# Dirac Notation

States can be added to yield a new state ¬ Superposition

To describe STATES, we use vectors.
VECTORS represent STATES
Each vector can have finite or infinite number of elements

A vector has direction and length, and so do the kets
A state of a dynamical system = direction of ket
Length and sign are irrelevant

DIRAC

bras
kets
÷
Each state is denoted by a ket |>. Individual kets are distinguished by the labels placed
inside the ket symbol |A>, |B>, etc
kets
( )
1
R
many, many
R
or even have
if x varies
contin
n
uously
2
i
i
A B
L
Q x X dx
= +
=
=
¿
}
C C
C
C
If a state is the superposition of 2 states, then the corresponding ket is the linear
combination of 2 other kets
are independent if no one can be expressed as a linear combination of the others
Multiplication
i
A A ¬ C
Complex number
Cont.
( )
1 2 1 2
A A A A + = + ¬ C C C C
CM: addition of 2 identical states¬new state
QM: addition of 2 identical states ¬same state
CM: state can have 0 amplitude (no motion)
QM: |ket> CANNOT have 0 amplitude,
STATE · direction of vector , and if there is a vector, there is a length.
bras
a vector that yields a complex number by doing the scalar multiplication with a ket is a:
BRA
{ }
have the same properties as ,
and are defined by their scalar product with every
'
completel
'
y
number
number
B A A B A B A + = +
To each ket |A>, there corresponds a dual or adjoint quantity called by Dirac a bra; it is
not a ket-- rather it exists in a totally different space
as it happens with vectors, the scalar product of
number bra ket bra ket = =
,
i j
i j
B A b a = ·
¿
Cont.
*
for every ket A there is a bra A which is the complex conjugate of A
or A A A =
*
* *
associated for the ket , the bra is A A A A = = C C C C
the scaler product is
................
complex
number
B A A B = = =
? A ¬ =
? 0 unless A 0 A A A A = > =
( )
if A 0 and B are orthogonal
if 0 is to
B A
x y x y
= ¬
· = ¬ ±
*
and A B A B A B A B = = C C C C
the scalar product is
Length and phase
( )
LENGTH
vectors A A
bras and kets A A
÷ ·
÷
The direction of the vector defines the dynamical state, and the length is not important
¬ We can always use normalized vectors
1 A A =
' lenght ' ' ? length A A A A ÷ = =
phase does not change neither the length or directionof state!
Even when using a fixed-length bracket ( 1) there is a phase factor
which is not defined
'

'

i i
length
A e e A A A
¸ ¸ ÷
=
÷ = =
and ' have the SAME DIRECTION A A
Operators
An operator is a rule that transforms a ket (or bra) in another ket (or bra)
Every observable is associated with an operator

ˆ
ˆ G F A B o | = =
ALL Quantum Mechanical operators are LI (not all operators are lin NEAR ear)
( )
1 2 1 2
Properties of linear operators:
ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ and A A A A A A o o o o o + = + = C C
( )
( ) ( )
Properties of operators:
ˆ ˆ
ˆ ˆ Summation is distributive
ˆ ˆ
ˆ ˆ Product is associative
A A A
A A
o | o |
o | o |
- + = +
- · =