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Hilbert Space description

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Formalism

I.

HILBERT SPACE

A linear vector space over the field C of complex number , , ... is an abstract set of elements (vectors), denoted by a ket |a >, with the following properties (in what follows means for all, - exists, - in, or belongs):

1. |a > and |b > H

exists a rule for forming the sum (|a > +|b >) H

(|a > +|b >) = (|b > +|a >) (commutative law).

4.

(|a > +|b >) + |c >= |a > + (|b > +|c >) (associative law).

with the property |a > +|0 >= |a >.

5. |a > H

a negative vector (also called the inverse vector) | a > H

|a > +| a >= |0 >.

6. and C

(|a > +|b >) = |a > +|b >

( + )|a >= |a > +|a >

(.)|a >= (|a >)

0|a >= |0 >

1|a >= |a >

(1)|a >= | a >

All polynomials of degree < N on the interval 1 x 1, i.e. all functions of the following type:

fN (x) = a0 + a1 x + a2 x2 + ... + aN 1 xN 1 |fN (x) >

These polynomials form a linear vector space

2

B. HILBERT SPACE

A Hilbert space H is a linear vector space over the field C of complex number , , ... with an inner (scalar)

product for every ordered pair of vectors. In other words, it is an abstract set of elements (vectors), denoted by a

ket |a >, with the properties (1)-(6) plus a definition of an inner (scalar) product for every ordered pair of vectors.

7. A scalar (inner) product {|a >, |b >} C is defined in H with the following properties:

{|a >, |b > +|c >} = {|a >, |b >} + {|a >, |c >}

or

{|a > +|b >, |c >} = {|a >, |c >} + {|b >, |c >}

or

All polynomials of degree < N on the interval 1 x 1, i.e. all functions of the following type:

fN (x) = a0 + a1 x + a2 x2 + ... + aN 1 xN 1 |fN (x) >

These polynomials form a linear vector space with inner product defined as follows:

Z 1

fN

(x)gN (x)dx

1

Z 1

Z

2

N

{|fN (x) >, |gN (x) >} =

(2 + x )(5x )dx = 10

1

1

N

x dx + 5

xN +2 dx

If N is even, we have

{|fN (x) >, |gN (x) >} =

10

20

+

.

N +1 N +2

If N is odd, we have

{|fN (x) >, |gN (x) >} = 0.

8. Two vectors, |a > and |b >, are orthogonal if {|a >, |b >} = 0.

Example of orthogonal vectors: If N is odd the above two vectors, fN (x) = 2 + x2 , and gN (x) = 5xN ,

are orthogonal.

9a. A norm ||a|| < (< is a field of real numbers) of a vector |a > is defined by

p

||a|| = {|a >, |a >}

Example: norm of vector fN (x) = 2 + x2

sZ

||fN (x)|| =

(2 + x2 )2 dx =

- the Schwatrz inequality

||a||

||b||

166

15

3

Example: Let fN (x) = 2 + x2 and g(x) := 5x8 . Norm of fN (x) = 2 + x2 is

sZ

r

1

166

2

2

||fN (x)|| =

(2 + x ) dx =

15

1

Norm of gN (x) is

sZ

||gN (x)|| =

(5x8 )2 dx

=5

R1

(f (x).gN (x)dx 3.1.

1 N

310

99 .

2

17

5.7

>

|||a > +|b > ||

||a|| + ||b||

with the equality only being valid when |a >= |b >, and > 0.

For our above two vectors we calculate:

||fN (x) + gN (x)|| = 4.5

The term Hilbert space H usually is reserved for the infinite-dimensional space. In this Section, we discuss

a N -dimensional (finite-dimensional) linear space VN with a scalar product (which also can be called a Hilbert N dimensional space).

