## Totally asymmetric potential

December 16, 2015 phy1520 , , ,

### Q: [1] pr 4.11

(a) Given a time reversal invariant Hamiltonian, show that for any energy eigenket

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:20}
\expectation{\BL} = 0.

(b) If the wave function of such a state is expanded as

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:40}
\sum_{l,m} F_{l m} Y_{l m}(\theta, \phi),

what are the phase restrictions on $$F_{lm}$$?

### A: part (a)

For a time reversal invariant Hamiltonian $$H$$ we have

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:60}
H \Theta = \Theta H.

If $$\ket{\psi}$$ is an energy eigenstate with eigenvalue $$E$$, we have

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:80}
\begin{aligned}
H \Theta \ket{\psi}
&= \Theta H \ket{\psi} \\
&= \lambda \Theta \ket{\psi},
\end{aligned}

so $$\Theta \ket{\psi}$$ is also an eigenvalue of $$H$$, so can only differ from $$\ket{\psi}$$ by a phase factor. That is

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:100}
\begin{aligned}
\ket{\psi’}
&=
\Theta \ket{\psi} \\
&= e^{i\delta} \ket{\psi}.
\end{aligned}

Now consider the expectation of $$\BL$$ with respect to a time reversed state

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:120}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{ \psi’} \BL \ket{\psi’}
&=
\bra{ \psi} \Theta^{-1} \BL \Theta \ket{\psi} \\
&=
\bra{ \psi} (-\BL) \ket{\psi},
\end{aligned}

however, we also have

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:140}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{ \psi’} \BL \ket{\psi’}
&=
\lr{ \bra{ \psi} e^{-i\delta} } \BL \lr{ e^{i\delta} \ket{\psi} } \\
&=
\bra{\psi} \BL \ket{\psi},
\end{aligned}

so we have $$\bra{\psi} \BL \ket{\psi} = -\bra{\psi} \BL \ket{\psi}$$ which is only possible if $$\expectation{\BL} = \bra{\psi} \BL \ket{\psi} = 0$$.

### A: part (b)

Consider the expansion of the wave function of a time reversed energy eigenstate

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:160}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{\Bx} \Theta \ket{\psi}
&=
\bra{\Bx} e^{i\delta} \ket{\psi} \\
&=
e^{i\delta} \braket{\Bx}{\psi},
\end{aligned}

and then consider the same state expanded in the position basis

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:180}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{\Bx} \Theta \ket{\psi}
&=
\bra{\Bx} \Theta \int d^3 \Bx’ \lr{ \ket{\Bx’}\bra{\Bx’} } \ket{\psi} \\
&=
\bra{\Bx} \Theta \int d^3 \Bx’ \lr{ \braket{\Bx’}{\psi} } \ket{\Bx’} \\
&=
\bra{\Bx} \int d^3 \Bx’ \lr{ \braket{\Bx’}{\psi} }^\conj \Theta \ket{\Bx’} \\
&=
\bra{\Bx} \int d^3 \Bx’ \lr{ \braket{\Bx’}{\psi} }^\conj \ket{\Bx’} \\
&=
\int d^3 \Bx’ \lr{ \braket{\Bx’}{\psi} }^\conj \braket{\Bx}{\Bx’} \\
&=
\int d^3 \Bx’ \braket{\psi}{\Bx’} \delta(\Bx- \Bx’) \\
&=
\braket{\psi}{\Bx}.
\end{aligned}

This demonstrates a relationship between the wave function and its complex conjugate

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:200}
\braket{\Bx}{\psi} = e^{-i\delta} \braket{\psi}{\Bx}.

