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QM 2.

Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 1

Chapter 2. Dynamical Variables and Operators

2.1. Operators: the denition

x 1. Introduction. Quantum Mechanics is not a \correction" to classical

mechanics, but an entirely new way of describing the mechanical properties of

very light objects (electrons, nuclei, atoms, molecules, . . . ). The mathematics

of Quantum Theory and the physical phenomena that take place in systems

where Quantum Mechanics applies, are very dierent from those of classical

mechanics.

In Newton's classical scheme, the fundamental variables (the positions,

the momenta, the kinetic or the potential energy of the particles) are num-

bers. In Quantum Mechanics this is no longer true. The dynamical variables

are represented by mathematical objects called operators. In this chapter,

you learn what an operator is and which operators represent the dynamical

variables of the system (position, momentum, kinetic energy, . . . ).

x 2. Operators: the denition. A function is a set of rules that are applied to

a given number, to produce another number. For example, y = f (x) x2 is

shorthand for the following rules: take the argument x of f(x) and calculate

its square. The number you obtain is the value of f (x).


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 2

This concept can be generalized to dene rules that use as input a function

(not a number) and produce as a result another function (not a number).

Such a set of rules is called an operator. An operator is to functions what a

function is to numbers.

The operator notation analogous to y = f(x) is

^
(x) = O(x) (2.1)

^ is a symbol for the operator (the hat on top reminds me that O


Here O ^ is

an operator). This operator acts on or is applied to the function (x) and

produces as a result a function called (x).

x 3. Examples of operators. I give here several examples, which illustrate

the kinds of operators that you will encounter in your study of Quantum

^ x dened by
Mechanics. The operator O

^ x f (x; y; z) = xf (x; y; z)
O (2.2)

acts on a function f (x; y; z) to produce the function xf(x; y; z). This rule is

easy to apply; for example:

^ x sin(x2 ) = x sin(x2 )
O

^ x [xy ln x] = x2 y ln x
O
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 3

^ x , the result is that func-


No matter to what function I apply the operator O

tion multiplied by x.

Another example is

V^ f (x; y; z) = V (x; y; z)f(x; y; z) (2.3)

where V (x; y; z) is a function specied in advance. The operator V^ turns

a function f (x; y; z) into the function V (x; y; z) f(x; y; z). If V (x) = kx2 =2

then

^ kx2
V f(x; y; z) = f (x; y; z)
2

Another important operator is dened by

h
@
p^x (x; y; z) = (x; y; z) (2.4)
i @x
p
h
is Planck's constant and i = 1. The previous operators involved multi-

plication with a function of coordinates; this one involves a derivative.

Here is an example that shows how this works: if

(x; y; z) = exp[ikx x + iky y + ikz z]

then

p^x (x; y; z) = h
kx exp[ikx x + iky y + ikz z]

(Remember that @ exp [ikx x] =@x = ikx exp [ikx x].)


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 4

Similarly, I can dene

@
h
p^y (x; y; z) = (x; y; z) (2.5)
i @y

2.2. Operations with operators

It is easy to dene the addition of two operators, the multiplication of an

operator by a number, the multiplication of two operators, etc. This is what

I do next.

x 4. Operator addition and multiplication by numbers. The sum of two oper-

ators is dened just as you would expect. The operator

C^ A^ + B
^

is dened by the rule

^ = A
C ^ + B
^

To determine how C^ acts on a function , add the result of acting with A^

^ on . You know how to add A


on to the result of acting with B ^ to B
^

because they are functions.

When is a complex number, the operator

^ A^
D
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 5

is dened by

^ = (A)
D ^

^ acts on , you calculate the function = A


To calculate how D ^ and

multiply the result by .

We can combine these rules to create new operators. For example, the

operator C^ dened by

C^ = p^x + 2O
^x

^ x by Eq. 2.2) acts on the function as


(where p^x is dened by Eq. 2.4 and O

shown below:

^ =h
C
@
+ 2x
i @x

x 5. Operator multiplication. I dene the symbol A^B


^ by the following rule:

A^B
^ = A(
^ B)
^ = A
^ where = B
^ (2.6)

^ has
This means: take the function and calculate the eect the operator B

on it. Call the function obtained in this way . Apply the operator A^ to .

The result is the action of the operator A^B


^ on .

Let us see how this works on a few examples. (WorkBookQM.2.1 shows

how to use Mathematica to manipulate operators.) Consider the operator


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 6

^ x , where O
p^x O ^ x is dened by Eq. 2.2 and p^x is dened by Eq. 2.4:

^ x (x; y; z) = p^x (O
p^x O ^ x (x; y; z)) = p^x (x(x; y; z))

h
@
= (x(x; y; z))
i @x
h
h
@(x; y; z)
= (x; y; z) + x (2.7)
i i @x

@
Note that in the calculation performed above, @x
acts on x(x; y; z).

Let us now apply the operators in the opposite order:


!
^x h
^ x p^x (x; y; z) = O
O
@
(x; y; z) = x
h
@(x; y; z)
(2.8)
i @x i @x

^ x p^x diers from p^x O


O ^ x : the operators O
^ x and p^x do not commute.

