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“A beam of spin 1 atoms goes through a series of Stern2 Gerlach–type measurements as follows: a. The ﬁrst measurement accepts sz = h/2 atoms and rejects ¯ sz = −¯ /2 atoms. h

b. The second measurement accepts sn = h/2 atoms and rejects ¯ sn = −¯ /2 atoms, where sn is the eigenvalue of the operator h S · n, with n making an angle β in the xz-plane with respect ˆ ˆ to the z-axis. c. The third measurement accepts sz = −¯ /2 atoms and rejects h sz = h/2 atoms. ¯ What is the intensity of the ﬁnal sz = −¯ /2 beam when the h sz = h/2 beam surviving the ﬁrst measurement is normalized to ¯ unity? How must we orient the second measuring apparatus if we are to maximize the intensity of the ﬁnal sz = −¯ /2 beam?” h (Sakurai, problem 1.13.) The state after the ﬁrst measurement can here be regarded as the initial state, since it is normalised. That means that we are starting out with |+. The ﬁltering process can be described as |+ = a |+n + b |−n → a |+n = c |+ + d |− → d |− . This ﬁltering can be carried out using projection operators: d |− = |− −| |+n +n | |+ = |− −|+n +n |+ In the end we are after the ﬁnal intensity |d|2 : 2 2 |d|2 = −|+n +n |+ (1)

In order to compute this, we need the eigenstate |+n of the operator S · n: sin β S · n = Sx Sy Sz 0 = Sx sin β + Sz cos β = cos β h ¯ h ¯ . = |+ −| + |− +| sin β + |+ +| − |− −| cos β = 2 2 ¯ . h cos β sin β = 2 sin β − cos β 1

Using the formulae for twice an angle. the second measuring apparatus must be set at right angles with the ﬁrst: β = π/2 produces the maximal intensity 1 . 1 For β = π/2. Now. (2) sin β 2 2 2 2 sin2 This general expression also reproduces the special cases isolated at the outset. we see that we need the inner products: +|+n = cos β 2 and −|+n = sin β 2 β β 1 sin2 = sin2 β. S · n = Sz and |+n = |+. we need to treat β ∈ {0. if the incoming intensity was unity. x1 If we take |+n = . |−n = |+. this means that x1 and x2 obey the equation x2 (1 − cos β) x1 = sin β · x2 . h cos β − 1 S · n − 1I = ∼ sin β − cos β − 1 2 sin β sin β 1 1 cos β−1 cos β−1 ∼ ∼ sin β − cos β − 1 0 0 . for any other β: ¯ sin β . π} separately. |−n = |−. 4 |d|2 = cos2 2 . S · n = −Sz and |+n = |−. to keep the trigonometric functions away from the dangerous values 0 and 1.We can quickly establish the eigenvalues ±¯ /2. cos β 2 |+n = cos |+ + sin |− = . we can simplify things a bit: β β β x1 = 2 sin cos x2 2 2 2 β β =⇒ sin x1 = cos x2 2 2 Combine this with the normalisation condition |x1 |2 + |x2 |2 and we immediately see a worthy candidate: β β . For β = 0. Speciﬁcally. 2 2 4 So. the ﬁnal intensity will be 1 sin2 β. 4 To maximise the ﬁnal intensity. but to do that we would really like to be able to multiply and divide with abandon — we need to consider a few special cases ﬁrst. For β = π. We can ﬁnd the eigenvectors h with Gaussian elimination. S · n = Sx and |±n = √2 (|+ ± |−). Going back to the expression (1) for the ﬁnal intensity. π/2. There is no need to calculate the other eigenstate |−n . so we may take (2) to be the desired equation for |+n .

1) + shift( id.1) += 3. t )). Here comes every ﬁfth frame in the time evolution: 3 .2 # -*-octave-*nn = 60. x = psi psi psi [0:nn-1].2. deltat = . end system("convert fil???.^2)).* psi ). gset key off for t = 1:120 axis([1 nn 0 . plot( abs(psi). \"fil%.^2 ) axis([1 nn 0 .1]). id = eye ( nn ).1]).nn/2)/(nn/6) ). = psi .png gr.’. h(1.( shift( id. ev = diag( e ). eval(sprintf("print(\"-dpng\". ut = u * diag( exp( i * deltat * ev ) )* u’ . = ( exp( 32i * pi * x / nn ) . -1 ) ).gif").e] = schur(h./ sqrt( psi * psi’).png\")".3d.5."a"). shouldbezero = h . = exp( -( (( x . h = .( u * ( e * u’ ) ). [u. psi = ut * psi.

4 .

5 .

