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# Problems in Quantum Mechanics

Daniel F. Styer
July 1994
Contents
1 Stern-Gerlach Analyzers 1
2 Photon Polarization 5
3 Matrix Mathematics 9
4 The Density Matrix 12
5 Neutral K Mesons 13
6 Continuum Systems 15
7 The Free Particle 18
8 Potential Problems 21
9 Perturbation Theory for the Energy Eigenproblem 24
10 Perturbation Theory for the Time Development Problem 28
11 Angular Momentum 30
12 Central Force Motion 32
13 Identical Particles 35
14 Conclusion 37
i
Chapter 1
Stern-Gerlach Analyzers
1.1 Projection probabilities
Consider the following combination of Stern-Gerlach analyzers.
φ
(The dashed line with an arrowhead points in the positive z direction.) Atoms leaving the rightmost +
port are in state [φ+), atoms leaving the rightmost − port are in state [φ−). Show that the projection
probability from [z−) to [φ+) is sin
2
(φ/2).
1
2 CHAPTER 1. STERN-GERLACH ANALYZERS
1.2 Multiple analyzers
An atom of state [z+) is shot into the following line of three Stern-Gerlach analyzers.
γ
β
| z+>
α
- or -
What is the probability that it emerges from the + output of analyzer C? From the − output? Why
don’t these probabilities sum to one?
1.3 Quantum mechanics is not statistical mechanics
Find the projection probabilities from state [z+) to states [30

+), [30

−), [x+), and [x−). Find the
projection probabilities from states [30

+) and [30

−) to [x−). Denote the projection probability from
[A) to [B) by PP([A), [B)). If we use the phrase “the probability that a system in state [A) is in state
[B)” for the more precise phrase “the projection probability from [A) to [B)”, then it seems reasonable
that
PP([z+), [x−)) = PP([z+), [30

+)) PP([30

+), [x−)) +PP([z+), [30

−)) PP([30

−), [x−)).
Use your numerical results to show that this expectation is wrong.
3
1.4 What is a basis state?
Mr. van Dam claims that a silver atom has three, not two, basic magnetic dipole states. To back up
his claim, he has constructed the following “Stern-Gerlach-van Dam” analyzer out of a z Stern-Gerlach
analyzer and an x Stern-Gerlach analyzer.
Stern, Gerlanch, and van Dam, Inc.
A
B
C
(The output of the x analyzer is piped to output holes A and B using atomic pipes that do not aﬀect
the magnetic dipole state.) Show that the set of exit states ¦[A), [B), [C)¦ is complete, but that [B) is
not orthogonal to [C).
1.5 Analyzer loop
| z+>
θ
a
b
?
Atoms in state [z+) are injected into an analyzer loop tilted an angle θ to the z direction. The output
atoms are then fed into a z Stern-Gerlach analyzer. What is the probability of the atom leaving the +
channel of the last analyzer when:
a. Branches a and b are both open?
b. Branch b is closed?
c. Branch a is closed?
4 CHAPTER 1. STERN-GERLACH ANALYZERS
1.6 Three analyzer loops
Atoms in state [z+) are passed through three analyzer loops as shown.
If all branches are open, 100% of the incoming atoms exit from the output. What percent of the
incoming atoms leave from the output if the following branches are closed? (The atoms are not
observed as they pass through the analyzer loops.)
a. 1b d. 2a g. 1b and 3b
b. 3a e. 2b h. 1b and 3a
c. 3b f. 2a and 3b i. 1b and 3a and 2a
(Note that in going from part (h.) to part (i.) you get more output from increased blockage.)
1.7 Representations
Suppose that the representation of [ψ) in the ¦[z+), [z−)¦ basis is
_
ψ
+
ψ

_
(i.e., ψ
+
= ¸z +[ψ), ψ

= ¸z −[ψ)). If ψ
+
and ψ

are both real, show that there is an axis upon
which the projection of µ has a deﬁnite, positive value, and ﬁnd the angle between that axis and the
z axis in terms of ψ
+
and ψ

.
Chapter 2
Photon Polarization
In lecture I have developed the principles of quantum mechanics using a particular system, the magnetic
moment of a silver atom (a so-called “spin-
1
2
” system), which has two basis states. Another system with
two basis states is polarized light. I did not use this system mainly because photons are less familiar than
atoms. This chapter develops the quantum mechanics of photon polarization much as the lectures developed
the quantum mechanics of spin-
1
2
.
One cautionary note: There is always a tendency to view the photon as a little bundle of electric and
magnetic ﬁelds, a “wave packet” made up of these familiar vectors. This view is completely incorrect. In
quantum electrodynamics, in fact, the electric ﬁeld is a classical macroscopic quantity that takes on meaning
only when a large number of photons are present.
5
6 CHAPTER 2. PHOTON POLARIZATION
2.1 Classical description of polarized light
unpolarized light x-polarized light
θ-polarized light
x
y
θ
When a beam of unpolarized light passes through a sheet of perfect polarizing material (called “Po-
laroid” and represented by the symbol
¡
,
where the arrow shows the polarizing axis), the emerging beam is of lower intensity and it is “polarized”,
i.e. the electric ﬁeld vector undulates but points only parallel or antiparallel to the polarizing axis.
When a beam of vertically polarized light (an “x-polarized beam”) is passed through a sheet of ideal
Polaroid with polarizing axis oriented at an angle θ to the vertical, the beam is reduced in intensity and
emerges with an electric ﬁeld undulating parallel to the sheet’s polarizing axis (a “θ-polarized beam”).
Polaroid sheet performs these feats by absorbing any component of electric ﬁeld perpendicular to its
polarizing axis. Show that if the incoming x-polarized beam has intensity I
0
, then the outgoing θ-
polarized beam has intensity I
0
cos
2
θ. Show that this expression gives the proper results when θ is 0

,
90

, 180

or 270

.
7
2.2 Quantal description of polarized light: Analyzers
In quantum mechanics, a photon state is described by three quantities: 1) energy, 2) direction of
motion, 3) polarization. We ignore the ﬁrst two quantities. There is an inﬁnite number of possible
polarization states: the photons in an x-polarized beam are all in the [x) state, the photons in a θ-
polarized beam (0

≤ θ < 180

) are all in the [θ) state, etc. In the quantum description, when an [x)
photon encounters a polarizing sheet oriented at an angle θ to the vertical, then either it is absorbed
(with probability sin
2
θ) or else it is changed into a [θ) photon (with probability cos
2
θ). A polarizing
sheet is thus not an analyzer: instead of splitting the incident beam into two (or more) beams, it
absorbs one of the beams that we would like an analyzer to emit. An analyzer can be constructed out
of any material that exhibits double refraction. It is conventional to use a simple calcite crystal:
θ
arbitary
input
beam
calcite analyzer
x-polarized beam
y-polarized beam
θ-polarized beam
(θ+90)-polarized beam
What are the projection probabilities [¸x[θ)[
2
, [¸x[θ + 90

)[
2
? Show that the states ¦[θ), [θ + 90

constitute a basis.
2.3 Interference
As usual, two analyzers (one inserted backwards) make up an analyzer loop.
E
calcite
analyzer
d
d

E
y-polarized
E
x-polarized
reversed
calcite
analyzer
d
d

E
Invent a series of experiments that demonstrates quantum interference. Show that the results of these
experiments, and the results of problem 2.2, are consistent with the amplitudes
¸x[θ) = cos θ ¸x[θ + 90

) = −sin θ
¸y[θ) = sin θ ¸y[θ + 90

) = cos θ.
(2.1)
8 CHAPTER 2. PHOTON POLARIZATION
2.4 Circular polarization
Just as it is possible to analyze any light beam into x- and y-polarized beams, or θ- and θ + 90

-
polarized beams, so it is possible to analyze and beam into right- and left-circularly polarized beams.
You might remember from classical optics that any linearly polarized beam splits half-and-half into
right- and left-circularly polarized light when so analyzed.
RL analyzer
E
linearly polarized light
E
right-circularly polarized light
E
left-circularly polarized light
Quantum mechanics maintains that right- and left-circularly polarized beams are made up of photons
in the [R) and [L) states, respectively. The projection amplitudes thus have magnitudes
[¸R[p)[ = 1/

2
[¸L[p)[ = 1/

2
(2.2)
where [p) is any linearly polarized state. By building an RL analyzer loop you can convince yourself
that
¸θ[R)¸R[x) +¸θ[L)¸L[x) = ¸θ[x) = cos θ. (2.3)
Show that no real valued projection amplitudes can satisfy both relations (2.2) and (2.3), but that the
complex values
¸L[θ) = e

/

2 ¸L[x) = 1/

2
¸R[θ) = e
−iθ
/

2 ¸R[x) = 1/

2
(2.4)
are satisfactory!
Chapter 3
Matrix Mathematics
3.1 The trace
For any N N matrix A (with components a
ij
) the trace of A is deﬁned by
tr(A) =
N

i=1
a
ii
Show that tr(AB) = tr(BA), and hence that tr(ABCD) = tr(DABC) = tr(CDAB), etc. (the so-
called “cyclic invariance” of the trace). However, show that tr(ABC) does not generally equal tr(CBA)
by constructing a counterexample. (Assume all matrices to be square.)
3.2 The outer product
Any two complex N-tuples can be multiplied to form an NN matrix as follows: (The star represents
complex conjugation.)
x = (x
1
x
2
. . . x
N
)
y = (y
1
y
2
. . . y
N
)
x ⊗y =
_
_
_
_
_
_
x
1
x
2
.
.
.
x
N
_
_
_
_
_
_
(y

1
y

2
. . . y

N
) =
_
_
_
_
_
_
x
1
y

1
x
1
y

2
. . . x
1
y

N
x
2
y

1
x
2
y

2
. . . x
2
y

N
.
.
.
x
N
y

1
x
N
y

2
. . . x
N
y

N
_
_
_
_
_
_
.
This so-called “outer product” is quite diﬀerent from the familiar “dot product” or “inner product”
x y = (x

1
x

2
. . . x

N
)
_
_
_
_
_
_
y
1
y
2
.
.
.
y
N
_
_
_
_
_
_
= x

1
y
1
+x

2
y
2
+. . . +x

N
y
N
.
Write a formula for the i, j component of x ⊗y and use it to show that tr(y ⊗x) = x y.
9
10 CHAPTER 3. MATRIX MATHEMATICS
3.3 Pauli matrices
Three important matrices are the Pauli matrices:
σ
1
=
_
0 1
1 0
_
, σ
2
=
_
0 −i
i 0
_
, σ
3
=
_
1 0
0 −1
_
.
a. Show that the four matrices ¦I, σ
1
, σ
2
, σ
3
¦, where
I =
_
1 0
0 1
_
,
constitute a basis for the set of 2 2 matrices, by showing that any matrix
A =
_
a
11
a
12
a
21
a
22
_
can be written as
A = z
0
I +z
1
σ
1
+z
2
σ
2
+z
3
σ
3
.
Produce formulas for the z
i
in terms of the a
ij
.
b. Show that
i. σ
2
1
= σ
2
2
= σ
2
3
= I
2
= I
ii. σ
i
σ
j
= −σ
j
σ
i
for i ,= j
iii. σ
1
σ
2
= iσ
3
(a)
σ
2
σ
3
= iσ
1
(b)
σ
3
σ
1
= iσ
2
(c)
Note: Equations (b) and (c) are called “cyclic permutations” of equation (a), because in each
equation, the indices go in the order
1 2
3
and diﬀer only by starting at diﬀerent points in the “merry-go-round.”
c. Show that for any complex numbers c
1
, c
2
, c
3
,
(c
1
σ
1
+c
2
σ
2
+c
3
σ
3
)
2
= (c
2
1
+c
2
2
+c
2
3
)I.
11
3.4 More on Pauli matrices
a. Find the eigenvalues and corresponding (normalized) eigenvectors for all three Pauli matrices.
b. Deﬁne exponentiation of matrices via
e
M
=

n=0
M
n
n!
.
Show that
e
σi
= cosh(1)I + sinh(1)σ
i
for i = 1, 2, 3
and that
e
(σ1+σ3)
= cosh(