Any set of linearly independent vectors |e1 >, |e2 >, ..., |eN > is called a basis in VN . Recall that |e1 >, |e2 >

, ..., |eN > are linearly independent vectors if

N

X

(1)

i=1

{|ei >, |ej >} = ij

(2)

Any basis can be transform into orthonormal by means of the Gram-Schmidt procedure. Let |E1 >, |E2 >

, ..., |EN > is a basis, but not orthonormal. The new orthonormal basis will be denoted by |e1 >, |e2 >, ..., |eN >. The

first vector from the new orthonormal basis is

|e1 >=

1

|E1 >,

||E1 ||

|e02 >= |E2 > {|e1 >, |E2 >}|e1 >

This vector satisfies the condition:

{|e01 >, |e02 >} = 0

4

Thus, the second orhonormal vector is:

|e2 >=

1

|e0 >

||e02 || 2

Similarly,

|e03 >= |E3 > {|e1 >, |E3 >}|e1 > {|e2 >, |E3 >}|e2 >,

|e3 >=

1

|e0 >

||e03 || 3

The same procedure can be used to find |e4 >,|e5 >,..., and |eN >.

Supposed that we have chosen a given orthonormal basis |e1 >, |e2 >, ..., |eN >. Then, any vector |a > from VN

is uniquely defined by the equation:

|a >=

N

X

ai |ei >,

(3)

i=1

where the complex numbers a1 , a2 , ..., an , called the components of the vector |a > in the given basis |e1 >

, |e2 >, ..., |eN >, are defined by the equation:

ai = {|ei >, |a >}

(4)

We now postulate that to each ket-vector |a > in the ket space, there exists a corresponding quantity

called a bra-vector, denoted by < a| in a dual space V 0 . There is one-to-one correspondence between

bra- and ket-vectors

|a >< a|

(5)

|a > < a|

(6)

|ei >< ei |,

i = 1, ..., N

the components of < a| in the bra-basis < e1 |, < e2 |, ..., < eN | are a1 , a2 , ..., aN , i.e.

< a| =

N

X

ai < ei |

(7)

i=1

{|a >, |b >} =

N

X

PN

i,j=1

i=1

N

X

ai bj ij =

i,j=1

N

X

PN

i=1 bi |ei

>:

ai bi

By means of the bra-vectors we redefine the inner product {|a >, |b >} between two ket-vectors |a >=

PN

and |b >= i=1 bi |ei > in terms of product between a bra-vector < a| and a ket-vector |b >:

N

X

i,j=1

N

X

i,j=1

(8)

i=1

ai bj ij =

N

X

ai bi

PN

i=1

ai |ei >

(9)

i=1

We can also introduce one-to-one correspondence between matrices and ket- and bra-vectors in a given orthonormal

basis. The correspondence is as follows: any ket-vector |a > from the discrete space VN can be represented by a

N 1 (one-column) matrix

a1

a

|a > 2

.

aN

5

any bra-vector from the discrete space V0N can be represented by 1 N matrix (one-row matrix):

< a| (a1

a2 ...aN )

There is one-to-one correspondence between the inner product {|a >, |b >} and the product between two matrices:

b1

N

X

b2

{|a >, |b >} = (a1 a2 ...aN )

=

ai bi

.

i=1

bN

D. EXAMPLE FOR A FINITE-DIMENSIONAL VECTOR SPACE

The vectors in this example are defined as all polynomials of degree < N on the interval 1 x 1, i.e. all functions

of the following type:

fN (x) = a0 + a1 x + a2 x2 + ... + aN 1 xN 1 |fN (x) >

These polynomials form a linear vector space (one can check that the requirements (1) to (6) are fulfilled). The inner

product of two vectors, |fN (x) > and |gN (x) >, is defined as follows:

Z 1

fN

(x)gN (x)dx

1

Y0 (x) = x0 = 1,

Y1 (x) = x,

Y2 (x) = x2 , ...,

YN 1 (x) = xN 1

R 1 space form a linear independent set of N vectors, and therefore, they can be used as a basis in this vector

space. Since 1 Yi (x)Yj (x)dx 6= ij , the linearly independent basis functions Yi (x) do not form an orthonormal basis.

Applying the Gram-Schmidt procedure, we can obtain the following orthonormal basis yi (x) (Legendre polynomials):

r

r

r

r

1

3

5

7

2

, y1 (x) =

x, y2 (x) =

(3x 1), y3 (x) =

(5x3 3x),

y0 (x) =

2

2

8

8

r

y4 (x) =

9

(35x4 30x2 + 3), ...,

128

yi (x)yj (x)dx = ij

1

In this orthonormal basis, any ket vector of the space is defined by providing N coefficients f0 , f1 , ..., fN 1 , i.e.

