation of a quantum walk?

The standard deviation of a classical random walk with $n$ steps is $\sqrt n$ - Standard deviation of a random walk. I have read in many places that the standard deviation of a quantum walk $n$ with a ...
3
votes
0answers
76 views

Time-independent magnetic Schrodinger equation

Let $B$ be a magnetic field, let $\mathbf{a}$ be a vector and let $\Psi$ be the wave function. If $\mathcal{H}(B) = (-i\nabla + B\mathbf{a})^2$, where $\nabla$ is the gradient, then the ...