Now expand the wave function in the spherical harmonic basis

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:220}
\begin{aligned}
\braket{\Bx}{\psi}
&=
\int d\Omega \braket{\Bx}{\ncap}\braket{\ncap}{\psi} \\
&=
\sum_{lm} F_{lm}(r) Y_{lm}(\theta, \phi) \\
&=
e^{-i\delta}
\lr{
\sum_{lm} F_{lm}(r) Y_{lm}(\theta, \phi) }^\conj \\
&=
e^{-i\delta}
\sum_{lm} \lr{ F_{lm}(r)}^\conj Y_{lm}^\conj(\theta, \phi) \\
&=
e^{-i\delta}
\sum_{lm} \lr{ F_{lm}(r)}^\conj (-1)^m Y_{l,-m}(\theta, \phi) \\
&=
e^{-i\delta}
\sum_{lm} \lr{ F_{l,-m}(r)}^\conj (-1)^m Y_{l,m}(\theta, \phi),
\end{aligned}

so the $$F_{lm}$$ functions are constrained by

\label{eqn:totallyAsymmetricPotential:240}
F_{lm}(r) = e^{-i\delta} \lr{ F_{l,-m}(r)}^\conj (-1)^m.

# References

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

## Expectation of spherically symmetric 3D potential derivative

### Q: [1] pr 5.16

For a particle in a spherically symmetric potential $$V(r)$$ show that

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:20}
\Abs{\psi(0)}^2 = \frac{m}{2 \pi \Hbar^2} \expectation{ \frac{dV}{dr} },

for all s-states, ground or excited.

Then show this is the case for the 3D SHO and hydrogen wave functions.

### A:

The text works a problem that looks similar to this by considering the commutator of an operator $$A$$, later set to $$A = p_r = -i \Hbar \PDi{r}{}$$ the radial momentum operator. First it is noted that

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:40}
0 = \bra{nlm} \antisymmetric{H}{A} \ket{nlm},

since $$H$$ operating to either the right or the left is the energy eigenvalue $$E_n$$. Next it appears the author uses an angular momentum factoring of the squared momentum operator. Looking earlier in the text that factoring is found to be

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:60}
\frac{\Bp^2}{2m}
= \inv{2 m r^2} \BL^2 – \frac{\Hbar^2}{2m} \lr{ \PDSq{r}{} + \frac{2}{r} \PD{r}{} }.

With
\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:80}
R = – \frac{\Hbar^2}{2m} \lr{ \PDSq{r}{} + \frac{2}{r} \PD{r}{} }.

we have

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:100}
\begin{aligned}
0
&= \bra{nlm} \antisymmetric{H}{p_r} \ket{nlm} \\
&= \bra{nlm} \antisymmetric{\frac{\Bp^2}{2m} + V(r)}{p_r} \ket{nlm} \\
&= \bra{nlm} \antisymmetric{\inv{2 m r^2} \BL^2 + R + V(r)}{p_r} \ket{nlm} \\
&= \bra{nlm} \antisymmetric{\frac{-\Hbar^2 l (l+1)}{2 m r^2} + R + V(r)}{p_r} \ket{nlm}.
\end{aligned}

Let’s consider the commutator of each term separately. First

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:120}
\begin{aligned}
\antisymmetric{V}{p_r} \psi
&=
V p_r \psi

p_r V \psi \\
&=
V p_r \psi

(p_r V) \psi

V p_r \psi \\
&=

(p_r V) \psi \\
&=
i \Hbar \PD{r}{V} \psi.
\end{aligned}

Setting $$V(r) = 1/r^2$$, we also have

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:160}
\antisymmetric{\inv{r^2}}{p_r} \psi
=
-\frac{2 i \Hbar}{r^3} \psi.

Finally
\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:180}
\begin{aligned}
\antisymmetric{\PDSq{r}{} + \frac{2}{r} \PD{r}{} }{ \PD{r}{}}
&=
\lr{ \partial_{rr} + \frac{2}{r} \partial_r } \partial_r

\partial_r \lr{ \partial_{rr} + \frac{2}{r} \partial_r } \\
&=
\partial_{rrr} + \frac{2}{r} \partial_{rr}

\lr{
\partial_{rrr} -\frac{2}{r^2} \partial_r + \frac{2}{r} \partial_{rr}
} \\
&=
-\frac{2}{r^2} \partial_r,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:200}
\antisymmetric{R}{p_r}
=-\frac{2}{r^2} \frac{-\Hbar^2}{2m} p_r
=\frac{\Hbar^2}{m r^2} p_r.

