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Sakurai J.J. Modern Quantum Mechanics (AW, 1994)(802dpi)(T)(513s)

# Sakurai J.J. Modern Quantum Mechanics (AW, 1994)(802dpi)(T)(513s)

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## Sections

We introduced the conceptof angular momentum by defining it to be the
generatorof an infinitesimal rotation.Thereis anotherway to approachthe
subjectof angular momentum when spin-angularmomentum iszeroor can
beignored.The angular momentum J for a singleparticleis then the same
asorbital angular momentum, which isdefinedas
L=

xxp.

C.6.1)

In this sectionwe explorethe connectionbetweenthe two approaches.

196

Theory of Angular Momentum

Orbital Angular Momentum asRotation Generator

We first note that the orbitalangular-momentum operatordefinedas

C.6.1)

satisfiesthe angular-momentum commutation relations

[Ll,LJ]=ieljkhLk

C.6.2)

by virtue of the commutation relationsamong the componentsof x and p.
This can easilybeprovedas follows:
Lx.Ly) =

[yPz -

ZPy \302\246

ZPx-XPz

yp

=ihL

Next welet

C.6.3)

C.6.4)

act on an arbitrary positioneigenket\\x\\ y\\ z')to examinewhether it can
be interpreted as the infinitesimal rotation operator about the z-axis by
angle 8. Usingthe fact that momentum isthe generatorof translation, we
obtain [seeA.6.32)]

1-/ L \\x',y',z')= 1-/

\\x',y\\z')

=

\\x'-

C.6.5)

This is preciselywhat we expectif Lz generatesan infinitesimal rotation
about the z-axis.Sowe have demonstratedthat if p generatestranslation,
then Lgeneratesrotation.

Supposethe wave function for an arbitrary physical state of a
spinlessparticle is given by {x\\ y\\z'\\a).After an infinitesimal rotation
about the z-axisisperformed,the wave function for the rotated state is

{x\\y\\z'\\\\-i L a)=

(x'+y'8<}>,y'-x'H,z'\\<*)- C.6.6)

It isactuallymore transparentto changethe coordinatebasis

C.6.7)

Forthe rotated state we have,accordingto C.6.6),

1 : L

C.6.8)

3.6.Orbital Angular Momentum

197

Because(r,0,4>\\isan arbitrary positioneigenket,we can identify

C.6.9)

which is a well-known result from wave mechanics. Even though this
relation can alsobeobtainedjust as easilyusing the positionrepresentation
of the momentum operator,the derivationgiven hereemphasizesthe roleof
Lz asthe generatorof rotation.
We next considera rotation about the .x-axisby angle 8\$x.In

analogywith C.6.6)

we have

C.6.10)

By expressingx\\ y\\ and z'in sphericalcoordinates,we can show that

86-cot0cos

Likewise,

(x'\\Lv\\a) =- If)

costt~cot6sin^7

\\

du

d

. C.6.12)

UsingC.6.11)

andC.6.12),

definedasin C.5.5),

wehave

{x'\\L\302\261\\a)

=-ihe\302\261'

<9 \\

-cot0\342\200\224

. C.6.13)

d

Finally, it ispossibleto write

(x'|L\\a) using

C.6.14)

C.6.9),

andC.6.13),

asfollows:

1
sin20 + 1

dd \\sm0 dd .C.6.15)

Apart from 1/r2,we recognizethe differential operatorthat appearshereto
bejust the angular part of the Laplacianin sphericalcoordinates.
It is instructive to establishthis connectionbetweenthe L2operator
and the angular part of the Laplacianin anotherway by looking directlyat
the kinetic-energyoperator.We first recordan important operatoridentity,

L \342\200\224x

p

\342\200\224

(x*p)+/7ix*p,

C.6.16)

where x2 is understoodto be the operator x*x,just as p2 stands for the

198

Theory of Angular Momentum

operatorp#p.The proof of this isstraightforward:

=

2^ ?ijkXiPjelmkXlPm

ijlmk.

ijlm

L

ijlm

Pm*

=

x2p2

x2p2-/7ix-p-

ijlm

=

x2p2 (x\302\273p)

+/7jx*p.