2)I +
1

2
sinh(

2)(σ
1

3
).
(Hint: Look up the series expansions of sinh and cosh.)
c. Prove that e
σ1
e
σ3
,= e
(σ1+σ3)
.
3.5 Hermitian operators
a. Show that if
ˆ
A is a linear operator and (a,
ˆ
Aa) is real for all vectors a, then
ˆ
A is Hermitian. (Hint:
Employ the hypothesis with a = b +c and a = b +ic.)
b. Show that any operator of the form
ˆ
A = c
a
[a)¸a[ +c
b
[b)¸b[ + +c
z
[z)¸z[,
where the c
n
are real constants, is Hermitian.
c. You know that if an operator is Hermitian then all of its eigenvalues are real. Show that the
converse is false by producing a counterexample. (Hint: Try a 2 2 upper triangular matrix.)
3.6 Unitary operators
Show that all the eigenvalues of a unitary operator have square modulus unity.
3.7 Commutator algebra
Prove that
[
ˆ
A, b
ˆ
B +c
ˆ
C] = b[
ˆ
A,
ˆ
B] +c[
ˆ
A,
ˆ
C]
[a
ˆ
A+b
ˆ
B,
ˆ
C] = a[
ˆ
A,
ˆ
C] +b[
ˆ
B,
ˆ
C]
[
ˆ
A,
ˆ
B
ˆ
C] =
ˆ
B[
ˆ
A,
ˆ
C] + [
ˆ
A,
ˆ
B]
ˆ
C
[
ˆ
A
ˆ
B,
ˆ
C] =
ˆ
A[
ˆ
B,
ˆ
C] + [
ˆ
A,
ˆ
C]
ˆ
B
[
ˆ
A, [
ˆ
B,
ˆ
C]] + [
ˆ
C, [
ˆ
A,
ˆ
B]] + [
ˆ
B, [
ˆ
C,
ˆ
A]] = 0 (the “Jacobi identity”).
Chapter 4
The Density Matrix
4.1 Deﬁnition
Consider a system in quantum state [ψ). Deﬁne the operator
ˆ ρ = [ψ)¸ψ[,
called the density matrix, and show that the expectation value of the observable associated with
operator
ˆ
A in [ψ) is
tr¦ˆ ρ
ˆ
A¦.
4.2 Statistical mechanics
Frequently physicists don’t know exactly which quantum state their system is in. (For example, silver
atoms coming out of an oven are in states of deﬁnite µ projection, but there is no way to know which
state any given atom is in.) In this case there are two diﬀerent sources of measurement uncertainty: ﬁrst,
we don’t know what state they system is in (statistical uncertainty, due to our ignorance) and second,
even if we did know, we couldn’t predict the result of every measurement (quantum uncertainty, due
to the way the world works). The density matrix formalism neatly handles both kinds of uncertainty
at once.
If the system could be in any of the states [a), [b), . . . , [i), . . . (not necessarily a basis set), and if it
has probability p
i
of being in state [i), then the density matrix
ˆ ρ =

i
p
i
[i)¸i[[
is associated with the system. Show that the expectation value of the observable associated with
ˆ
A is
still given by
tr¦ˆ ρ
ˆ
A¦.
4.3 A one-line proof (if you see the right way to do it)
Show that tr¦ˆ ρ¦ = 1.
12
Chapter 5
Neutral K Mesons
You know that elementary particles are characterized by their mass and charge, but that two particles
of identical mass and charge can still behave diﬀerently. Physicists have invented characteristics such as
“strangeness” and “charm” to label (not explain!) these diﬀerences. For example, the diﬀerence between
the electrically neutral K meson K
0
and its antiparticle the
¯
K
0
is described by attributing a strangeness of
+1 to the K
0
and of −1 to the
¯
K
0
.
Most elementary particles are completely distinct from their antiparticles: an electron never turns into a
positron! Such a change is prohibited by charge conservation. However this prohibition does not extend to
the neutral K meson precisely because it is neutral. In fact, there is a time-dependent amplitude for a K
0
to turn into a
¯
K
0
. We say that the K
0
and the
¯
K
0
are the two basis states for a two-state system. This
two-state system has an observable strangeness, represented by an operator, and we have a K
0
when the
system is in an eigenstate of strangeness with eigenvalue +1, and a
¯
K
0
when the system is in an eigenstate
of strangeness with eigenvalue −1. When the system is in other states it does not have a deﬁnite value of
strangeness, and cannot be said to be “a K
0
” or “a
¯
K
0
”. The two strangeness eigenstates are denoted [K
0
)
and [
¯
K
0
).
5.1 Strangeness
Write an outer product expression for the strangeness operator
ˆ
S, and ﬁnd its matrix representation
in the ¦[K
0
), [
¯
K
0
)¦ basis. Note that this matrix is just the Pauli matrix σ
3
.
5.2 Charge Parity
Deﬁne an operator
¯
CP that turns one strangeness eigenstate into the other:
¯
CP[K
0
) = [
¯
K
0
),
¯
CP[
¯
K
0
) = [K
0
).
(CP stands for “charge parity”, although that’s not important here.) Write an outer product expression
and a matrix representation (in the ¦[K
0
), [
¯
K
0
)¦ basis) for the
¯
CP operator. What is the connection
13
14 CHAPTER 5. NEUTRAL K MESONS
between this matrix and the Pauli matrices? Show that the normalized eigenstates of CP are
[K
U
) =
1

2
([K
0
) +[
¯
K
0
)),
[K
S
) =
1

2
([K
0
) −[
¯
K
0
)).
(The U and S stand for unstable and stable, but that’s again irrelevant because we’ll ignore K meson
decay.)
5.3 The Hamiltonian
The time evolution of a neutral K meson is governed by the “weak interaction” Hamiltonian
ˆ
H = e
ˆ
1 +f
¯
CP.
(There is no way for you to derive this. I’m just telling you.) Show that the numbers e and f must be
real.
5.4 Time evolution
Neutral K mesons are produced in states of deﬁnite strangeness because they are produced by the
“strong interaction” Hamiltonian that conserves strangeness. Suppose one is produced at time t = 0
in state [K
0
). Solve the Schr¨odinger equation to ﬁnd its state for all time afterwards. Why is it easier
to solve this problem using [K
U
), [K
S
) vectors rather than [K
0
), [
¯
K
0
) vectors? Calculate and plot the
probability of ﬁnding the meson in state [K
0
) as a function of time.
(The neutral K meson system is extraordinarily interesting. I have oversimpliﬁed by ignoring decay.
More complete treatments can be found in Lipkin, Das & Melissinos, Feynman, and Baym.)
Chapter 6
Continuum Systems
6.1 The states ¦[p)¦ constitute a continuum basis
In lecture we showed that the inner product ¸x[p) must have the form
¸x[p) = C e
i(p/¯ h)x
(6.1)
where C may be chosen for convenience.
a. Show that the operator
ˆ
A =
_

−∞
dp [p)¸p[ (6.2)
is equal to
2π¯h[C[
2
ˆ
1 (6.3)
by evaluating
¸φ[
ˆ
A[ψ) = ¸φ[
ˆ
1
ˆ
A
ˆ
1[ψ) (6.4)
for arbitrary states [ψ) and [φ). Hints: Set the ﬁrst
ˆ
1 equal to
_

−∞
dx [x)¸x[, the second
ˆ
1 equal
to
_

−∞
dx

[x

)¸x

[. The identity
δ(x) =
1

_

−∞
dk e
ikx
(6.5)
(see Winter eqn. (3.2-7) p. 107) for the Dirac delta function is useful here. Indeed, this is one of
the most useful equations to be found anywhere!
b. Using the conventional choice C = 1/

2π¯h, show that
¸p[p

) = δ(p −p

). (6.6)
The expression (6.5) is again helpful.
15
16 CHAPTER 6. CONTINUUM SYSTEMS
6.2 Peculiarities of continuum basis states
Recall that the elements of a continuum basis set are peculiar in that they possess dimensions. That
is not their only peculiarity. For any ordinary state [ψ), the wavefunction ψ(x) = ¸x[ψ) satisﬁes
_

−∞
dx ψ

(x)ψ(x) = 1. (6.7)
Show that the states [x

) and [p) cannot obey this normalization.
6.3 Hermiticity of the momentum operator
Show that the momentum operator is Hermitian over the space of states [ψ) that have wavefunction
ψ(x) which vanish at x = ±∞. Hint:
¸φ[ ˆ p[ψ) =
_

−∞
dx φ

(x)
_
−i¯h
dψ(x)
dx
_
. (6.8)
Integrate by parts.
6.4 Commutator of ˆ x and ˆ p
Show that [ˆ x, ˆ p] = i¯h by showing that ¸φ[[ˆ x, ˆ p][ψ) = i¯h¸φ[ψ) for arbitrary [φ) and [ψ). Hints: First
evaluate ¸x[ ˆ pˆ x[ψ) and ¸x[ˆ xˆ p[ψ). It helps to deﬁne [χ) = ˆ x[ψ).
6.5 Momentum representation of the Schr¨odinger equation
You know that the Schr¨odinger equation
i¯h
d[ψ(t))
dt
=
ˆ
H [ψ(t)) (6.9)
has the position representation
i¯h
∂¸x[ψ(t))
∂t
= ¸x[
ˆ
H[ψ(t)) (6.10)
or
i¯h
∂ψ(x; t)
∂t
= −
¯h
2
2m

2
ψ(x; t)
∂x
2
+V (x) ψ(x; t). (6.11)
In this problem you will uncover the corresponding equation that governs the time development of
˜
ψ(p; t) = ¸p[ψ(t)). (6.12)
The left hand side of equation (6.9) is no problem because
¸p[i¯h
d
dt
[ψ(t)) = i¯h

˜
ψ(p; t)
∂t
. (6.13)
To investigate the right hand side of equation (6.9) write
ˆ
H =
1
2m
ˆ p
2
+
ˆ
V (6.14)
where ˆ p is the momentum operator and
ˆ
V the potential energy operator.
17
a. Use the Hermiticity of ˆ p to show that
¸p[
ˆ
H[ψ(t)) =
p
2
2m
˜
ψ(p; t) +¸p[
ˆ
V [ψ(t)). (6.15)
Now we must investigate ¸p[
ˆ
V [ψ(t)).
b. Show that
¸p[
ˆ
V [ψ(t)) =
1

2π¯h
_

−∞
dx e
−i(p/¯ h)x
V (x)ψ(x; t) (6.16)
by inserting the proper form of
ˆ
1 at the proper location.
c. Deﬁne the (modiﬁed) Fourier transform
˜
V (p) of V (x) by
˜
V (p) =
1

2π¯h
_

−∞
dx e
−i(p/¯ h)x
V (x) (6.17)
=
_

−∞
dx ¸p[x)V (x). (6.18)
Note that
˜
V (p) has funny dimensions. Show that
V (x) =
1

2π¯h
_

−∞
dp e
i(p/¯ h)x
˜
V (p) (6.19)
=
_

−∞
dp ¸x[p)
˜
V (p). (6.20)
You may use either forms (6.17) and (6.19) in which case the proof employs equation (6.5), or
forms (6.18) and (6.20) in which case the proof involves completeness and orthogonality of basis
states.
d. Hence show that
¸p[
ˆ
V [ψ(t)) =
1

2π¯h
_

−∞
dp

˜
V (p −p

)
˜
ψ(p

; t). (6.21)
(Caution! Your intermediate expressions will probably involve three distinct variables that you’ll
want to call “p”. Put primes on two of them!)
e. Put everything together to see that
˜
ψ(p; t) obeys the integro-diﬀerential equation
i¯h

˜
ψ(p; t)
∂t
=
p
2
2m
˜
ψ(p; t) +
1

2π¯h
_

−∞
dp

˜
V (p −p

)
˜
ψ(p

; t). (6.22)
This form of the Schr¨odinger equation is particularly useful in the study of superconductivity.
Chapter 7
The Free Particle
7.1 Energy eigenstates
In lecture we examined the behavior of a free particle in a state of deﬁnite momentum. Such states
have a deﬁnite energy, but they are not the only possible states of deﬁnite energy.
a. Show that the state
[ρ(0)) = A[p
0
) +B[ −p
0
) (7.1)
where [A[
2
+[B[
2
= 1 has deﬁnite energy E(p
0
) = p
2
0
/2m. (That is, [ρ(0)) is an energy eigenstate
with eigenvalue p
2
0
/2m).
b. Show that the “wavefunction” corresponding to [ρ(t)) evolves in time as
ρ(x; t) =
1

2π¯h
[ A e
i(p0x−E(p0)t)/¯ h
+ B e
i(−p0x−E(p0)t)/¯ h
]. (7.2)
I use the term wavefunction in quotes because ρ(x; t) is not ¸x[normal state) but rather a sum of
two terms like ¸x[continuum basis state).
c. Show that the “probability density” [ρ(x; t)[
2
is independent of time and given by
[ρ(x; t)[
2
=
1
2π¯h
[1 + 2 Re¦A

B¦ cos
_
2p
0
x
¯h
_
+ 2 Im¦A

B¦ sin
_
2p
0
x
¯h
_
]. (7.3)
18
19
7.2 A useful integral
Using
_

−∞
du e
−u
2
=

π, show that
_

−∞
du e
−u
2
α
2
/2
e
iuy
=

α
e
−y
2
/2α
2
(7.4)
where α may be complex, but Re¦α
2
¦ > 0. Hint: complete the square by writing

u
2
α
2
2
+iuy = −
_

2
−i
y

_
2

y
2

2
.
Note: If c is a real number independent of x, you know that
lim
x→∞
(x +c) = ∞.
You might think that a diﬀerent limit would result if the additive constant c were complex, but in fact,
that is not the case:
lim
x→∞
(x +ic) = ∞.
It is not unusual for the limit of a sequence of complex numbers to be real.
7.3 A somewhat less useful integral
Given
_

