dirac notation

Operator matrix element

August 29, 2015 phy1520 No comments , , , , , ,

[Click here for a PDF of this post with nicer formatting]

0dc1b8c5-232f-492d-b520-bcec41e45c88

Weird dreams

I woke up today having a dream still in my head from the night, but it was a strange one. I was expanding out the Dirac notation representation of an operator in matrix form, but the symbols in the kets were elaborate pictures of Disney princesses that I was drawing with forestry scenery in the background, including little bears. At the point that I woke up from the dream, I noticed that I’d gotten the proportion of the bears wrong in one of the pictures, and they looked like they were ready to eat one of the princess characters.

Guts

As a side effect of this weird dream I actually started thinking about matrix element representation of operators.

When forming the matrix element of an operator using Dirac notation the elements are of the form \( \bra{\textrm{row}} A \ket{\textrm{column}} \). I’ve gotten that mixed up a couple of times, so I thought it would be helpful to write this out explicitly for a \( 2 \times 2 \) operator representation for clarity.

To start, consider a change of basis for a single matrix element from basis \( \setlr{\ket{q}, \ket{r} } \), to basis \( \setlr{\ket{a}, \ket{b} } \)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:operatorMatrixElement:20}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{q} A \ket{r}
&=
\braket{q}{a} \bra{a} A \ket{r}
+
\braket{q}{b} \bra{b} A \ket{r} \\
&=
\braket{q}{a} \bra{a} A \ket{a}\braket{a}{r}
+ \braket{q}{a} \bra{a} A \ket{b}\braket{b}{r} \\
&+ \braket{q}{b} \bra{b} A \ket{a}\braket{a}{r}
+ \braket{q}{b} \bra{b} A \ket{b}\braket{b}{r} \\
&=
\braket{q}{a}
\begin{bmatrix}
\bra{a} A \ket{a} & \bra{a} A \ket{b}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\braket{a}{r} \\
\braket{b}{r}
\end{bmatrix}
+
\braket{q}{b}
\begin{bmatrix}
\bra{b} A \ket{a} & \bra{b} A \ket{b}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\braket{a}{r} \\
\braket{b}{r}
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\braket{q}{a} &
\braket{q}{b}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\bra{a} A \ket{a} & \bra{a} A \ket{b} \\
\bra{b} A \ket{a} & \bra{b} A \ket{b}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\braket{a}{r} \\
\braket{b}{r}
\end{bmatrix}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

Suppose the matrix representation of \( \ket{q}, \ket{r} \) are respectively

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:operatorMatrixElement:40}
\begin{aligned}
\ket{q} &\sim
\begin{bmatrix}
\braket{a}{q} \\
\braket{b}{q} \\
\end{bmatrix} \\
\ket{r} &\sim
\begin{bmatrix}
\braket{a}{r} \\
\braket{b}{r} \\
\end{bmatrix} \\
\end{aligned},
\end{equation}

then

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:operatorMatrixElement:60}
\bra{q} \sim
{\begin{bmatrix}
\braket{a}{q} \\
\braket{b}{q} \\
\end{bmatrix}}^\dagger
=
\begin{bmatrix}
\braket{q}{a} &
\braket{q}{b}
\end{bmatrix}.
\end{equation}

The matrix element is then

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:operatorMatrixElement:80}
\bra{q} A \ket{r}
\sim
\bra{q}
\begin{bmatrix}
\bra{a} A \ket{a} & \bra{a} A \ket{b} \\
\bra{b} A \ket{a} & \bra{b} A \ket{b}
\end{bmatrix}
\ket{r},
\end{equation}

and the corresponding matrix representation of the operator is

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:operatorMatrixElement:100}
A \sim
\begin{bmatrix}
\bra{a} A \ket{a} & \bra{a} A \ket{b} \\
\bra{b} A \ket{a} & \bra{b} A \ket{b}
\end{bmatrix}.
\end{equation}

bra-ket manipulation problems

July 22, 2015 phy1520 No comments , , , , , , , ,


[Click here for a PDF of this post with nicer formatting]

Some bra-ket manipulation problems.([1] pr. 1.4)

Using braket logic expand

(a)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:20}
\textrm{tr}{X Y}
\end{equation}

(b)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:40}
(X Y)^\dagger
\end{equation}

(c)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:60}
e^{i f(A)},
\end{equation}

where \( A \) is Hermitian with a complete set of eigenvalues.