C.6.17)

Beforetaking the precedingexpressionbetween(x'|and \\a), first note that

=x'-(-ihV '(x'\\a))

d . ..

=\342\200\224

ihr'

C.6.18)

Likewise,

=-h d
dr

x'|a> C.6.19)

Thus

d

dr

In terms of the kineticenergyp2/2m,we have

. C.6.20)

2m

( h'2 \\

{2mjV'2

( h2 \\

2m

1

2

2

C.6.21)

The first two terms in the last line arejust the radial part of the Laplacian
acting on (x'|a).The last term must then be the angular part of the
Laplacian acting on (x'|a),in completeagreementwith C.6.15).

SphericalHarmonics
Considera spinlessparticle subjectedto a spherical symmetrical
potential.Thewave equationisknown to beseparablein sphericalcoordi-

3.6.Orbital Angular Momentum

199

nates and the energyeigenfunctionscan bewritten as

,/,m)=

Rnl(r)Yr@,*), C.6.22)
where the positionvectorx'is specifiedby the sphericalcoordinatesr, 0,
and 4>9 and n standsfor somequantum number other than / and m, for
example,the radial quantum number for bound-state problemsor the
energyfor a free-particlesphericalwave.As will bemadeclearerin Section

3.10,

this form can be regarded as a direct consequenceof the rotational
invariance of the problem.When the Hamiltonian is sphericallysymmetri-

symmetrical, Hcommuteswith

Lz and L2,and the energyeigenketsare expectedto
be eigenketsof L2 and Lz also.BecauseLk with A:=1,2,3satisfy the
angular-momentum commutation relations, the eigenvaluesof L2 and Lz
are expectedto be /(/+l)/i2,and mh =

[-lh,(-l

+l)h,...9(l-l)h9lh].
Becausethe angular dependenceis common to all problemswith
sphericalsymmetry, we can isolateit and consider

Yim@, ) =

y/\"(h),

C.6.23)

where we have defined a direction eigenket|n).From this

point of view,

Y\342\204\242

@, ) isthe amplitude for a state characterizedby /, m to be found
in the direction n specifiedby 0 and cf>.
Supposewe have relationsinvolving orbital angular-momentum ei-
eigenkets. We can immediately write the correspondingrelationsinvolving the
sphericalharmonics.For example,take the eigenvalueequation

C.6.24)

Multiplying (h|on the left and using C.6.9),

weobtain

-

ih-jr-(h\\l,

m)=

mh(h\\l, m).

C.6.25)

We recognizethis equationto be

^y/\"@,

m/*y/\"@,4>),

C.6.26)

which impliesthat the ^-dependencey/\"@, .
Likewise,correspondingto

L2|/,m)=

/(/+l)/*2|/,

m>,

C.6.27)

wehave[seeC.6.15)]

C.6.28)

7^
sin

which is simply the partial differential equation satisfiedby Y,m itself.The
orthogonalityrelation

C-6.29)

200

Theory of Angular Momentum

fO

-I

C.6.30)

wherewehaveusedthe completenessrelationfor the directioneigenkets,

C.6.31)

have

To obtain the

Y\342\204\242

I case.We

C.6.32)

which, becauseofC.6.13),

-ike*

n|/,/>=0

C.6.33)

Rememberingthat the ^-dependencemust behavelikee'1*,

we can easily

show that this partial differential equationissatisfiedby

=

Y/@,)

=

c^'+sin'd,

C.6.34)

where c{isthe normalizationconstantdeterminedfrom C.6.30)

to be*

(-D7

2'/!

Starting with C.6.34)

wecan use

(h\\L_\\l,m)

4it

C.6.35)

dd +icot6 n|/,m)

C.6.36)

successivelyto obtain all Ytm with / fixed.Becausethis is donein many
textbookson elementary quantum mechanics,we will not work out the
detailshere.The result for m >0 is

(-D/
I'll

l\342\200\224m

d(cos6)

l-m

C.6.37)

*

Normalization condition C.6.30),

ofcourse, doesnot determine the phase ofcf. The factor

(\342\200\224 1)'isinserted sothat when we use the L_ operator successively to reach the state m \302\253

0,we

obtain

Yf\302\260

with the samesign asthe Legendre polynomial P^cosO)whose phase isfixed by

/>,(!)\302\253! [seeC.6.39)].