−∞
dx e
−x
2
=

π, show that
_

−∞
dx x
2
e
−x
2
=

π/2. (7.5)
Hint:
_

−∞
dx x
2
e
−x
2
= 2
_

0
dx x
2
e
−x
2
, then integrate by parts.
7.4 Static properties of a Gaussian wavepacket
Consider the wavefunction
ψ(x; 0) =
A

σ
e
−x
2
/2σ
2
e
i(p0/¯ h)x
. (7.6)
a. Show that the wavefunction is properly normalized when A =
1
4

π
.
b. Show that in this state ¸ˆ x) = 0 (trivial), and ∆x =
_
¸(ˆ x −¸ˆ x))
2
) = σ/

2 (easy).
c. Use equation (7.4) to show that
˜
ψ(p; 0) = A
_
σ
¯h
e
−(p−p0)
2
σ
2
/2¯ h
2
. (7.7)
d. Hence show that ¸ˆ p) = p
0
and ∆p = ¯ h/(

2σ).
20 CHAPTER 7. THE FREE PARTICLE
7.5 Force-free motion of a Gaussian wavepacket
A particle with the initial wavefunction given in the previous problem evolves in time to
ψ(x; t) =
1

2π¯h
_

−∞
dp e
i(px−E(p)t)/¯ h
˜
ψ (p; 0). (7.8)
a. Plug in
˜
ψ(p; 0) and change the integration variable to k where ¯hk = p −p
0
in order to show that
ψ(x; t) = A
_
σ

e
i(p0x−E(p0)t)/¯ h
_

−∞
dk e
−k
2

2
+i
¯ ht
m
)/2
e
ik(x−
p
0
m
t)
. (7.9)
Hint: Change variable ﬁrst to p

= p −p
0
, then to k = p

/¯h.
b. Deﬁne the complex dimensionless quantity
β = 1 +i
¯ht

2
(7.10)
and evaluate the integral using equation (7.4), giving
ψ(x; t) = A
1

σβ
e
i(p0x−E(p0)t)/¯ h
e
−(x−
p
0
m
t)
2
/2σ
2
β
. (7.11)
c. Hence show that
[ψ(x; t)[
2
=
A
2
σ[β[
e
−(x−
p
0
m
t)
2
/(σ
2
|β|
2
)
. (7.12)
By comparing [ψ(x; t)[
2
with [ψ(x; 0)[
2
¸x) =
p
0
m
t , ∆x =
σ[β[

2
=
1

2
_
σ
2
+
¯h
2
σ
2
m
2
t
2
_
1
2
. (7.13)
(No computation is required!)
Chapter 8
Potential Problems
8.1 Ground state of the simple harmonic oscillator
You may have been surprised that the lowest possible energy for the simple harmonic oscillator was
E
0
=
1
2
¯hω and not E
0
= 0. This exercise attempts to explain the non-zero ground state energy in
physical (semiclassical) rather than mathematical terms. It then goes on to use these ideas and the
uncertainty principle to guess at a value for the ground state energy. You may abhor such non-rigorous
arguments, but you must be able to do them in order to make informed guesses about the behavior of
systems that are too complicated to yield to rigorous mathematical methods.
In classical mechanics the SHO ground state has zero potential energy (the particle is at the origin) and
zero kinetic energy (it is motionless). However in quantum mechanics if a particle is localized precisely
at the origin, and hence has zero potential energy, then it has a considerable spread of momentum
values and hence a non-zero kinetic energy (or, to be precise, a non-zero expectation value for kinetic
energy). The kinetic energy can be reduced by decreasing the spread of momentum values, but only by
increasing the spread of position values and hence by increasing the (expected value of the) potential
energy. The ground state is the state in which this trade oﬀ between kinetic and potential energies
results in a minimum total energy.
Assume that the spread in position extends over some distance d about the origin (i.e. the particle will
very likely be found between x = −d/2 and x = +d/2). This will result in a potential energy somewhat
less than
1
2

2
(
d
2
)
2
. This argument is not intended to be rigorous, so let’s forget the “somewhat less”
part of the last sentence. Furthermore, a position spread of ∆x = d implies through the uncertainty
principle a momentum spread of ∆p ≥ ¯h/2d. Continuing in our non-rigorous vein, let’s set ∆p = ¯h/2d
and kinetic energy equal to
1
2m
(
∆p
2
)
2
.
Sketch potential energy, kinetic energy and total energy as a function of d. Find the minimum value
of E(d) and compare with the ground state energy E
0
=
1
2
¯hω. (Note that if ¯h were zero, the energy
minimum would be at E(d) = 0!)
21
22 CHAPTER 8. POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
8.2 Ladder operators for the simple harmonic oscillator
a. Express ˆ x and ˆ p in terms of ˆ a and ˆ a

.
b. Calculate the following simple harmonic oscillator matrix elements:
¸m[ˆ a[n) ¸m[ ˆ p[n) ¸m[ˆ xˆ p[n)
¸m[ˆ a

[n) ¸m[ˆ x
2
[n) ¸m[ ˆ pˆ x[n)
¸m[ˆ x[n) ¸m[ ˆ p
2
[n) ¸m[
ˆ
H[n)
c. Show that the expectation value of the potential energy in a SHO energy eigenstate equals the
expectation value of the kinetic energy in that state. (Recall that for a classical simple harmonic
oscillator, the time averaged potential energy equals the time averaged kinetic energy.)
d. Find ∆x, ∆p, and ∆x∆p for the energy eigenstate [n).
8.3 The inﬁnite square well
You are no doubt familiar with the energy eigenproblem for the inﬁnite square well, but a short review
is never-the-less in order. Consider a well of width L, and place the origin at the center of the well.
The mathematical problem is to ﬁnd values E
n
and functions η
n
(x) such that a solution to

¯h
2
2m
d
2
η
n
dx
2
= E
n
η
n
(x) (8.1)
has
η
n
(−
L
2
) = η
n
(
L
2
) = 0. (8.2)
Show that the eigenvalues are
E
n
=
n
2
2m
_
π¯h
L
_
2
n = 1, 2, 3, 4, . . . (8.3)
and the eigenfunctions are
η
n
(x) =
_
_
_
_
2
L
cos(nπx/L) for n = 1, 3, 5, . . .
_
2
L
sin(nπx/L) for n = 2, 4, 6, . . . .
(8.4)
Be sure to explain carefully why negative and zero values of n are not used. Note that η
n
(x) is even
for n odd, odd for n even.
Bonus (research problem): I have a feeling that this problem could be solved by appropriately deﬁned
ladder operators, but I don’t know how to do it. If you have a lot of time to kill, you might try to ﬁnd
such a solution.
23
8.4 Two-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator
The classical energy of a two-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator is
p
2
x
2m
+
p
2
y
2m
+
1
2
k
x
x
2
+
1
2
k
y
y
2
(8.5)
so the quantal Hamiltonian is
ˆ
H =
ˆ p
2
x
2m
+
1
2

2
x
ˆ x
2
+
ˆ p
2
y
2m
+
1
2

2
y
ˆ y
2
=
ˆ
H
x
+
ˆ
H
y
.
Note that any operator with subscript x commutes with any operator with subscript y. Deﬁne appro-
x
, ˆ a

x
, ˆ a
y
, ˆ a

y
and show that a state labeled [n, m) is an energy eigenstate
with energy
E
n,m
= ¯ hω
x
_
n +
1
2
_
+ ¯hω
y
_
m+
1
2
_
n, m = 0, 1, 2, 3, . . . . (8.6)
Show that the isotropic case ω
x
= ω
y
exhibits degeneracy: there are N +1 diﬀerent energy eigenstates
with energy eigenvalue ¯hω(N + 1), N = 0, 1, 2, . . . .
Chapter 9
Perturbation Theory for the Energy
Eigenproblem
9.1 Square well with a bump
An inﬁnite square well of width L (problem 8.3) is perturbed by putting in a bit of potential of height
V and width a in the middle of the well. Find the ﬁrst order energy shifts for all the energy eigenstates,
and the ﬁrst order perturbed wavefunction for the ground state (your result will be an inﬁnite series).
(Note: Many of the required matrix elements will vanish! Before you integrate, ask yourself whether the
integrand is odd.) When a = L the perturbed problem can be solved exactly. Compare the perturbed
energies with the exact energies and the perturbed ground state wavefunction with the exact ground
state wavefunction.
T T
V
24
25
9.2 Anharmonic oscillator
a. Show that for the simple harmonic oscillator,
¸m[ˆ x
3
[n) =
¸
_
¯h
2mω
_
3
[
_
n(n −1)(n −2) δ
m,n−3
+ 3

n
3
δ
m,n−1
(9.1)
+ 3
_
(n + 1)
3
δ
m,n+1
+
_
(n + 1)(n + 2)(n + 3) δ
m,n+3
].
b. Recall that the simple harmonic oscillator is always an approximation. The real problem always
has a potential V (x) =
1
2
kx
2
+ bx
3
+ cx
4
+ . The contributions beyond
1
2
kx
2
are called
“anharmonic terms”. Let us ignore all the anharmonic terms except for bx
3
order the n
th
energy eigenvalue changes by

b
2
¯hω
_
¯h
2mω
_
3
(30n
2
+ 30n + 11). (9.2)
Note that these shifts are not “small” when n is large, in which case it is not appropriate to
truncate the perturbation series at leading order. Explain physically why you don’t expect the
shifts to be small for large n.
9.3 Slightly relativistic simple harmonic oscillator
You know that the concept of potential energy is not applicable in relativistic situations. One conse-
quence of this is that the only fully relativistic quantum theories possible are quantum ﬁeld theories.
However there do exist situations where a particle’s motion is “slightly relativistic” (say, v/c ∼ 0.1) and
where the force responds quickly enough to the particle’s position that the potential energy concept
has approximate validity. For a mass on a spring, this situation hold when the spring’s response time
is much less than the period.
a. Show that a reasonable approximate Hamiltonian for such a “slightly relativistic SHO” is
ˆ
H =
ˆ p
2
2m
+

2
2
ˆ x
2

1
8c
2
m
3
ˆ p
4
. (9.3)
b. Show that
¸m[ ˆ p
4
[0) =
_
m¯hω
2
_
2
(3 δ
m,0
− 6

2 δ
m,2
+ 2

6 δ
m,4
). (9.4)
c. Calculate the leading non-vanishing energy shift of the ground state due to this relativistic per-
turbation.
d. Calculate the leading corrections to the ground state eigenvector [0).
26 CHAPTER 9. PERTURBATION THEORY FOR THE ENERGY EIGENPROBLEM
9.4 Two-state systems
The most general Hamiltonian for a two state system (e.g. spin
1
2
, neutral K meson, ammonia molecule)
is represented by
a
0
I +a
1
σ
1
+a
3
σ
3
(9.5)
where a
0
, a
1
, and a
3
are real numbers and the σ’s are Pauli matrices.
a. Assume a
3
= 0. Solve the energy eigenproblem. (This can be done by inspection.)
b. Now assume a
3
¸a
0
≈ a
1
. Use perturbation theory to ﬁnd the leading order shifts in the energy
eigenvalues and eigenstates.
c. Find the energy eigenvalues exactly and show that they agree with the perturbation theory results
when a
3
¸a
0
≈ a
1
.
9.5 Degenerate perturbation theory in a two-state system
Consider a two state system with a Hamiltonian represented in some basis by
a
0
I +a
1
σ
1
+a
3
σ
3
. (9.6)
We shall call the basis for this representation the “initial basis”. This exercise shows how to use
perturbation theory to solve (approximately) the energy eigenproblem in the case a
0
¸a
1
≈ a
3
.
ˆ
H
(0)
=
_
a
0
0
0 a
0
_
ˆ
H

=
_
a
3
a
1
a
1
−a
3
_
(9.7)
In this case the unperturbed Hamiltonian is degenerate. The initial basis
__
1
0
_
,
_
0
1
__
(9.8)
is a perfectly acceptable energy eigenbasis (both states have energy a
0
), but the basis
_
1

2
_
1
1
_
,
1

2
_
1
−1
__
, (9.9)
for example, is just as good.
a. Show that if the non-degenerate formula E
(1)
n
= ¸n
(0)
[
ˆ
H

[n
(0)
) were applied (or rather, misapplied)
to this problem, then the formula would produce diﬀerent energy shifts depending upon which
basis was used!
Which, if either, are the true energy shifts? The answer comes from equation (19) of the “Derivation
of Perturbation Theory” notes, namely
(En
(0)
−E
(0)
m
) ¸m
(0)
[¯ n
(1)
) = ¸m
(0)
[
ˆ
H

