I
0;
GROUP THEORY
THB APPLICATION TO QUANTUM MECHANICS
PAUL H. E. MEIJER
17Ie Clltllollc UniNriity 0/AIIterlt:G, Wash'IIgton D.C.
EDMOND BAUBR
Laboratoire de Chi",. Physlqw, Pari3
1962
NOR.THHOLLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY 
AMSTERDAM
No part 0/ this book 1IItly be reproduced In any form by print. plwioprint, microfilm or any othe, means wlthollt written permission from the publisher
PUBLISHERS :
NORTHHOLLAND PUBLISHING CO. 
AMSTERDAM
SOLE DISTlUBUTORS FOR U.S.A.:
1NIEUCmNCE PUBUSHERS, a division of
JOHN WILEY & SONS~ INC.  NEW YORK
PRINT.ED 
IN THE 
NE.THERLANDS 

BY 
N.V. DIJKSTRA'S 
DRUKKERU 
v/H BOEKDRUKKERU 
GEBROEDERS 
HOITSHMA 
GJtQN1N9EN
PREFACE
Seldom has an application of socalled pure mathematics to mathematical physics had more appeal than the use of group theory to quantum mecha nics. Almost every student in this subject, after going through the necessary theorems, felt the satisfaction of overlooking a broad field,) Inastering it in its complete generality, as an award to his efforts. In recent years the availability of tables of coefficients has increased the applicability of many ideas introduced one or two decades ago and the num ber of papers applying the results of representation theory has been steadily increasing The application of group theory to problems in Physics can be classified in two types. As an example of the first type we mention the considerati<;lns based on the symmetry of a crystal used to reduce the 6 by 6 stress strain.:matrix (the generalization of Hooke's law)~ An example of the same type is the heat conduction tensor in a crystal. Instead of nine components the number of different elements is reduced by the symmetry of the crystal and still further reduced by the Onsager relations (which are based on micros copiq time reversal). Still another example of the first type is the set of piezo electric constants T~e second type of problems are those eigenvalue problems where the differential equation or the boundary are of such a geometric nature that certain rotations or translations leave the. problem unchanged. In this case it may happen that the eigenvalue connected with the solution of the problem is degenerated; that is, more than one eigenfunction belongs to the same eigenvalue. The central problem of the book is the study of this second type through the transformation properties of these eigenfunctions. In the first cases the ap plication of "group theory" is hardly more than the application of symmetry considerations. In the second case the application of group theory, or ac tually the application of representation theory, is a much tn<?re essential matter. The general idea of the transformation induced in function space by a rotat.ion (or translation) in configuration space as explained in Chap ter 4 is not only useful in Qlla.nt.wn. mechanics but in any other eigenvalue
\
vi
PREFACE
problem s.uch as vibrating systems (molecules or lattices) or waveguides as wen.
The crucial point in the developing of representation theory is Schur's Lemma. The proof has been illustrated with a symbolic diagram and in the subsequent sections the theory is developed on the basis of this lemma. Great value is attached to represent the ideas in a geometrical fashion:
For instance the similarity transformation is ~escribedas a rotation in mul tidimensional function space and the reduction is described in terms of mutual orth0ional spaces Although there are many books written on group theory as w~n as on the connection between physics and group theory, the number of books of in. troductory nature are only very few. The general references are chosen with 'emphasis on clarity and readability and are mainly mentioned for further study in this field. The book is based on a French monograph entitled "Introduction it. la theorie des groupes et ses applications en physique quantique ^{U} which appear ed in 1933 in the Annales de I'Institut Henri Poincare. Chapters 1 through S are a translation with addition of the monograph. The subjects treated in the additional chapters deal mainly with developments since then. The bas.i~
ideas. of the application of group theory to quantum mechanics have not
~onsiderably changed and hence a fairly literal translation of the material of the first edition is still valuable today.
I would like to quote from the introduction to tl;le first edition the follow
ing s"4&tement: 'The pages that follow are simple introduction. having aa
main~8oalto familiarize the reader with some new concepts and to permit him to read the oriainal papers orWell and Wigner with less difficulty."
J
•
I ,_ouId like to thank Mrs. Peretti, Drs. Morrison and Barry and Mrs. Mielczarek for their cooperation.
CONTENTS
CoNTBNTS
.
.
CHAPTER. 1. VECTOR SPACES 
UNITARY GEOliE"J.1lY
1. ndimensional vector or aff1De spaces
1.1. ndimensional vector spaces
1.2. Tranaformation of coordinates
1.3. Linear mapping of the space at. on itself (linear transformation)
~
.
1.4. Composition of mappinp. Multiplication of matrices
1.S. Inverse matrix
1.6. Transformation or a mapping or projectionmatrix by a chanp 01 coor
fA
,
•
.
.
.
,
c
•
a
•
•
•
•
~
2.
dinates (similarity transfonnation) 
. 
. 
. 
" 

Euclidean and unitary spaces. 
. 
. 
,. 
. 

