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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.TH-HOLLAND 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 :

NORTH-HOLLAND 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 so-called 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. n-dimensional vector or aff1De spaces

1.1. n-dimensional 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 projection-matrix 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 spac-e 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

.

.

.

.

. •

.

4.1.

Function space

.

.

.

.

.

"

.

.

.

.

.

"

.

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 n-particle 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.

.

.

.

.

.

.

40

5.2. Heisenberg representation

.

.

.

.

.

.

42

6.

Transition probabilities and radiation theory.

.

45

7.

Perturbation theory

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.,

.

47

7.1. Formulation of the problem

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

47

7.2. Non-degenerate problems

 

.

.

.

.

.

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

64,

3.1. Definition

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

64

3.2.

Cosets or complexes associated with a subgroup.

 

.

.

.

.

.

65

Conjugated elements. Classes

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

66

4.1.

The case of linear substitutions

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

66

4

2.

Generalizations. Invariant subgroups

 

67

4.3. Factor group

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

,

68

4.4~ Abelian groups

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

69

s. Some properties of the group of permutations of n objects 9'. (symmetric

 

group) .

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

~ . •

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

4

93

12.

Sum of a class; projection operators

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

94

12.1. Definition of the sum of a class; structure coefficients.

94

 

12.2.

Character tables

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

"

.

.

.

.

.

95

12.3.

Projection operators (idempotent elements)

.

97

13.

Repre~enta~ons of the permutation group.

 

100

13.1. Young-tableaux.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

100

13

2.

The P" Q-operations; idempotents

 

102

13.3.

Irreducible representations

 

104

Appendix 3.1.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

110

1.2. Transformations induced in function space by the transformations in con- figuration space

110

 

1.3. Expression of the invariance of H

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

111

1.4. Constants of the motion .

 

112

2.

Wigner's theorem

.

.

"

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

113

2.1. Theorem .

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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.

Non-abelian groups. Rotations and retlections in a plane

124

Appendix 4.1.

"

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

126

CONTENTS

CHAPTml 5. ROTATIONS IN 3-DIMBNSIONAL SPACE: GROUP !'I,

1. Spherical harmonics and representation of the rotation aroup

 

.

128

2. R.otation group and two-dimenaioDal 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

 

&

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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. Clebsch-Gordan 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)

 

"

.

.

.

.

.

c

15.

6.3.

Applications

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

IS9

6.4.

Complex atoms

 

"

"

.

160

7.

Selection rules.

.

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

It

Ii

162

8.

Parity or reftection character. Approximate selection rules

 

"

164

8.1.

Parity; Tho rule of Laporte

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

164

8.2.

Approximate selection tules

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

166

9,'

Stark effect. Anomalous Zeeman effect. Line componetlta

 

LaacW

splittin, factor. Paschen-Back eaect

 

.

.

.

.

166

9.1.

Goneral theory

 

.

.

"

.

167

9.2.

Intensity or components

 

.

.

.

.

.

168

9

3.

Lande-factor

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

"

169

Appendix I. The connection between a formal set of basis f\mctions aad the spherical

harm.onics .

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

m

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

.

.

.

"

,

.

.

.

.

.

01' THE It.OTAnoN GllOtJP

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

·

·

·

·

·

·

·

.

.

3. Wisner-Eckhardt 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

.

.

.

241

.

.

244

.

.

245

 

249

 

.

.

2'3

 

256

.

.

"

2S9

259

261

264

261

273

217

279

CHAPTER

1

VECTOR SPACES -

UNITARY GEOMETRY

1. n-dimeDSionai Vector or Affine Spaces

1.1.

n-DIMENSIONAL 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 n-dimensional 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

possible linear combinations from these n basis vectors (1.1) In ordinary space, n = 3, the

(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

the ei (as all vectors of 8lra are). Thus we will have (1.2) where S =

(1.2)

where S = (Sik) is the transformation matrix With 11 rows and columns.

1

2

,lEcrOR SPACES -- UNITARY GEO~iETRY

[eh.

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

Ch.

I,

§ Ij

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 n-dimensional 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- ponents are arranged hI a single column (the first one for example) and where

lOne has obviously

4

VECfOR SPACES -

UNITARY GEOMETRY

[eb.

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. non-square) 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 one-column 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=A-IAX.

k

So the inverse matrix A -1

of A is defined by

that is

AA- 1 = A -lA

=

I

= (t?ik),

A is defined by that is AA- 1 = A -lA = I = (t?ik), (1.6)

(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

Ch.

1,

§ 1]

n-DIMENSIONAL 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'.

(1.4c)

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 S-1, 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 S-1 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' = S-1"., == A%,

% == S.x',

combJnin, these three

pves

y' == S-1 AS;x.' == A' x',

that is

y' == S-1 AS;x.' == A' x', that is (1.7) Twb transformations A and A' are

(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.reo-d: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

[Cb.

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).

, where and one easily verifies the relationship (1.7) . \ I " :~ -_I ,
\ I " :~ -_I , f \ I \~ 45-
\
I
" :~
-_I
,
f
\
I
\~
45-
, , \ , \
,
,
\
,
\

\ :

;

.

':/5-

.

J

3,-------6

\ \ : ; . ':/5- . J • 3 , - - - - -

.,/

1

\

\

\,

"

Fig. 1.2a

Fig. 1.2b "rotate every vector of the 3-dimensional 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 so-called· _,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 non-diagonal is not very often used, at least in the c:ase of CODStant coe.IIi.deDtB. A non-diagonal 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 non-orthogonal 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

Ch.

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:

(g ik) to a unit matrix by a change of a,.'tes S: In quantum mechanics one

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:

(x · y) = L, XiYi (y · x)*. = 11lus we have: (1.8b) One verifies

(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