PN 1

fN (x) = i=0 fi yi (x). We establish one-to-one correspondence between the ket vectors of the linear space and the

N 1 matrices:

f0

f

|fN (x) > 1

.

fN 1

If gN (x) =

PN 1

i=0

g0

g

|gN (x) > 1

.

gN 1

then:

(i) |fN (x) > +|gN (x) >= |hN (x) > is a vector

f0 + g0

f1 + g1

.

fN 1 + gN 1

6

from the same space;

(ii) the scalar product of two kets fN (x) and gN (x) is defined by

{|fN (x) >, |gN (x) >} =

N

1

X

fi gi

i=0

As we postulated above, there must be a one-to-one correspondence between bra- and ket-vectors. This requirement

can be fulfilled using the following correspondence: (i) since the Legendre polynomials are real functions, the bra

basis < yi (x)| is formed by the same Legendre polynomials; (ii) to each ket-vector |fN (x) > in the ket space, there

exists a corresponding bra-vector, denoted by < fN (x)| in a dual space V 0 :

1 )

We establish a one-to-one correspondence between the bra vectors and the 1 N matrices. Thus, we can rewrite the

inner product between two kets as inner product between bet and bra vectors:

g0

N 1

g1 X

=

{|fN (x) >, |gN (x) >} =< fN (x)|gN (x) >= (f0 , f1 , ..., fN

fi gi

)

1

.

i=0

gN 1

E. INFINITE-DIMENSIONAL SPACE

The above equations can be generalized for the case when the space is not a finite-dimensional space, but an infinitedimensional space. As an example, we consider the infinite-dimensional space of all functions f (x), g(x), h(x), ... on the

interval a x b. These functions are vectors from a linear vector space (statements (1) -(6) take place). Instead of a

basis of N linearly independent vectors, one has to use a complete set of vectors |Y1 (x) >, |Y2 (x) >, ..., |Yi (x) >, ...,

and by definition, if the set is complete, then an arbitrary vector |f (x) > can be expanded in terms of it:

|f (x) >=

or f (x) =

i=0

ai Yi (x)

(10)

i=0

Applying the Gram-Schmidt orthogonalisation method, we can obtain a complete set of orthonormal vectors

|y1 (x) >, |y2 (x) >, ..., |yi (x) >, ... such that

Z b

yi (x)yj (x)dx = ij

a

|f (x) >=

or f (x) =

i=0

Z

fi yi (x),

yi (x)f (x)dx

(11)

i=0

fi =

i gi |yi (x)

fi gi

i=0

The dual infinite-dimensional space is a space of all functions f (x), g (x), h (x), ...:

Z b

X

X

< f (x)| =

fi < yi (x)| or f (x) =

fi yi (x), fi =

yi (x)f (x)dx

i=0

(12)

i=0

Note, that we introduced a complete vector space and a complete set of vectors. A complete vector space

means that linear combinations like (10) which involves an infinite number of terms belong to the vector space. The

last requires that < f (x)|f (x) > is a finite:

{|f (x) >, |f (x) >} =< f (x)|f (x) >=

X

i=0

|fi |2 <

(13)

7

II.

b on Hilbert space H is an instruction for transforming |a > H into another vector |b > H:

An operator A

b >= |b >

A|a

In other words, a linear operator induces a mapping of H onto itself (or onto a subspace of H).

For linear operators:

b

b > + A|b

b >

A(|a

> +|b >) = A|a

The following definitions are valid |a > H:

b and B,

b are equal, A

b=B

b if

1. Two operators, A

b >= B|a

b >

A|a

2. Sum of two operators:

b + B)|a

b

b > +B|a

b >

(A

>= A|a

3. Product of two operators:

b B)|a

b

b B|a

b >)

(A.

>= A(

4. Zero operator, and unit operator:

b >= |0 >

O|a

5. If f (x) =

b

1|a >= |a >

an xn then:

b =

f (A)

bn

an A

6. If

b >= |a >

A|a

b with eigenvalue . The set of all eigenvalues of A

b is called the spectrum,

then |a > is an eigenvector of the operator A

which can be discrete n or continuous values (or both).

b acts on ket-vectors from the left. Now, we introduce an operator A

b

7. We wrote earlier that an operator A

b

named the adjoint of A, which acts in the dual space of the bra-vectors, and acts on any bra-vector from the right:

b > (< a|)A

b

A|a

b

8.