2.1. UQitary metric . 
. 
0 
• 
a 
• 
• 
• 
• 

2.2. 
Unitary transformation . 
. 
\'; 
* 
'I 
• 
t 

2.3. 2.4. 
"Bilinear forma and Hermitian matrices Goneralization of unitary space into bra 
r . and ket spaces . . 
3. R~uction to main axes
.
.
.
"
~
,
~
•
~
4t
3.1. 
c 
• • 
• $ 
, 
• 

3 
2. Determination of diqonal elements 
. 
. 
3.3. loint dialOnalizatioD of a set of matriCX\S
.0
.
,
•
•
3.4. Invarianco of a secular equati9n 
• 
. 
. 
. 

3.S. Trace or spur of a matrix 
" 
• 
. 
. 
4"
Function spa.co. Complete lOti of ortbolonal (unctions
.
.
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•
. •
.
4.1. 
Function space 
. 
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" 
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. 
" 
. 

4.2. Scalar produc:t; norm 
. 
. 
a 
• 
• 
" 
• 
• 
4.3. Fourier series
I. Operators
"
Complete sets of ortholOnal futlCtions
r
•
fl
'"
<!
:ot
:I;
,.
•
"
•
•
•
•
""
•
,.
S.I. Traalformation of tile function space into itself by a linear operator
S,,2. BDiaear forms. Hermitian operators 
s 
« 
« 
• 
• 
• 
• 

5.3. . Reduction of an Hermitian operator to iu main Ue5 
e 
• 
• 
" 
CHAPTBlt 2
THE PRINCIPLES OF QUANTtlM MECHANICS
•
•
~
•
vii
1
1
1
2
3
4
4
6
6
8
8
9
11
11
12
14
14
IS
l' lJ
16
17
19
19
21
21
1. 
Wa"v'es 
• 
• 
• 
= 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
29 

1.1. 
Classical waves 
. 
. 
 
. 
. 
. 
29 

1.2. 
Quantum mechanical waves 
30 

1.3. The free particle 
. 
. 
, 
. 
< 
t 
31 
vii
viii
CONTENTS
2. 
The Schrodinger equation 
. 
32 

2.1. 8.chrodinger equation 
. 
33 

2.2. The nparticle problem 
33 

3. 
Angular momentum 
. 
. 
. 
34 

3.1. Operator . ~ . 
. 
. 
. 
. 
34 

3.2. Operators and groups 
. 
35 
3.3. Commutaiion relations 
36 

4. 
The postulates of quantum mechanics. 
. 
., 
. 
37 

s. 
Time dependence of a state and of a physical observable 
. 
. 
40 

5.1. General theory 
I. 
. 
. 
. 
• 
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• 
• 
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. 
40 

5.2. Heisenberg representation 
. 
. 
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. 
. 
. 
42 

6. 
Transition probabilities and radiation theory. 
. 
45 

7. 
Perturbation theory 
. 
. . 
. 
. 
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. 
. 
., 
. 
47 

7.1. Formulation of the problem 
. 
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47 

7.2. Nondegenerate problems 
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. 
48 

7 3. Degeneracy 
49 

7.4. Quasi degeneracy 
. . 
. 
b 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
52 

7.5. Application: diatomic molecule . 
. 
. 
. 
. 
56 

CHAPTER 3. GROUP THEORY 

1. 
The role of group theory in quantum mechanics. 
. 
58/ 

2. 
Examples. . . . 
. 
. . 
. 
59 

2.1. General considerations 
. 
. 
. 
59 

2.2. Group postulates 
61 

2.3. Further examples of groups 
. 
. 
. 
. 
62 

2.4. Group table 
63 

3. 
Subgroups . . . . 
. 
. . 
. 
. 
. 
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. 
. 
. 
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. 
64, 

