This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

Welcome to Scribd! Start your free trial and access books, documents and more.Find out more

**PHASE AND COHERENCE IN QUANTUM
**

SYSTEMS

A THESIS

Submitted to the University of Madras

in Partial fulﬁlment of the requirement

of the Degree of

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

By

KUMAR ESWARAN

1

Department of Theoretical Physics

University of Madras

Madras 6000025

INDIA

January 1973

1

The support of the University Grants Commission is gratefully acknowledged

PREFACE

This thesis embodies the results of the investigations carried out by the au-

thor during the period 1969-1972 in the Department of Theoretical Physics of

the University of Madras, on the phase and coherence aspects of quantum sys-

tems.

The thesis consists of four chapters and an appendix. Chapter II embodies the

results of our studies on generalized phase operators for the quantum harmonic

oscillator. In Chapter III we present an approximate solution for the energy

levels of the anharmonic oscillator, which we obtain through the use of action

and phase variables. Chapter IV concerns itself with the behaviour of small

wavepackets in spherically symmetric potentials and, in particular, the question

whether there exist any wave packets which remain coherent for all time.

The work reported in this thesis has been done in collaboration with and

under the guidance of Professor P.M. Mathews. It forms the subject matter of

ﬁve papers, two of which have already been published:

1. On the Generalized Phase operators for the Quantum Harmonic

Oscillator, Il Nuovo Cimento 70 B, pp 1 -11 (1970)

2. On the Energy Levels of the Anharmonic Oscillator,

(with P.M. Mathews), Lett. al Nuovo Cimento 5, pp 15 - 18, (1972)

and three others (see footnote)

1

which are in the course of publication.

To the knowledge of the author the results of the thesis have not formed any

part of any earlier thesis.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author is very deeply indebted to Professor P.M. Mathews without

whose inspiring guidance and continuous encouragement throughout the entire

period of research, this work could never have been completed.

He is grateful to Dr. M. Seetharaman and Mr. J. Jayaraman for fruiful

discussions. He is also grateful to his colleagues Mr. Lakshmanan, Mr. Sekhar

Raghavan and Mr. J. Prabhakaran for their cooperation.

He wishes to acknowledge his gratitude to the University Grants Commis-

sion for ﬁnancial assistance in the form of a research fellowship.

Finally thanks are due to Mr. Mohamed Jawad for his excellent typing of

the thesis.

1

NOTE ADDED: (by Author) These three papers have subsequently been published

and their references are as under:

3. Semi-Coherent States of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator, (with P.M. Mathews),

Il Nuovo Cimento 17 B, pp 332 - 335 (1973)

4. Simultaneous Uncertainties of the Cosine and Sine Operators, (with P.M. Mathews),

Il Nuovo Cimento 19 B, pp 99 - 104 (1974)

5. On the Evolution of Wave Packets for Particles in Central Potentials,

(with P.M. Mathews), Journal of Physics A, 7, pp 1547 - 1556 (1974)

1

CONTENTS

Chapter I : Page 3

Introduction

Chapter II : Page 9

On the Generalized Phase Operators for the Quantum

Harmonic Oscillator

Chapter III : Page 21

The Action & Phase (Angle) Variables & the Energy Levels

of the Anharmonic Oscillator

Chapter IV : Page 26

Coherence in Quantum Mechanical Systems

Chapter V : Page 36

Appendix and References

2

Chapter 1

Introduction

This thesis deals with some of the problems of the quantum theory which de-

spite the varied successes of the theory since it ﬁrst originated [1-4], have yet

remained unresolved. Broadly speaking the problems we consider have to do

with the role of the phase variable in relation to speciﬁc quantum systems (the

harmonic and the anharmonic oscillators) and the question of coherence in three

dimensional systems.

1. The Phase Operators for the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

The problem of the phase variable for the quantum harmonic oscillator arises

when one tries to ﬁnd a well behaved quantum mechanical opeator correspond-

ing to the phase or angle variable φ (canonically conjugate to the action variable

J) of the classical oscillator. The existence of a operator which is conjugate to

the number operator was postulated many years ago by Dirac [5]. Dirac pro-

posed to introduce a phase operator φ

op

through the deﬁnition

a = exp(iφ

op

)N

1

2

, (1.1)

where N is the number operator:

N = (N +

1

2

), N = a

†

a (1.2)

a and a

†

being the familiar annhilation and creation operators obeying the

commutation rule

[a, a

†

] = 1 (1.3)

The equation (1.1) was meant to be the analogue of the classical expression

(

mω

2

)

1

2

(x +ip/mω) = e

iφ

J

1

2

, (1.4)

which follows from the deﬁnition of the classical phase through

x = (

2J

mω

)

1

2

cosφ, p = (2Jmω)

1

2

sinφ, (1.5)

If exp(iφ

op

) of (1.1) is taken to be an unitary operator, as one would expect,

then the sustitution of (1.1) in (1.3) would immediately yield

exp(iφ

op

) N exp(−iφ

op

) = N + 1, (1.6)

3

But this cannot be: a similarity transformation of N cannot change it to N+1

since the spectrum of eigenvalues of the two operators cannot coincide. In fact

the impossibility of deﬁning an unitary operator exp(iφ

op

) through (1.1) was

ﬁrst pointed out by Susskind and Glogower [6]. Indeed if one assumed the

existence of such an operator satisfying the commutation relation

[N, φ

op

] = i (1.7)

suggested by the Poisson bracket relation ¦φ, J¦ = 1 , inconsistencies would

immediately arise.

1

For on sandwiching (1.7) between the number states [m`

and [n` one obtains

(m−n)'m[ φ

op

[n` = i δ

mn

, (1.8)

which would require that expectation values of the supposedly hermetian oper-

ator φ

op

should be inﬁnite and imaginary!

Though an unique phase operator cannot be had for a quantum harmonic

oscillator, one can introduce the notion of phase as is shown in the pioneering

work of Louiselle[10 ] and the subsequent paper of Susskind and Glogower [6],

by the use of a pair of hermetian operators called the cosine and sine operators.

These operators

2

are intended to be the quantum equivalent of the cosine and

sine of the classical phase. The commutation relations of C and S with N are

suggested by the Poisson brackets of J with cosφ and sinφ :

[C, N ] = i S and [S, N ] = −i C (1.9)

or equivalently, with

U = C +iS , (1.10)

[U, N ] = U ; (1.11)

from (1.11) it is easy to see that U is a step down operator for the number

eigenstates.

Taking,

U[n` = (1 −δ

n0

)[n −1` (1.12)

Susskind and Glogower [6], have solved the eigenvalue problem for the C and S

operators, and shown that their eigenvalue spectra are continuous and ﬁll the

range (−1, 1) and that the eigenstates form a complete set.

1

Varga and Aks, Ref. [7], claim to have obtained a representation of equation (1.7) in a

basis related to the positive momentum eigenfunctions of a particle in a one dimensional box

(−1/2, 1/2), see also Refs. [8] and [9]. Their argument rests on the identity of the eigenvalue

spectra of VP (P,Q being the momentum and position operators of the particle in the box

and V the projection operator to the states of non-negative momentum) and of the number

operator N, from which they infer that these positive momentum states and the number

eigenstates are related by an unitary transformation. They propose then that φ

op

be deﬁned

through the unitary transformation V QV → φ

op

. However, their arguments seem untenable:

while the zero eigenvalue of N is nondegenerate, that of VP is inﬁnitely degenerate(since all

negative momentum eigenstates of P become eigenstates belonging to the eigenvalue zero of

VP). Thus the assumed unitary transformation does not exist.

2

A similar approach as has been employed by Louisell [10 ] is useful in dealing with the

problem of the azimuthal angle conjugate to L

z

in angular momentum theory, eg. see Ref.

[11], for the discussion of the phase problem in angular momentum. Carruthers and Nieto

Ref. [12], provide an excellent review on these subjects.

4

The cosine and sine operators deﬁned through (1.10) to (1.12) are not the

only possible operators that can be obtained. It was pointed out by Lerner [13]

that equation (1.12) is not really mandatory, one could have more generally

U[n` = f(n)[n −1` ; with f(0) = 0 , (1.13)

where f(n) is arbitrary except for certain restrictions that are needed to ensure

that the C and S have eigenvalue spectra extending from -1 to +1. Lerner has

given examples for various forms for f(n) , following from the use of various

kinds of symmetrizations in going from the classical to the quantum variables.

The eigenstates for the C and S operators for a particular choice of f(n) have

been worked out by J. Zak [11]. Since U is not an Hermetian operator the eigen-

values of U will not be necessarily real. Lerner, Huang and Walters [14] have

proved the interesting fact that all complex numbers z with [z[ < 1 are eigen-

values of U. The corresponding eigenstates form an overcomplete set. Recently,

some of the spectral properties of the phase operators have been obtained also

by Ifantis [15],[16] using the observation that C and S belong to a special class

of tridiagonal operators.

We have made a systematic study of the eigenvalue problem of the gener-

alized phase operators C and S deﬁned by Lerner through (1.13), (1.10) and

(1.11) above. The particulars of this investigation are presented in Chapter II.

We prove that the coeﬃcients of the transformation from the number eigenstates

to the eigenstates of the C and S are quite generally orthogonal polynomials in

the eigenvalue parameter. This enables us to show that the eigenstates of the

generalized C and S operators form a complete set. It is interesting that such

properties are demonstrable even when f(n) is arbitrary. In the special case of

f(n) = (1 −δ

n0

) the coeﬃcients of the expansion of the C and S eigenstates in

terms of the number eigenstates reduce to the familiar Gegenbauer polynomials.

We also treat the problem of the minimum uncertainty state for the general-

ized phase operators, following the approach of Jackiw [17] and prove that the

states which minimize [(´C)(´S)/'i[C, S]`]

2

form an overcomplete set and are

labelled by a parameter λ taking values within an ellipse in the complex λ plane.

The coherent state representation of quantities of special interest involving the

C and S operators is then presented. We show that it is always possible to con-

struct phase operators C and S which commute within a class of coherent states

[α` characterized by [α[ = constant. An example of such a pair of operators is

given. This is the closest we have been able to get to the quantum mechani-

cal counterpart of the Poisson bracket relation ¦Cosφ, Sinφ¦ = 0 reﬂecting the

uniqueness of phase in classical mechanics.

2. Action and Phase (Angle) Variables and the Energy Levels of

the Anharmonic Oscillator

The problem of the anharmonic oscillator has been the subject of a great

deal, [18] -[20], of recent work which has been motivated largely by the hope

of exploiting the analogy of the anharmonic oscillator and the nonlinear ﬁelds

to gain some insight into the latter. The results are however of considerable

interest. Bender and Wu [19] showed that if the energy eigenvalues E

n

of the

5

hamiltonian

H =

p

2

2m

+αx

2

+βx

4

(1.14)

are calculated by a perturbation method in powers of β the series fails to

converge for any β . They have traced the reason for this divergence to the

peculiar analytical properties of E

n

(β) in the complex β plane. Despite the

singularities of E

n

(β), it turns out that the values of E

n

for physical β can be

clearly reproduced by Pad´ e approximants [21]-[22]. Other methods of comput-

ing E (eg. in terms of the roots of a Hill determinant) have also been explored

recently[23]-[25]. However throughout this work one does not ﬁnd a simple for-

mula for quick and practical computation of the energy levels. We show in

Chapter III of this thesis that by a semiclassical method based on the use of

the action and angle variables an approximate formula which serves this pur-

pose can be obtained. It not only reduces to the harmonic oscillator spectrum

as β → 0 but also reproduces the known asymptotic (large n) expression for

E

n

(β) . We also derive a scaling relation (for the exact eigenvalues) which is

more general than any previously known in the literature [20] and show that

our approximate formula for E

n

(β) does obey this scaling relation.