The last equation states that if |a > and | < a| are the corresponding ket- and bra-vector, then A|a > and

b also should be corresponding ket- and bra-vector.

< a|A

It can be proved that:

b = A

b ;

9a. A

b+B

b =A

b + B

b;

9b. A

bB

b =B

bA

b ;

9c. A

b = A

b

9d. A

b = A

b then the operator A

b is called Hermitian operator.

10. If A

b = A

b we have:

For any Hermitian operator A

b >=< g|A|f

b >

< f |A|g

(14)

b >,

|G >= A|g

b >=

< f |A|g

fi Gi

X

b > = < g|A

b |f > =< G|f > ==

< g|A|f

fi Gi

i

b=A

b , then all eigenvalues n are real.

11a. If A

b

b , the eigenvectors, |a > and |b >, corresponding to the different eigenvalues and , are orthogonal,

11b. If A = A

b

b >= |b >, and 6= , then < a|b >= 0.

i.e. if A|a >= |a >, A|b

b is called unitary operator if

12. The operator U

bU

b = U

b U

b =b

U

1

13. Commutator

b B]

b =A

bB

bB

bA

b

[A,

14. Properties of commutators:

b B]

b = [B,

b A]

b

14a. [A,

b

b

b

b B]

b + [A,

b C]

b

14b. [A, B + C] = [A,

b

b

b

b

b

b

b

b

b

14c. [A, B.C] = [A, B].C + B.[A, C]

b [B,

b C]]

b + [B,

b [C,

b A]]

b + [C,

b [A,

b B]]

b =O

b

14d. [A,

b

b

b

b

14e. [A, B] = [B , A ]

15. Outer product:

We define the so-called outer product |f >< g| between ket |f > and bra < g| vectors. The result of the outer

product is not a complex number, but an operator. By definition, the outer product |f >< g| is an operator: when

acting on a ket-vector |h >, it gives another ket-vector |f > times some number < g|h >:

|f >< g|(|h >) =< g|h > |f >

which follows from the relation |f >< g||h >< h| (|f >< g|) .

17. Projection operator Fb = |f >< f | projects any vector |g > into its component along |f >:

X

X

X

Fb|g >= |f >< f |

gi |ei >=

gi < f |ei > |f >

gi fi |f >

i

b

1=

|ei >< ei |

This very important and useful property is called the completeness relation or closure. The proof is simple:

X

X

X

b

1|f >= (

|ei >< ei |)|f >=

< ei |f > |ei >=

fi |ei >= |f >

i

b is a Hermitian operator, |n > and n are the corresponding eigenvectors and eigenvalues, i.e.

19. Let A

b

A|n >= n |n >. It can be proved that:

9

(i) the eigenvalues are real and form a discrete spectrum, and

(ii) its eigenvectors form a complete orthonormal system. In other words, its eigenvectors can be used as an

orthonormal basis in the Hilbert space.

Thus, any |f > H can be written in terms of the eigenvectors |n > of a Hermitian operator:

X

X

|f >= b

1|f >= (

|n >< n|)|f >=

< n|f > |n >

n

(15)

The set of complex numbers fn =< n|f > are called the A-representation of the vector |f >.

b

21. A-representation of the operator B:

b

Suppose we have some operator B. We can write:

!

!

X

X

X

0

0

b

b

b

b 0 > |n >< n0 |Bnn0 =< n|B|n

b 0>

b

b

B = 1B 1 =

|n >< n| B

|n >< n | =

< n|B|n

n0

(16)

n,n0

b there are N 2 terms in the sum, and hence N 2 numbers < n|B|n

b 0 >. We

If there are N eigenvectors of the operator A,

can place these numbers in a N N matrix, where the matrix elements are arranged by columns and rows according

b 0 >= Bnn0 . Thus, we can write for any operator B:

b

to < n|B|n

X

b=

b 0>

B

Bnn0 |n >< n0 |; Bnn0 =< n|B|n

(17)

n,n0

The matrix Bnn0 formed in this way is said to be a representation of the operator B

b has been chosen to determine the basis for that representation.

the matrix representation depends on which operator A

b

Similarly, the operator B can be represented by the matrix (Bnn0 ) :