3.1. Definition . . 
. 
. . 
. 
. 
. 
64 

3.2. Cosets or complexes associated with a subgroup. 
. 
. 
. 
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. 
65 

Conjugated elements. Classes 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
66 

4.1. The case of linear substitutions 
. 
. 
. 
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. 
. 
66 

4 2. Generalizations. Invariant subgroups 
67 

4.3. Factor group . 
. 
. . 
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, 
68 

4.4~ Abelian groups 
. 
. . 
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. 
69 
s. Some properties of the group of permutations of n objects 9'. (symmetric
group) . 
. 
. 
. 
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. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
70 

5.1. Notation Vy'ith cycles 
, 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
70 

5.2. 
Conjugated permutations 
71 

5.3 
Alternating group d. of n variables 
72 

6. 
Isomorphism and homomorphism . . 
72 

6.1. Definition 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
72 

6 
2. 
General theorems 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
72 

6.3. 
Representations of a group 
74 
6.4. Equivalent representations
.
74
CONTENTS
ix
7. 
Reducibility of representations 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
• 
. 
75 
7.1. Invariant subspace 
75 
7.2. Complete reduction or decomposition
76
1.3. 
Reduction of the unitary matrices of a group into their irreducible parts 
77 

7.4. Ex.a.mple 
• 
77 

« 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 

7.5,. . . Finite gI"OUpS 
. 
. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
~ . • 
80 
8. Uniqueness theorem. The decomposition of a given representation (II from
a 
group ~ into irreducible constituents is only possible in one way. 
81 

9. 
Schur's lemma and related theorems 
82 

10. Characters of a representation 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
a 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
85 

10.1. 
Definition 
. 
. 
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. 
85 

10.2. The number of irreducible representations of a finite group. 
. 
. 
86 

10.3. Regular representation of a group 
. 
. 
. 
. 
87 

11. Orthogonality relations (finite groups). 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
89 
11.1. General formulas
89
11.2. Application to the characters of irreducible representations 
92 

11.3. Class 
Space 
. 
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. 
. 
4 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
93 

12. 
Sum of a class; projection operators 
. 
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. 
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. 
94 
12.1. Definition of the sum of a class; structure coefficients.
94
12.2. 
Character tables 
. 
. 
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. 
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. 
. 
" 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
95 

12.3. 
Projection operators (idempotent elements) 
. 
97 

13. 
Repre~enta~ons of the permutation group. 
100 

13.1. Youngtableaux. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
100 
13 
2. The P" Qoperations; idempotents 
102 

13.3. Irreducible representations 
104 

Appendix 3.1. 
. 
. 
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. 
106 
CHAPTER 4. GENERAL APPLICATIONS TO QUANTUM MECHANICS; WIGNER'S
THEOREM
Invariant properties of the Schr5dinger equation 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
110 

1.1. The two groups of the SchrOdinger equation 
. 
. 
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. 
. 
110 
1.2. Transformations induced in function space by the transformations in con figuration space 
110 
1.3. Expression of the invariance of H 
. 
. 
. 
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. 
. 
111 

1.4. Constants of the motion . 
112 

2. 
Wigner's theorem 
. 
. 
" 
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. 
113 

2.1. Theorem . 
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. 
113 

2.2. General solution by successive reductions 
114 

2.3. Equivalent description 
. 
. 
120 

3. 
Abelian groups ~.1. Permutations of two objects . . . . . 
. 
. 
121 

3.2. Plane rotations (around a fixed axis) (group 9,.). 
. 
. 
122 

4. 
Nonabelian groups. Rotations and retlections in a plane 
124 

Appendix 4.1. " 
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126 
CONTENTS
CHAPTml 5. ROTATIONS IN 3DIMBNSIONAL SPACE: GROUP !'I,
1. Spherical harmonics and representation of the rotation aroup 
. 
128 

2. R.otation group and twodimenaioDal unitary poup 
131 

2.1. Relation betwoon the rotation lfOuP and the unitary aroup 
131 

2.2. Tho representations or the II'OUP .,. u reproae;ntations or tho aroqp It •. 
135 

3. 
Infinitesimal traDSformations and aqul. 1IlOmontum. 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
137 

3. t. Infinitesimal traBsformations 
of a continuous &rOUp • . • . • • . 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 
137 