[n
(0)
) whenever m ,= n. (9.10)
27
This equation was derived from the fundamental assumption that [n()) and E
n
() could be expanded
in powers of . If the unperturbed states [n
(0)
) and [m
(0)
) are degenerate, then E
(0)
n
= E
(0)
m
and the
above equation demands that
¸m
(0)
[
ˆ
H[n
(0)
) = 0 whenever m ,= n and E
(0)
n
= E
(0)
m
. (9.11)
If this does not apply, then the fundamental assumption must be wrong.
And this answers the question of which basis to use! Consistency demands the use of a basis in which
the perturbing Hamiltonian is diagonal. (The Hermiticity of
ˆ
H

guarantees that such a basis exists.)
b. Without ﬁnding this diagonalizing basis, ﬁnd the representation of
ˆ
H

in it.
c. Find the representation of
ˆ
H
(0)
in the diagonalizing basis. (Trick question.)
d. What are the energy eigenvalues of the full Hamiltonian
ˆ
H
(0)
+
ˆ
H

? (Not “correct to some order
in perturbation theory,” but the exact eigenvalues!)
e. Still without explicitly producing the diagonalizing basis, show that the states in that basis are
exact energy eigenstates of the full Hamiltonian.
f. (Optional) If you’re ambitious, you may now go ahead and show that the (normalized) diagonal-
izing basis vectors are
1

2
_
a
2
1
+a
2
3
−a
3
_
a
2
1
+a
2
3
_
+a
1
−a
3
+
_
a
2
1
+a
2
3
_
=
_
cos θ
sin θ
_
, (9.12)
1

2
_
a
2
1
+a
2
3
+a
3
_
a
2
1
+a
2
3
_
−a
1
+a
3
+
_
a
2
1
+a
2
3
_
=
_
−sin θ
cos θ
_
, (9.13)
where
tan θ =
a
1
a
3
+
_
a
2
1
+a
2
3
. (9.14)
Coda: Note the reasoning of degenerate perturbation theory: We expand about the basis that diag-
onalizes
ˆ
H

this basis is guaranteed to produce a sensible expansion. As usual in perturbation theory, we have no
guarantee that this expansion makes sense. We do, however, have a guarantee that any other expansion
does not make sense.
Chapter 10
Perturbation Theory for the Time
Development Problem
10.1 On being kicked upstairs
A particle in the ground state of an inﬁnite square well (problem 8.3) is perturbed by a transient eﬀect
described by the Hamiltonian (in coordinate representation)
H

(x; t) = A
0
sin
_
2πx
L
_
δ(t), (10.1)
where A
0
is a constant with the dimensions of action. What is the probability that after this jolt an
energy measurement will ﬁnd the system in the ﬁrst excited state?
10.2 Second-order time-dependent perturbation theory
In lecture we treated, to ﬁrst order in perturbation theory, the problem of a simple harmonic oscillator
in its ground state exposed to a sinusoidal external force (with frequency ω

and amplitude F
0
). We
concluded that the only non-vanishing ﬁrst-order transition amplitudes were c
(1)
0
(t) = 1 and c
(1)
1
(t).
(Here the superscript (1) denotes “ﬁrst-order”.) Show that to second order the non-vanishing transition
amplitudes are:
c
(2)
0
(t) = 1 −
i
¯h
_
t
0
H

01
(t

) e
−iωt

c
(1)
1
(t

)dt

, (10.2)
c
(2)
1
(t) = −
i
¯h
_
t
0
H

10
(t

) e
+iωt

c
(1)
0
(t

)dt

, (10.3)
c
(2)
2
(t) = −
i
¯h
_
t
0
H

21
(t

) e
+iωt

c
(1)
1
(t

)dt

, (10.4)
where
H

01
(t) = H

10
(t) = F
0
_
¯h
2mω
cos(ω

t), (10.5)
28
29
and
H

21
(t) = F
0
_
2¯ h
2mω
cos(ω

t). (10.6)
The integrals for c
(2)
0
(t) and c
(2)
2
(t) are not worth working out, but it is worth noticing that c
(2)
2
(t)
involves a factor of (F
0
)
2
(where F
0
is in some sense “small”), and that c
(2)
1
(t) = c
(1)
1
(t).
Chapter 11
Angular Momentum
11.1 Trivial pursuit
a. Show that if an operator commutes with two components of an angular momentum vector, it
commutes with the third as well.
b. If
ˆ
J
x
and
ˆ
J
z
are represented by matrices with pure real entries (as is conventionally the case, see
problem 11.2), show that
ˆ
J
y
is represented by a matrix with pure imaginary entries.
11.2 Matrix representations in spin-
1
2
If we are interested only in a particle’s angular momentum, and not in its position, momentum, etc.,
then for a spin-
1
2
particle the basis ¦[
1
2
,
1
2
), [
1
2
, −
1
2
)¦ spans the relevant states. These states are usually
denoted simply ¦[ ↑), [ ↓)¦. Recall that the matrix representation of operator
ˆ
A in this basis is
_
¸↑ [
ˆ
A[ ↑) ¸↑ [
ˆ
A[ ↓)
¸↓ [
ˆ
A[ ↑) ¸↓ [
ˆ
A[ ↓)
_
, (11.1)
and recall also that this isn’t always the easiest way to ﬁnd a matrix representation.
a. Find matrix representations in the ¦[ ↑), [ ↓)¦ basis of
ˆ
S
z
,
ˆ
S
+
,
ˆ
S

,
ˆ
S
x
,
ˆ
S
y
, and
ˆ
S
2
/@. Note the
reappearance of the Pauli matrices!
b. Find normalized column matrix representations for the eigenstates of
ˆ
S
x
:
ˆ
S
x
[ →) = +
¯h
2
[ →) (11.2)
ˆ
S
x
[ ←) = −
¯h
2
[ ←). (11.3)
30
31
11.3 Rotations and spin-
1
2
Verify explicitly that
[ →) = e
−i(
ˆ
Sy/¯ h)(+π/2)
[ ↑), (11.4)
[ ←) = e
−i(
ˆ
Sy/¯ h)(−π/2)
[ ↑). (11.5)
(Problems 3.3 and 3.4 are relevant here.)
11.4 Spin-1 projection amplitudes
a. (Easy.) Prove that
d
(j)
m,m
(θ) = [d
(j)
m

,m
(−θ)]

. (11.6)
b. Show that the d
(j)
m,m
(θ) with j = 1 are
d
(1)
1,1
(θ) = +
1
2
(cos θ + 1) d
(1)
1,0
(θ) = −
1

2
sin θ d
(1)
1,−1
(θ) = −
1
2
(cos θ −1)
d
(1)
0,1
(θ) = +
1

2
sin θ d
(1)
0,0
(θ) = cos θ d
(1)
0,−1
(θ) = −
1

2
sin θ
d
(1)
−1,1
(θ) = −
1
2
(cos θ −1) d
(1)
−1,0
(θ) = +
1

2
sin θ d
(1)
−1,−1
(θ) = +
1
2
(cos θ + 1)
Chapter 12
Central Force Motion
12.1 Positronium
The “atom” positronium is a bound state of an electron and a positron. Find the allowed energies for
positronium.
12.2 Operator factorization solution of the Coulomb problem
The bound state energy eigenvalues of the hydrogen atom can be found using the operator factorization
method. In reduced units, the radial wave equation is
_

d
2

2
+
( + 1)
ρ
2

2
ρ
_
u
n,
(ρ) ≡ h

u
n,
(ρ) = c
n,
u
n,
(ρ). (12.1)
Introduce the operators
D
()
±

d

ρ
±
1

(12.2)
and show that
D
(+1)

D
(+1)
+
= −h

1
( + 1)
2
, D
()
+
D
()

= −h

1

2
. (12.3)
From this, conclude that
h
+1
D
(+1)
+
u
n,
(ρ) = c
n,
D
(+1)
+
u
n,
(ρ) (12.4)
whence
D
(+1)
+
u
n,
(ρ) ∝ u
n,+1
(ρ) (12.5)
and c
n,
is independent of .
Argue that for every c
n,
< 0 there is a maximum . (Hint: examine the eﬀective potential for radial
motion.) Call this value
max
, and set n =
max
+ 1 to show that
c
n,
= −
1
n
2
, = 0, . . . , n −1. (12.6)
32
33
12.3 A non-Coulombic central force
The central potential
V (r) = −
k
r
+
c
r
2
(12.7)
is a model (albeit a poor one) for the interaction of the two atoms in a diatomic molecule. (Arnold
Sommerfeld called this the “rotating oscillator” potential: see his Atomic Structure and Spectral Lines,
3rd ed., 1922, appendix 17.) Steven A. Klein (class of 1989) investigated this potential and found that
its energy eigenproblem could be solved exactly.
a. Sketch the potential, assuming that k and c are both positive.
b. Following the notes “Bound State Energy Eigenproblem for Coulombic Potentials”, convert the
radial equation of the energy eigenproblem into
_

d
2

2

2
ρ
+
γ +( + 1)
ρ
2
_
u
n,
(ρ) = c
n,
u
n,
(ρ). (12.8)
where γ = 2cM/¯h
2
and where ρ, c
n,
, and u
n,
(ρ) are to be identiﬁed.
c. Find two values of x such that x(x+1) = γ+(+1). Select whichever one will be most convenient
for later use.
d. Convince yourself that the solution described in the notes does not depend upon being an integer,
and conclude that the energy eigenvalues are
c
n,
=
−1
[n − +
1
2
(−1 +
_
(2 + 1)
2
+ 4γ)]
2
(12.9)
where n = 1, 2, 3, . . . and where for each n, can take on values = 0, 1, 2, . . . , n −1.
e. Verify that this energy spectrum reduces to the Coulomb limit when c = 0.
12.4 The quantum mechanical virial theorem
a. Argue that, in an energy eigenstate [η(t)), the expectation value ¸ˆr ˆ p) does not change with time.
b. Hence conclude that ¸η(t)[ [ˆ r · ˆ p,
ˆ
H] [η(t)) = 0.
c. Show that [ˆr ˆ p, ˆ p
2
] = 2i¯hˆ p
2
, while [ˆr ˆ p, V (ˆr)] = −i¯h ˆr ∇V (ˆr), where V (r) is any scalar function
of the vector r. (Hint: For the second commutator, use an explicit position basis representation.)
d. Suppose the Hamiltonian is
ˆ
H =
1
2m
ˆ p
2
+V (ˆ r) =
ˆ
T +
ˆ
V . (12.10)
Deﬁne the force function F(r) = −∇V(r) and the force operator
ˆ
F = F(ˆr). Conclude that, for
an energy eigenstate,

ˆ
T) = −¸ˆr
ˆ
F). (12.11)
This is the “virial theorem.”
34 CHAPTER 12. CENTRAL FORCE MOTION
e. If V (r) = C/r
n
, show that 2¸
ˆ
T) = −n¸
ˆ
V ),
¸
ˆ
T) =
n
n −2
E, and ¸
ˆ
V ) =
−2
n −2
E, (12.12)
for the energy eigenstate with energy E.
12.5 Research project
Discuss the motion of wavepackets in a Coulombic potential. Does the expectation value of ˆr follow
the classical Kepler ellipse? Is it even restricted to a plane? Does the wavepacket spread out in time
(as with the force-free particle) or remain compact (as with the simple harmonic oscillator)?
Chapter 13
Identical Particles
13.1 The meaning of two-particle wavefunctions
a. The wavefunction ψ(x
A
, x
B
) describes two non-identical particles in one dimension. Does
_

−∞
dx
A
_

−∞
dx
B
[ψ(x
A
, x
B
)[
2
(13.1)
equal one or two? Write integral expressions for:
i. The probability of ﬁnding particle A between x
1
and x
2
and particle B between x
3
and x
4
.
ii. The probability of ﬁnding particle A between x
1
and x
2
, regardless of where particle B is.
b. The wavefunction ψ(x
A
, x
B
) describes two identical particles in one dimension. Does
_