Putting all the pieces back together, we’ve got
\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:220}
\begin{aligned}
0
&= \bra{nlm} \antisymmetric{\frac{-\Hbar^2 l (l+1)}{2 m r^2} + R + V(r)}{p_r} \ket{nlm} \\
&=
i \Hbar
\bra{nlm} \lr{
\frac{\Hbar^2 l (l+1)}{m r^3} – \frac{i\Hbar}{m r^2} p_r +
\PD{r}{V}
}
\ket{nlm}.
\end{aligned}

Since s-states are those for which $$l = 0$$, this means

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:240}
\begin{aligned}
\expectation{\PD{r}{V}}
&= \frac{i\Hbar}{m } \expectation{ \inv{r^2} p_r } \\
&= \frac{\Hbar^2}{m } \expectation{ \inv{r^2} \PD{r}{} } \\
&= \frac{\Hbar^2}{m } \int_0^\infty dr \int_0^\pi d\theta \int_0^{2 \pi} d\phi r^2 \sin\theta \psi^\conj(r,\theta, \phi) \inv{r^2} \PD{r}{\psi(r,\theta,\phi)}.
\end{aligned}

Since s-states are spherically symmetric, this is
\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:260}
\expectation{\PD{r}{V}}
= \frac{4 \pi \Hbar^2}{m } \int_0^\infty dr \psi^\conj \PD{r}{\psi}.

That integral is

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:280}
\int_0^\infty dr \psi^\conj \PD{r}{\psi}
=
\evalrange{\Abs{\psi}^2}{0}{\infty} – \int_0^\infty dr \PD{r}{\psi^\conj} \psi.

With the hydrogen atom, our radial wave functions are real valued. It’s reasonable to assume that we can do the same for other real-valued spherical potentials. If that is the case, we have

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:300}
2 \int_0^\infty dr \psi^\conj \PD{r}{\psi}
=
\Abs{\psi(0)}^2,

and

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:320}
\boxed{
\expectation{\PD{r}{V}}
= \frac{2 \pi \Hbar^2}{m } \Abs{\psi(0)}^2,
}

which completes this part of the problem.

### A: show this is the case for the 3D SHO and hydrogen wave functions

For a hydrogen like atom, in atomic units, we have

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:360}
\begin{aligned}
\expectation{
\PD{r}{V}
}
&=
\expectation{
\PD{r}{} \lr{ -\frac{Z e^2}{r} }
} \\
&=
Z e^2
\expectation
{
\inv{r^2}
} \\
&=
Z e^2 \frac{Z^2}{n^3 a_0^2 \lr{ l + 1/2 }} \\
&=
\frac{\Hbar^2}{m a_0} \frac{2 Z^3}{n^3 a_0^2} \\
&=
\frac{2 \Hbar^2 Z^3}{m n^3 a_0^3}.
\end{aligned}

On the other hand for $$n = 1$$, we have

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:380}
\begin{aligned}
\frac{2 \pi \Hbar^2}{m} \Abs{R_{10}(0)}^2 \Abs{Y_{00}}^2
&=
\frac{2 \pi \Hbar^2}{m} \frac{Z^3}{a_0^3} 4 \inv{4 \pi} \\
&=
\frac{2 \Hbar^2 Z^3}{m a_0^3},
\end{aligned}

and for $$n = 2$$, we have

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:400}
\begin{aligned}
\frac{2 \pi \Hbar^2}{m} \Abs{R_{20}(0)}^2 \Abs{Y_{00}}^2
&=
\frac{2 \pi \Hbar^2}{m} \frac{Z^3}{8 a_0^3} 4 \inv{4 \pi} \\
&=
\frac{\Hbar^2 Z^3}{4 m a_0^3}.
\end{aligned}

These both match the potential derivative expectation when evaluated for the s-orbital ($$l = 0$$).