3. Coherence of Wave Packets in Three Dimensions

It is well known that attempts to reconcile wave-mechanics with classical

mechanics by interpreting particles as wavepackets were not completely sucess-

ful because quantum mechanical wavepackets do not keep a constant size for

all time [26],[27] . The size of a free wave packet increases indeﬁnitely as time

passes. Though the rate of spreading in the case of macroscopic objects is so ex-

tremely small as to be totally unnoticable, the very possibility of spreading has

appeared to some as too disturbing to be acceptable. Louis de Broglie notably

has suggested [28] that the Schrodinger equation should be replaced by some

nonlinear equation which would preserve the main quantum mechanical struc-

ture but inhibit the spread of such wavepackets

3

. As an alternative possibility,

the use of singular solutions

4

of the Schrodinger equation has been advocated,

for describing point particles [32]-[34],[28] . There has also been an attempt

[35] to link the problem of the spread of wavepackets with the curvature of

space-time in the general theory of relativity and show that a theory that takes

this into accout will permit the motion of wavepackets along deﬁnite trajecto-

ries without unlimited spreading. None of these attempts can be said to have

really made much headway, and the standard form of quantum mechanics has

the allegiance of practically all physicists. It is surprising however that hardly

any attempt has been made within the ambit of orthodox theory, to study the

motion of wavepackets even in simple realistic systems. Besides the free particle,

the harmonic oscillator (in one or more dimensions) seems to be the only other

system to have been extensively investigated. It has been long recognised that

the latter, unlike the free particle has wavepacket states such that the size of

the packet remains time independent. These are the coherent states [36]- [39]

3

For a discussion of the spreading of a ‘classical wavepacket’ (i.e. the group of samples of

a statistical ensemble around some point in phase space) see M.Born and D.J. Hooton, and

M.Born Refs. [29]-[31].

4

Such solutions have been called ‘The Double solutions’, for a discussion of this, see Ref.

[28].

6

already referred to in Sec.1, and they are characterised by a minimum value for

the product of the extensions in coordinate and momentum spaces. But even in

the case of such an important system as a particle in a coulomb-type potential,

nothing seems to be known about the behaviour of a small three dimensional

wavepacket as time progresses, and in particular, as to whether there exist co-

herent (in the sense of non-spreading) wave packets in such a potential.

In view of this situation it seemed interesting to investigate the behaviour of

wavepackets bound in spherically symmetric potentials of three dimensions. We

present in Chapter IV the details of such a study. Our aim is to check whether

there exist wave packet states in which the uncertainties in the various compo-

nents of position, momentum etc. are time independent. We will refer to such

states as coherent states, for brevity, but it must be noted that the usage of this

term in the context of the harmonic oscillator implies much more than the mere

constancy of the uncertainties. To emphasise this point as well as to introduce

the method of attack in the more complicated three-dimensional case, we ﬁrst

obtain the equations which govern the time variation of position and momentum

uncertainties associated with wavepackes in the harmonic oscillator potential.

We show that there exist a large class of states representing wavepackets whose

mean positions move simple harmonically and whose sizes remain time indepen-

dent but which are not necessarily coherent states in the standard terminology,

we term such states as semi-coherent states. An interesting special class of such

states is exhibited.

We then turn to study the coherence aspect of a wavepacket in an arbitrary

central potential in three dimensions. The interlinking of diﬀerent degrees of

freedom through the potential makes the problem quite complex, but when the

trajectory of the mean centre of the packet is circular the symmetry of the

system can be taken advantage of to make the problem tractable. It turns out

that the uncertainty in the position and momentum components perpendicular

to the plane of the orbit have a simple behaviour. As far as the uncertainties

within the plane of the orbit are concerned, it is an advantage to deﬁne them

through the following quantities:

χ

R

= '(x −'x`)

2

R

`, (1.15a)

χ

T

= '(x −'x`)

2

T

`, (1.15b)

π

R

= '( p −' p`)

2

R

`, (1.15c)

π

T

= '( p −' p`)

2

T

`, (1.15d)

where the subscripts R,T refer to component in the radial and the tangential

direction respectively:

(x −'x`)

R

= (x −'x`).

'x`

R

,

(x −'x`)

T

= (x −'x`).

' p`

P

, (1.16)

etc., where R, P are the radius of the circular orbit and the mean momentum

in the orbit respectively.

The time derivative of the quantities (1.15) evaluated using the quantum

mechanical equation of motion(in the approximation of small size of the wave

7

packet) involve various cross correlations eg. '(x − 'x`)

R

( p − ' p`)

T

`. It turns

out that one can get a closed system of ﬁrst order diﬀerential equations with

constant coeﬃcients for a set of six such correlated functions together with the

four quantities (1.15). Taking these ten quantities as the elements of a ten

component column vector u, we can write the equations in the matrix form:

du

dt

= ωMu, (1.17)

where M is a 1010 matrix in which the particular central potential enters, only

through a single parameter, and ω is the frequency of the orbit. The question

of coherence of the wave packet then boils down to whether (1.17) has solutions

such that

du

dt

= 0. We ﬁnd that formally such solutions do infact exist, since

M happens to have zero eigenvalues (four of them); but it turns out that none

of these solutions is compatible with the essential positivity of the quantities

(1.15) . This diﬃculty manifests itself through the non-diagonalizability of the

matrix M. Positivity can be ensured only by allowing some of the uncertainties

deﬁned through (1.15) to increase indeﬁnitely. This is the case in particular for

the uncertainty in the tangential components of position: There is no choice of

initial conditions by which spreading of the wavepacket in this direction can be

prevented. The case of π

R

(which measures the uncertainty in the radial com-

ponent of momentum) is similar. On the other hand the tangential component

of momentum and the radial component of position as well the components per-

pendicular to the plane of motion remain well deﬁned, their uncertainties being

constant or varying harmonically at worst. The details of these calculations are

carried out for the case of particular interest, namely the coulomb potential.

But we observe that the results hold quite generally, for central potentials, the

only exception (where true coherent states exist) being the three dimensional

harmonic oscillator. In this case the M matrix becomes diagonalizable.

8

Chapter 2

On the Generalized Phase

Operators for the Quantum

Harmonic Oscillator

1. Introduction

We have noted in the last chapter, though an unique well-deﬁned phase op-

erator conjugate to the number operator N of the quantum harmonic oscillator

does not exist, the notion of phase can be introduced through cosine and sine

operators C and S deﬁned through the commutation relations:

[C, N ] = i S and [S, N ] = −i C (2.1)

or equivalently, with

[U, N] = U where U = C +iS . (2.2)

Equation (2.2) implies that

U [n` = f(n) [n −1` , with f(0) = 0 , (2.3)

where the sequence of numbers f(n) has to be so chosen as to ensure that the

hermetian operators C and S have the right kind of eigenvalue spectrum, namely

a continuous one extending from -1 to +1 , consistent with their interpretation

as cosine and sine operators. It was Lerner’s observation that the necessary and

suﬃcient conditions for this purpose

5

are that

f(n) →1 , as n →∞ (2.4)

and that it be possible to express the f(n) in terms of another sequence

g

n

(0 ≤ g

n

≤ 1) (2.5)

1

4

f

2

(n) = g

n

(1 −g

n−1

) . (2.6)

5

See Lerner,Huang and Walters Ref. [14] for a detailed proof of the ‘chain sequence condi-

tion’ (2.6) , and for the spectral properties of U.

9

Subject to these conditions one can make any of a vast variety of choices for f(n)

and hence for C and S. This freedom of choice raises interesting possibilities.

One may ask, for instance, whether one can deﬁne C, S in such a way that

'α[[C, S][α` = 0 (2.7)

within some class of coherent states. Such a question is prompted by the fact

that coherent states are wave packets with a classical motion and classically,

the cosine and sine functions have a vanishing Poisson bracket, the phase angle

being uniquely deﬁned. We will consider this in section 5, but ﬁrst we solve the

the eigenvalue problem for C and S in all generality. We show in section 2 that

if

C [λ` = λ[λ` , (2.8)

and [λ` is expanded in terms of the number eigenstates [n` as

[λ` =

n=∞

¸

n=0

C

n

(λ) [n` , (2.9)

then the C

n

(λ) form a set of orthogonal polynomials in λ . We also verify that

the states [λ` form a complete set, with the eigenvalue parameter λ ranging

from -1 to +1 (provided the chain sequence condition holds). It is remarkable

that there are such elegant properties associated with the phase operators and

that they are demonstrable even when the f(n) is quite arbitrary. For the famil-

iar special case [6],[12] when f(n) = (1−δ

n0

) , the coeﬃcients of transformation

C

n

(λ) reduce to the Gegenbauer polynomials. Similar properties can be de-

duced with regard to eigenstates of the sine operator.

In section 3 we give a formal extension of Jackiw’s result regarding the

number-phase minimum uncertainty states to the case of the generalized phase

operators. The next section is devoted to the interesting problem of states which

minimize the uncertainty product (´C)

2

(´S)

2

/'A`

2

with iA = [C, S]. Jackiw

[17] has attempted the minimization of (´C)

2

(´S)

2

and concluded that the

extrememum condition cannot be satisﬁed by any normalizable state

6

. He has

explained this in terms of the fact that (´C)

2

(´S)

2

can in fact approach zero,

as in the case of coherent states with average occupation numbers tending to

inﬁnity [12],[41]. When the quantity (´C)

2

(´S)

2

/'A`

2

is considered, however

the minimization procedure leads to a well deﬁned class of solutions. In fact the

states for which this quantity is a minumum appear as solutions of an eigen-

value problem which includes as a special case the eigenvalue problem for U.

The condition of normalizability of these states constrains the eigenvalue pa-

rameter λ to lie within an ellipse in the complex λ-plane. The set of states form

an overcomplete set.

In section 5 we present the coherent state representation of various quantities

of physical interest constructed out of the phase (C and S ) operators, We then

show that it is possible to construct phase operators such that 'α[[C, S][α` = 0

within a class of coherent states.

6

Actually there is one normalizable state satisfying his extrememum condition, namely | 0,

the ground state . However this is a state in which (C)

2

(S)

2

has its maximum value.