−∞
dx
A
_

−∞
dx
B
[ψ(x
A
, x
B
)[
2
(13.2)
equal one or two? Assuming that x
1
< x
2
< x
3
< x
4
, write integral expressions for:
i. The probability of ﬁnding one particle between x
1
and x
2
and the other between x
3
and x
4
.
ii. The probability of ﬁnding a particle between x
1
and x
2
.
c. Look up the deﬁnition of “conﬁguration space” in a classical mechanics book. Does the wavefunc-
tion inhabit conﬁguration space or conventional three-dimensional position space? For discussion:
Does your answer have any bearing upon the question of whether the wavefunction is “physically
real” or a “mathematical convenience”? Does it aﬀect your thoughts concerning measurement
and the “collapse of the wavepacket”?
35
36 CHAPTER 13. IDENTICAL PARTICLES
13.2 Symmetric and close together, antisymmetric and far apart
In lecture I argued that symmetric wavefunctions describe particles that huddle together while anti-
symmetric wavefunctions describe particles that avoid one another.
a. Illustrate this principle as follows: Construct symmetric and antisymmetric two-particle wave-
functions out of the single-particle wavefunctions
η
1
(x) =
_
2
L
cos(π
x
L
) and η
2
(x) =
_
2
L
sin(2π
x
L
), −
L
2
≤ x ≤
L
2
, (13.3)
which are the ﬁrst and second energy eigenfunctions for the inﬁnite square well of width L. For
each (anti)symmetrized function make a plot of x
A
and x
B
and shade in regions of high probability
density.
b. Prove that if the two wavefunctions ψ(x) and φ(x) are orthogonal, then the expectation value of
(x
A
−x
B
)
2
for the antisymmetric combination of the two wavefunctions is greater than or equal
to that for the symmetric combination.
13.3 Symmetrization and antisymmetrization (mathematical)
a. Show that any two-variable function can be written as the sum of a symmetric function and an
antisymmetric function.
b. Show that this is not true for functions of three variables. [Hint: Try the counterexample
f(x, y, z) = g(x).]
c. There is a function of three variables that is:
i. Antisymmetric under interchange of the ﬁrst and second variables: f(x, y, z) = −f(y, x, z).
ii. Symmetric under interchange of the second and third variables: f(x, y, z) = f(x, z, y).
iii. Symmetric under interchange of the ﬁrst and third variables: f(x, y, z) = f(z, y, x).
Find this function and show that it is unique.
Chapter 14
Conclusion
14.1 Critique
Write a critique of this course’s textbook, namely Winter’s Quantum Physics. Compare the approach
to quantum mechanics presented in this text with the approach used in lecture or by some other book
(perhaps the text you used in Physics 112: Modern Physics). Be speciﬁc: cite speciﬁc topics or even
speciﬁc equations to support your points. You may treat any aspect of the book: problems, pedagogy,
philosophy, choice of topics, even phraseology; but you must justify your opinions. Critiques that say
merely “I (dis)liked it” (regardless of the number of words used) will receive appropriate credit.
(This question is designed to encourage you to think of physics not as a set of questions with deﬁnite
answers, but as a subject with room for words as well as numbers, general ideas as well as simple
harmonic oscillators, and, above all, as a subject that you can have opinions about.)
37

Contents
1 Stern-Gerlach Analyzers 2 Photon Polarization 3 Matrix Mathematics 4 The Density Matrix 5 Neutral K Mesons 6 Continuum Systems 7 The Free Particle 8 Potential Problems 9 Perturbation Theory for the Energy Eigenproblem 10 Perturbation Theory for the Time Development Problem 11 Angular Momentum 12 Central Force Motion 13 Identical Particles 14 Conclusion 1 5 9 12 13 15 18 21 24 28 30 32 35 37

i

Chapter 1

Stern-Gerlach Analyzers
1.1 Projection probabilities Consider the following combination of Stern-Gerlach analyzers.
φ

(The dashed line with an arrowhead points in the positive z direction.) Atoms leaving the rightmost + port are in state |φ+ , atoms leaving the rightmost − port are in state |φ− . Show that the projection probability from |z− to |φ+ is sin2 (φ/2).

1

Use your numerical results to show that this expectation is wrong.2 CHAPTER 1. β α γ |z+> . and |x− . |x+ . Denote the projection probability from |A to |B by P P (|A . Find the projection probabilities from states |30◦ + and |30◦ − to |x− . |30◦ − . |x− ). |30◦ + ) P P (|30◦ + . then it seems reasonable that P P (|z+ . If we use the phrase “the probability that a system in state |A is in state |B ” for the more precise phrase “the projection probability from |A to |B ”. . |B ).3 Quantum mechanics is not statistical mechanics Find the projection probabilities from state |z+ to states |30◦ + .2 Multiple analyzers An atom of state |z+ is shot into the following line of three Stern-Gerlach analyzers. |x− ) + P P (|z+ . |30◦ − ) P P (|30◦ − .or - What is the probability that it emerges from the + output of analyzer C? From the − output? Why don’t these probabilities sum to one? 1. |x− ) = P P (|z+ . STERN-GERLACH ANALYZERS 1.

To back up his claim. Branch b is closed? c. Branch a is closed? . |B . he has constructed the following “Stern-Gerlach-van Dam” analyzer out of a z Stern-Gerlach analyzer and an x Stern-Gerlach analyzer. Gerlanch. not two. |C } is complete. van Dam claims that a silver atom has three. A B C (The output of the x analyzer is piped to output holes A and B using atomic pipes that do not aﬀect the magnetic dipole state. and van Dam. but that |B is not orthogonal to |C . Stern.) Show that the set of exit states {|A .3 1. The output atoms are then fed into a z Stern-Gerlach analyzer.4 What is a basis state? Mr. What is the probability of the atom leaving the + channel of the last analyzer when: a. Branches a and b are both open? b.5 Analyzer loop θ a ? |z+> b Atoms in state |z+ are injected into an analyzer loop tilted an angle θ to the z direction. basic magnetic dipole states. Inc. 1.

ψ+ = z + |ψ . 2a and 3b g. ψ− = z − |ψ ).) you get more output from increased blockage. show that there is an axis upon which the projection of µ has a deﬁnite. . 1b and 3b h.7 Representations Suppose that the representation of |ψ in the {|z+ .) to part (i. and ﬁnd the angle between that axis and the z axis in terms of ψ+ and ψ− ..) a. STERN-GERLACH ANALYZERS 1. 1b b.) 1. 1b and 3a i. 100% of the incoming atoms exit from the output. 1b and 3a and 2a (Note that in going from part (h. positive value. If ψ+ and ψ− are both real. |z− } basis is ψ+ ψ− (i. 3b d. If all branches are open.4 CHAPTER 1. 3a c. 2a e.6 Three analyzer loops Atoms in state |z+ are passed through three analyzer loops as shown. What percent of the incoming atoms leave from the output if the following branches are closed? (The atoms are not observed as they pass through the analyzer loops.e. 2b f.

5 .1 . In quantum electrodynamics. This view is completely incorrect. which has two basis states. This chapter develops the quantum mechanics of photon polarization much as the lectures developed the quantum mechanics of spin. in fact. 2 One cautionary note: There is always a tendency to view the photon as a little bundle of electric and magnetic ﬁelds.Chapter 2 Photon Polarization In lecture I have developed the principles of quantum mechanics using a particular system. I did not use this system mainly because photons are less familiar than atoms.1 ” system). the electric ﬁeld is a classical macroscopic quantity that takes on meaning only when a large number of photons are present. Another system with 2 two basis states is polarized light. a “wave packet” made up of these familiar vectors. the magnetic moment of a silver atom (a so-called “spin.

6 2. where the arrow shows the polarizing axis). 90◦ . the beam is reduced in intensity and emerges with an electric ﬁeld undulating parallel to the sheet’s polarizing axis (a “θ-polarized beam”). the electric ﬁeld vector undulates but points only parallel or antiparallel to the polarizing axis. . i. 180◦ or 270◦ . PHOTON POLARIZATION θ unpolarized light x-polarized light θ-polarized light When a beam of unpolarized light passes through a sheet of perfect polarizing material (called “Polaroid” and represented by the symbol . the emerging beam is of lower intensity and it is “polarized”.1 Classical description of polarized light CHAPTER 2. Show that if the incoming x-polarized beam has intensity I0 . When a beam of vertically polarized light (an “x-polarized beam”) is passed through a sheet of ideal Polaroid with polarizing axis oriented at an angle θ to the vertical. then the outgoing θpolarized beam has intensity I0 cos2 θ. Show that this expression gives the proper results when θ is 0◦ . Polaroid sheet performs these feats by absorbing any component of electric ﬁeld perpendicular to its polarizing axis.e.

We ignore the ﬁrst two quantities. 2. Show that the results of these experiments.2 Quantal description of polarized light: Analyzers In quantum mechanics. An analyzer can be constructed out of any material that exhibits double refraction.7 2. x-polarized E      E   d d  d calcite analyzer y-polarized E d d  d        reversed calcite analyzer E Invent a series of experiments that demonstrates quantum interference. |θ + 90◦ } constitute a basis. it absorbs one of the beams that we would like an analyzer to emit. It is conventional to use a simple calcite crystal: x-polarized beam arbitary input beam y-polarized beam calcite analyzer θ θ-polarized beam (θ+90)-polarized beam What are the projection probabilities | x|θ |2 . and the results of problem 2.3 Interference As usual. then either it is absorbed (with probability sin2 θ) or else it is changed into a |θ photon (with probability cos2 θ). a photon state is described by three quantities: 1) energy. two analyzers (one inserted backwards) make up an analyzer loop. when an |x photon encounters a polarizing sheet oriented at an angle θ to the vertical. In the quantum description. etc. 3) polarization. 2) direction of motion. There is an inﬁnite number of possible polarization states: the photons in an x-polarized beam are all in the |x state. the photons in a θpolarized beam (0◦ ≤ θ < 180◦ ) are all in the |θ state. (2.1) . are consistent with the amplitudes x|θ y|θ = cos θ = sin θ x|θ + 90◦ y|θ + 90◦ = − sin θ = cos θ.2. | x|θ + 90◦ |2 ? Show that the states {|θ . A polarizing sheet is thus not an analyzer: instead of splitting the incident beam into two (or more) beams.

4 Circular polarization Just as it is possible to analyze any light beam into x.and left-circularly polarized beams. or θ.8 CHAPTER 2.3) Show that no real valued projection amplitudes can satisfy both relations (2.and left-circularly polarized beams are made up of photons in the |R and |L states. so it is possible to analyze and beam into right.4) R|θ = e−iθ / 2 R|x = 1/ 2 are satisfactory! . linearly polarized light E E RL analyzer right-circularly polarized light left-circularly polarized light E Quantum mechanics maintains that right.2) | L| p | = 1/ 2 where | p is any linearly polarized state. but that the complex values √ √ L|θ = eiθ / 2 L|x = 1/ 2 √ √ (2.and left-circularly polarized light when so analyzed. By building an RL analyzer loop you can convince yourself that θ|R R|x + θ|L L|x = θ|x = cos θ.2) and (2. The projection amplitudes thus have magnitudes √ | R| p | = 1/ 2 √ (2. (2.3). You might remember from classical optics that any linearly polarized beam splits half-and-half into right.and θ + 90◦ polarized beams. PHOTON POLARIZATION 2.and y-polarized beams. respectively.

 = x∗ y1 + x∗ y2 + .  ∗ x1 yN ∗  x2 yN  . However. . ∗ xN y2 .Chapter 3 Matrix Mathematics 3..2 The outer product Any two complex N -tuples can be multiplied to form an N × N matrix as follows: (The star represents complex conjugation.. . . . .) x = (x1 x2 . show that tr(ABC) does not generally equal tr(CBA) by constructing a counterexample. yN Write a formula for the i.   ∗ xN yN This so-called “outer product” is quite diﬀerent from the familiar “dot product” or “inner product”   y1    y2  x · y = (x∗ x∗ . j component of x ⊗ y and use it to show that tr(y ⊗ x) = x · y. . .  . yN )  ∗ x1 y1   ∗  x2 y1  ∗ ∗ ∗  (y1 y2 .) 3. and hence that tr(ABCD) = tr(DABC) = tr(CDAB). (the socalled “cyclic invariance” of the trace). . .. + x∗ yN .. . 9 . etc. . 1 2 N  1 2 N   . . (Assume all matrices to be square. . xN ∗ x1 y2 ∗ x2 y2 . . xN ) y = (y1 y2 .1 The trace For any N × N matrix A (with components aij ) the trace of A is deﬁned by N tr(A) = i=1 aii Show that tr(AB) = tr(BA). x∗ )  . . . yN ) =      ∗ xN y1     x⊗y =   x1 x2 ...

the indices go in the order 1 3 2 and diﬀer only by starting at diﬀerent points in the “merry-go-round. (c1 σ1 + c2 σ2 + c3 σ3 )2 = (c2 + c2 + c2 )I. Show that 2 2 2 i. c2 . σ3 = 1 0 0 −1 . σ1 .” c. σ1 = σ2 = σ3 = I 2 = I a11 a21 a12 a22 ii. σ2 .10 3. σi σj = −σj σi iii. where I= 1 0 0 1 . b.3 Pauli matrices Three important matrices are the Pauli matrices: σ1 = 0 1 1 0 . σ2 = CHAPTER 3. c3 . constitute a basis for the set of 2 × 2 matrices. Show that the four matrices {I. Produce formulas for the zi in terms of the aij . 1 2 3 . σ1 σ2 = iσ3 σ2 σ3 = iσ1 σ3 σ1 = iσ2 for i = j (a) (b) (c) Note: Equations (b) and (c) are called “cyclic permutations” of equation (a). MATRIX MATHEMATICS 0 −i i 0 . by showing that any matrix A= can be written as A = z0 I + z1 σ 1 + z2 σ 2 + z3 σ 3 . σ3 }. because in each equation. a. Show that for any complex numbers c1 .