For the 3D SHO I verified the ground state case in the Mathematica notebook sakuraiProblem5.16bSHO.nb

There it was found that

\label{eqn:symmetricPotentialDerivativeExpectation:420}
\expectation{\PD{r}{V}}
= \frac{2 \pi \Hbar^2}{m } \Abs{\psi(0)}^2
= 2 \sqrt{\frac{m \omega ^3 \Hbar}{ \pi }}

# References

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

## Ensembles for spin one half

November 1, 2015 phy1520 , , , ,

### Mixed ensemble averages

In [1], Sakurai leaves it to the reader to verify that knowledge of the three ensemble averages [S_x], [S_y],[S_z] is sufficient to reconstruct the density operator for a spin one half system.

I’ll do this in two parts, the first using a spin-up/down ensemble to see what form this has, then the general case. The general case is a bit messy algebraically. After first attempting it the hard way, I did the grunt work portion of that calculation in Mathematica, but then realized it’s not so bad to do it manually.

Consider first an ensemble with density operator

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:20}
\rho =
w_{+} \ket{+}\bra{+} + w_{-} \ket{-}\bra{-},

where these are the $$\BS \cdot (\pm \zcap)$$ eigenstates. The traces are

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:40}
\begin{aligned}
\textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_x )
&=
\bra{+} \rho \sigma_x \ket{+}
+
\bra{-} \rho \sigma_x \ket{-} \\
&=
\bra{+} \rho \begin{bmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix} \ket{+}
+
\bra{-} \rho \begin{bmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix} \ket{-} \\
&=
\bra{+} \lr{ w_{+} \ket{+}\bra{+} + w_{-} \ket{-}\bra{-} } \ket{-}
+
\bra{-} \lr{ w_{+} \ket{+}\bra{+} + w_{-} \ket{-}\bra{-} } \ket{+} \\
&=
\bra{+} w_{-} \ket{-}
+
\bra{-} w_{+} \ket{+} \\
&=
0,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:60}
\begin{aligned}
\textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_y )
&=
\bra{+} \rho \sigma_y \ket{+}
+
\bra{-} \rho \sigma_y \ket{-} \\
&=
\bra{+} \rho \begin{bmatrix} 0 & -i \\ i & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix} \ket{+}
+
\bra{-} \rho \begin{bmatrix} 0 & -i \\ i & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix} \ket{-} \\
&=
i \bra{+} \lr{ w_{+} \ket{+}\bra{+} + w_{-} \ket{-}\bra{-} } \ket{-}

i \bra{-} \lr{ w_{+} \ket{+}\bra{+} + w_{-} \ket{-}\bra{-} } \ket{+} \\
&=
i \bra{+} w_{-} \ket{-}

i \bra{-} w_{+} \ket{+} \\
&=
0,
\end{aligned}

and
\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:100}
\begin{aligned}
\textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_z )
&=
\bra{+} \rho \sigma_z \ket{+}
+
\bra{-} \rho \sigma_z \ket{-} \\
&=
\bra{+} \rho \ket{+}

\bra{-} \rho \ket{-} \\
&=
\bra{+} \lr{ w_{+} \ket{+}\bra{+} + w_{-} \ket{-}\bra{-} } \ket{+}

\bra{-} \lr{ w_{+} \ket{+}\bra{+} + w_{-} \ket{-}\bra{-} } \ket{-} \\
&=
\bra{+} w_{+} \ket{+}

\bra{-} w_{-} \ket{-} \\
&=
w_{+} – w_{-}.
\end{aligned}

Since $$w_{+} + w_{-} = 1$$, this gives

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:80}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
w_{+} &= \frac{1 + \textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_z )}{2} \\
w_{-} &= \frac{1 – \textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_z )}{2}
\end{aligned}
}

Attempting to do a similar set of trace expansions this way for a more general spin basis turns out to be a really bad idea and horribly messy. So much so that I resorted to \href{https://raw.githubusercontent.com/peeterjoot/mathematica/master/phy1520/spinOneHalfSymbolicManipulation.nb}{Mathematica to do this symbolic work}. However, it’s not so bad if the trace is done completely in matrix form.