3.2. Linear substitutions 
. 
• 
• 
• 
• 
. 
• 
• 
• 
• 
140 

_ 
_ 
3.3. Ilepresentations of the rota~on group_ Matrices for the aaau1armomeata.
142
3.4. Pauli matrices 
• 
& 
• 
• 
• 
• 
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. 
. 
. 
. 
1.3 

3.S. An,war momentum in the state 
. 
. 
. 
146 

4. 
Transition from tho aroup 94, to tho aubpoup fl • 
_{.} 
147 

4.1 • .zeeman etrect 
141 

s. 
Product of two representations. 
Reduction formula. 
• 
fI 
• 
• 
149 

5.1. 
Kinematic coupling of two systems with sphorical sJllbDOtrY. 
• 
• 
14' 

S 
2. Product of two representations 
• 
150 

5.3. 
Reduction or the diJect product of two ropresentations. Group 
II 

an example. ClebschGordan formula 
• 
1'2 

. 
& 
• 

5.4. 
Total angular momentum 
. 
. 
. 
153 

" 

6. 
5.5 The electron spin Helium atom without spin a • • • • • • 
• 
. 
• 
. 
• 
. • 
. • 
. • 
. 
. • 
. • 
. • 
" 
• 
156 

6.1" 
. UhJenbeck and Goudsmit hypothesis 
" 
" 
J" 

6.2* Translation in quantum theory (pauli) 
" 
• 
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. 
c 
15. 

6.3. 
Applications 
. 
• 
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• 
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. 
IS9 

6.4. 
Complex atoms 
" 
" 
. 
160 

7. 
Selection rules. . 
. 
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. 
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. 
. 
It 
Ii 
162 

8. 
Parity or reftection character. Approximate selection rules 
" 
164 

8.1. 
Parity; Tho rule of Laporte 
. 
• 
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. 
. 
164 

8.2. 
Approximate selection tules 
. 
. 
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. 
• 
• 
. 
166 

9,' 
Stark effect. Anomalous Zeeman effect. Line componetlta 
LaacW 

splittin, factor. PaschenBack eaect 
. 
. 
. 
. 
166 

9.1. 
Goneral theory 
. 
• 
• 
. 
" 
• 
• 
• 
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• 
167 

9.2. 
Intensity or components 
. 
. 
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. 
. 
168 

9 
3. Landefactor 
. 
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. 
• 
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• 
" 
• 
• 
• 
• 
169 
Appendix I. The connection between a formal set of basis f\mctions aad the spherical
harm.onics .
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•
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m
•
•
•
•
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•
Appendix
II
Construction of the irreducible representation of the 1l'01Ip
" 
" 

Appendix Ill. Proof of the formula (5.34a) . CHAPTER 6. CONTINUATION OP THE nmoRY 

1. 
Irreducible tensor . 
. 
. 
. 

2. 
R.epresentation of tensor operators 
. 
. 
. 
"
•
,
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.
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.
.
01' THE It.OTAnoN GllOtJP
.
.
.
.
.
•
_{.}
_{•}
.
_{.}
.
.
_{·}
_{·}
·
_{·}
_{·}
_{·}
·
.
.
3. WisnerEckhardt theorem, reduced matrix elements
4.
Racah coefficients • .
>
•
•
•
"
~
•
•
•
•
"
•
172
173
171
184
187
189
193
CBAPTml·7
1. Outline
SPACE GROUPS
_{.}
^{.}
_{·}
CONTENTS
_{.}
_{.}
_{·}
.
^{.}
_{·}
_{•}
.
_{2}_{} Crystalloaraphic point groups versus pn«al point groups
3. 
Space Iloups 
4. 
Stntcturo ot tho 
.
,
^{.}
_{·}
space IfOOP
_{•}
_{·}
.
.
,
S
The quantum m~anics of IOlid state.
6. Pure traaslatiollS _{"}
7. Bloch theorem
I
_{.}
_{"}
_{·}
_{·}
_{.}
.
_{"}
8. Reduced wave vectors
9. Little groups, W.B.S. method"
9.1. Little a;roup theory
.
_{"}
It
_{·}
_{"}
_{·}
_{·}
.
_{•}
_{"}
_{"}
_{·}
_{·}
_{·}
^{.}
_{"}
~
^{.}
^{.}
.
9.2 Applications or tho theory of the little group
CHAPTER 8. FINITB GROUPS
_{·}
_{·}
_{"}
_{"}
_{.}
^{.}
_{"}
_{·}
_{·}
_{·}
_{"}
~
_{·}
_{·}
_{·}
_{"}
.
.
_{"}
~
_{"}
.
I. 
Rotational crystal symmetry 
• • 
. 
. 
. 
. 
" 
• 
" 
. 
. 