X

b =

B

Bn 0 n |n >< n0 |

(18)

n,n0

bC

b

B

nn0

Bnn00 Cn00 n0

(19)

n00

b

22. Trace of B:

X

b =

Tr B

Bnn

n

The trace is independent of the particular orthonormal basis |n > that is chosen for its evaluation.

b and B

b are Hermitian operators, and if [A,

b B]

b = 0, then there exists a complete set of eigenvectors

23. If A

b and B.

b

which are eigenvectors for both A

b If the system is in state | >, then the corresponding

24. Suppose, we two Hermitian operators, Fb and G.

b >, respectively. We introduce the following vectors:

expectations values are f =< |Fb| > and g =< |G|

|f >= (Fb f )| >,

b g)| >

|g >= (G

< f |f >= < |(Fb f ) | (Fb f )| >

The state | > in F -representation is:

| >=

X

n

n |n >

10

where Fb|n >= fn |n >. Thus, we calculate:

X

2

< f |f >= < |(Fb f ) | (Fb f )| > =

|n |2 fn f

n

p

The last result shows that < f |f > is the standard deviation of the observable f :

X

2

f2 =< f |f >=

|n |2 fn f

n

g2 =< g|g >=

|n |2 (gn g)

b n >= gn |n >.

where G|

According to the Schwarz inequality:

f2 g2 =< f |f >< g|g > | < f |g > |2

Since, for any z = a + b we have |z|2 Imz = (z z )/2, one can write:

2

1

(< f |g > < g|f >)

f2 g2

2

But

b g)| >=< |FbG|

b > f .g < | >

< f |g >=< |(Fb f )(G

b g)(Fb f )| >=< |G

b Fb| > f .g < | >

< g|f >=< |(G

and therefore,

s

f g

2

1

b

b

< |[F , G]| >

2

The last inequality is called the uncertainty principle in its most general form.

III.

1. The differentiable functions F (x, y, z), G(x, y, z),.... , which are square integrable:

Z +

|F (x, y, z)|2 dxdydz <

behave as vectors, i.e. they are vectors from a linear vector space, in which the vectors are functions of x, y and z.

We define the inner product by the equation:

Z + Z + Z +

Z +

< F |G >=

F (x, y, z)G(x, y, z)dxdydz =

d3 rF (r)G(r)

(20)

r is one of the operators used in quantum mechanics. By definition, the position operator

acts on a given function F (x, y, z) F (r) simply multiplying that function by corresponding coordinate:

b

rj F (x, y, z) = xj F (x, y, z);

j = 1, 2, 3 or

rj = xj

x1 = x, x2 = y, x3 = z

(21)

11

The position operator b

r possesses eigenvalues < xj < + lying in the continuous range. The ket-vector

corresponding to the eigenvalue xj will be denoted by |x, y, z > (or shortly |r >):

b

rj |x, y, z >= xj |x, y, z >,

xj = x, y, z

(22)

(23)

0

b

1=

Z +

d3 rF (r)(r r0 ) = F (r0 )

(x) =

0 x 6= 0

x=0

(x2 x20 ) =

F (x)(x x0 ) =

,

a

F (x0 ),

x0 [a, b]

0, x0 < a, or x0 > b

1

[(x x0 ) + (x + x0 )] ,

|2x0 |

(ax) =

1

(x)

|a|

G(x0 )

| dFdx(x) | x=x0

The position representation of any vector |F > from the vector space of functions is:

Z

Z

|F >= d3 r|r >< r|F >= d3 rF (r)|r >

(24)

By means of the equations (22) and (23), one can prove that the matrix elements of the above operators are:

< r0 |b

rj |r >= xj (r r0 ),

(25)

3. By definition, the momentum operator p

b j F (x, y, z) =

p

~

F (x, y, z);

xj

j = 1, 2, 3 or

rj = xj

x1 = x, x2 = y, x3 = z

(26)

px =

~

x

defined on the space of differentiable functions F (x) for a x b. If the momentum operator is a Hermitian operator,

then according to eq. (14) we have:

Z

~ b

~

dG(x)

~ d

|G >=

F (x)

dx = F (x)G(x)|ba

< F |px |G >=< F |

x

a

dx

Z b

~

dF (x)