(d)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:80}
\sum_{a’} \Psi_{a’}(\Bx’)^\conj \Psi_{a’}(\Bx”),
\end{equation}

where \( \Psi_{a’}(\Bx”) = \braket{\Bx’}{a’} \).

Answers

(a)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:100}
\begin{aligned}
\textrm{tr}{X Y}
&= \sum_a \bra{a} X Y \ket{a} \\
&= \sum_{a,b} \bra{a} X \ket{b}\bra{b} Y \ket{a} \\
&= \sum_{a,b}
\bra{b} Y \ket{a}
\bra{a} X \ket{b} \\
&= \sum_{a,b}
\bra{b} Y
X \ket{b} \\
&= \textrm{tr}{ Y X }.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

(b)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:120}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{a} \lr{ X Y}^\dagger \ket{b}
&=
\lr{ \bra{b} X Y \ket{a} }^\conj \\
&=
\sum_c \lr{ \bra{b} X \ket{c}\bra{c} Y \ket{a} }^\conj \\
&=
\sum_c \lr{ \bra{b} X \ket{c} }^\conj \lr{ \bra{c} Y \ket{a} }^\conj \\
&=
\sum_c
\lr{ \bra{c} Y \ket{a} }^\conj
\lr{ \bra{b} X \ket{c} }^\conj \\
&=
\sum_c
\bra{a} Y^\dagger \ket{c}
\bra{c} X^\dagger \ket{b} \\
&=
\bra{a} Y^\dagger
X^\dagger \ket{b},
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

so \( \lr{ X Y }^\dagger = Y^\dagger X^\dagger \).

(c)

Let’s presume that the function \( f \) has a Taylor series representation

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:140}
f(A) = \sum_r b_r A^r.
\end{equation}

If the eigenvalues of \( A \) are given by

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:160}
A \ket{a_s} = a_s \ket{a_s},
\end{equation}

this operator can be expanded like

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:180}
\begin{aligned}
A
&= \sum_{a_s} A \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s} \\
&= \sum_{a_s} a_s \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s},
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

To compute powers of this operator, consider first the square

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:200}
\begin{aligned}
A^2 =
&=
\sum_{a_s} a_s \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s}
\sum_{a_r} a_r \ket{a_r} \bra{a_r} \\
&=
\sum_{a_s, a_r} a_s a_r \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s} \ket{a_r} \bra{a_r} \\
&=
\sum_{a_s, a_r} a_s a_r \ket{a_s} \delta_{s r} \bra{a_r} \\
&=
\sum_{a_s} a_s^2 \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

The pattern for higher powers will clearly just be

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:220}
A^k =
\sum_{a_s} a_s^k \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s},
\end{equation}

so the expansion of \( f(A) \) will be

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:240}
\begin{aligned}
f(A)
&= \sum_r b_r A^r \\
&= \sum_r b_r
\sum_{a_s} a_s^r \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s} \\
&=
\sum_{a_s} \lr{ \sum_r b_r a_s^r } \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s} \\
&=
\sum_{a_s} f(a_s) \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

The exponential expansion is

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:260}
\begin{aligned}
e^{i f(A)}
&=
\sum_t \frac{i^t}{t!} f^t(A) \\
&=
\sum_t \frac{i^t}{t!}
\lr{ \sum_{a_s} f(a_s) \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s} }^t \\
&=
\sum_t \frac{i^t}{t!}
\sum_{a_s} f^t(a_s) \ket{a_s} \bra{a_s} \\
&=
\sum_{a_s}
e^{i f(a_s) }
\ket{a_s} \bra{a_s}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

(d)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:braketManip:n}
\begin{aligned}
\sum_{a’} \Psi_{a’}(\Bx’)^\conj \Psi_{a’}(\Bx”)
&=
\sum_{a’}
\braket{\Bx’}{a’}^\conj
\braket{\Bx”}{a’} \\
&=
\sum_{a’}
\braket{a’}{\Bx’}
\braket{\Bx”}{a’} \\
&=
\sum_{a’}
\braket{\Bx”}{a’}
\braket{a’}{\Bx’} \\
&=
\braket{\Bx”}{\Bx’} \\
&= \delta_{\Bx” – \Bx’}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

References

[1] Jun John Sakurai and Jim J Napolitano. Modern quantum mechanics. Pearson Higher Ed, 2014.