Using the basis

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:120}
\begin{aligned}
\ket{\BS \cdot \ncap ; + } &=
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) \\
\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi}
\end{bmatrix} \\
\ket{\BS \cdot \ncap ; – } &=
\begin{bmatrix}
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi} \\
-\cos(\theta/2) \\
\end{bmatrix},
\end{aligned}

the projector matrices are

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:140}
\begin{aligned}
\ket{\BS \cdot \ncap ; + } \bra{\BS \cdot \ncap ; + }
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) \\
\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) &
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi}
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos^2(\theta/2) & \cos(\theta/2) \sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi} \\
\sin(\theta/2) \cos(\theta/2) e^{i \phi} & \sin^2(\theta/2)
\end{bmatrix},
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:160}
\begin{aligned}
\ket{\BS \cdot \ncap ; – } \bra{\BS \cdot \ncap ; – }
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi} \\
-\cos(\theta/2) \\
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi} & -\cos(\theta/2) \\
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\sin^2(\theta/2) & -\cos(\theta/2) \sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi} \\
-\cos(\theta/2) \sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi} & \cos^2(\theta/2)
\end{bmatrix}
\end{aligned}

With $$C = \cos(\theta/2), S = \sin(\theta/2)$$, a general density operator in this basis has the form

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:180}
\begin{aligned}
\rho
&=
w_{+}
\begin{bmatrix}
C^2 & C S e^{-i \phi} \\
S C e^{i \phi} & S^2
\end{bmatrix}
+
w_{-}
\begin{bmatrix}
S^2 & -C S e^{-i \phi} \\
-C S e^{i \phi} & C^2
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
w_{+} C^2 + w_{-} S^2 & (w_{+} – w_{-})C S e^{-i \phi} \\
(w_{+} -w_{-} ) S C e^{i \phi} & w_{+} S^2 + w_{-} C^2
\end{bmatrix}.
\end{aligned}

The products with the Pauli matrices are

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:200}
\begin{aligned}
\rho \sigma_x
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
w_{+} C^2 + w_{-} S^2 & (w_{+} – w_{-})C S e^{-i \phi} \\
(w_{+} -w_{-} ) S C e^{i \phi} & w_{+} S^2 + w_{-} C^2
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
(w_{+} – w_{-})C S e^{-i \phi} & w_{+} C^2 + w_{-} S^2 \\
w_{+} S^2 + w_{-} C^2 & (w_{+} -w_{-} ) S C e^{i \phi} \\
\end{bmatrix}
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:220}
\begin{aligned}
\rho \sigma_y
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
w_{+} C^2 + w_{-} S^2 & (w_{+} – w_{-})C S e^{-i \phi} \\
(w_{+} -w_{-} ) S C e^{i \phi} & w_{+} S^2 + w_{-} C^2
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix} 0 & -i \\ i & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix} \\
&=
i
\begin{bmatrix}
(w_{+} – w_{-})C S e^{-i \phi} & -w_{+} C^2 – w_{-} S^2 \\
w_{+} S^2 + w_{-} C^2 & -(w_{+} -w_{-} ) S C e^{i \phi} \\
\end{bmatrix}
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:240}
\begin{aligned}
\rho \sigma_z
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
w_{+} C^2 + w_{-} S^2 & (w_{+} – w_{-})C S e^{-i \phi} \\
(w_{+} -w_{-} ) S C e^{i \phi} & w_{+} S^2 + w_{-} C^2
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & -1 \\ \end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
w_{+} C^2 + w_{-} S^2 & -(w_{+} – w_{-})C S e^{-i \phi} \\
(w_{+} -w_{-} ) S C e^{i \phi} & – (w_{+} S^2 + w_{-} C^2)
\end{bmatrix}
\end{aligned}

The respective traces can be read right off the matrices
\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:260}
\begin{aligned}
\textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_x ) &= (w_{+} – w_{-}) \sin\theta \cos\phi \\
\textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_y ) &= (w_{+} – w_{-}) \sin\theta \sin\phi \\
\textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_z ) &= (w_{+} – w_{-}) \cos\theta \\
\end{aligned}.

