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Quantum Mechanics 215A Homework Solutions #1

Sam Pinansky October 8, 2003


People did ne on this assignment. The only mistakes were on the second problem. The average was 18.1/20. 1. (5 Points) This can be proved simply by writing out both sides: AC{D, B} + A{C, B}D C{D, A}B + {C, A}DB = ACDB ACBD + ACBD + ABCD CDAB CADB + CADB + ACDB = ABCD CDAB = [AB, CD] Done. 2. (10 Points) The problem asks you to use bra-ket algebra to prove these, but some of you converted them into matrix problems. This was not incorrect, but was not exactly in the spirit of the problem. (a) By the denition of the trace: tr(XY )
a

(1) (2) (3) (4)

a|XY |a

(5)

where |a is some orthonormal basis. Now we insert a complete set of states: a|XY |a =
a a a

a|X|a

a |Y |a

(6) (7) (8) (9)

=
a a

a |Y |a a|X|a a |Y X|a
a

= tr(Y X)

where we have used the fact that a |Y |a and a|X|a are just numbers so commute, and the completeness of the |a . Challenge: Generalize this problem to prove the cyclicity of the trace, namely: tr(X1 X2 . . . Xn ) = tr(Xn X1 . . . Xn1 ). (Well, not much of a challenge really).

(b) There are two ways to prove this: 1. Using the dual correspondence. 2. Use the identity that a |X|a = a |X |a . Actually, these methods are completely equivalent, one just uses a specic basis representation while the other is basis independent. Here is the dual correspondance proof: | X | |X = | Y X | = Y | |Y = |XY (XY ) | Y X = (XY )

(10) (11) (12)

where means dual correspondence. Essentially you are applying the dual correspondence twice. The other method goes like this: Take a basis of states, |a , and look at the general matrix element of (XY ) : a|(XY ) |b = b|XY |a =
c

(13) c|Y |a b|X|c

b|X|c c|Y |a
c

(14) (15) (16) (17)

= =
c

a|Y |c c|X |b

= a|Y X |b

Thus (XY ) = Y X . This proof is a little more direct then the above, but it chooses a particular basis to work in so is a bit less elegant. (c) First, let |ai be the eigenbasis for A, such that A|ai = ai |ai . Then An |ai = an |ai i (trivial iteration proof). Now we note that we expand f (A) in power series for any nice function f :

f (A) =
n=0

fn An
j

(18) j |aj (where (19) (20) (21)

So taking a general ket expanded out in the eigenbasis of A: | = j = aj | ), we get: f (A)| =


n j

fn j An |aj fn an j |aj j
n j

= =
j

j f (aj )|aj

So now we apply the operator exp(if (A)) to a general ket | : exp(if (A))| = =
n=0 j

in f (A)n | n! n=0

(22) (23) (24) (25)

in f (aj )n j |aj n!

=
j

exp(if (aj ))j |aj exp(if (aj ))|aj aj |


j

So the operator is exp(if (A)) = j exp(if (aj ))|aj aj |, i.e. it projects onto the eigenstates of A and multiplies by some phase. On a side note, if A = A , i.e. A is hermition, then the operator exp(if (A)) is always unitary. (d) This is simply substitution:
a (x )a (x ) = a a

x |a x |a
a

x |a a |x

(26) (27) (28) (29)

= x |x = (x x ) where in the last step we used the orthogonality of the continuous x basis.

3. (5 points) Its easiest to do these calculation (at least, for me) by using a matrix representation, with |+ | Then we see that: Sx Sy Sz = = = h 2 h 2 h 2 0 1 1 0 0 i 1 0 i 0 0 1 (32) (33) (34) = = 1 0 0 1 (30) (31)

Now the verications are just matrix multiplications: [Sx , Sy ] = h 2 0 1 1 0 h 2 0 i i 0 h 2 0 i i 0 h 2 0 1 1 0 = i h h 2 1 0 0 1 = i Sz h

(35) You can easily use these representation to prove all the components of [Si , Sj ] = i eijk Sk and h {Si , Sj } = 2 /2ij . (No one got this wrong, so I dont feel the urge to show you trivial matrix h algebra).