2. 
Crystal field theory 
" 
" 
• 
" 

2.1. . . . . . . Angular wave functions UDder finite rotational symmetry 
• 

2.2. 
Explicit calculation or wave functions 
. 
II 

" 
" 

3. 4. 
Double groups . . . Operator Hamiltonians 4.1. Van Vleck perturbation theory 4.2. Tonaor operator 
. 
. 
. 
" 
. 
. 
. 
. 

5. 
KramOl'l' theorem and time reversal. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
S.1. Kramers' theorem.
.s.2. 
Time reversal 
4 
• 
• 
• 

6. 
Jahn·Teller effect 6.1. Introduction. examples . . . 
. 
. 

6 
2. 
Normal coordinates 
" 
. 
. 
, 

6.3. 
General description 
. 
hOBI
SYlTDlATIC BmLIOOIlAPHY
.
.
_{·} 
_{·} 
198 

199 

202 

206 

208 

_{·} 
_{·} 
_{·} 
210 

213 

_{·} 
_{·} 
217 

_{•} 
_{·} 
220 

_{·} 
220 

_{"} 
_{·} 
223 

. 
. 
" 
228 

." 
• 
233 

. 
II 
" 
233 

237 

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241 

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• 
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244 

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245 

249 

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2'3 

256 

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" 
2S9 
259
261
264
261
273
217
279
CHAPTER
1
VECTOR SPACES 
UNITARY GEOMETRY
1. ndimeDSionai Vector or Affine Spaces
1.1.
nDIMENSIONAL VECfOR SPACES
They are obtained by generalizing the properties of ordinary space which is an abstraction made from the concept of measuring lengths. Let us re
are defined only with
regard to the operations of addition x+ y (commutative and associative), subtraction x y, and multiplication by a complex number (distributive and associative). The n vectors, el' e2, • • ., en, are linearly independent if one cannot satisfy the equation
member that in affine geometry the vectors x, "
Xlel+x2e2+
Xne,. = 0,
unless all the numbers Xn are equal to zero.
An ndimensional vector space is defined by n linearly independent basis veFtors. It consists of the set of vectors, obtained by taking all possible linear combinations from these n basis vectors
(1.1)
In ordinary space, n = 3, the el are unit vectors laid out in three arbitrary directions, the coordinate axes, and Xi' the components of the vector x, are real. In quantum theory the quantities considered are in general complex; thus one is led to take complex x,.
1.2. TRANSFORMATION OF COORDINATES
If at,. is a vector space spanned by n basis vectors ef, let us select n other independent vectors ei. From (1.1) the e~ will be linear combinations of the ei (as all vectors of 8lra are). Thus we will have
(1.2)
where S = (Sik) is the transformation matrix With 11 rows and columns.
1
2
,lEcrOR SPACES  UNITARY GEO~iETRY
_{[}_{e}_{h}_{.}
_{I}_{,}
_{§} _{1}
A fixed vector x 'Will have the coordinates X, and Xl in these two systems.
Equations (1.1) and (1.2) give:
from which
or
% =:;
"
' Xi~! ;:
,
L
~"
It
Xk e " = L u:
v'
Xkeisik,
(1.3)
(1.3a)
Notice the difference between (1.3a), the transformation formula for the components of the vector, and (1.2), the transformation of the unit vectors.
One traDsro~tion is the transpoaed inoerse of the other.
The notion of a vector can be genera1ized to tensors, quantities that ~ave
"t components instead of n components. k is the rank or order of the
tensor. By definition these components transform like the products of vector
components. For instance a tensor of the second rank has n ^{2} components that have the transformation property
(1.3b)
The coefficients may have a symmetry relation Xu == XJI among them. Suph a symmetric tensor of the second rank has only !n(n+ 1) independent coinponents. We shall not make use of this concept till Chapter 5, § 2.2.
1.3. LINEAR MAPPING OF THE SPACE It
,
MATION)
ON ITSEIJF (LINEAR TRANSFOR
To each vector x of It,. let there correspond a vector of the same space
., == Ax defined in the same coordinate system
by its components;
Yi 
= 
L Qlkx/C; 
Ax = L sJafkxk' 
(1.4) 
k 
i. It 