Are there exceptions? As an example. you may think of the central6 . A2 ] = 0.3 “Two observables A1 and A2 . Prove that the energy eigenstates are.2. H] = 0. degenerate. H] = 0. which do not involve time explicitly. [A2 . in general. are known not to commute. [A1 . yet we also know that A1 and A2 both commute with the Hamiltonian: [A1 .

In other words: the energy eigenstates of H are degenerate.) Since [A1 . F (x) = −i¯ h ∂xi where F (x) is a function of the operator x in two ways: (1) directly from the commutation relations [xi . problem 1. H] = 0 we can diagonalise A2 and H simultaneously. on the one hand we have (j) (j) (j) H |a(i) = ci H |b(j) = ci hb |b(j) .4 “Prove the operator identity ∂F pi . Let the basis that diagonalises A1 in this way be denoted by {|a(i) }. in general. |a(i) does not equal any of the |b(i) . Now. j j (j) and on the other hand we have H |a(i) = h(i) |a(i) = a which means that j j ci h(i) |b(j) . a (j) ci hb |b(j) = (j) (j) Since the |b are linearly independent. which (j) means that for this i we have several hb taking on the same value. and then we would have [A1 . provided that ci = 0 we have ha = hb . But. we can diagonalise them simultaneously.” (Sakurai. as pointed out above. we can equate their coeﬃcients. Similarly. It will be some linear combination: (j) |a(i) = ci |b(j) . with A1 → Lz . since [A2 . let that basis be denoted by {|b(i) }. H] = 0. (j) j ci h(i) |b(j) . pj ] = i¯ δij and (2) by using h the real space basis and evaluating ˆ |[pi . A2 ] = 0 we know that. Similarly. (j) (i) (j) Thus. F (x)]|f . A2 ] = 0.force problem H = p2 /2m + V (r). Since [A1 . (i) (i) Since |a(i) is an eigenket of H.17. a (j) 2. let hb be the energy eigenvalue of the eigenstate |b(j) . A2 → Lx .” x 7 . j For at least one i we will have several nonzero ci — otherwise we could simultaneously diagonalise A1 and A2 . we have H |a(i) = ha |a(i) where ha is (j) the energy eigenvalue of the eigenstate |a(i) . (j) there must be at least some i for which ci = 0 holds for several j.

we relabel the axes so that it is. we arrive at the statement to be proved: [pi .3: [[Ω. xα ] = αxα−1 [p1 . In this problem. Ω] = 0 =⇒ [Ωm . 1 2 3 α. Assume that the operator F (x) can be written in a Taylor expansion: F (x) = aα. Λ] for operators Ω. Λ]. In general. F (x)] = aα. and x to be the coordinates of the state |ˆ . Thus [p1 . ∂xi ˆ Using the real space basis. I would have found it more intuitive to have x it the other way around. number 1.γ Without loss of generality. 1 2 3 α.γ [p1 .β. .) We then compute [p1 . a].γ Noting that [a. x1 ] = −i¯ h 1 h 1 1 [p1 . F (x)] = −i¯ h ∂ ∂F xα xβ xγ = −i¯ h 1 2 3 ∂x1 ∂x1 α. xα ]xβ xγ . assume i = 1. (If it is not.Using the commutation relations. I’ll take x to be the operator.β.β. which commutes h with x1 . [x1 .γ xα xβ xγ . ˆ |[pi . Λ. F (x)] = −i¯ h ∂F . so the requirements are fulﬁlled. F (x)]|f = ˆ |pi F (x)|f − ˆ |F (x)pi |f x x x ˆ |pi F (x)|f = x ˆ dx (δ(x − x)) (−i¯ ) h 8 ∗ ∂ F (x )f (x ) = ∂xi . x1 ] = −i¯ αxα−1 [p1 . Λ] = mΩm−1 [Ω. p1 ] = i¯ .β.β.γ ∂xα 1 ∂x1 If we now undo the relabelling that resulted in i = 1. . we take Ω = x1 and Λ = p1 . we can now call into eﬀect the theorem of last week’s homework. we have ∗ β|f (x)|α = dx ψβ (x )f (x )ψα (x ). b] = −[b.

