Commutator Algebra

Here we illustrates commutator algebra using one dimensional quantum systems. When we work with the Schrödinger Equation or in any other formulation of Quantum Mechanics, exact values of properties can not be used. Instead we use operators. Mathematically, a commutator is written:

Where [..,..] is commutator bracket. If the result of commutation is zero then we say the operators and commute. Otherwise these operators do not commute. The famous Heisenberg Uncertainty principle is a direct consequence of the fact that position and momentum do not commute; therefore we cannot precisely determine position and momentum at the same time. Construction of operators using postion and momentum operator: In order to construct quantum mechanical operators, first we write classical observable interms of momentum and position and then we substitute representation of postion and momentum operator. Example: Energy equation for the classical Harmonic oscillator is . Write down Hamiltonian of the oscillator. Since ; then

Example. Calculate commutation relation between kinetic and potential energy of Harmonic oscillator.

We evaluate first term

Combine the last two equation, we obtain:

Angular Momentum operator. Classical definition of the angular momentum is given by


where are unit vectors and constant with respect to time and coordinate. The cross product yields

Example. Consider the operators

Calculate Solution:

and find the commutation relation


Calculating Then

Compare the result with harmonic oscillator Hamiltonian!!!!! Eigenvalue equations and expectation values It is obvious that when an operator acting on a function maps it on to another function. Let us consider some examples. A differential operator acting on to the following functions:

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle In the previous section we have define uncertainty relation of the operators: if then uncertainties in and defined as

Obey the relation:

The uncertainty between momentum and position operator is: Then uncertainty

As it is expected.

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