10

2. The Eigenstates of the Generalized Cosine and Sine Operators

Consider now the eigenvalue problem for C, eq. (2.8), with C given in terms

of U deﬁned by (2.3), as

C =

1

2

( U +U

†

) (2.10)

On sustituting (2.9) in (2.8) and using (2.10) and (2.3) we obtain the following

recursion relations for the coeﬃcients C

n

(λ) :

2 λC

0

(λ) = C

1

(λ) f(1),

2 λC

1

(λ) = C

2

(λ) f(2) + C

0

(λ) f(1),

−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−,

2 λC

n

(λ) = C

n+1

(λ) f(n + 1) + C

n−1

(λ) f(n), (2.11)

To solve eqs. (2.11) it is necessary to rewrite them in the form:

F

n+1

(λ) = 2 λ −

f

2

(n)

F

n

(λ)

, (2.12)

where

F

n

(λ) =

C

n

(λ)

C

n−1

(λ)

f(n), (2.13)

By virtue of ( 2.13) we can write

C

n

(λ) =

¸

n

r=1

F

r

(λ)

¸

n

r=1

f(r)

C

0

(λ), (2.14)

Further it is a consequence of (2.12) thet the product

¸

n

r=1

F

r

(λ) is a polynomial

of degree n in λ. It follows from (2.14) that

ˆ

C

n

(λ) ≡ C

n

(λ)/C

0

(λ) is also such

a polynomial. It may be veriﬁed that its explicit form is

ˆ

C

n

(λ) ≡ C

n

(λ)/C

0

(λ)

ˆ

C

n

(λ) =

¸

n

¸

r=1

f(r)

¸

−1

{

n

2

}

¸

r=0

(2λ)

n−2r

(−1)

r

D

(n−1)

r

(f

2

), (2.15)

where ¦

n

2

¦ stands for (n − 1)/2 or n/2, according as n is odd or even, and

D

(n)

r

(f

2

) is deﬁned by

D

(n)

0

(f

2

) = 1 (for all n)

D

(n)

r

(f

2

) =

¸

f

2

(a

1

)f

2

(a

2

)....f

2

(a

r

) (2.16)

Here the arguments a

1

, a

2

, ...., a

r

are integers from the set 1, 2, 3, ....n taken in

such away that no two of them diﬀer by less than two and the summation in

(2.16) is over all possible distinct sets of r integers which can be chosen in this

manner

7

. It may be noted that the deﬁnition (2.16) is only possible for those

7

For example we write:

D

(5)

3

(f

2

) = f

2

(1)f

2

(3)f

2

(5)

D

(6)

3

(f

2

) = f

2

(1)f

2

(3)f

2

(5) + f

2

(1)f

2

(3)f

2

(6) + f

2

(1)f

2

(4)f

2

(6) + f

2

(2)f

2

(4)f

2

(6)

and

D

(3)

1

(f

2

) = f

2

(1) +f

2

(2) +f

2

(3)

11

values of r such that r ≤ ¦

n+1

2

¦. For other values of r , D

(n)

r

(f

2

) could be

deﬁned to be zero; in any case they do not occur within the range of summation

in the expansion (2.15). We observe further that the deﬁnitions (2.16) lead to

the identity

D

(n−1)

r

(f

2

) +D

(n−2)

r−1

(f

2

) f

2

(n) = D

(n)

r

(f

2

) , (2.17)

which is very useful in verifying explicitly that (2.15) for C

n

(λ) is indeed the

solution of the recursion relations (2.11).

We will now show that the polynomials

ˆ

C

n

(λ) form an orthogonal set, that

is, a weight function ρ(λ) can be found such that

+1

−1

ρ(λ)

ˆ

C

m

(λ)

ˆ

C

n

(λ) dλ = δ

mn

(2.18)

To prove this we need the following theorem [40] :

If any set of polyomials P

n

(x) satisﬁes a recursion relation of the type

P

n

(x) = (A

n

x +B

n

)P

n−1

(x) −L

n

P

n−2

(x), (2.19)

(where A

n

, B

n

and L

n

are constants, with A

n

> 0 and L

n

> 0 ) and if the

coeﬃcient of x

n

in P

n

(x) is k

n

then the necessary and suﬃcient condition for

P

n

(x) to be orthonormal is that

A

n

=

k

n

k

n−1

; L

n

=

A

n

A

n−1

=

k

n

k

n−2

k

2

n−1

(2.20)

We can write (2.11), using (2.15), in the form (2.19) with

A

n

=

2

f(n)

; B

n

= 0 ; L

n

=

f(n −1)

f(n)

and k

n

=

2

n

¸

n

r=1

f(r)

(2.21)

It is evident that they satisfy (2.20). Hence the polynomials

ˆ

C

n

(λ) form an

orthonormal set, as asserted earlier. Since the spectrum of C is known [13],[14]

to extend from -1 to +1, this is the domain over which the orthogonality relation

holds, and this fact has been used in writing the limits of integration in (2.18).

We have not been able to determine the weight function ρ(λ), however. If

we choose the coeﬃcient C

0

(λ) (which is not determined by the recurrence

relations) as

ρ(λ), we can write (2.18) in view of (2.15) as

+1

−1

C

m

(λ) C

n

(λ) dλ = δ

mn

(2.22)

It is expected that the inﬁnite set of orthonormal functions C

m

(λ) form a com-

plete set for normalizable functions of λ over the interval (−1, 1). In fact this can

be inferred from the orthonormality of the states [λ` which are the eigenstates

of the hermitian operator C :

¸

m

C

m

(λ) C

m

(λ

) = 'λ[λ

` = δ(λ −λ

) (2.23)

12

whence for arbitrary f(λ),

f(λ) =

f(λ

) δ(λ −λ

) dλ

=

¸

m

C

m

(λ)

¸

f(λ

)C

m

(λ

) dλ

(2.24)

Thus any f(λ) can be expanded in terms of the set C

m

(λ) which is therefore

complete.

While the polynomials

ˆ

C

n

(λ) cannot be identiﬁed with any known set when

the f(n) are arbitrary, in the special case when f(n) = (1 −δ

n0

) they reduce to

the Gegenbaur polynomials. This can be veriﬁed by inspection of (2.15). The

weight function ρ(λ) in this case is ρ(λ) =

(1 −λ

2

). Similar properties can

be proved for the coeﬃcients of expansion (in terms of number eigenstates) of

the eigenstates of the S-operator. In fact it turns out that the coeﬃcients are

just i

n

C

n

(λ).

3. The Number Phase Minimum Uncertainty States

Since the commutator of the number operator N and the cosine operator

C is the operator i S (and not a c-number) the equation which determines the

state for which (∆N)(∆C) is a minimum is quite complicated as pointed out

by Jackiw. But if the uncetainty product is deﬁned to be

(∆N)

2

(∆C)

2

'S`

2

,

the condition for this to be a minimum is relatively simple,

8

and following

Jackiw, we will adopt this deﬁnition for our purposes. The relevant equation is

then

(N + i γ C) [ψ` = λ [ψ`, (2.25)

where

λ = 'N` + i γ 'C` and γ = [(∆N)

2

/(∆C)

2

]

1

2

, (2.25

)

Jackiw has obtained the solution of this equation for the special case f(n) =

(1 −δ

n0

), and we will generalize it here for arbitrary f(n). For a state [ψ`

[ψ` =

n=∞

¸

n=0

a

n

(λ) [n` , (2.26)

which satisﬁes the minimum condition (2.25), we obtain the following recurrence

relations with the aid of equations (2.2) and (2.3):

iγ

2

a

1

(λ) f(1) = λ a

0

(λ) (2.27)

−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−,

2(λ −n)

iγ

a

n

(λ) = a

n+1

(λ) f(n + 1) + a

n−1

(λ) f(n), (2.28)

8

See Jackiw, Ref [17 ]; and Carruthers and Nieto, Ref.[12], for a further discussion of this

question.

13

Observing that φ

n

(λ) , deﬁned by

φ

n

(λ) ≡

a

n

(λ)

a

n−1

(λ)

f(n),

satisﬁes

φ

n+1

(λ) =

2 (λ −n)

iγ

−

f

2

(n)

φ

n

(λ)

, (2.29)

one ﬁnds, using the same procedure as in the solution of (2.11), that the ratio

a

n

(λ)

a

0

(λ)

=

¸

n

r=1

φ

r

(λ)

¸

n

r=1

f(r)

, (2.30)

is a poly nomial of the n

th

degree in λ. Eq. (2.26) with (2.30) gives the state

which minimises

(∆N)

2

(∆C)

2

S

2

.

4. Simultaneous Uncertainties in C and S

We now turn to the determination of the states which minimise :

Q ≡

(∆C)

2

(∆S)

2

'i[C, S]`

2

.

Jackiw has pointed out the relevance of this kind of uncertainty product when

dealing with a pair of operators whose commutator is not a c-number. From his

treatment it follows that the states which minimise Q must satisfy the equation:

ˆ

C

∆C

−i

ˆ

S

∆S

ˆ

C

∆C

+i

ˆ

S

∆S

[ψ` = 0 ; (2.31)

where

ˆ

C = C −'C` and

ˆ

S = S −'S`. (2.32)

This would be ensured of course if

ˆ

C

∆C

+i

ˆ

S

∆S

[ψ` = 0 , (2.33)

and we now proceed to solve this more restrictive equation. We ﬁrst rewrite it

as

(1 +γ)U + (1 −γ)U

†

[ψ` = 2 λ[ψ` , (2.34)

where

γ =

(∆C)

2

(∆S)

2

1

2

, (2.35)

and

λ = 'C` + iγ 'S`. (2.36)

If we now assume an expansion

[ψ` =

n=∞

¸

n=0

a

n

[n` , (2.37)

14

for [ψ` in terms of the number eigenstates, we obtain from (2.34) the following

recurrence relations for the expansion coeﬃcients:

(1 +γ)f(n + 1) a

n+1

+ (1 −γ)f(n) a

n−1

= 2 λa

n

. (2.38)

With the substitution

a

n

= q

n/2

b

n

; q =

1 −γ

1 +γ

, (2.39)

eq.(2.38) simpliﬁes to

f(n + 1) b

n+1

+f(n) b

n−1

= 2 xb

n

. (2.40)

where

x =

λ

1 −γ

2

. (2.41)

Eq. (2.40) is identical to (2.11), so that we can write down the solution imme-

diately:

b

n

(x) = b

0

(x)

¸

n

¸

r=1

f(r)

¸

−1

{

n

2

}

¸

r=0

(2x)

n−2r

(−1)

r

D

(n−1)

r

(f

2

), (2.42)

Hence

a

n

(x) = a

0

(x) q

n/2

¸

n

¸

r=1

f(r)

¸

−1

{

n

2

}

¸

r=0

(2x)

n−2r

(−1)

r

D

(n−1)

r

(f

2

), (2.43)

The condition for orthonormality of [ψ` now becomes

[a

0

(x)[

2

=

1

1 +

¸

∞

n=1

q

n

[b

n

(x)[

2

. (2.44)

For a non-trivial solution of eq.(2.38) , a

0

(x) = 0 (otherwise a

n

(x) = 0 for all n,

see eq.(2.43)). Thus the series

¸

∞

n=1

q

n

[b

n

(x)[

2

should converge. This requires

in turn (by the ratio test) that

lim

n→∞

q

n+1

q

n

.

b

n+1

(x)

b

n

(x)

2

< 1 (2.45)

or

[α[

2

<

1

q

(2.46)

where

α = lim

n→∞

b

n+1

(x)

b

n

(x)

(2.47)

The value of α may be found from eq.(2.40) reexpressed as

f(n + 1)

b

n+1

b

n−1

+f(n) = 2 x

b

n

b

n−1

. (2.48)

15

On letting n →∞, remembering that f(n) →1, we get

α

2

−2 xα + 1 = 0. (2.49)

The relevant

9

root is

α = x +

x

2

−1 (2.50)

Equations (2.50) and (2.46) lead to the condition

[x +

x

2

−1 [

2

<

1

q

(2.51)

for normalizability. On using deﬁnitions (2.41) and (2.39) of x and q, this

becomes

[λ +

λ

2

+γ

2

−1 [

2

< (1 +γ)

2

(2.52)

Note that γ is, by deﬁnition, positive. The boundary of the allowed domain of

λ is thus characterized by the equality

[λ +

λ

2

+γ

2

−1 [

2

= (1 +γ)

2

. (2.53)

This equation describes an ellipse in the λ-plane. we now proceed to prove this

assertion. There are two cases to be considered : γ

2

> 1 and γ

2

< 1. If γ

2

> 1,

we write

λ =

γ

2

−1 sinhθ, (2.54)

where θ is in general complex,

θ = u +iv.