~

~ d

(27)

+

G (x)

dx = F (x)G(x)|ba + < G|

|F >

a

dx

x

~

= F (x)G(x)|ba + < G|px |F >

Thus, the momentum operator is a Hermitian operator if only the boundary conditions are imposed, i.e. the term

F (x)G(x)|ba = 0

(28)

Performing exactly the same considerations as in the case of position operator, we can introduce the ket-eigenvectors

b:

|p > of the momentum operator p

b j |p >= pj |p >,

p

j = x, y, z

(29)

12

Those ket-eigenvectors are orthogonal and normalized:

< p|p0 >= (p p0 ),

Z

b

1=

d3 p|p >< p|

(30)

Z

Z

3

d p|p >< p| |F >= d3 pF (p)|p >;

|F >=

(31)

where F (p) =< p|F > is the Fourier transform of F (r) =< r|F >, defined as follows:

Z

Z

p.r

p.r

d3 r

d3 p

F

(p)

exp

,

F

(p)

=

F

(r)

exp

F (r) =

~

~

(2~)3/2

(2~)3/2

(32)

The fundamental assumption in physics is that there exists a particular symmetry between coordinates and the

corresponding momenta - all the coordinates can be transformed into their momenta, and vice versa. In terms of

Dirac notations, this can be expressed by the following relationships:

p.r

p.r

1

1

< r|p >=

exp

exp

,

<

p|r

>=

(33)

~

~

(2~)3/2

(2~)3/2

By means of the equations (33 ), one can prove that the matrix elements of the position and momentum operators

are:

< r0 |b

rj |r >= xj (r r0 ),

< p0 |b

rj |p >=

~ (p p0 )

p0j

(34)

< r0 |b

pj |r >=

~ (r r0 )

x0j

(35)

< p0 |b

pj |p >= pj (p p0 ),

IV.

Postulate I: The state of the system is represented by a state vector |(t) > in a Hilbert space. The state vector

contains all needed information about the system. Any superposition of state vectors ia also a state vector.

According to this postulate, the state of the system is described by a ket |(t) > in a Hilbert space. If we

choose a position representation, the state of the system at any instant of time may be represented by a state (or

wave function) (r, t) =< r| >. All information regarding the state of the system is contained in the wave function.

Example Suppose, we have three operators in the Hilbert space, defined by their matrices:

0

1

0

1

Lx = 1 0 1 ,

2 0 1 0

0

1

Ly = 0

2 0 0

1

0

0

1

Lz = 0 0 0

2 0 0 1

(36)

By calculating the corresponding conjugate and transpose matrices we find that all of the above matrices are

Hermitian ones. The corresponding eigenvalues and eigenvectors are as follows:

For Lx :

1 0

det 1 1 = 0

0 1

1

1

1 = 1 |X1 >=

2 ,

2

1

1

1

2 = 1 |X2 >=

2 ,

2

1

3 = 0

1 1

0

|X3 >=

2

1

(37)

13

For Ly :

0

det = 0

0

1

1

1 = 1 |Y1 >=

2 ,

2

1

2 = 1

1

1

|Y2 >=

2 ,

2

1

11

0

3 = 0 |Y2 >=

2 1

(38)

For Lz :

1 0

0

0 =0

det 0

0

0 1

1

0

1 = 1 |Z1 >= 0 , 2 = 1 |Z2 >= 0 ,

0

1

0

|Z3 >= 1

0

3 = 0

(39)

To find the corresponding bra vectors, one has to conjugate and transpose the above ket vectors. For example, the

bra < Y1 | is

1

1

1

< Y1 | =

=

1 2 1

2

2

2

1

As we mentioned, eigenvectors of an Hermitian operator form a basis. This means, that one can use the eigenvectors

b x in the basis

|Zn >, for example, as a basis. Let us find the normalized eigenvectors |Xn > and eigenvalues of L

|Zn >. The eigenvector |Xi > could be expended in the basis |Zn >:

!