This gives

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:280}
(w_{+} – w_{-}) \ncap = \lr{ \textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_x ), \textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_y ), \textrm{Tr}( \rho \sigma_z ) },

or

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:281}
\boxed{
w_{\pm} = \frac{1 \pm \sqrt{ \textrm{Tr}^2( \rho \sigma_x ) + \textrm{Tr}^2( \rho \sigma_y ) + \textrm{Tr}^2( \rho \sigma_z )} }{2} .
}

So, as claimed, it’s possible to completely describe the ensemble weight factors using the ensemble averages of $$[S_x], [S_y], [S_z]$$. I used the Pauli matrices instead, but the difference is just an $$\Hbar/2$$ scaling adjustment.

### Pure ensemble

It turns out that doing the above is also pr. 3.10(b). Part (a) of that problem is to show how the expectation values $$\expectation{S_x}, \expectation{S_y},\expectation{S_x}$$ fully determine the spin orientation for a pure ensemble.

Suppose that the system is in the state $$\ket{\BS \cdot \ncap ; + }$$ as defined above, then the expectation values of $$\sigma_x, \sigma_y, \sigma_z$$ with respect to this state are

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:300}
\begin{aligned}
\expectation{\sigma_x}
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) &
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) \\
\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi}
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) &
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi} \\
\cos(\theta/2) \\
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\sin\theta \cos\phi,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:340}
\begin{aligned}
\expectation{\sigma_y}
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) &
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix} 0 & -i \\ i & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) \\
\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi}
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
i
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) &
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
-\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi} \\
\cos(\theta/2) \\
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\sin\theta \sin\phi,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:360}
\begin{aligned}
\expectation{\sigma_z}
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) &
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & -1 \\ \end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) \\
\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi}
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) &
\sin(\theta/2) e^{-i \phi}
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos(\theta/2) \\
-\sin(\theta/2) e^{i \phi}
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
\cos\theta.
\end{aligned}

So we have
\label{eqn:ensemblesForSpinOneHalf:380}
\boxed{
\ncap = \lr{ \expectation{\sigma_x}, \expectation{\sigma_y}, \expectation{\sigma_z} }.
}

The spin direction is completely determined by this vector of expectation values (or equivalently, the expectation values of $$S_x, S_y, S_z$$).

# References

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

## Second update of aggregate notes for phy1520, Graduate Quantum Mechanics

I’ve posted a second update of my aggregate notes for PHY1520H Graduate Quantum Mechanics, taught by Prof. Arun Paramekanti. In addition to what was noted previously, this contains lecture notes up to lecture 9, my ungraded solutions for the second problem set, and some additional worked practise problems.

Most of the content was posted individually in the following locations, but those original documents will not be maintained individually any further.

## Plane wave ground state expectation for SHO

Problem [1] 2.18 is, for a 1D SHO, show that

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:20}
\bra{0} e^{i k x} \ket{0} = \exp\lr{ -k^2 \bra{0} x^2 \ket{0}/2 }.

Despite the simple appearance of this problem, I found this quite involved to show. To do so, start with a series expansion of the expectation

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:40}
\bra{0} e^{i k x} \ket{0}
=
\sum_{m=0}^\infty \frac{(i k)^m}{m!} \bra{0} x^m \ket{0}.

Let

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:60}
X = \lr{ a + a^\dagger },

so that

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:80}
x
= \sqrt{\frac{\Hbar}{2 \omega m}} X
= \frac{x_0}{\sqrt{2}} X.