^ x p^y and p^y O


For practice, let us calculate how O ^ x act on a function

(x; y; z):

^ x (x; y; z) = p^y (x) = h


p^y O
@ h
@(x; y; z)
x(x; y; z) = x (2.9)
i @y i @y
!
O ^x h
^ x p^y (x; y; z) = O @(x; y; z) h
@(x; y; z)
= x (2.10)
i @y i @y

^ x p^y and p^y O


Note that O ^ x applied to a function (x; y; z) give the same result,

no matter what (x; y; z) is. When this happens, we say that the operators

^ x p^y and p^y O


O ^ x are equal:

^ x p^y = p^y O
O ^x

When two operators satisfy A^B


^=B
^ A,
^ we say that the operators commute.
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 7

x 6. Powers of operators. We can use this multiplication rule to dene powers

of operators. For example,


!
h
@ h
@ @2
p^2x (x; y; z) p^x p^x(x; y; z) = (x; y; z) = h2 2 (x; y; z)
i @x i @x @x

I have used above the fact that i2 = 1. Another example is

^ 3 (x; y; z) = O
O ^ 2 (O
^ x (x; y; z)) = O
^ 2 (x) = O
^ x (x2 ) = x3 (x; y; z)
x x x

x 7. The commutator of two operators. The multiplication of ordinary num-

bers is commutative: 35 = 53. Operator multiplication is not necessarily

commutative. We say that the operators A^ and B


^ commute if A^B
^ =B
^ A
^

for every function . The calculations performed in Eqs. 2.7{2.10 show that

^ x do not commute but p^y and O


p^x and O ^ x do.

Whether two operators commute or not has important physical conse-

quences in Quantum Mechanics. For this reason we often use an operation

called the commutator of two operators:

^ B]
[A; ^ A^B
^B
^ A^ (2.11)

^ B]
The commutator [A; ^ is an operator.

^ is said to be equal to 0 if O
An operator O ^ is identically 0 for every

function . Two operators A^ and B


^ commute if and only if their commutator
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 8

is equal to 0:

^ B]
[A; ^ = (A^B
^ B
^ A)
^ = A^B
^ B
^ A
^ =0

for any function .

The commutator [^ ^ x ] can be easily calculated from Eqs. 2.7 and 2.8:
px ; O

^ x ] = p^xO
px ; O
[^ ^ x p^x = h
^x O
(2.12)
i

Because this equality is valid for any function , we can write that

[^ ^x] = h
px ; O

(2.13)
i

Exercise 2.1 In parts (c) and (d), V (x) is a function of x and V^ = V (x).

(a) Calculate [^ ^ x2 ].
px ; O

^ x ].
px; O
(b) Calculate [^

px ; V^ ].
(c) Calculate [^

py ; V^ ].
(d) Calculate [^

(e) Calculate [^
px ; p^y ].

p6x ; p^x ].
(f ) Calculate [^

Exercise 2.2 Suppose (z) is a function.


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 9

^ dened by
(a) Is K
Z +1
^
K(x) (x y)(y)dy
1

an operator?

(b) Calculate [^ ^
px; K].

^
(c) Take (z) = exp[(z=)2 ] in part (a) and calculate K(x) for (x) = x

and for (x) = x2 .

x 8. Linear operators. In Quantum Mechanics we are interested only in

operators that satisfy the condition

^
A(a ^ + bA
+ b) = aA ^ (2.14)

Here a and b are complex numbers and and are arbitrary functions. An

operator that satises this condition is called linear.

^ x , V^ , p^x , p^y introduced so far are all linear operators


The operators O

^ 2.
(check that this is true). An example of a nonlinear operator is S

Indeed, if a and b are numbers and and are functions, then

^
S(a + b) = (a + b)2 = a2 2 + b2 2 + 2ab

If S^ were a linear operator, we would have (see Eq. 2.14)

^
S(a ^ + bS
+ b) = aS ^ = a 2 + b2
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 10

Because the two expressions dier, S^ is not a linear operator.

Exercise 2.3 Test whether the following operators are linear.


Z b
^
A(x) K(y x)(x)dx
a

^ d2 d
B(x) a 2 (x) + b (x)
dx dx
^
C(x) sin((x))

2.3. Dynamical variables as operators

x 9. Introduction. We can now introduce one of the fundamental rules of

Quantum Mechanics: all classical dynamical variables are represented in

Quantum Mechanics by operators. You will see as we proceed what the

word `represented' means.

In classical mechanics, the fundamental dynamical variables of a particle

are: the position vector r = fx; y; zg (in Cartesian coordinates) and the

momentum vector p = fpx ; py ; pz g, where

dx
px = m
dt
dy
py = m
dt

and
dz
pz = m
dt
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 11

The derivatives with respect to time t are the components of the velocity

vector. m is the mass of the particle.

All other dynamical variables are functions of positions and momenta.