(a) Transform to momentum eigenstates and show that 1 4 p2 1 h p|ψ(0) = e− 4¯ 2 a 2aπ¯ 2 h (b) Compute x|ψ(t) and show it is equal to 1 −ax2 /(1+(2i¯ at/m)) h 2a 4 e π 1 + (2i¯ at/m) h (c) Compute the probability density | x|ψ(t) |2 and show that it is a gaussian [sic] which spreads out in time. F (x)] = −i¯ h ∂F . ∂xi 2. Thus [pi .” 9 . F (x)]|f = −i¯ x h ∂x i x =ˆ x ∂F (x ) ∂f (x ) ˆ = −i¯ dx δ(x − x) h f (x ) + F (x ) ∂xi ∂x i ∂F (x ) ∂f (x ) = −i¯ h f (ˆ ) + F (ˆ ) x x ∂xi x =ˆ ∂xi x =ˆ x x ∂f (x ) ˆ |F (x)pi |f = −i¯ F (ˆ ) x h x ∂x i x =ˆ x = Now on to the right hand side: ∂F ∂F (x ) ∗ ˆ ˆ | −i¯ x h |f = dx (δ(x − x)) −i¯ h f (x ) = ∂xi ∂xi ∂F (x ) = −i¯ h f (ˆ ) x ∂xi x =ˆ x We see that the expression for the left hand side above and this expression for the right hand side agree.This gives us the following expression for the left hand side: ∂F (x ) f (ˆ ) x ˆ |[pi .5 “Let the state initial state [sic] of a one dimensional free particle be given by |ψ(0) where x|ψ(0) is given by the Gaussian 1 2a 4 −ax2 x|ψ(0) = e π where a is real and positive.

Cleaning this up. so where the last step was taken using the familiar expression for Gaussian integrals with an imaginary coeﬃcient for the x factor. 1 4 1 −ipx 2a p|ψ(0) = √ dx exp exp(−ax2 ) = h ¯ 2π¯ π h 1 1 2a 4 ipx 2 =√ dx exp − − ax = h ¯ 2π¯ π h 1 1 1 2a 4 π 2 p 2 =√ exp − /4a a h ¯ 2π¯ π h To compute x|ψ(t) we need the time evolution operator U : U = exp(−iHt/¯ ). We then have ˆ x|ψ(t) = x|U |ψ(0) = dp x|U |p p|ψ(0) = ip2 t = dp exp − x|p p|ψ(0) = 2m¯ h 1 4 1 1 ip2 t ipx p2 =√ dp exp − + − = 2m¯ h h ¯ h2 4a¯ 2 h 2π¯ 2π¯ a h 1 4 1 1 1 1 it ix 2 =√ dp exp − + p + p = 2 2a¯ 2 m¯ h h ¯ h2 h 2π¯ 2π¯ a h 10 . h where H = p2 /2m for a free particle.Transformation to momentum eigenstates proceeds as usual p|ψ(0) = dx p|x x|ψ(0) We know that 1 x|p = √ exp 2π¯ h ipx h ¯ . we arrive at 1 4 1 p2 p|ψ(0) = exp − 2π¯ 2 a h 4a¯ 2 h as desired.

To see the latter. The probability density | x|ψ(t) |2 is relatively easy. this is what we get. We will use the ﬁrst of these equalities for the square root. there is nothing in the Gaussian formula used for this that tells us which branch of the complex square root we should use — I’m not very happy with the derivations of this formula I have seen. If c is a complex number. consider that the square of the standard deviation σ is proportional to the expression in the denominator. appearing in the argument of the exponential function). 2 + m¯ h 2a¯ h 2a¯ 2 h This clears up the exponential nicely. and it is spreading out in time. 11 . σ 2 ∝ 1 + 4¯ 2 a2 t2 /m2 . squaring it ﬁrst.1 =√ 2π¯ h 1 2π¯ 2 a h 1 4 2π 1 + 2a¯ 2 h it m¯ h 1 2 exp − 1 it 1 + 2i¯ at/m h = . h and this increases with time. |c|2 = |c2 | = c∗ c. while we use the second for the exponential: 1 2 2a 4 exp (−ax2 /(1 − 2i¯ at/m)) exp (−ax2 /(1 + 2i¯ at/m)) h h = = 2 π 1 + 2i¯ at/m h 1 1 exp −ax2 (1−2i¯ at/m) + (1+2i¯ at/m) h h 2a = = π 2 2 2 2 1 + 4¯ a t /m h = −2ax2 exp 1+4¯ 2 a2 t2 /m2 2a h π 1 + 4¯ 2 a2 t2 /m2 h | x|ψ(t) |2 = This is a Gaussian (the only x is a x2 with a negative coeﬃcient. and with some further thought we ﬁnd the coeﬃcient matches up as well: x|ψ(t) = 2a π 1 4 exp (−ax2 /(1 + 2i¯ at/m)) h 1 + 2i¯ at/m h Note that x 2 h ¯ 1 it 2 + h 2a¯ 2 m¯ h As far as I can see. But assuming that it is correct.

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