A == (aile) is the mapping matrix or projection matrix. Its order or degree is n (the number of rows or columns). There exists a matrix of the order n that makes the vector x correspond with the vector x itself that is it leaves the space 8l,. unchanged. According to (1.4) all the elements are zero except those of the main diagonal and these are equal to one. This is the unit nlatrix:
c·, = 1.
h
_{C}_{h}_{.}
_{I}_{,}
_{§} _{I}_{j}
tt
DIl\1ENSIO"NAL
VECTOR SPACE~
_{3}
One can map' It,. on another space &lift where m may be different from 11 and
in this case, the matri~ A is rectangular.
The mapping, A, of Ut _{n} _{'} on itself transforms a vector which is originally identified with one of the basis vectors ek; into 'Ik == Aek and since ek has the
components D,. lone finds in accordance with (1" 1),.
(1.4a)
Note the identity in form of the equations (2.1) and (l.4a),' A change of coordinates is a type of mapping limited to the basis vectors only. The mappings are transformation operations on the ndimensional space. Their symbols A are operators acting on the vectors of this space in order to transform. them into other vectors. These operators are analytically expressed by matrices of the degree n. The mathematical problem presented by quan tum mechanics is to generalize the properties of these operators to the case where n is infinite.
1.4. CO~fPOSITION OF MAPPINGS. ~fULTIPLICATION OP MATlUCES
Let us make two successive mappings of 8l on itself, first A then 8:
z =
By =
BAx == ex
The successive operations are carried out in the proper order by reading
from the right to the left in this equation. This rule will always be applied in the: calculus of operatorso Equation (1.4) gives us
that is
z, =: L b"YI =
I
L b.,(L DIkXJ == L c",X _{t} _{,}
'"
i
(1.S)
The matrix C is obtained by the usual multiplication rule of determinants. The same result is also found when the mappings are carried out from one space to another provided that the number of dimensions lend themselVes' to it, as we shall see beiow. It is convenient to represent a vector :t by a matrix X, where all the com _{p}_{o}_{n}_{e}_{n}_{t}_{s} are arranged hI a single column (the first one for example) and where
lOne has obviously
_{4}
VECfOR SPACES 
UNITARY GEOMETRY
_{[}_{e}_{b}_{.}
_{1}_{,}
_{§}
_{1}
all other places are filled with zeros. Without difficulty one sees, from (1.4) and (1.5) that the formula y = Ax becomes
(1.4b)
Y =
AX.
A still simpler scheme is to consider vectors as a special case of rectangular (i.e. nonsquare) matrices. We recall that in the case of a product of two
rectangular matrices A and B the width of A has to match the height of B (see Fig. 1.1).
nt
_{•}
{C]
I
I
m
1
Pig. 1.1.
_{I}
_{t}_{}
II
As in equation (1.4b) A stands in front of X. This implies that X has to be a onecolumn matrix.
In
All our operations are thus reduced to the multiplication of matrices
particular, 'the change
1.S. QNERSB MATRIX
I
i
of coordinates (1
X
=
SX'.
3)
becomes
(1.3a)
In ~order to insure that the mapping A will be reversible the determinant IAI == taal has to be different from zero; the equations. (1.4) are then solvable
for
~ and
one has
xl=La;1Yk or X=A~lY=AIAX.
k
So the inverse matrix A 1
of A is defined by
that is
AA ^{1} = A lA
=
I
= (t?ik),
(1.6)
(1.6a)
1.6. TRANSFORMATION OF A
MAPPING OR PROJECTION MATRIX BY A ,
CHANGE OF COORDINATES (SIMILARITY TRANSFORlvIATION)
Let e, be the initial system of basis vectors in which we will carry out the
the
transformation x + y = Ax. Now let us change the basis alld let e~ be
_{C}_{h}_{.}
_{1}_{,}
_{§} _{1}_{]}
nDIMENSIONAL VECTOR SPACES
_{5}
new basis vectors and xi, y; the new set of components of the vectors % and y. The mapping or projection A, that is to say the correspondence between the vectors % and y, is expressed in the second coordinate system by a matrix A' such that
" = A'x'.
^{(}^{1}^{.}^{4}^{c}^{)}
The transformation that converts A into A' is called a simllarit)' trans/or",. lion or canonical transformation. The form ofA' can be calculated without trouble. Let us indicate the change
of coordinates e + "
by S and the inverse e' + e by S1, then we have