Then eq. (2.53) reduces to

e

u

=

1 +γ

γ

2

−1

. (2.55)

Feeding this back into eq. (2.54) we have

λ =

1 +γ

2

e

iv

−

γ

2

−1

2(1 +γ)

e

−iv

≡ µ +iν (say) (2.56)

It is easily veriﬁed now that

µ

2

+

ν

2

γ

2

= 1. (2.57)

When γ

2

< 1 , a similar calculation with λ written as

(1 −γ

2

) sin θ enables

us to show once again that the allowed region of values of λ is once again the

region of an ellipse (2.57). It is proved therefore that the domain of convergence

of the series in the denominator of (2.44) is an ellipse and hence the states [ψ`

deﬁned by (2.33) are normalizable for all λ within this ellipse. It may be noted

that for the special case when (∆C)

2

= (∆S)

2

, i.e. γ = 1, the states [ψ` are

eigenstates of the operator U, see (2.34). In this case the ellipse (2.57) becomes

a circle and the minimum uncertainty states with ∆C = ∆S coincide with the

9

Since b

n+1

(x)/b

n

(x) is a ratio of polynomials of degree n+1 and n respectively, it should

behave like x as x →∞. Equation (2.50) is consistent with this; the choice α = x −

√

x

2

−1

would violate this requirement.

16

eigenstates of U found by Lerner at. al. [14]. It has also been shown by Lerner

et. al. that the eigenstates of U form a complete (or rather an over- complete)

set. By using a similar argument as that used by Cahill [42], we can assert that

for general values of γ , the set of all states [ψ` characterized by λ lying within

the ellipse of convergence form an over complete set.

5. The C and S operators and the Coherent state

It is well known that if any oscillator is at some time a coherent state [α` then

the subsequent time variation of the state is given completely by a change in

argument in arg α : α = ρe

iφ

→ α(t) = ρe

i(φ−ωt)

. Further the expectation

value of position varies simple harmonically with phase (φ − ωt). Therefore it

is natural that one should think of the coherent states in connection with the

phase operators. Though the coherent states are eigenstates of the annihilation

operator a rather than of C and S , it may nevertheless be expected that the

expection values of of C and S in coherent states should show an intimate

relation to cos φ and sin φ ( φ = arg α). Actually Carruthers and Nieto

[12],[41] have considered these and various related quantities in the special case

f(n) = (1 −δ

n0

), and found that apart from factors depending on ρ = [α[, the

expected correspondence does exist. Here we cary out the simple extension to

the case of general f(n), and verify that the same type of relations continue to

hold. Following this we raise the interesting question whether it is possible to

choose f(n) in such a way that the commutator [C, S] has vanishing expectation

values within the coherent states. We show by an example that this is indeed

possible for all the coherent states with a ﬁxed value of [α[, though the example

itself is rather artiﬁcial.

Let us deﬁne the following relations

10

ψ

1

(N) =

∞

¸

n=0

N

n

n!

√

n + 1

f(n + 1) ,

ψ

2

(N) =

∞

¸

n=0

N

n

n!

f(n + 1)f(n + 2)

¦(n + 1)(n + 2)¦

1/2

,

ξ

1

(N) =

∞

¸

n=1

N

n

n!

¦f

2

(n + 1) +f

2

(n)¦ , (2.58)

ξ

2

(N) =

∞

¸

n=1

N

n

n!

¦f

2

(n + 1) −f

2

(n)¦ .

By using the representation [37]

[α` = exp

−

1

2

[α[

2

∞

¸

n=0

α

n

¦n!¦

1/2

[n` (2.59)

we deﬁne

α = N

1

2

e

iφ

10

We have deﬁned these functions using the same notation as in Ref. [12], except that here

f(n) is quite general.

17

for coherent states the following expressions can be easily obtained :

'α[C[α` = N

1

2

exp(−N) cos φ ψ

1

(N), (2.60a)

'α[S[α` = N

1

2

exp(−N) sinφ ψ

1

(N), (2.60b)

'α[C

2

[α` = exp(−N) [

1

4

f

2

(1) +

1

4

ξ

1

(N) +

N

2

cos 2φ ψ

2

(N)], (2.60c)

'α[S

2

[α` = exp(−N) [

1

4

f

2

(1) +

1

4

ξ

1

(N) −

N

2

cos 2φ ψ

2

(N)], (2.60d)

'α[C

2

+S

2

[α` = exp(−N) [

1

2

f

2

(1) +

1

2

ξ

1

(N)], (2.60e)

'α[C

2

−S

2

[α` = N exp(−N) cos 2φ ψ

2

(N), (2.60f)

'α[CS +SC[α` = N exp(−N) sin2φ ψ

2

(N), (2.60g)

'α[CS −SC[α` =

i

2

exp(−N) [ξ

2

(N) +f

2

(1)]. (2.60h)

The quantities:

P(N, φ) = (∆N)

2

(∆C)

2

/'S`

2

, (2.61a)

R(N, φ) = (∆N)

2

(∆S)

2

/'C`

2

, (2.61b)

which measure the degree of incompatibility of the number phase operators can

be evaluated with the aid of eqs (2.60). Note that for the coherent states

(∆N)

2

= 'N

2

` −'N`

2

= N

We will now consider the following question:

It is well known that the cosine and sine operators cannot commute, this

being a reﬂection of the impossibility of deﬁning an unique phase operator. But

in view of the fact that a phase φ can be associated with a coherent state in

the sense indicated above, one may ask whether the commutator of C and S

cannot be made to vanish atleast weakly, in the sense of the vanishing of its

expectation value with respect to the coherent states. A quick check with the

aid of eq (2.60h) shows that the familiar C and S operators (ie. with f(n) = 1

for all n ≥ 1) as well as others considered explicitly in Ref. [13] do not have

this property. However with the freedom of choice of the f(n), available to us

in turns out that we can deﬁne C and S in such away that within a class of

coherent states 'α[[C, S][α` = 0. In fact if we choose

f

2

(0) = 0, f

2

(1) =

N

N −1

f

2

(r) = 1 (for r > 1), (2.62)

then we see that equation (2.60h) is satisﬁed because

N [f

2

(1) −f

2

(2)] = f

2

(1) (2.63)

We must verify that f(n) deﬁned in (2.62) do follow the chain sequence condi-

18

tion:

11

1

4

f

2

(n) = g

n

(1 −g

n−1

), (2.64a)

with g

0

= 0 and 0 ≤ g

n

≤ 1. (2.64b)

Now since

1

4

f

2

(1) = g

1

(1 −g

0

), (2.65)

from eq.(2.62) we have

g

1

=

1

4

N

N −1

(2.66)

Since

g

2

(1 −g

1

) =

1

4

f

2

(2)

=

1

4

we have

g

2

=

1

4

/(1 −g

1

).

g

n

=

1/4

1 −g

n−1

.

Hence,

g

n

=

1/4

1 −

1/4

..... −

1/4

1 −g

1

(2.67)

Now using the method of continuous fractions [44] and eq(2.66) it turns out

that one can sum up eq. (2.67) , to obtain

g

n

=

1

2

nN −2(n −1)

(n + 1)N −2n

(2.68)

We see that for all n > 1,

g

n

(1 −g

n−1

) =

1

4

. (2.69)

Hence the f(n) given in (2.62) obey eq (2.64a). Now all the g

n

’s must obey the

inequality (2.64b) i.e.

0 ≤ g

n

≤ 1 . (2.70)

Now if

g

n+1

≤ 1 . (2.71)

11

The choice of f(n) given in our paper [43] , is incorrect for, though they satisfy the chain

sequence conditions (2.64) they do not have the property Limit: f(n) = 1 as n → ∞. It

is for this reason, the spectra of C and S will not span the entire region (-1,1). We are

grateful to Professor Lerner for pointing this out (Private Communication). The choice of

(2.62) overcomes this diﬃculty.

19

i.e.

1

2

N(n + 1) −2n

N(n + 2) −2(n + 1)

≤ 1 .

i.e.

Nn −N −2n ≤ 2nN + 4N −4n −4,

whence

2(n + 2)

n + 3

≤ N. (2.72)

The maximum value of the l.h.s. of (2.72) is attained when n →∞, which is 2.

Therefore if

N ≥ 2, (2.73)

equation (2.71) is satisﬁed. Since we must also have

g

n+1

≥ 0, (2.74)

i.e.,

N ≥ 2

n

n + 1

(2.75)

The maximum value of r.h.s of (2.75) is 2. Therefore we see that (2.73) ensures

that (2.70) holds. We have shown that there exist phase operators such that

'α[[C, S][α` = 0 for all coherent states having [α[ = N with N ≥ 2. Since

the chain sequence conditions with the requirement lim

n→∞

f(n) = 1 are sat-

isﬁed the spectra of these operators will span the entire region (-1,1). It is

apparant from eq. (2.60h) that there could be other phase operators which are

more complicated than the simple choice given in (2.62) which will satisfy these

conditions.

20

Chapter 3

The Action and Phase

(Angle) Variables and the

Energy Levels of the

Anharmonic Oscillator

1. Introduction

In this chapter we treat the problem of the anharmonic oscillator in the

action and phase variables and show how an approximate formula for the energy

levels can be obtained. We demonstrate that this formula satisﬁes a general

scaling law which must be obeyed by the exact eigenvalues.

In Sec. 2 of this Chapter we derive this general scaling law. In Sec 3 we

introduce the action and angle variables through the use of Jacobi’s elliptic

functions. The Hamiltonian is dependent only on the action variable J, and is

independent of the phase (angle) variable. By a semiclassical treatment based

on the Bohr-Sommerfeld quantum rules as modiﬁed in the W.K.B. approach,

we obtain in Sec 4, an expression for the energy levles E

n

of the anharmonic

oscillator. This formula exhibits the correct limits for small anharmonicity and

gives the correct behaviour (corresponding to that of a pure quartic potential)

for large n or alternatively for large anharmonicities.

