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Lecture 6

Lecture 6

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Published by Physicist91
The variational principle
The variational principle

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Published by: Physicist91 on Dec 05, 2012
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Lecture 6: The Variational Principle
 Another powerful approximation to solve stationary Schrodinger equation
Simple derivation of the variational principleSimple examplesConnections with stationary perturbation theory
The claim from the variational principle:
Given an arbitrary Hamiltonian that has aground state with an unknown eigenvalueThen for any normalized trial state in the Hilbertspace associated with that Hamiltonian:We must have
Expectation value of the Hamiltonian on an “arbitrary” state can
only approach, but never under-estimate, the ground state energy
Simple proof of the claim
Choosing the basis states of the Hilbert space as thenormalized and orthogonal eigenstates of the givenHamiltonian:Ground state:
Expanding the trial state
Evaluatingexpectationvalue andit is done:

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