(compare § 1.2) % == 5%' and x' == 5 ^{1} x, that is x; = Las; ^{1} x•. The mapping A' can be done in two di1ferent ways, either directly in the system .', or indirectly by aoing from the axes e' to the axes It using S1 and them carry.ina
out the mapping A in the system _ and finally going back to the system .'
by means of S. These two procedures are equivalent. The second is the series of transformations
l' = S1"., == A%,
% == S.x',
combJnin, these three
pves
y' == S1 AS;x.' == A' x',
that is
(1.7)
Twb transformations A and A' are said to be equivalent if they are related by an equation of the type (1.7), where S is au arbitrary transformation, having an inverse. They go over into each other by a chanse of axes. , As a simple example let us consider the operation in which every vector of
a th.reod:imeasional vector space tR3 is rotated throup an anaJe 8
around a given axis II coinciding with e3 This operation can be expressed by y == Ax where the matrix A is given by (compare Fig. 1.2&):
45°
A = (:
:
'~) (8 = iJ2).
001
If we now perform a mapping of Ul _{3} on itself with the matrix:
S = (~
~ i),
010
6
VECTOR SPACES 
UNITARY GEOMETRY
_{[}_{C}_{b}_{.}
_{1}_{,} _{§} _{2}
we obtain the new basis vectors el, e~ and e; indicated in Fig. 1.2b. The
4S°opera:tion described above is now given by y' == A' x'
A' = (~ ^{o} ^{}^{B}^{)}
1
0
o
B
,
where
and one easily verifies the relationship (1.7).
\ :
;
.
':/5
.
J
^{•}^{3}^{,}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{6}
.,/
1
\
\
\,
"
Fig. 1.2a
_{F}_{i}_{g}_{.} _{1}_{.}_{2}_{b} "rotate every vector of the 3dimensional space
Fig_ 1.2. Tho
&nile 8 1 =: 45 ^{0} around a given axis a" performed in two different systems of reference.
operation
through, an
2. Eodidean and Unitary Spaces
2.1~ UNITARY METRIC
;
The preceding definitions are sufficient to determine the affine'properties o~!a vector space. In order to. complete the analogy with ordinary usual space, it is necessary to attribute additional properties to it (the socalled· _,ricproperties)and for this it is sufficient to give an invariant and positive definite form which is a function of the components of an arbitrary vector
and which defines the sqIIaI'e of the length or the norm of that vector,
x ^{2} =
i: 9ax,x" 1.
ik
1 A metric in which. go Is nondiagonal is not very often used, at least in the c:ase of CODStant coe.IIi.deDtB. A nondiagonal metric geometrically interpreted means that we have an oblique coordinate system. In this case tho projections perpendicular and parallel to the other coordinate axes are tile co and the contravariant components. If tho vectors are
functiOns (compare § 1.4). a DOD metric meaDS a set of nonorthogonal wave
functions, which are used in some exceptional cases, for instance the Orthogonali.zed
Plane Wave method in solid state physics.,
iialonaI
In general gQ may be functions o'fthe coordinatss Xl,~Here alr~~dyin the diagonal case
_{C}_{h}_{.}
_{1}_{,}
_{§} _{2}_{]}
EtJCLIDEAN <l~~ND UNITARY SPACES
_{7}
An affine space with a metric in a real domain is Euclidean if one can
reduce (g ik) to a unit matrix by a change of a,.'tes S:
In quantum mechanics one deals in general with complex quantities, but
the norm (or fundamental metric invariant) of an arbitrary vector has neces sarily to be real in order to llave a meaning in physics. "fhe space is unitary'
because this invariant can be brought into the following form by a change of axes s:
xl.
;: (x · x)
n
== L, XiXi'
i= 1
(1.8)
where xi is the complex conjugate of Xi.
The coordinate system is thus unitary. In such a system one can even define a scalar product of t\VO vectors y and x:
(1.8a)
These equations show that the axis of a unitary coordinate system are orthogonal tmit vectors; their norm. is equal to one and the scalar products
of any pair are zero because the components ell and ek~of' e,and e are 6" and
~'d respectively.
(x · y) = L, XiYi
(y · x)*.
=
11lus
we
have:
(1.8b)
One verifies at the same time that the component Xi is equal to the scalar product of the vector x and the unit vector e,:
(l.8e)
because the components of £, are real. In § 1.4 we mentioned that vectors may
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