2. A general Scaling Law for the Anharmonic Oscillator

The hamiltonian for the anharmonic oscillator with a quartic term is

H =

p

2

2m

+αx

2

+βx

4

(3.1)

If the n

th

energy level of (3.1) is denoted by E

n

(m, α, β) , then a general scaling

law can easily be established by writing m = µm

0

and x = ξ y (ξ = constant)

in the eigenvalue equation

−

2

2m

∂

2

ψ

∂x

2

+ (αx

2

+βx

4

) ψ = E

n

(m, α, β) ψ,

21

to obtain

−

2

2m

0

∂

2

ψ

∂y

2

+ (αµξ

4

y

2

+β µξ

6

y

4

) ψ = ξ

2

µE

n

(m, α, β) ψ .

Comparing these two equations, we discover that

E

n

(m, α, β) = f E

n

(m

0

, α

0

, β

0

)

(3.2a)

where f is given by

f =

a

µ

1/2

=

b

µ

2

1/3

=

a

2

b

; (3.2b)

in terms of the ratios

µ =

m

m

0

, a =

α

α

0

and b =

β

β

0

; (3.2c)

which have to be so chosen that

µ a

3

= b

2

. (3.2d)

Our scaling law is a generalization of that found in Symanzik [20]. The latter

corresponds to setting µ = 1 in our equation (3.2).

A familiar special case, ( Simon Ref. [20]) is obtained when µ = 1,

b = β and α = 1,

E

n

(m

0

, 1, β) = β

1/3

E

n

(m

0

, β

−

2

3

, 1) (3.3)

which exhibits the β

1/3

type of behaviour of the energy levels and the cube root

type of singularity at β = 0.

3. Action and Phase (Angle) Variables

The identiﬁcation of the action angle variables is facilated by the knowledge

that in the solution of the classical anharmonic oscillator problem one encounters

elliptic functions in place of the trignometric functions of the harmonic oscillator

case.

12

Thus we write

x = Acn(φ, k) , (3.4a)

p = m˙ x = −(2mα)

1

2

A

1 +

2βA

2

α

1

2

sn(φ, k) dn(φ, k) , (3.4b)

where the fact that

d

du

cn(φ, k) = −sn(u, k) dn(u, k) and

˙

φ has been written as a

constant since φ is an angle variable. The value of the constant and the relation

between A and the modulus k of the elliptic functions are so chosen that H is

free of φ. We have

k

2

=

βA

2

α + 2βA

2

or A

2

=

αk

2

β(1 −2k

2

)

(3.5)

12

For deﬁnitions of the elliptic functions used inthis Chapter and some of their elementary

properties, see Ref. [45].

22

On using (3.4) and (3.5) H reduces to

H = A

2

(α +βA

2

), (3.6)

where the standard properties of the elliptic functions such as

cn

2

(φ, k) +sn

2

(φ, k) = 1

dn

2

(φ, k) +k

2

sn

2

(φ, k) = 1, (3.7)

are taken into account,

The action variable J conjugate to φ may now be determined as a function

of A by requiring that

¦x, p¦

J,φ

= 1. (3.8)

We have

¦x, p¦

J,φ

= ¦x, p¦

A,φ

∂A

∂J

. (3.9)

Because of the dependence of the modulus k on A, ¦x, p¦

A,φ

cannot be evaluated

through a straight-forward use of eqs. (3.4). However by diﬀerentiating the

identity

p

2

2m

+αx

2

+βx

4

= A

2

α +βA

2

(3.10)

with respect to A and φ respectively:

p

m

∂p

∂A

+

2αx + 4βx

3

∂x

∂A

= 2αA

1 +

2βA

2

α

, (3.11a)

p

m

∂p

∂φ

+

2αx + 4βx

3

∂x

∂φ

= 0 , (3.11b)

and multiplying (3.11a) by

∂x

∂φ

and (3.11b) by

∂x

∂A

, subtracting and using eqs.

(3.4) we have

¦x, p¦

A,φ

= (2mα)

1

2

A

1 +

2βA

2

α

1

2

. (3.12)

Hence from (3.8) and (3.9) we obtain

∂J

∂A

= (2m)

1

2

A

α + 2βA

2

1

2

J =

A

0

(2m)

1

2

A

α + 2βA

2

1

2

dA

=

2mα

3

1

2

6β

¸

1 +

2βA

2

α

3

2

−1

¸

. (3.13)

Thus:

H =

α

2

4β

1 +

2

mα

3

1

2

3βJ

¸

4

3

−1

¸

¸

. (3.14)

23

4. The Energy Levels

The quantized energy levels will now be obtained by requiring that

J dφ = (n +

1

2

) h, n = 0, 1, 2, ... (3.15)

This is of course a heuristic procedure which is based on the Bohr-Sommerfeld

approach of the old quantum theory, but with the important modiﬁcation (re-

placement of n by n +

1

2

on the right hand side) suggested by the W.K.B.

treatment. Since the elliptic functions introduced in eqs. (3.4) are periodic in

φ with period 4K(k) , where K(k) is the complete elliptic function of the ﬁrst

kind

K(k) =

1

0

dt

(1 −t

2

) (1 −k

2

t

2

)

(3.16)

eq. (3.15) requires that

4 K(k) J = (n +

1

2

) h, n = 0, 1, 2, ... (3.17)

On substituting the solutions J

n

of this equation for J in (3.14) we get the

energy levels of the quantum anharmonic oscillator.

Eq(3.17) is a transcendental equation , since the modulus of the elliptic func-

tion, is a function of J, c.f. (3.13) and (3.5). However K(k) is quite insensitive

to the parameters involved. The extreme limits are:

βA

2

α

→0, k →0, K(0) =

π

2

(3.18a)

βA

2

α

→∞, k →

1

√

2

, K

1

√

2

=

1

4

√

π

¸

Γ

1

4

2

≈ 1.18 K(0)

(3.18b)

Thus as the anharmonicity increases from a vanishing value to inﬁnity, K(k)

changes no more than 18 % . In the limit (3.18a) the energy levels are expected

to tend to those of the harmonic oscillator and indeed they do. For (3.18a) and

(3.17) give J

n

= (n+

1

2

), and when this is introduced in (3.14) the leading term

in the binomial expansion is taken, we get E

n

= (n +

1

2

) ω

0

with ω

0

=

2α

m

1

2

.

At the opposite extreme (large anharmonicity or high energy) (3.18b) applies

and then one gets from (3.17)

J

n

=

2π

3

2

Γ

1

4

2

(n +

1

2

). (3.19)

On substituting this in eq. (3.14) and noting that the second term in curly

brackets now dominates we get:

E

n

≈

18π

3

1

2

n +

1

2

Γ

1

4

2

4

3

β

4

4m

2

1

3

(3.20)

24

This expression coincides

13

with the asymptotic formula given in Titch-

marsh [46] for the eigenvalues in the case of the pure x

4

potential. It may be

noted that the energy increases as n

4/3

β

1/3

for large n. Finally it is a trivial

matter to verify that our approximate formula obeys the scaling law eqs. (3.2)

satisﬁed by the exact energy levels. Actual numerical computation shows that

even for low lying energy levels the formula reproduces the energy values within

a few percent, the error being of the same order as the W.K.B. evaluation [47]

which is more complicated.

13

The apparent missing of a factor of 2 within the curly brackets is because the range of x

in our case is −∞ to +∞ and not from 0 to ∞ as is the case in Ref. [46].

25

Chapter 4

Coherence in Quantum

Mechanical Systems

1. Introduction

In this Chapter we study the behaviour of small wavepackets in spherically

symmetric potentials in three dimensions. In particular we investigate whether

any coherent states exist in such potentials, i.e. whether it is possible to have

wavepackets which move along classical orbits without spreading. Before pro-

ceeding to this question we consider, in Sec. 2, the familiar problem of the

harmonic oscillator in one dimension, and obtain a simple criterion for the con-

stancy for the position and momentum uncertianties. Among the variety of

states which satisfy this criterion (besides the coherent states) we identify an

interesting class of semicoherent states. It is conceivable that such states might

exist in more general cases and might show up if one demands coherence only in

the loose sense of constancy in position and momentum uncertainties. Actually

our investigations in Secs. 3-5, show that no small wavepackets which are co-

herent even in this loose sense can exist

14

in any central poential other than the

three dimensional harmonic oscillator potential. We deﬁne a set of quantities

which measure the uncertainties in position and momentum in various direc-

tions, and solve the set of coupled equations governing their time variation. We

show that the initial conditions required to ensure the constancy of the var-

ious uncertainties are unphysical, so that the wavepackets necessarily spread

indeﬁnitely. Particulars of derivation of the equations employed in Sec. 3, are

indicated in the Appendix.

2. The Wavepacket in the Harmonic Oscillator Portential

It is a simple matter to obtain the class of harmonic oscillator states char-

acterised by constant values of ∆x and ∆p. Deﬁning:

χ = (∆x)

2

= 'x

2

` −'x`

2

,

π = (∆p)

2

= 'p

2

` −'p`

2

, (4.1)

14

Strictly speaking our proof is only for wavepackets moving in circular orbits, but it is

most unlikely that the case of other types of orbits would be very diﬀerent.

26

and calculating the time derivatives using the quantum equation of motion:

dA

dt

=

1

i

[A, H] +

∂A

∂t

, (4.2)

with

H =

p

2

2m

+

1

2

mω

2

x

2

, (4.3)

one ﬁnds from the expressions ˙ χ and ˙ π involve also 'xp +p x`, but

m

2

ω

2

˙ χ(t) + ˙ π(t) = 0 , (4.4)

as can be seen from an application of (4.2). A dot denotes diﬀerentiation with

respect to time. The second time derivatives yield the equations

15

¨ χ(t) = −2ω

2

χ(t) +

2

m

2

π(t) , (4.5a)

¨ π(t) = 2m

2

ω

4

χ(t) −2ω

2

π(t) , (4.5b)

which may be solved immediately by rewriting them as

¨ π(t) + m

2

ω

2

¨ χ(t) = 0 , (4.6a)

¨ π(t) − m

2

ω

2

¨ χ(t)

+ 4ω

2

π(t) − m

2

ω

2

χ(t)

= 0 , (4.6b)

We obtain

χ(t) =

2m

2

ω

2

−1

¸

m

2

ω

2

χ(0) +π(0)

¸

+

¸

m

2

ω

2

χ(0) −π(0)

¸

cos2ωt

+

2m

2

ω

2

−1

¸

1

2ω

¸

m

2

ω

2

˙ χ(0) − ˙ π(0)

¸

sin2ωt

(4.7a)

π(t) =

¸

π(0) +m

2

ω

2

χ(0)

¸

−m

2

ω

2

χ(t) . (4.7b)

Actually the general solution contains another term

¸

m

2

ω

2

˙ χ(0) + ˙ π(0)

¸

t,which

however vanishes identically for any state according to eq.(4.4). Thus both χ

and π are harmonically varying in general with an angular frequency 2ω. If they

are time independent we must have

m

2

ω

2

χ(0) −π(0) = 0 , (4.8a)

m

2

ω

2

˙ χ(0) − ˙ π(0) = 0 , (4.8b)

These can be expressed more simply in terms of the creation and annihilation

operators. On setting

x =

2mω

1

2

a +a

†

p =

m ω

2

1

2

a −a

†

(4.9)

and simplifying, the conditions (4.8) become

'a

2

(0)` = 'a(0)`

2

, (4.10a)

15

For slightly diﬀerent forms of equations (4.5) see Yu E. Murakhver, Ref. [48] and A.