You know that if an operator is Hermitian then all of its eigenvalues are real. Find the eigenvalues and corresponding (normalized) eigenvectors for all three Pauli matrices. C] = A[B. [C. B] + c[A. 2 (Hint: Look up the series expansions of sinh and cosh. C] ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ [aA + bB. c.5 Hermitian operators ˆ ˆ ˆ a.7 Commutator algebra Prove that ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ [A. Show that any operator of the form ˆ A = ca |a a| + cb |b b| + · · · + cz |z z|. C] ˆ ˆˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ [A. 3 Mn . 2. then A is Hermitian. B C] = B[A. b. Show that the converse is false by producing a counterexample. B]C ˆˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ [AB. C] = a[A.) b. C] + [A.11 3. where the cn are real constants. [A. [B. C]] + [C. Deﬁne exponentiation of matrices via eM = Show that eσi = cosh(1)I + sinh(1)σi and that for i = 1. Prove that eσ1 eσ3 = e(σ1 +σ3 ) . is Hermitian. A]] = 0 (the “Jacobi identity”). 3. bB + cC] = b[A. C] + [A. C]B ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ [A.6 Unitary operators Show that all the eigenvalues of a unitary operator have square modulus unity. C] + b[B. B]] + [B.) c. n! n=0 ∞ √ √ 1 e(σ1 +σ3 ) = cosh( 2)I + √ sinh( 2)(σ1 + σ3 ). . Aa) is real for all vectors a. Show that if A is a linear operator and (a. (Hint: Employ the hypothesis with a = b + c and a = b + ic. (Hint: Try a 2 × 2 upper triangular matrix.4 More on Pauli matrices a. 3.) 3.

If the system could be in any of the states |a . (not necessarily a basis set). due to the way the world works). . due to our ignorance) and second. |b . Deﬁne the operator ρ = |ψ ψ|. ρˆ 4.1 Deﬁnition Consider a system in quantum state |ψ . . .) In this case there are two diﬀerent sources of measurement uncertainty: ﬁrst. even if we did know. .Chapter 4 The Density Matrix 4. ˆ called the density matrix . but there is no way to know which state any given atom is in. silver atoms coming out of an oven are in states of deﬁnite µ projection. The density matrix formalism neatly handles both kinds of uncertainty at once. . . Show that the expectation value of the observable associated with A is still given by tr{ˆA}. we don’t know what state they system is in (statistical uncertainty. ρˆ 4. |i . we couldn’t predict the result of every measurement (quantum uncertainty. (For example. then the density matrix ρ= ˆ i pi |i i|| ˆ is associated with the system.3 A one-line proof (if you see the right way to do it) Show that tr{ˆ} = 1. and if it has probability pi of being in state |i . and show that the expectation value of the observable associated with ˆ operator A in |ψ is tr{ˆA}. ρ 12 .2 Statistical mechanics Frequently physicists don’t know exactly which quantum state their system is in. .

This two-state system has an observable strangeness. For example. Most elementary particles are completely distinct from their antiparticles: an electron never turns into a positron! Such a change is prohibited by charge conservation.2 Charge Parity Deﬁne an operator CP that turns one strangeness eigenstate into the other: ¯ CP |K 0 = |K 0 . The two strangeness eigenstates are denoted |K 0 ¯0 . When the system is in other states it does not have a deﬁnite value of ¯ strangeness. (CP stands for “charge parity”. ¯ CP |K 0 = |K 0 . Physicists have invented characteristics such as “strangeness” and “charm” to label (not explain!) these diﬀerences. there is a time-dependent amplitude for a K 0 ¯ ¯ to turn into a K 0 . |K 0 } basis) for the CP operator.Chapter 5 Neutral K Mesons You know that elementary particles are characterized by their mass and charge. We say that the K 0 and the K 0 are the two basis states for a two-state system. Note that this matrix is just the Pauli matrix σ3 . |K 5.) Write an outer product expression ¯ and a matrix representation (in the {|K 0 . but that two particles of identical mass and charge can still behave diﬀerently. and |K 5. However this prohibition does not extend to the neutral K meson precisely because it is neutral. in the {|K . the diﬀerence between ¯ the electrically neutral K meson K 0 and its antiparticle the K 0 is described by attributing a strangeness of 0 0 ¯ +1 to the K and of −1 to the K . What is the connection 13 . and ﬁnd its matrix representation 0 ¯ 0 } basis. although that’s not important here. represented by an operator. and we have a K 0 when the ¯ system is in an eigenstate of strangeness with eigenvalue +1. In fact. and a K 0 when the system is in an eigenstate of strangeness with eigenvalue −1. and cannot be said to be “a K 0 ” or “a K 0 ”.1 Strangeness ˆ Write an outer product expression for the strangeness operator S.

but that’s again irrelevant because we’ll ignore K meson decay. 2 1 ¯ √ (|K 0 − |K 0 ). and Baym. Das & Melissinos.4 Time evolution Neutral K mesons are produced in states of deﬁnite strangeness because they are produced by the “strong interaction” Hamiltonian that conserves strangeness.) Show that the numbers e and f must be real. |K 0 vectors? Calculate and plot the 0 probability of ﬁnding the meson in state |K as a function of time. Why is it easier o ¯ to solve this problem using |KU . Suppose one is produced at time t = 0 in state |K 0 .14 CHAPTER 5. |KS vectors rather than |K 0 . (The neutral K meson system is extraordinarily interesting.3 The Hamiltonian The time evolution of a neutral K meson is governed by the “weak interaction” Hamiltonian ˆ H = eˆ + f CP . 1 (There is no way for you to derive this. NEUTRAL K MESONS between this matrix and the Pauli matrices? Show that the normalized eigenstates of CP are |KU |KS = = 1 ¯ √ (|K 0 + |K 0 ).) . Feynman. 5.) 5. More complete treatments can be found in Lipkin. 2 (The U and S stand for unstable and stable. I’m just telling you. I have oversimpliﬁed by ignoring decay. Solve the Schr¨dinger equation to ﬁnd its state for all time afterwards.

4) dx |x x|. Show that the operator ˆ A= −∞ ∞ dp |p p| (6.1 The states {|p } constitute a continuum basis In lecture we showed that the inner product x|p must have the form h x|p = C ei(p/¯ )x (6.Chapter 6 Continuum Systems 6. Using the conventional choice C = 1/ 2π¯ . The expression (6. Indeed.3) (6. this is one of the most useful equations to be found anywhere! √ b.1) where C may be chosen for convenience.2) is equal to 2π¯ |C|2 ˆ h 1 by evaluating ˆ φ|A|ψ = φ|ˆAˆ 1 ˆ1|ψ for arbitrary states |ψ and |φ . a. the second ˆ equal 1 dk eikx −∞ (6.5) (see Winter eqn. Hints: Set the ﬁrst ˆ equal to 1 ∞ to −∞ dx |x x |.5) is again helpful. The identity δ(x) = 1 2π ∞ ∞ −∞ (6.6) 15 . (3. show that h p|p = δ(p − p ).2-7) p. (6. 107) for the Dirac delta function is useful here.

2 Peculiarities of continuum basis states Recall that the elements of a continuum basis set are peculiar in that they possess dimensions. dt ∂t (6. 6.7) Show that the states |x and |p cannot obey this normalization. ˆ (6.9) ∂ψ(x.12) To investigate the right hand side of equation (6. t).13) (6. −∞ (6.14) . CONTINUUM SYSTEMS 6. t) h ¯ 2 ∂ 2 ψ(x. t) = p|ψ(t) .11) ∂t 2m ∂x2 In this problem you will uncover the corresponding equation that governs the time development of i¯ h ˜ ψ(p. Hints: First x ˆ h x ˆ h evaluate x|ˆx|ψ and x|ˆp|ψ .9) write 1 2 ˆ ˆ H= p +V ˆ 2m ˆ where p is the momentum operator and V the potential energy operator. 6. That is not their only peculiarity. the wavefunction ψ(x) = x|ψ satisﬁes ∞ dx ψ ∗ (x)ψ(x) = 1. The left hand side of equation (6.8) Integrate by parts.4 Commutator of x and p ˆ ˆ Show that [ˆ. For any ordinary state |ψ .16 CHAPTER 6. It helps to deﬁne |χ = x|ψ . (6. pˆ xˆ ˆ 6. p]|ψ = i¯ φ|ψ for arbitrary |φ and |ψ .9) is no problem because p|i¯ h ˜ d ∂ ψ(p.10) d|ψ(t) ˆ = H |ψ(t) dt (6. t) |ψ(t) = i¯ h . (6.3 Hermiticity of the momentum operator Show that the momentum operator is Hermitian over the space of states |ψ that have wavefunction ψ(x) which vanish at x = ±∞. p] = i¯ by showing that φ|[ˆ.5 Momentum representation of the Schr¨dinger equation o You know that the Schr¨dinger equation o i¯ h has the position representation i¯ h or ∂ x|ψ(t) ˆ = x|H|ψ(t) ∂t (6. t) =− + V (x) ψ(x. Hint: ∞ φ|ˆ|ψ = p −∞ dx φ∗ (x) −i¯ h dψ(x) dx .

t) + p|V |ψ(t) . Put everything together to see that ψ(p. ˜ Note that V (p) has funny dimensions. t) + √ ∂t 2m 2π¯ h ∞ ˜ ˜ dp V (p − p ) ψ(p . Show that ˆ p|V |ψ(t) = √ 1 2π¯ h ∞ h dx e−i(p/¯ )x V (x)ψ(x. t) −∞ p2 ˜ ˆ ψ(p.18) and (6. d. t) p2 ˜ 1 = ψ(p. t) obeys the integro-diﬀerential equation i¯ h ˜ ∂ ψ(p. b.20) ˜ dp x|p V (p).15) (6.19) (6. t).16) by inserting the proper form of ˆ at the proper location. Deﬁne the (modiﬁed) Fourier transform V (p) of V (x) by ˜ V (p) = = −∞ √ 1 2π¯ h ∞ ∞ h dx e−i(p/¯ )x V (x) −∞ (6.18) dx p|x V (x). 1 ˜ c. You may use either forms (6.19) in which case the proof employs equation (6.22) This form of the Schr¨dinger equation is particularly useful in the study of superconductivity.17) (6. 2m (6. −∞ (6.17 a. Hence show that ˆ p|V |ψ(t) = √ 1 2π¯ h ∞ ˜ ˜ dp V (p − p ) ψ(p . o .21) (Caution! Your intermediate expressions will probably involve three distinct variables that you’ll want to call “p”. Show that V (x) = = −∞ √ 1 2π¯ h ∞ ∞ h ˜ dp ei(p/¯ )x V (p) −∞ (6.20) in which case the proof involves completeness and orthogonality of basis states. or forms (6.5). t). Use the Hermiticity of p to show that ˆ ˆ p|H|ψ(t) = ˆ Now we must investigate p|V |ψ(t) .17) and (6. −∞ (6. Put primes on two of them!) ˜ e.

Show that the “wavefunction” corresponding to |ρ(t) evolves in time as ρ(x. t) is not x|normal state but rather a sum of two terms like x|continuum basis state .1) where |A|2 + |B|2 = 1 has deﬁnite energy E(p0 ) = p2 /2m.1 Energy eigenstates In lecture we examined the behavior of a free particle in a state of deﬁnite momentum. (That is.3) 18 . Show that the state |ρ(0) = A|p0 + B| − p0 (7. t)|2 is independent of time and given by |ρ(x.Chapter 7 The Free Particle 7. t) = √ 1 h h [ A ei(p0 x−E(p0 )t)/¯ + B ei(−p0 x−E(p0 )t)/¯ ]. a. c. Such states have a deﬁnite energy. but they are not the only possible states of deﬁnite energy. 0 b. 2π¯ h (7. |ρ(0) is an energy eigenstate 0 with eigenvalue p2 /2m). t)|2 = 1 [1 + 2 Re{A∗ B} cos 2π¯ h 2p0 x h ¯ + 2 Im{A∗ B} sin 2p0 x ]. Show that the “probability density” |ρ(x.2) I use the term wavefunction in quotes because ρ(x. h ¯ (7.