Consider the first few values of $$\bra{0} X^n \ket{0}$$

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:100}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{0} X \ket{0}
&=
\bra{0} \lr{ a + a^\dagger } \ket{0} \\
&=
\braket{0}{1} \\
&=
0,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:120}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{0} X^2 \ket{0}
&=
\bra{0} \lr{ a + a^\dagger }^2 \ket{0} \\
&=
\braket{1}{1} \\
&=
1,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:140}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{0} X^3 \ket{0}
&=
\bra{0} \lr{ a + a^\dagger }^3 \ket{0} \\
&=
\bra{1} \lr{ \sqrt{2} \ket{2} + \ket{0} } \\
&=
0.
\end{aligned}

Whenever the power $$n$$ in $$X^n$$ is even, the braket can be split into a bra that has only contributions from odd eigenstates and a ket with even eigenstates. We conclude that $$\bra{0} X^n \ket{0} = 0$$ when $$n$$ is odd.

Noting that $$\bra{0} x^2 \ket{0} = \ifrac{x_0^2}{2}$$, this leaves

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:160}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{0} e^{i k x} \ket{0}
&=
\sum_{m=0}^\infty \frac{(i k)^{2 m}}{(2 m)!} \bra{0} x^{2m} \ket{0} \\
&=
\sum_{m=0}^\infty \frac{(i k)^{2 m}}{(2 m)!} \lr{ \frac{x_0^2}{2} }^m \bra{0} X^{2m} \ket{0} \\
&=
\sum_{m=0}^\infty \frac{1}{(2 m)!} \lr{ -k^2 \bra{0} x^2 \ket{0} }^m \bra{0} X^{2m} \ket{0}.
\end{aligned}

This problem is now reduced to showing that

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:180}
\frac{1}{(2 m)!} \bra{0} X^{2m} \ket{0} = \inv{m! 2^m},

or

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:200}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{0} X^{2m} \ket{0}
&= \frac{(2m)!}{m! 2^m} \\
&= \frac{ (2m)(2m-1)(2m-2) \cdots (2)(1) }{2^m m!} \\
&= \frac{ 2^m (m)(2m-1)(m-1)(2m-3)(m-2) \cdots (2)(3)(1)(1) }{2^m m!} \\
&= (2m-1)!!,
\end{aligned}

where $$n!! = n(n-2)(n-4)\cdots$$.

It looks like $$\bra{0} X^{2m} \ket{0}$$ can be expanded by inserting an identity operator and proceeding recursively, like

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:220}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{0} X^{2m} \ket{0}
&=
\bra{0} X^2 \lr{ \sum_{n=0}^\infty \ket{n}\bra{n} } X^{2m-2} \ket{0} \\
&=
\bra{0} X^2 \lr{ \ket{0}\bra{0} + \ket{2}\bra{2} } X^{2m-2} \ket{0} \\
&=
\bra{0} X^{2m-2} \ket{0} + \bra{0} X^2 \ket{2} \bra{2} X^{2m-2} \ket{0}.
\end{aligned}

This has made use of the observation that $$\bra{0} X^2 \ket{n} = 0$$ for all $$n \ne 0,2$$. The remaining term includes the factor

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:240}
\begin{aligned}
\bra{0} X^2 \ket{2}
&=
\bra{0} \lr{a + a^\dagger}^2 \ket{2} \\
&=
\lr{ \bra{0} + \sqrt{2} \bra{2} } \ket{2} \\
&=
\sqrt{2},
\end{aligned}

Since $$\sqrt{2} \ket{2} = \lr{a^\dagger}^2 \ket{0}$$, the expectation of interest can be written

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:260}
\bra{0} X^{2m} \ket{0}
=
\bra{0} X^{2m-2} \ket{0} + \bra{0} a^2 X^{2m-2} \ket{0}.