Messaih Ref. [49].

27

'

a

†

2

(0)` = 'a

†

(0)`

2

, (4.10b)

These are necessary and suﬃcient conditions for a harmonic oscillator wavepacket

to maintain a constant size or extension. They are of course trivially satisﬁed

by the coherent states [α` which are eigenstates of a. At the other extreme we

have the energy eigenstates which being stationary states have constant values

of χ and π. In between there is a whole class of semicoherent states for which

eqs (4.10) are valid. An interesting example is provided by states of the type

[ψ` = N [ [α` −[β` 'β[α` ] , (4.11)

where [α` and [β` are coherent states and N is a normalization factor, N =

1 −['β[α`[

2

−

1

2

. It may be easily veriﬁed that the equations (4.10) do hold good

in these states. Note that (4.11) deﬁnes [ψ` as the projection of a coherent state

[α` orthogonal to another coherent state [β`. Therefore the ordinary coherent

states [α` are not obtainable as the limit of [ψ` when the two superposed states

[α` and [β` are made identical : in the limit α →β, [ψ` does not exist. We will

refer to the states (4.11) as semicoherent states. it is a curious fact that in the

semicoherent state (4.11), the mean position or (momentum) of the oscillator

is exactly the coherent state [α` i.e. 'ψ[x(t)[ψ` = ¯ x

α

(t) ≡ 'α[x(t)[α`. The

position probability density [ψ(x, t)[

2

in the state (4.11) is describable in terms

of two gaussian packets of constant amplitude and width (oscillating simple

harmonically with phases characterised by arg α and arg β ) together with an

interference term which ensures that χ and π remain time independent. Their

values are

χ =

2mω

¸

1 +

2 ['α[β`[

2

[α −β[

2

(1 − ['α[β`[

2

)

, (4.12a)

π =

mω

2

¸

1 +

2 ['α[β`[

2

[α −β[

2

(1 − ['α[β`[

2

)

. (4.12b)

Clearly the product of these exceed the minimum value

2

/4 unlike the case of

true coherent states.

This example illustrates the wide variety of states which can satisfy the con-

dition of constant values for the uncertainties ∆x and ∆p. Of these the true

coherent states have the property of being small wavepackets around the mean

position. In the search for coherent states in three dimensions, in the remaining

sections of this chapter, we use the constancy of uncertainties of various quanti-

ties as a criterion. But we also demand small size, so that semi-coherent states

(if at all they exist) are excluded from consideration.

3. Behaviour of a Three Dimensional Wavepacket in a

Spherically Symmetric Potential

We now consider a wavepacket representing a particle in a central potential

in three dimensons and determine how various parameters representing the ex-

tension of the wavepacket (in the conﬁguration and momentum spaces) change

with time. To avoid nonessential complications we will assume that the mean

position moves in a circular orbit of radius R. Taking advantage of the geome-

try of the system, we consider the uncertainties in the components of position

28

and momentum in the radial and tangential directions as well as the directions

perpendicular to the plane of the orbit. We deﬁne the quantities

χ

R

=

'x`

R

(x −'x`)

2

¸

, (4.13a)

χ

T

=

1

m

2

ω

2

' p`

R

(x −'x`)

2

¸

, (4.13b)

χ

z

=

¦z −'z`¦

2

, (4.13c)

π

R

=

1

m

2

ω

2

'x`

R

( p −' p`)

2

¸

, (4.13d)

π

T

=

1

m

4

ω

4

' p`

R

( p −' p`)

2

¸

, (4.13e)

π

z

=

1

m

2

ω

2

¦p

z

−'p

z

`¦

2

, (4.13f)

The subscript R indicates the radial component, T the component tangential

to the orbit (and hence parallel to ' p` ) and z the component normal to the

plane of the orbit which is taken to be the x − y plane. The factors of mω

are included to reduce the dimensions of all the quantities to the dimension of

(length

2

). Here m is the mass of the particle and ω the angular frequency of

its motion in the circular orbit. Of course by the radius of the orbit we mean

['x`[. It is evident that

mω

2

R =

dV

dr

r=R

≡ V

(R) . (4.14)

On calculating the rates of change of these quantities as dictated by the Hamil-

tonian

H =

p

2

2m

+V (r) , (4.15)

with the assumption that the wavepacket is very small (χ

R

, χ

T

, χ

z

<< R

2

)

one obtains a set of coupled diﬀerential equations which involve not only the

quantities deﬁned above in (4.13), but also various cross correlations between

position and momentum components. However, the equations for χ

z

and π

z

decouple from those for uncertainties in the plane of the orbit and can be solved

easily. We will now obtain the relevant equations (relegating the proof to the

Appendix) and solve them. In particular the question whether time independent

solutions (corresponding to the coherent wavepacket) exist will be considered.

3.1 Spread of a wavepacket normal to the plane of the orbit

The equations for χ

z

and π

z

can be shown to be reducible to the following

closed system:

¨ χ

z

= 2ω

2

π

z

−

2

m

V

33

χ

z

, (4.16a)

29

˙ π

z

= −

1

m

2

ω

2

V

33

˙ χ

z

, (4.16b)

where V

33

is deﬁned by

V

33

=

∂

2

V

∂z

2

0

=

V

z

r

2

−V

z

2

r

3

+

V

r

0

=

V

(R)

R

= mω

2

. (4.17)

The subscript 0 indicates that the quantity concerned is to be evaluated at the

position of the orbit; the fact that the orbit has been chosen to be in the x-y

plane ('z` = 0) has been used in the above reduction. Equations of exactly

the same form

16

as (4.16), with V

33

= mω

2

, hold also for a one dimensional

oscillator.On solving these equations we obtain

χ

z

(t) =

1

2

(χ

z

(0) +π

z

(0)) +

1

2

(χ

z

(0) −π

z

(0)) cos2ωt

+

1

2ω

˙ χ

z

(0) sin2ωt (4.18a)

π

z

(t) = (χ

z

(0) +π

z

(0)) −χ

z

(t) . (4.18b)

Clearly the extension of the wavepacket perpendicular to the orbital plane re-

mains bounded; infact, initial conditions may be so chosen as to make χ

z

and

π

z

time independent.

3.2 Spread of wavepacket in the orbital plane

Expressions for the ﬁrst time derivative of χ

R

, χ

T

, π

R

and π

T

involve also

the following quantities:

χ

RT

=

1

mω

1

R

2

¦'x` (x −'x`)¦ ¦' p` (x −'x`)¦

, (4.19a)

π

RT

=

1

m

3

ω

3

1

R

2

¦'x` ( p −' p`)¦ ¦' p` ( p −' p`)¦

, (4.19b)

µ

RR

=

1

mω

1

R

2

¦'x` (x −'x`)¦ ¦'x` ( p −' p`)¦

+

1

mω

1

R

2

¦'x` ( p −' p`)¦ ¦'x` (x −'x`)¦

(4.19c)

µ

RT

=

1

m

2

ω

2

1

R

2

¦'x` (x −'x`)¦ ¦' p` ( p −' p`)¦

, (4.19d)

µ

TR

=

1

m

2

ω

2

1

R

2

¦' p` (x −'x`)¦ ¦'x` ( p −' p`)¦

, (4.19e)

µ

TT

=

1

m

3

ω

3

1

R

2

¦' p` (x −'x`)¦ ¦' p` ( p −' p`)¦

+

1

m

3

ω

3

1

R

2

¦' p` ( p −' p`)¦ ¦' p` (x −'x`)¦

(4.19f)

16

Infact Yu. E. Murakhver Ref.[48], has obtained the same set of equations for an arbitrary

potential in one dimension. While the equations are exact for the harmonic oscillator, the

derivation of these equations for other potentials involves the neglect of third and higher order

derivatives of V, in a Taylor’s expansion around the point x, the ‘centre’ of the wavepacket,

a procedure which is valid for ‘small’ wavepackets (i.e. χ

z

<< R

2

).

30

These are the correlations

17

along various compnents of (x −'x`) and

( p −' p`). The µ’s contain one component of (x −'x`) and one of ( p −' p`) and

the convention regarding the subscripts in this case is that the ﬁrst subscript

indicates which component of (x − 'x`) is involved while the second subscript

refers to the component of ( p−' p`). The equations for the ten coupled quantities

written in matrix form are as follows:

˙ χ

R

˙ χ

T

˙ χ

RT

˙ π

R

˙ π

T

˙ π

RT

˙ µ

RR

˙ µ

RT

˙ µ

TR

˙ µ

TT

= ω

0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

0 0 −2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

−1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0

0 0 0 0 0 2 η 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 −2 0 0 0 −1

0 0 0 −1 1 0 0 η −1 0

2η 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 2 0

0 0 −1 0 0 1 −1/2 0 0 1/2

0 0 η 0 0 1 −1/2 0 0 1/2

0 −2 0 0 2 0 0 −2 −2 0

χ

R

χ

T

χ

RT

π

R

π

T

π

RT

µ

RR

µ

RT

µ

TR

µ

TT

(4.20)

or

du

dt

= ω M u, (4.21)

Where M and u stand for the square matrix and the column vector which

appear in the r.h.s. of eq.(4.20). The parameter η is deﬁned as

η = −

1 +

r

ω

2

∂ω

2

∂r

r=R

which by (4.14) can also be written as

η = −

rV

V

r=R

. (4.22)

One is familiar with solutions of the form

u =

¸

i

u

(i)

e

λ

i

ωt

(4.23)

for equations of the above type, where λ

i

and u

(i)

are respectively the eigenvalues

and column eigenvectors of M. In the present case however, the solutions are

not of this kind, because it so happens that M is not a diagonalizable matrix (it

does not have ten independent eigenvectors) except for the special case η = −1.

The characteristic equation for M can be veriﬁed to be

λ

4

(λ

2

+ 3 −η)

2

(λ

2

+ 12 −4η) = 0 , (4.24)

so that the eigenvalues are 0 (4 times) , ±(η−3)

1

2

(twice each ) and ±2(η−3)

1

2

.

If M were diagonalizable it would satisfy the equation

M(M

2

+ 3 −η)(M

2

+ 12 −4η) = 0. Actual evaluation shows that

M(M

2

+ 3 − η)(M

2

+ 12 − 4η) becomes (η + 1) times a non- zero matrix, so

17

It may be mentioned that the quantities in eqs. (4.19) which do not appear to symmetrized

are symmetric for circular orbits (see Appendix).

31

that M is diagonalizable if η = −1 but not for any other value of η. However

one has for any η,

M

3

(M

2

+ 3 −η)

2

(M

2

+ 12 −4η) = 0 , (4.25)

which shows that in general M has only two (instead of four) independent eigen-

vectors belonging to the eigenvalue 0 and only one eigenvector each (instead of

two) corresponding to the eigenvalues ±(η − 3)

1

2

. This means that the Jordan

canonical form [50] of M is

M

c

= SMS

−1

=

0 1 . . . . . . . .

. 0 1 . . . . . . .

. . 0 . . . . . . .

. . . 0 . . . . . .

. . . . β 1 . . . .

. . . . . β . . . .