You might think that a diﬀerent limit would result if the additive constant c were complex.7) . 4 π (7. show that ∞ −∞ √ du e −u2 α2 /2 e iuy = 2π −y2 /2α2 e α (7. 0) = √ e−x /2σ ei(p0 /¯ )x . but in fact.4) where α may be complex. but Re{α2 } > 0. and ∆x = ˆ c. x→∞ It is not unusual for the limit of a sequence of complex numbers to be real. then integrate by parts. Hence show that p = p0 and ∆p = h/( 2σ).19 7. 7.5) dx x2 e−x = 2 2 ∞ 0 dx x2 e−x .4) to show that ˜ ψ(p. x ˆ 1 √ . Show that the wavefunction is properly normalized when A = b.2 A useful integral √ 2 ∞ Using −∞ du e−u = π. 0) = A √ d. you know that x→∞ lim (x + c) = ∞. show that ∞ −∞ dx x2 e−x = Hint: ∞ −∞ 2 √ π/2.4 Static properties of a Gaussian wavepacket Consider the wavefunction 2 2 A h ψ(x. Hint: complete the square by writing − u2 α 2 + iuy = − 2 uα y √ − i√ 2α 2 2 − y2 . 2α2 Note: If c is a real number independent of x. Use equation (7. 2 7. Show that in this state x = 0 (trivial). h ¯ √ (ˆ − x )2 = σ/ 2 (easy). ˆ ¯ σ −(p−p0 )2 σ2 /2¯ 2 h e . that is not the case: lim (x + ic) = ∞.6) (7. σ a. (7.3 A somewhat less useful integral √ 2 ∞ Given −∞ dx e−x = π.

11) c. −∞ (7. (7. t) = √ 1 2π¯ h ∞ h ˜ dp ei(px−E(p)t)/¯ ψ (p. then to k = p /¯ .10) and evaluate the integral using equation (7. read oﬀ the results p0 x = t.4). t)|2 = A2 −(x− p0 t)2 /(σ2 |β|2 ) m e .9) Hint: Change variable ﬁrst to p = p − p0 . σβ (7. Hence show that |ψ(x.20 CHAPTER 7. t) = A √ ei(p0 x−E(p0 )t)/¯ e−(x− m t) /2σ β . THE FREE PARTICLE 7. giving p0 2 2 1 h ψ(x. t)|2 with |ψ(x. m (No computation is required!) σ|β| 1 ∆x = √ = √ 2 2 h ¯2 σ + 2 2 t2 σ m 2 1 2 . 0)|2 . 0). 0) and change the integration variable to k where ¯ k = p − p0 in order to show that h ψ(x. Plug in ψ(p.12) By comparing |ψ(x.5 Force-free motion of a Gaussian wavepacket A particle with the initial wavefunction given in the previous problem evolves in time to ψ(x.8) ˜ a. Deﬁne the complex dimensionless quantity β =1+i ¯t h mσ 2 (7.13) . σ|β| (7. p0 (7. h b. t) = A σ i(p0 x−E(p0 )t)/¯ h e 2π ∞ dk e−k −∞ 2 ¯ (σ 2 +i ht )/2 m eik(x− m t) .

Sketch potential energy. let’s set ∆p = ¯ /2d h h 1 ∆p 2 and kinetic energy equal to 2m ( 2 ) . (Note that if ¯ were zero.1 Ground state of the simple harmonic oscillator You may have been surprised that the lowest possible energy for the simple harmonic oscillator was E0 = 1 ¯ ω and not E0 = 0. so let’s forget the “somewhat less” 2 2 part of the last sentence. Furthermore. and hence has zero potential energy. You may abhor such non-rigorous arguments. Find the minimum value 1 of E(d) and compare with the ground state energy E0 = 2 ¯ ω. a position spread of ∆x = d implies through the uncertainty principle a momentum spread of ∆p ≥ ¯ /2d. The kinetic energy can be reduced by decreasing the spread of momentum values. It then goes on to use these ideas and the uncertainty principle to guess at a value for the ground state energy. This will result in a potential energy somewhat less than 1 mω 2 ( d )2 . then it has a considerable spread of momentum values and hence a non-zero kinetic energy (or. Continuing in our non-rigorous vein. This exercise attempts to explain the non-zero ground state energy in 2h physical (semiclassical) rather than mathematical terms. In classical mechanics the SHO ground state has zero potential energy (the particle is at the origin) and zero kinetic energy (it is motionless). a non-zero expectation value for kinetic energy). The ground state is the state in which this trade oﬀ between kinetic and potential energies results in a minimum total energy. but you must be able to do them in order to make informed guesses about the behavior of systems that are too complicated to yield to rigorous mathematical methods.Chapter 8 Potential Problems 8. Assume that the spread in position extends over some distance d about the origin (i. This argument is not intended to be rigorous. to be precise. but only by increasing the spread of position values and hence by increasing the (expected value of the) potential energy.e. kinetic energy and total energy as a function of d. However in quantum mechanics if a particle is localized precisely at the origin. the energy h h minimum would be at E(d) = 0!) 21 . the particle will very likely be found between x = −d/2 and x = +d/2).

(8. Bonus (research problem): I have a feeling that this problem could be solved by appropriately deﬁned ladder operators. the time averaged potential energy equals the time averaged kinetic energy. . 4. . The mathematical problem is to ﬁnd values En and functions ηn (x) such that a solution to − has ηn (− L ) = ηn ( L ) = 0. . ∆p.2 Ladder operators for the simple harmonic oscillator a. and place the origin at the center of the well. . 8.4) Be sure to explain carefully why negative and zero values of n are not used. 3. . Calculate the following simple harmonic oscillator matrix elements: m|ˆ|n a m|ˆ† |n a m|ˆ|n x m|ˆ|n p m|ˆ2 |n x m|ˆ2 |n p m|ˆp|n xˆ m|ˆx|n pˆ ˆ m|H|n c.1) (8.3) cos(nπx/L) sin(nπx/L) for n = 1. . (Recall that for a classical simple harmonic oscillator. . but I don’t know how to do it. POTENTIAL PROBLEMS 8.3 The inﬁnite square well You are no doubt familiar with the energy eigenproblem for the inﬁnite square well. .2) n2 2m π¯ h L 2 n = 1.22 CHAPTER 8. (8. 3. . 6. ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ b. 5. If you have a lot of time to kill. 2 2 Show that the eigenvalues are En = and the eigenfunctions are ηn (x) =    2 L 2 L h ¯ 2 d2 ηn = En ηn (x) 2m dx2 (8. you might try to ﬁnd such a solution. 2. 4. Express x and p in terms of a and a† . odd for n even. Note that ηn (x) is even for n odd. and ∆x∆p for the energy eigenstate |n . . but a short review is never-the-less in order. .) d. Consider a well of width L. for n = 2. Show that the expectation value of the potential energy in a SHO energy eigenstate equals the expectation value of the kinetic energy in that state. Find ∆x.

23 8. N = 0. Deﬁne appropriate ladder operators ax . Note that any operator with subscript x commutes with any operator with subscript y. .m = hωx n + ¯ + ¯ ωy m + h n. m is an energy eigenstate ˆ ˆx ˆ ˆy with energy 1 1 En. . 3. h .5) + + p2 ˆy 2m 2 + 1 mωy y 2 ˆ 2 ˆ Hy . . a† and show that a state labeled |n. a† . 2. 1. .6) 2 2 Show that the isotropic case ωx = ωy exhibits degeneracy: there are N + 1 diﬀerent energy eigenstates with energy eigenvalue ¯ ω(N + 1). . (8. .4 Two-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator The classical energy of a two-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator is p2 1 1 p2 y x + + kx x2 + ky y 2 2m 2m 2 2 so the quantal Hamiltonian is ˆ H = = p2 ˆx 2m 2 + 1 mωx x2 ˆ 2 ˆ Hx (8. . ay . 1. 2. m = 0. .

Compare the perturbed energies with the exact energies and the perturbed ground state wavefunction with the exact ground state wavefunction. T T V 24 .Chapter 9 Perturbation Theory for the Energy Eigenproblem 9.3) is perturbed by putting in a bit of potential of height V and width a in the middle of the well. (Note: Many of the required matrix elements will vanish! Before you integrate.) When a = L the perturbed problem can be solved exactly. ask yourself whether the integrand is odd. Find the ﬁrst order energy shifts for all the energy eigenstates.1 Square well with a bump An inﬁnite square well of width L (problem 8. and the ﬁrst order perturbed wavefunction for the ground state (your result will be an inﬁnite series).

m|ˆ3 |n = x h ¯ 2mω 3 [ n(n − 1)(n − 2) δm. v/c ∼ 0. in which case it is not appropriate to truncate the perturbation series at leading order. Show that m|ˆ4 |0 = p m¯ ω h 2 2 (9. Explain physically why you don’t expect the shifts to be small for large n.4 ). The real problem always has a potential V (x) = 1 kx2 + bx3 + cx4 + · · ·. Calculate the leading non-vanishing energy shift of the ground state due to this relativistic perturbation. One consequence of this is that the only fully relativistic quantum theories possible are quantum ﬁeld theories. Recall that the simple harmonic oscillator is always an approximation.2 Anharmonic oscillator a. Show that to leading order the nth energy eigenvalue changes by − b2 h ¯ω h ¯ 2mω 3 (30n2 + 30n + 11).2) Note that these shifts are not “small” when n is large.4) c. However there do exist situations where a particle’s motion is “slightly relativistic” (say. ˆ ˆ 2m 2 8c m b.25 9. Show that for the simple harmonic oscillator.3 Slightly relativistic simple harmonic oscillator You know that the concept of potential energy is not applicable in relativistic situations. a. The contributions beyond 1 kx2 are called 2 2 “anharmonic terms”.n−1 (9. d. (9.1) and where the force responds quickly enough to the particle’s position that the potential energy concept has approximate validity. 9. this situation hold when the spring’s response time is much less than the period.2 + 2 6 δm. Calculate the leading corrections to the ground state eigenvector |0 .1) (n + 1)(n + 2)(n + 3) δm. . Show that a reasonable approximate Hamiltonian for such a “slightly relativistic SHO” is p2 ˆ mω 2 2 1 ˆ H= + x − 2 3 p4 .n+1 √ + + 3 n3 δm.0 − 6 2 δm. (9. b.n+3 ]. For a mass on a spring. Let us ignore all the anharmonic terms except for bx3 .3) √ √ (3 δm.n−3 +3 (n + 1)3 δm.

6) We shall call the basis for this representation the “initial basis”.g. then the formula would produce diﬀerent energy shifts depending upon which basis was used! 1 1 1 .7) In this case the unperturbed Hamiltonian is degenerate. (9. a1 . n (9. neutral K meson. PERTURBATION THEORY FOR THE ENERGY EIGENPROBLEM 9.10) . √ 2 1 −1 . spin 1 . (This can be done by inspection. namely (0) ˆ (En(0) − Em ) m(0) |¯ (1) = m(0) |H |n(0) whenever m = n. (1) ˆ a. and a3 are real numbers and the σ’s are Pauli matrices. Show that if the non-degenerate formula En = n(0) |H |n(0) were applied (or rather.26 CHAPTER 9.4 Two-state systems The most general Hamiltonian for a two state system (e. Find the energy eigenvalues exactly and show that they agree with the perturbation theory results when a3 a0 ≈ a1 . 0 1 (9. ˆ H (0) = a0 0 0 a0 ˆ H = a3 a1 a1 −a3 (9. misapplied) to this problem. 9. This exercise shows how to use perturbation theory to solve (approximately) the energy eigenproblem in the case a0 a1 ≈ a3 . The initial basis 1 0 .8) is a perfectly acceptable energy eigenbasis (both states have energy a0 ). Solve the energy eigenproblem. (9. a. Assume a3 = 0. ammonia molecule) 2 is represented by a0 I + a1 σ1 + a3 σ3 (9. but the basis 1 √ 2 for example.5 Degenerate perturbation theory in a two-state system Consider a two state system with a Hamiltonian represented in some basis by a0 I + a1 σ1 + a3 σ3 . Use perturbation theory to ﬁnd the leading order shifts in the energy eigenvalues and eigenstates.5) where a0 .) b. Now assume a3 a0 ≈ a1 .9) Which. is just as good. are the true energy shifts? The answer comes from equation (19) of the “Derivation of Perturbation Theory” notes. c. if either.