3.6.Orbital Angular Momentum

201

and wedefine Yi m

by

[}*.C.6.38)

?

Regardlessof whether m is positiveor negative,the ^-dependentpart of
Ytm@, ) is [sin0]|w|times a polynomialin cos0with a highest power of

\342\200\224

\\m\\. Form =0, weobtain

From the point of view of the angular-momentum commutation
relations alone,it might not appearobviouswhy / cannot bea half-integer.
It turns out that severalarguments can be advanced against half-integer
/-values. First, for half-integer/, and hence for half-integerm, the wave
function would acquirea minus sign,

e'\302\253Bw)\302\273\302\253lf

C.6.40)

under a 2tt rotation. As a result, the wave function would not be single-
valued; we pointedout in Section2.4that the wave function must be
single-valuedbecauseof the requirementthat the expansionof a stateket in
terms of positioneigenketsbeunique.We can provethat if L,definedto be
x X

p,isto beidentifiedasthe generatorof rotation, then the wave function
must acquirea plussign under a 2tt rotation.Thisfollowsfrom the factthat
the wavefunction for a 27r-rotatedstate isthe original wavefunction itself
with no sign change:

5

(x'exp

a) =

(jc'cos2tt+ y'sin27r,^'cos2tt\342\200\224

Jt'sin27r, z'a)

\\

n I

-,

C.6.41)

where we have usedthe finite-angleversionofC.6.6).

Next, let us suppose
Y/m@,4>) with a half-integer/ werepossible.To bespecific,wechoosethe
simplestcase,/ =m =

\\. Accordingto C.6.34)

wewould have

C.6.42)

From the property of L__ [seeC.6.36)]

wewould then obtain

-\302\253-\302\246

+1-cot

=-c1/2

0\\/sin0\\

C.6.43)

This expressionisnot permissiblebecauseit issingular at 6=0,it. What is
worse,from the partial differential equation

=0

C.6.44)

202

Theory of Angular Momentum

we directlyobtain

[^,

C.6.45)

Finally, we know from the Sturm-
Liouvilletheory of differential equationsthat the solutionsofC.6.28)

with /
integer form a complete set.An arbitrary function of 6 and expandedin terms of

Y\342\204\242

with integer/ and m only. Forall thesereasonsit
is futile to contemplateorbital angular momentum with half-integer/-val-

/-values.

SphericalHarmonicsasRotation Matrices

We concludethis sectionon orbital angular momentum by discuss-

discussing

the sphericalharmonicsfrom the point of view of the rotation matrices
introduced in the last section.We can readilyestablishthe desiredconnec-

connection

betweenthe two approachesby constructingthe mostgeneraldirection
eigenket|h)by applying appropriaterotation operatorsto |z),the direction
eigenketin the positivez-direction.We wish to find S>(R)suchthat

\\h) =

@(R)\\z).

C.6.46)

We can rely on the techniqueusedin constructingthe eigenspinorof a\342\200\242

h in
Section3.2.We first rotate about the >>-axisby angle 0, then around the
z-axisby angle ; seeFigure 3.3with ft ->0, a ->

. In the notation of Euler

angleswehave

@(R)=

\$(a=

,p =

d,y =

0). C.6.47)

Writing C.6.46)

as

|n>=

EI>(*)|/>m)(l,m|z>,

C.6.48)

/ m

we seethat

|h),when expandedin terms of |/,m), contains all possible
/-values.However,when this equation is multiplied by (l,m'\\ on the left,
only one term in the /-sum contributes,namely,
(/,m'|h> =

E#i'i,(\302\253 =4>,fi=0,y =

0). C.6.49)

m

Now (/,m\\z) isjusta number; in fact,it ispreciselyY\342\204\242

F,) evaluatedat

6=0 with undetermined.At 6=0,

Y\342\204\242

is known to vanish for m # 0,

which can alsobe seendirectlyfrom the fact that

|z)is an eigenketof Lz

(which equalsxpy

\342\200\224

ypx) with eigenvaluezero.Sowe can write

=

Yr\\6=0, B/+1)

4tt

cos0=1

4tt

C.6.50)

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