. . . . . . −β 1 . .

. . . . . . . −β . .

. . . . . . . . 2β .

. . . . . . . . . −2β

(4.26)

Where we have deﬁned, for convenience,

β ≡ (η −3)

1

2

The consequences of the nondiagonalizability of M will be explored in the par-

ticular case of the coulomb potential in the next section. Here we remark that

the general solution of eq (4.20) has sinusoidal or exponential parts according as

η < 3 or η > 3 for the potential considered. But the basic question which we are

interested in is whether initial conditions can be so presented that the solutions

of the equations become time independent. We now proceed to analyse this

problem in the context of the coulomb potential, which is of course physically

the most important case.

4. Solution of Eq. (4.21) for the Coulomb Potential

When

V (r) =

α

r

(4.27)

η = 2 , (4.28)

the eigenvalues of M are

0, ±i , ±2i . (4.29)

Rewriting eq. (4.21) as

dv

dt

= ω M

c

v , v = Su; (4.30)

we can readily obtain the general solution for this set of coupled equations for

32

the components of

v =

c

1

+c

2

ωt +c

3

(ωt)

2

v

(1)

+ (c

2

+ 2 c

3

(ωt)) v

(2)

+ 2 c

3

v

(3)

+c

4

v

(4)

+ (c

5

+c

6

(ωt)) e

iωt

v

(5)

+c

6

e

iωt

v

(6)

+ (c

7

+c

8

(ωt)) e

−iωt

v

(7)

+c

8

e

−iωt

v

(8)

+c

9

e

2iωt

v

(9)

+c

10

e

−2iωt

v

(10)

(4.31)

where the v

(i)

are column vectors with the elements

v

(i)

j

= δ

ij

. (4.32)

With this deﬁnition, it is easy to see from the form of M, eq.(4.26), with η = 2,

that

M

c

v

(1)

= 0 ; M

c

v

(2)

= v

(1)

; M

c

v

(3)

= v

(2)

; M

c

v

(4)

= 0 ;

M

c

v

(5)

= i v

(5)

; M

c

v

(6)

= i v

(6)

+v

(5)

;

M

c

v

(7)

= −i v

(7)

; M

c

v

(8)

= −i v

(8)

+v

(7)

;

M

c

v

(9)

= 2i v

(9)

; M

c

v

(10)

= −2i v

(10)

; (4.33)

The general solution for u is now obtained from (4.31) as

u = S

−1

v

=

c

1

+c

2

ωt +c

3

(ωt)

2

u

(1)

+ (c

2

+ 2 c

3

(ωt)) u

(2)

+ 2 c

3

u

(3)

+c

4

u

(4)

+ (c

5

+c

6

(ωt)) e

iωt

u

(5)

+c

6

e

iωt

u

(6)

+ (c

7

+c

8

(ωt)) e

−iωt

u

(7)

+c

8

e

−iωt

u

(8)

+c

9

e

2iωt

u

(9)

+c

10

e

−2iωt

u

(10)

(4.34)

where u

(i)

= S

−1

v

(i)

. The u

(i)

evidently satisfy equations (4.33) with M

c

replaced by M. It can easily be veriﬁed that since M is a real matrix

u

(5)∗

= u

(7)

; u

(6)∗

= u

(8)

; u

(9)∗

= u

(10)

; (4.35)

and hence for the reality of the solution (which is required in view of the nature

of the components of u ) we must choose

c

∗

5

= c

7

; c

∗

6

= c

8

; c

∗

9

= c

10

. (4.36)

The vectors u

(i)

can be explicitly shown to be given by:

18

18

The u

(i)

in (4.37) are not normalized and u

(1)

, u

(4)

, u

(5)

, and u

(9)

are arbitrary up to

a factor. However such a factor can be absorbed into the integation constants c

1

, c

2

, .... etc.,

and one can easily check by diﬀerentiation that (4.34) with (4.37) is the most general solution

of (4.21), with η = 2.

33

u

(1)

u

(2)

u

(3)

u

(4)

u

(5)

u

(6)

u

(9)

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

−1

0

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

0

0

−1/3

0

0

−1/6

2/3

0

0

1/3

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

2/9

0

0

0

1/18

0

0

−1/9

0

0

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

1

3

0

0

1

0

0

−1

−1

0

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

0

2

−i/2

1

0

−i/2

i

0

−3/2

i

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

2i/3

2i/3

−1/2

i/3

i/3

0

1/3

−i/2

−i/2

1/3

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

1

−4

2i

−1

1

i

−2i

−1

2

−4i

¸

(4.37)

4.1 Spreading of wavepacket in a Coulomb Potential

The question of constancy of the size of the wavepacket now resolves into

the following: Is it possible to choose initial conditions on the packet in such a

way that all coeﬃcients c

i

except c

1

and c

4

vanish? Even if this is not possible

can we atleast arrange to make c

2

= c

3

= c

6

= c

8

= 0 so that the size of the

wavepacket has at worst an oscillating behaviour but no indeﬁnite increase? The

answer turns out to be in the negative. To see this let us consider the constant

c

3

which appears as the coeﬃcient of t

2

. It can be expressed in terms of the

initial values of u as

1

9

c

3

= χ

R

(0) + π

T

(0) + 2 µ

RT

(0) (4.38)

The vanishing of this quantity is a necessary condition for the constancy of the

size of the wave packet. However this condition cannot be met as we will now

show.

We note ﬁrst in view of the deﬁnitions (4.13) and (4.19) of χ

R

, π

T

and µ

RT

,

the r.h.s. of the above quantity is equal to

'¦

'x`

R

(x −'x`)¦

2

`

t=0

+

1

m

4

ω

4

'¦

' p`

R

( p −' p`)¦

2

`

t=0

+

1

m

2

ω

2

'¦

'x`

R

(x −'x`)¦¦

' p`

R

( p −' p`)¦ + ¦

' p`

R

( p −' p`)¦¦

'x`

R

(x −'x`)¦`

t=0

=

'x`

R

(x −'x`) +

' p`

m

2

ω

2

R

( p −' p`)

2

¸

t=0

.

Since the quantity in curly brackets is evidently a Hermetian operator the above

expectation value can vanish only if

¸

'x`

R

(x −'x`) +

' p`

m

2

ω

2

R

( p −' p`)

t=0

[ψ` = 0 (4.39)

Now let us suppose that the x-axis is chosen so as to pass through the mean

position at t = 0, so that 'x` = R, 'y` = 'z` = 0 at t = 0 and 'p

x

` = 'p

y

` = 0,

and 'p

z

` = mωR. Then eq.(4.39) reduces to

(x −R) +

imω

∂

∂y

−R

ψ(x, y, z) = 0 , (4.40)

34

ie.

1

ψ

∂ψ

∂y

= i

mω

(2R −x) . (4.41)

Hence

ψ =

exp

i

mω

(2R −x) y

f(x, z). (4.42)

where f(x, z) is any arbitrary function of x and z. It is evident that the wave-

function merely oscillates and does not fall oﬀ in the y direction. Thus there

does not exist any compact wavepacket which does not spread indeﬁnitely.

It is to be noted however that χ

R

(the uncertainty in the radial component of

position) and π

T

( the uncertainty in the tangential component of momentum)

either remain constant or vary utmost periodically. This is because, as may be

seen from the explicit expressions (4.37) for the u

(i)

, the columns u

(1)

, u

(2)

and

u

(5)

do not contribute to χ

R

and π

T

and these are the columns which appear

with factors of t or t

2

in (4.34). On the other hand u

(1)

and u

(5)

contribute to

χ

T

and this quantity increases indeﬁnitely i.e. the wavepacket (even if it is well

deﬁned initially) spreads gradually in the tangential direction.

5. Wavepacket in an Arbitrary Spherically Symmetric Potential

As we have already noted M is diagonalizable only for η = −1. The only

potential for which η ≡ −(rV

/V

**) is identically equal to −1 is the parabolic
**

potential (i.e. the harmonic oscillator in three dimensions) as is seen by solving

the equation rV

= V

**. In other potentials there may be some particular radius
**

R at which η = −1, and if this happens, a wavepacket moving in a circular orbit

at that particular radius can retain its size indeﬁnitely.

19

In all other cases

the wavepacket must necessarily spread, and the spreading is in the direction

tangential to the orbit. This can be veriﬁed by following the procedure adopted

in the coulomb case, or more directly by observing that the postulate

du

dt

= 0,

i.e., Mu = 0, leads to the same constraint eq. (4.39) as in the coulomb case,

which cannot be satisﬁed by a well deﬁned wavepacket.

19

This statement is of course for ‘small’ wavepackets, subject to the approximaton of ne-

glecting third and higher derivatives of V in a Taylor’s series expansion around x. In the case

of the harmonic oscillator of course all such derivatives vanish identically and the nonspreading

is a rigorous property.

35

Chapter 5

Appendix

We will now derive the equations of spread (4.20), for a wavepacket moving in

a circular orbit in an arbitrary central potential V (r).

The Hamiltonian for such a system is given by

H =

3

¸

i=1

p

2

i

2m

+ V (r) (5.1)

For our derivation we will have occasion to use the equation of motion (4.2) and

the commutation relations

[p

i

, f(x)] = −i

∂f(x)

∂x

i

(5.2)

together with the Taylor’s expansion of V (x), about the ‘centre’ 'x` of the

wavepacket:

V (x) = V ('x`) +

3

¸

i=1

∂V

∂x

i

x=x

. (x

i

−'x

i

`)

+

1

2!

3

¸

i=1

3

¸

j=1

∂

2

V

∂x

i

∂x

j

x=x

. (x

i

−'x

i

`) (x

j

−'x

j

`)

+... (5.3)

where for a central potential

V

i

≡

∂V

∂x

i

x=x

= 'x

i

`

1

r

∂V

∂r

r=R

(5.4a)

V

ij

≡

∂

2

V

∂x

i

∂x

j

x=x

=

δ

ij

1

r

∂V

∂r

+

' x

i

` ' x

j

`

r

∂

∂r

1

r

∂V

∂r

r=R

(5.4b)

Equations (4.20) have been derived for a bound wavepacket moving in a circular

orbit. For such an orbit we have

' p `

2

= m

2

ω

2

R

2

(5.5a)

' p ` . ' x` = 0 , (5.5b)

36

and

mω

2

=

1

R

∂V

∂R

. (5.5c)

When these results are used, some of the expressions (4.13) and (4.19) simplify

somewhat. For example

χ

R

=

1

R

2

'x

i

` 'x

j

` 'x

i

x

j

` −R

2

(5.6a)

χ

RT

=

1

mω

¸

1

R

2

'p

i

` 'x

j

` 'x

i

x

j

`

, (5.6b)

π

R

=

1

m

2

ω

2

¸

1

R

2

'x

i

` 'x

j

` 'p

i

p

j

`

, (5.6c)

π

RT

=

1

m

3

ω

3

¸

1

R

2

'x

i

` 'p

j

` 'p

i

p

j

`

, (5.6d)

µ

RR

=

1

mω

¸

1

R

2

'x

i

` 'x

j

` 'p

i

x

j

+x

i

p

j

`

. (5.6e)

Here and in the sequel, we use the summation convention with respect to re-

peated indices, which range from 1 to 3.