If this does not apply. (9. Still without explicitly producing the diagonalizing basis. then En = Em and the above equation demands that ˆ m(0) |H|n(0) = 0 whenever m = n and En = Em .11) = . (9. f. If the unperturbed states |n(0) and |m(0) are degenerate. we have no guarantee that this expansion makes sense. not because this basis is guaranteed to produce a sensible expansion.13) .12) (0) (0) (9. (Trick question. ﬁnd the representation of H in it. have a guarantee that any other expansion does not make sense. Find the representation of H (0) in the diagonalizing basis. What are the energy eigenvalues of the full Hamiltonian H (0) + H ? (Not “correct to some order in perturbation theory. As usual in perturbation theory. And this answers the question of which basis to use! Consistency demands the use of a basis in which ˆ the perturbing Hamiltonian is diagonal.27 This equation was derived from the fundamental assumption that |n( ) and En ( ) could be expanded (0) (0) in powers of . ˆ c. however. (The Hermiticity of H guarantees that such a basis exists.) ˆ b. you may now go ahead and show that the (normalized) diagonalizing basis vectors are 1 √ 2 a2 + a2 − a3 1 3 1 √ where tan θ = a3 + 2 a2 + a2 + a3 1 3 a2 + a2 1 3 a2 + a2 1 3 +a1 −a3 + a2 + a2 1 3 −a1 +a3 + a2 + a2 1 3 a1 a2 + a2 1 3 = cos θ sin θ − sin θ cos θ . then the fundamental assumption must be wrong. . Without ﬁnding this diagonalizing basis. We do.14) Coda: Note the reasoning of degenerate perturbation theory: We expand about the basis that diagˆ onalizes H because expansion about any other basis is immediately self-contradictory. (9.” but the exact eigenvalues!) e.) ˆ ˆ d. (Optional) If you’re ambitious. show that the states in that basis are exact energy eigenstates of the full Hamiltonian.

3) is perturbed by a transient eﬀect described by the Hamiltonian (in coordinate representation) H (x. (1) (1) (1) (10.2) (10. H21 (t ) e+iωt c1 (t )dt .1) where A0 is a constant with the dimensions of action. 2mω (10.3) (10.Chapter 10 Perturbation Theory for the Time Development Problem 10. (Here the superscript (1) denotes “ﬁrst-order”. What is the probability that after this jolt an energy measurement will ﬁnd the system in the ﬁrst excited state? 10. (10. to ﬁrst order in perturbation theory.2 Second-order time-dependent perturbation theory In lecture we treated.) Show that to second order the non-vanishing transition amplitudes are: c0 (t) = c1 (t) (2) (2) 1− i h ¯ t 0 t 0 t 0 H01 (t ) e−iωt c1 (t )dt . H10 (t ) e+iωt c0 (t )dt . We (1) (1) concluded that the only non-vanishing ﬁrst-order transition amplitudes were c0 (t) = 1 and c1 (t). t) = A0 sin 2πx L δ(t). the problem of a simple harmonic oscillator in its ground state exposed to a sinusoidal external force (with frequency ω and amplitude F0 ).5) .4) i ¯ h i (2) c2 (t) = − ¯ h = − where H01 (t) = H10 (t) = F0 28 ¯ h cos(ω t).1 On being kicked upstairs A particle in the ground state of an inﬁnite square well (problem 8.

29 and H21 (t) = F0 (2) (2) 2¯ h cos(ω t). . but it is worth noticing that c2 (t) (1) (2) involves a factor of (F0 )2 (where F0 is in some sense “small”). 2mω (10.6) (2) The integrals for c0 (t) and c2 (t) are not worth working out. and that c1 (t) = c1 (t).

These states are usually 2 2 2 2 2 ˆ denoted simply {| ↑ .1 Trivial pursuit a. Sy . If Jx and Jz are represented by matrices with pure real entries (as is conventionally the case..Chapter 11 Angular Momentum 11. etc. Show that if an operator commutes with two components of an angular momentum vector. S+ .1 particle the basis {| 1 . it commutes with the third as well. Sx .2) (11.1) and recall also that this isn’t always the easiest way to ﬁnd a matrix representation.3) 30 . | ↓ }. S− .2 Matrix representations in spin. ˆ ˆ b. Note the reappearance of the Pauli matrices! ˆ b. Find normalized column matrix representations for the eigenstates of Sx : ˆ Sx | → ˆ Sx | ← h ¯ = + |→ 2 h ¯ = − |← . − 1 } spans the relevant states. 1 . (11. show that Jy is represented by a matrix with pure imaginary entries. 1 11. see ˆ problem 11. momentum. ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ a.2 If we are interested only in a particle’s angular momentum. and not in its position. | ↓ } basis of Sz . and S 2 /@. Find matrix representations in the {| ↑ . Recall that the matrix representation of operator A in this basis is ˆ ↑ |A| ↑ ˆ ↓ |A| ↑ ˆ ↑ |A| ↓ ˆ ↓ |A| ↓ . then for a spin.2). 2 (11. | 1 .

0 (θ) = (1) d−1.m (θ) with j = 1 are d1.0 (θ) = − √2 sin θ (1) (1) (j) (j) (j) (11.−1 (θ) = − 1 (cos θ − 1) 2 d0. Show that the dm.4) (11.0 (θ) cos θ 1 + √2 sin θ 1 = − 2 (cos θ − 1) = .−1 (θ) (1) 1 = − √2 sin θ 1 = + 2 (cos θ + 1) (1) = 1 + √2 sin θ d0.4 are relevant here.−1 (θ) (1) d−1.m (θ) = [dm .2 Verify explicitly that |→ |← (Problems 3. dm.) Prove that h = e−i(Sy /¯ )(+π/2) | ↑ . ˆ (11.) 11. (Easy.1 (θ) (1) d−1.m (−θ)]∗ .1 (θ) (1) (1) 1 d1. b.31 1 11.4 Spin-1 projection amplitudes a.3 Rotations and spin.6) d1.1 (θ) = + 1 (cos θ + 1) 2 d0.3 and 3.5) = e ˆ h −i(Sy /¯ )(−π/2) |↑ .

(12. n − 1.2 Operator factorization solution of the Coulomb problem The bound state energy eigenvalues of the hydrogen atom can be found using the operator factorization method.5) 32 . = − 1 . In reduced units. (12. ( + 1)2 D+ D− = −h − ( +1) ( ) 1 2 .Chapter 12 Central Force Motion 12.2) ( ) D+ = −h − ( +1) 1 . (ρ) (12. 12.1 Positronium The “atom” positronium is a bound state of an electron and a positron. (Hint: examine the eﬀective potential for radial motion. the radial wave equation is − Introduce the operators D± ≡ and show that D− From this.1) d dρ ρ ± 1 (12.4) +1 (ρ) (12. (12. (ρ) ≡ h un. . (ρ). . n2 = 0. . conclude that h whence D+ and En. un. is independent of . (ρ) ∝ un.3) D+ un. . D+ un. (ρ) = En. (ρ) = En. Argue that for every En. < 0 there is a maximum .6) ( +1) +1 ( +1) ( +1) ( ) ( + 1) 2 d2 + − 2 dρ ρ2 ρ un.) Call this value max . and set n = max + 1 to show that En. Find the allowed energies for positronium. un.

can take on values e.33 12. 2.3 A non-Coulombic central force The central potential k c + 2 (12. 3. n − 1. b. . (ρ) are to be identiﬁed. (12. . r ˆ b. ˆ 2 T = − ˆ·F . and conclude that the energy eigenvalues are En. 12. Klein (class of 1989) investigated this potential and found that its energy eigenproblem could be solved exactly.10) ˆ Deﬁne the force function F(r) = − V(r) and the force operator F = F(ˆ). use an explicit position basis representation. and un. while [ˆ · p. the expectation value ˆ · p does not change with time. . h c.9) where n = 1. Find two values of x such that x(x+1) = γ + ( +1).) Steven A.” . and where for each n. (Arnold Sommerfeld called this the “rotating oscillator” potential: see his Atomic Structure and Spectral Lines. . Convince yourself that the solution described in the notes does not depend upon being an integer. V (ˆ)] = −i¯ ˆ · V (ˆ). in an energy eigenstate |η(t) . Select whichever one will be most convenient for later use.7) r r is a model (albeit a poor one) for the interaction of the two atoms in a diatomic molecule. Verify that this energy spectrum reduces to the Coulomb limit when c = 0. p2 ] = 2i¯ p2 . d. H] |η(t) = 0. Conclude that. (Hint: For the second commutator.. ˆ r 2m (12. for r an energy eigenstate. r ˆ ˆ c. . Sketch the potential. (12. Suppose the Hamiltonian is 1 2 ˆ ˆ ˆ H= p + V (ˆ) = T + V . 3rd ed. appendix 17. V (r) = − a. .11) This is the “virial theorem. Show that [ˆ · p. 1922.8) where γ = 2cM/¯ 2 and where ρ. Argue that. assuming that k and c are both positive. (ρ) = En. 1. r ˆ (12.) d. convert the radial equation of the energy eigenproblem into − d2 2 γ + ( + 1) − + dρ2 ρ ρ2 un. Hence conclude that η(t)| [ˆ · p. En. = −1 [n − + 1 (−1 + 2 (2 + 1)2 + 4γ)]2 = 0. . Following the notes “Bound State Energy Eigenproblem for Coulombic Potentials”.4 The quantum mechanical virial theorem a. where V (r) is any scalar function r ˆ ˆ hˆ r ˆ r hr r of the vector r. (ρ). un. . 2.

12. Does the expectation value of ˆ follow r the classical Kepler ellipse? Is it even restricted to a plane? Does the wavepacket spread out in time (as with the force-free particle) or remain compact (as with the simple harmonic oscillator)? . show that 2 T = −n V . If V (r) = C/rn .34 ˆ ˆ e.12) for the energy eigenstate with energy E. ˆ T = n E.5 Research project Discuss the motion of wavepackets in a Coulombic potential. n−2 (12. CENTRAL FORCE MOTION and −2 ˆ V = E. n−2 CHAPTER 12.

The wavefunction ψ(xA . Does the wavefunction inhabit conﬁguration space or conventional three-dimensional position space? For discussion: Does your answer have any bearing upon the question of whether the wavefunction is “physically real” or a “mathematical convenience”? Does it aﬀect your thoughts concerning measurement and the “collapse of the wavepacket”? 35 . ii.1) equal one or two? Write integral expressions for: i.2) equal one or two? Assuming that x1 < x2 < x3 < x4 . regardless of where particle B is. The probability of ﬁnding one particle between x1 and x2 and the other between x3 and x4 . write integral expressions for: i. xB )|2 (13. The probability of ﬁnding particle A between x1 and x2 . b. Does ∞ ∞ dxA −∞ −∞ dxB |ψ(xA . xB ) describes two non-identical particles in one dimension. Does ∞ ∞ dxA −∞ −∞ dxB |ψ(xA . c. xB )|2 (13. The probability of ﬁnding particle A between x1 and x2 and particle B between x3 and x4 . The wavefunction ψ(xA . The probability of ﬁnding a particle between x1 and x2 . xB ) describes two identical particles in one dimension.Chapter 13 Identical Particles 13. ii. Look up the deﬁnition of “conﬁguration space” in a classical mechanics book.1 The meaning of two-particle wavefunctions a.

2 2 (13. a. y. Symmetric under interchange of the second and third variables: f (x. antisymmetric and far apart In lecture I argued that symmetric wavefunctions describe particles that huddle together while antisymmetric wavefunctions describe particles that avoid one another. then the expectation value of (xA − xB )2 for the antisymmetric combination of the two wavefunctions is greater than or equal to that for the symmetric combination. There is a function of three variables that is: i. Prove that if the two wavefunctions ψ(x) and φ(x) are orthogonal. For each (anti)symmetrized function make a plot of xA and xB and shade in regions of high probability density.2 Symmetric and close together. [Hint: Try the counterexample . z) = f (x. x. Show that this is not true for functions of three variables. IDENTICAL PARTICLES 13. Antisymmetric under interchange of the ﬁrst and second variables: f (x. x). z. y. y. z) = g(x). z). y. b.3) which are the ﬁrst and second energy eigenfunctions for the inﬁnite square well of width L. ii. Symmetric under interchange of the ﬁrst and third variables: f (x. iii. y). y.] c. Find this function and show that it is unique. Show that any two-variable function can be written as the sum of a symmetric function and an antisymmetric function. f (x. z) = f (z. L L − L L ≤x≤ . b. 13. z) = −f (y.3 Symmetrization and antisymmetrization (mathematical) a.36 CHAPTER 13. Illustrate this principle as follows: Construct symmetric and antisymmetric two-particle wavefunctions out of the single-particle wavefunctions η1 (x) = 2 x cos(π ) L L and η2 (x) = 2 x sin(2π ).

Compare the approach to quantum mechanics presented in this text with the approach used in lecture or by some other book (perhaps the text you used in Physics 112: Modern Physics). but you must justify your opinions. (This question is designed to encourage you to think of physics not as a set of questions with deﬁnite answers. Be speciﬁc: cite speciﬁc topics or even speciﬁc equations to support your points. choice of topics. philosophy. even phraseology. but as a subject with room for words as well as numbers. general ideas as well as simple harmonic oscillators.1 Critique Write a critique of this course’s textbook. as a subject that you can have opinions about. Critiques that say merely “I (dis)liked it” (regardless of the number of words used) will receive appropriate credit. You may treat any aspect of the book: problems. namely Winter’s Quantum Physics. and. above all.) 37 .Chapter 14 Conclusion 14. pedagogy.

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