3

3

X

X

b

Xin |Zn >,

(40)

|Xi >= 1|Xi >=

|Zn >< Zn | |Xi >=

n=1

n=1

where

1

1 2

1

1

2

1

1

= 1

,

X

=

2

1

1 1 2

2

2

2 2 0

2 2 0

i, n = 1, 2, 3

b = Xin

X

(41)

b = X

bX

b = 1) and it transforms the eigenvectors |Zn > into the

b = Xin is a unitary matrix (X

b X

The matrix X

b matrix transforms |Xi > into |Zn >.

eigenvectors |Xi >. The X

Postulate II: To any observable f (such as position, linear momentum, energy, angular momentum, or number of particles) in physics, there exists a corresponding Hermitian operator Fb such that:

(i) the measurement of f yields values (call these measured values of f ) which are the eigenvalues f1 , f2 , ..., fn , ...

of Fb, i.e. Fb|n >= fn |n >, where |n > is the eigenvector which corresponds to the eigenvalue fn ;

(ii) if the system is in a state | >, a measurement of the observable f will yield the value fn with probability

| < n | > |2 , and therefore, the average (or the expectation value) of f is f =< |Fb| >.

Example. Suppose that the system is in the state in which the outcome of the measurement of the observable Lz

is 2 = 1. This means that the state vector is:

1

|(t) >= |Z2 >= 0

(42)

0

14

Let us calculate Lx , L2x and Lx .

bx :

First, we have to expand the state vector |Z2 > in terms of the eigenvectors of L

|Z2 >=

3

X

n=1

1

1

1

|X1 > + |X2 > |X3 >

2

2

2

(43)

Lx = 1 = 1

with

1

4

Lx = 2 = 1

with

1

4

Lx = 3 = 0

with

1

2

Lx =

3

X

PnLx n =

n=1

1

1

1

(1) + (1) + (0) = 0

4

4

2

c2 , L

c2 must have common eigenvectors |Xn >, where

cx ] = 0, and therefore, L

cx and L

Let us calculate L2x . Note that [L

x

x

c2 are 2 . Thus, L2 is calculated to be:

n = 1, 2, 3. The eigenvalues of L

n

x

x

L2x

3

X

PnLx 2n =

n=1

1

1

1

1

(1)2 + (1)2 + (0)2 =

4

4

2

2

v

r

u 3

uX

2

1

1

1

1

Lx

t

(1 0)2 + (1 0)2 + (0 0)2 =

Pn n Lx =

Lx =

4

4

2

2

n=1

Example. Suppose the system is in a state with Lz = 1, which means the state vector is |Z1 > instead of |Z2 >

bx :

in the previous example. Now, we expand the state vector |Z1 > in terms of the eigenvectors of L

|Z1 >=

3

X

n=1

1

1

1

|X1 > + |X2 > + |X3 >

2

2

2

(44)

Lx = 1 = 1

with

1

4

Lx = 2 = 1

with

1

4

Lx = 3 = 0

with

1

2

Postulate III: A measurement of the observable f that yields the value fn leaves the system in the state

n , i.e. the measurement changes the state of the system. In other words, if the state of the system is |(t) > and the

15

result of the measurement on state |(t) > is fn , the state of the system immediately after the measurement is

given by a projection of |(t) > onto the eigenvector |n > corresponding to fn :

| >af ter = Pb|n > |(t) >=< n |(t) > |n >

Here, Pb|n > = |n >< n | is the projection operator that projects any vector onto its component along |n >.

Example Suppose that the state of the system in |Zn > basis is:

1/2

= 1 |Z1 > + 1 |Z2 > + 1 |Z3 >

| >= 1/2

2

2

2

1/ 2

(45)

Then, if L2z is measured and the result is +1, what is the state immediately after the measurement?

b z and L

b 2z have common eigenvectors |Zn >, where n = 1, 2, 3. The eigenvalues an of L

b 2z are an = 2n :

First, L

a1 = 1,

a2 = 1,

a3 = 0

In the case of degeneracy, we have a doublet of orthonormal vectors |Z1 > and |Z2 > with the same eigenvalue

a1 = a2 = 1. The probability to measure a1 = 1 is:

| < Z1 | > |2 =

1

2

| < Z2 | > |2 =

1

4

After the measurements, the system could be in a state |Z1 > with a probability 2/3 and in a state |Z2 > with a

probability 1/3.

Postulate IV: The state vector |(t) > obeys the Schrodinger equation:

~

b is the Hamiltonian operator.

where H

d

b

|(t) >= H|(t)

>,

dt

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