How do we expand the second term. Let’s look at how $$a$$ and $$X$$ commute

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:280}
\begin{aligned}
a X
&=
\antisymmetric{a}{X} + X a \\
&=
\antisymmetric{a}{a + a^\dagger} + X a \\
&=
\antisymmetric{a}{a^\dagger} + X a \\
&=
1 + X a,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:300}
\begin{aligned}
a^2 X
&=
a \lr{ a X } \\
&=
a \lr{ 1 + X a } \\
&=
a + a X a \\
&=
a + \lr{ 1 + X a } a \\
&=
2 a + X a^2.
\end{aligned}

Proceeding to expand $$a^2 X^n$$ we find
\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:320}
\begin{aligned}
a^2 X^3 &= 6 X + 6 X^2 a + X^3 a^2 \\
a^2 X^4 &= 12 X^2 + 8 X^3 a + X^4 a^2 \\
a^2 X^5 &= 20 X^3 + 10 X^4 a + X^5 a^2 \\
a^2 X^6 &= 30 X^4 + 12 X^5 a + X^6 a^2.
\end{aligned}

It appears that we have
\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:340}
\antisymmetric{a^2 X^n}{X^n a^2} = \beta_n X^{n-2} + 2 n X^{n-1} a,

where

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:360}
\beta_n = \beta_{n-1} + 2 (n-1),

and $$\beta_2 = 2$$. Some goofing around shows that $$\beta_n = n(n-1)$$, so the induction hypothesis is

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:380}
\antisymmetric{a^2 X^n}{X^n a^2} = n(n-1) X^{n-2} + 2 n X^{n-1} a.

Let’s check the induction
\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:400}
\begin{aligned}
a^2 X^{n+1}
&=
a^2 X^{n} X \\
&=
\lr{ n(n-1) X^{n-2} + 2 n X^{n-1} a + X^n a^2 } X \\
&=
n(n-1) X^{n-1} + 2 n X^{n-1} a X + X^n a^2 X \\
&=
n(n-1) X^{n-1} + 2 n X^{n-1} \lr{ 1 + X a } + X^n \lr{ 2 a + X a^2 } \\
&=
n(n-1) X^{n-1} + 2 n X^{n-1} + 2 n X^{n} a
+ 2 X^n a
+ X^{n+1} a^2 \\
&=
X^{n+1} a^2 + (2 + 2 n) X^{n} a + \lr{ 2 n + n(n-1) } X^{n-1} \\
&=
X^{n+1} a^2 + 2(n + 1) X^{n} a + (n+1) n X^{n-1},
\end{aligned}

which concludes the induction, giving

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:420}
\bra{ 0 } a^2 X^{n} \ket{0 } = n(n-1) \bra{0} X^{n-2} \ket{0},

and

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:440}
\bra{0} X^{2m} \ket{0}
=
\bra{0} X^{2m-2} \ket{0} + (2m-2)(2m-3) \bra{0} X^{2m-4} \ket{0}.

Let

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:460}
\sigma_{n} = \bra{0} X^n \ket{0},

so that the recurrence relation, for $$2n \ge 4$$ is

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:480}
\sigma_{2n} = \sigma_{2n -2} + (2n-2)(2n-3) \sigma_{2n -4}

We want to show that this simplifies to

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:500}
\sigma_{2n} = (2n-1)!!

The first values are

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:540}
\sigma_0 = \bra{0} X^0 \ket{0} = 1

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:560}
\sigma_2 = \bra{0} X^2 \ket{0} = 1

which gives us the right result for the first term in the induction

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:580}
\begin{aligned}
\sigma_4
&= \sigma_2 + 2 \times 1 \times \sigma_0 \\
&= 1 + 2 \\
&= 3!!
\end{aligned}

For the general induction term, consider

\label{eqn:exponentialExpectationGroundState:600}
\begin{aligned}
\sigma_{2n + 2}
&= \sigma_{2n} + 2 n (2n – 1) \sigma_{2n -2} \\
&= (2n-1)!! + 2n ( 2n – 1) (2n -3)!! \\
&= (2n + 1) (2n -1)!! \\
&= (2n + 1)!!,
\end{aligned}

which completes the final induction. That was also the last thing required to complete the proof, so we are done!

# References

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