To derive the equation corresponding to the ﬁrst row in the matrix equation

(4.20), we note from (5.6a) that

i

dχ

R

dt

=

1

R

2

'x

i

` 'x

j

` '[x

i

x

j

, H]` + i

1

R

2

'x

i

x

j

`

d

dt

('x

i

` 'x

j

`) , (5.7)

where we have used the quantum equation of motion to evaluate

d

dt

'x

i

x

j

` . On

evaluating the commutator and substituting

d

dt

'x

i

` = 'p

i

`/m, we get

dχ

R

dt

=

'x

i

` 'x

j

`

mR

2

'x

i

p

j

+p

i

x

j

` +

'x

i

x

j

`

mR

2

¦'x

i

` 'p

j

` +'p

i

` 'x

j

`¦ ,

in view of (5.6b) and (5.6e) this reduces to

1

ω

dχ

R

dt

= µ

RR

+ 2 χ

RT

, (5.8)

which corrsponds to the ﬁrst row in the matrix equation (4.20). This equation

is exact.

We will now derive the equation for π

R

corresponding to the 4

th

row in

(4.20), this however involves an approximation depending on the small size of

the wave packet. From (5.6c) we have

dπ

R

dt

=

1

m

2

ω

2

¸

'x

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

d

dt

'p

i

p

j

` +

'p

i

p

j

`

R

2

d

dt

¦'x

i

` 'x

j

`¦

=

1

m

2

ω

2

¸

−

'x

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

∂V

∂x

i

p

j

+

p

i

∂V

∂x

j

+

1

m

2

ω

2

¸

'p

i

p

j

`

mR

2

¦'x

i

` 'p

j

` +'p

i

` 'x

j

`¦

, (5.9)

37

where the quantum equation of motion has been used to evaluate

d

dt

'p

i

p

j

`. To

proceed further we expand ∂V/∂x

i

in a Taylor’s series about the position 'x` :

∂V

∂x

i

p

j

= V

i

'p

j

` +V

it

'( x

t

− 'x

t

`) p

j

`

=

1

R

∂V

∂R

'x

i

` 'p

j

` +¦'x

t

p

j

` − 'x

t

` 'p

j

`¦ V

it

. (5.10)

V

i

and V

it

are given in eqs. (5.4). We have dropped the third and higher order

derivatives in the Taylor’s expansion. This is a good approximation for most

potentials of interest provided the size of the wave packet is much less than the

radius of the orbit. From (5.10) we have

−

'x

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

∂V

∂x

i

p

j

= −

'x

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

¦'x

t

p

j

` − 'x

t

` 'p

j

`¦ V

it

. (5.11)

Note that the contribution to (5.11) from the ﬁrst term in (5.10) is zero because

of (5.5b). Similarly the second term in (5.11) is zero, hence

−

'x

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

∂V

∂x

i

p

j

= −

'x

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

'x

t

p

j

` V

it

.

= −

'x

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

'x

t

p

j

`

δ

it

1

R

∂V

∂R

+

'x

i

` 'x

t

`

R

∂

∂R

1

R

∂V

∂R

= −

'x

t

` 'x

j

`

R

2

'x

t

p

j

`

1

R

∂V

∂R

+ R

∂

∂R

1

R

∂V

∂R

= −

'x

t

` 'x

j

`

R

2

'x

t

p

j

` mω

2

1 +

R

ω

2

∂ ω

2

∂R

=

mω

2

R

2

'x

t

` 'x

j

` 'x

t

p

j

` η (5.12)

where we deﬁne

η = −

1 +

R

ω

2

∂ ω

2

∂R

= −

r V

V

r=R

(5.13)

Putting (5.12) into (5.9) and using (5.6d) and (5.6e) we have

1

ω

dπ

R

dt

= 2 π

RT

+η µ

RR

, (5.14)

which is the desired equation. Similarly all the other equations in (4.20) can be

derived.

Before we close the appendix we make a ﬁnal remark, namely that all the

quantities which are deﬁned in (4.19) and which do not appear to be properly

symmetized are symmetric for circular orbits. Consider for example µ

TR

, eq.

(4.19c) :

µ

TR

=

1

m

2

ω

2

1

R

2

¦' p` (x −'x`)¦ ¦'x` ( p −' p`)¦

,

=

1

m

2

ω

2

'p

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

¦'x

i

p

j

` − 'x

i

` 'p

j

`¦ (5.15)

38

In the case of circular orbits this reduces to

µ

TR

=

1

m

2

ω

2

'p

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

'x

i

p

j

`

=

1

m

2

ω

2

'p

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

'p

j

x

i

+ i δ

ij

`

=

1

m

2

ω

2

'p

i

` 'x

j

`

R

2

'p

j

x

i

` (5.16)

conﬁrming that the order of factors in the product whose expectation value is

taken is irrelevant.

*********************************************

REFERENCES

1. W. Heisenberg : Z. Physik 33, 879 (1925)

2. M. Born and P. Jordon : Z. Phyzik 34, 858 (1925)

3. E. Schrodinger : Ann. Physik 79, 361, 489, 734 (1926)

4. Van der Waerden : “ Sources of Quantum Mechanics”, North Holland Publ.

Amsterdam (1967)

5. P.A.M. Dirac : Proc. of the Royal Soc. A114, 243 (1927)

6. L. Susskind and J. Glogower : Physics 1, 49 (1964)

7. B.B. Varga and S. Aks : Phys. Lett. 31A, 40 (1970)

8. J. Garrison and J. Wong : Journ. of Math. Phys. 11, 2242 (1970)

9. S.G. Eckstein, B.B. Varga and S. Aks : Nuovo Cimento 8B, 451, (1972)

10. W.H. Louisell : Phys. Lett. 7, 60 (1963)

11. J. Zak : Phys. Rev. 187, 1803 1969

12. P. Carruthers and M.M. Nieto : Rev. of Mod. Phys. 40, 411 (1968)

13. E.C. Lerner : Nuovo Cimento 56B, 183 (1968); erratum 57B, 251(1968)

14. E.C. Lerner and H.W. Huang and G.E. Walters : Journ. of Math. Phys.

11, 1679 (1970)

15. E.K. Ifantis : Journ. of Math. Phys. 11, 3138 (1970)

16. E.K. Ifantis : Journ. of Math. Phys. 12, 1021, 2512 (1971)

17. R. Jackiw : Journ. of Math. Phys. 9, 339 (1968)

18. C.M. Bender and T.T. Wu : Phys. Rev. Lett. 21, 406 (1968)

19. C.M. Bender and T.T. Wu : Phys. Rev. 184, 1231 (1969)

20. B. Simon : Annals of Phys. 58, 76 (1970)

21. J.J. Loeﬀel, A. Martin, B. Simon : Phys Lett. 30B, 656 (1969)

22. S. Graﬃ, V. Grecchi and B. Simon : Phys. Lett. 32B, 631 (1970)

23. S.N. Biswas, K. Datta, R.P. Saxena, P.K. Srivastava and V.S. Varma :

Phys. Rev. D4, 3617 (1971)

24. S.N. Biswas, K. Datta, R.P. Saxena, P.K. Srivastava and V.S. Varma :

Pre-print Delhi Univ., (1971)

25. For a variation calculation for the anharmonic oscillator, see : N. Bazley

and D. Fox : Phys. Rev. 124, 483 (1961)

26. C.G. Darwin : Proc. of the Royal Soc. A117, 258 (1927)

39

27. E.H. Kennard : Z. Physik 44, 326 (1927)

28. Louis de Broglie : “Nonlinear Wave Mechanics”, Elsever Publ.,

New York (1960)

29. M. Born and D.J. Hooton : Z. Physik 142, 201 (1955)

30. M. Born and D.J. Hooton : Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc. 52, 287 (1956)

31. M. Born : Z. Physik 153, 372 (1958)

32. G. Petiau : Comptes Rendus 238, 998, 1568 (1954)

33. G. Petiau : Comptes Rendus 239, 344, 792, 1158 (1954)

34. G. Petiau : Comptes Rendus 240, 2491 (1955)

35. F. Karolhazy : Nuovo Cimento 42A, 390 (1966)

36. E. Schrodinger : Z. Physik 14, 664 (1926)

37. R.J. Glauber : Phys. Rev. 131, 2766 (1963)

38. P. Carruthers and M.M. Nieto : Amer. Journ. of Phys. 33, 537 (1965)

39. E.C.G. Sudarshan : Phys. Rev. Lett. 10, 277 (1963)

40. G. Szego : “ Orthonormal Polynomials”, American Mathematical Society

Colloquium Publ. Providence R.I. Vol. 23 (1965)

41. P. Carruthers and M.M. Nieto : Phys. Rev. Lett. 14, 387 (1965)

42. K.E. Cahill : Phys. Rev. 138, B 1566 (1965)

43. K. Eswaran : Nuovo Cimento 70B, 1 (1970)

44. H. Barnard and J.M. Child : “ Higher Algebra” , Macmillan and Co. (1959)

45. E.T. Whittaker and G.N. Watson : “ A Course of Modern Analysis”,

Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge (1952) Chapter XXXI.

46. E.C. Titchmarsh : “ Eigenfunction Expansion”, Oxford Univ. Press,

Oxford (1962) Chapter VII, p 144.

47. Pao Lu : Journ. of Chem. Phys. 47, 815 (1967)

48. Yu. E. Murakhver : Soviet Phys. Doklady 10, 1079 (1966).

(Translated from Doklady Akad. Nauk. SSSR 165, 5261 (1965))

49. A. Messiah : “Quantum Mechanics”, North Holland Publ.

Amsterdam (1966) Vol I, Chapter VI.

50. F.R. Gantmacher : “ The Theory of Matrices ”, Chelsea Publ. New York

(1960) Vol I, Chapter VII.

**********************************************

40

This is a study of certain aspects of phase and coherence in quantum systems.

This is a study of certain aspects of phase and coherence in quantum systems.

- 4462562 Einstein Aether Theory
- Field Theory Script
- Matter in the Big Bang Model is Dust and Not Any Arbitrary Perfect Fluid!
- Arguments for F-Theory
- holographic duality
- NON LINEAR VIBRATION.pdf
- Notes on Nonlinear Vibrations
- Continuum micro-mechanics of elastoplastic polycrystals.pdf
- Garrett Lisi, An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything, 2007
- Mpags Qft II
- Least Inclusive Geometric Unit
- Section2 3 Perturb Regular
- bab-17.PDF
- 0606_w10_qp_13
- PMOvc.pdf
- The Two Phase Flow Motions and their P. D. F. Representations
- tmpB5F7.tmp
- Itzhak Bars- Lectures on Twistors
- 4037_s02_qp_1
- 9709_s12_qp_13
- Geometry, vol.5 - Minimal surfaces (ed. Osserman) [EMS 90]
- Which Symmetry Studies July 01
- workingpapermathsminimaanalysisjournal
- IV 3416201624
- Abstracts
- Constraining conformal field theories with a higher spin symmetry
- The Intermodulation and Distortion due to Quantization of Sinusoids
- Two Decades of Fuzzy Topology
- 1401.7026

Are you sure?

This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

We've moved you to where you read on your other device.

Get the full title to continue

Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.

scribd