The potential energy V (r) = V (x; y; z) is a function of coordinates. The

kinetic energy
pp p2 + p2y + p2z
= x
2m 2m

is a function of momenta. The angular momentum vector L r p (where

a b denotes the cross-product of vectors a and b) and the total energy

H = (p p=2m) + V (r) depend on both momentum and coordinate.

If the system has N particles, the fundamental dynamical variables are

the positions of all particles and the momenta of all particles. The interaction

energy U is a function of the positions of the particles. The kinetic energy

K is the sum of the kinetic energies of each particle. The total energy is

K + U . The total angular momentum is the sum of the angular momenta

of each particle. We see that the dynamic variables of an N -particle system

are also functions of positions and momenta.

If you know how the positions and the momenta of a classical system

change in time, you know all there is to know about the mechanics of that

system.
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 12

x 10. Position and potential energy operators. In Quantum Mechanics the

position operator ^r is dened by

^r(r) = r(r) = ix(r) + jy(r) + kz(r) (2.15)

Here i, j, k are unit vectors along the orthogonal, Cartesian, coordinate

axes, and x; y; z are the Cartesian coordinates of the particle located at r.

(r) (x; y; z) is an arbitrary function used to indicate how the operator

^r acts on a function. The components of the operator ^r are the operators

^x, O
O ^ y and O
^ z dened earlier.

The position operator can be easily dened for a system with many par-

ticles. For example, if a system has three particles with classical position

vectors r(1), r(2), and r(3), the position operator for particle 1, with coor-

dinates x(1); y(1); z(1), is

^r(1)(r(1); r(2); r(3)) = ix(1)(r(1); r(2); r(3)) + jy(1)(r(1); r(2); r(3)) + kz(1)(r(1); r(2); r(3

r(1)(r(1); r(2); r(3)) (2.1

Here (r(1); r(2); r(3)) (x(1); y(1); z(1); x(2); y(2); z(2); x(3); y(3); z(3))

is an arbitrary function. The operators ^r(2) and ^r(3) that represent the

positions of the other two particles are dened similarly.


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 13

The operator corresponding to the x-coordinate of particle 1 is

x^(1)(r(1); r(2); r(3)) = x(1)(r(1); r(2); r(3)) (2.17)

Exercise 2.4 Show that in a system with two particles, the operators ^r(1)

and ^r(2) commute.

x 11. Potential energy operator. The classical potential energy is a function of

the coordinates of all the particles. If, for a one-particle system, the classical

potential energy is V (r) = V (x; y; z), then the operator V^ representing this

quantity in Quantum Mechanics is dened by

V^ (r) V (r)(r) (2.18)

We can generalize this to any quantity that depends only on coordinates. The

rule is very simple: if a classical variable O(r(1); r(2); : : : ; r(N )) is a function

^ corresponding to
of coordinates (but not of momenta), then the operator O

it is

^
O(r(1); r(2); : : : ; r(N )) = O(r(1); r(2); : : : ; r(N))(r(1); r(2); : : : ; r(N))

(2.19)

x; V^ ] = 0, x^2 V^ (x) = x2 V (x)(x), and [^r; V^ ] = 0.


Exercise 2.5 Show that [^
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 14

x 12. The momentum operator. In classical mechanics, the momentum of

a particle is a vector p = i m vx + j m vy + k m vz . Here m is the mass of

the particle and vx , vy , and vz are the components of the velocity vector:

vx = dx=dt, vy = dy=dt, and vz = dz=dt. This denition of momentum is

valid only if you use Cartesian coordinates.

The Quantum Mechanical operators p^x , p^y , p^z corresponding to px = mvx ,

py = mvy , pz = mvz are

h
@
p^x (x; y; z) = (x; y; z) (2.20)
i @x
h
@
p^y (x; y; z) = (x; y; z) (2.21)
i @y
h
@
p^z (x; y; z) = (x; y; z) (2.22)
i @z
p
Here h
is Planck's constant, whose value is given in Appendix 1, and i = 1

(for a review of complex numbers, see Supplement 2.1).

In a system having N particles, each particle ` has a momentum p(`)

with components fpx (`); py (`); pz (`)g and a position r(`) with components

fx(`); y(`); z(`)g. For example, the operator corresponding to the y-component

of the momentum of the third particle (denoted py (3)) is

h
@
p^y (3)(r(1); : : : ; r(N )) = (r(1); : : : ; r(N))
i @y(3)

x 13. The kinetic energy operator. Classical kinetic energy in a one-particle


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 15

system is
pp p2x + p2y + p2z
K= = (2.23)
2m 2m

where m is the mass of the particle.

The kinetic energy operator in Quantum Mechanics is

^ p
^ =p ^ p^2 + p^2y + p^2z
K = x (2.24)
2m 2m

where p^x, p^y , and p^z are dened by Eqs. 2.20{2.22.

To see what this operator does when applied to a function (r) = (x; y; z),

I look at p^2x =2m. According to the rule of operator multiplication,

p^2x 1
= p^x (^
px)
2m 2m

The rule says: act rst with p^x and then act with p^x on the result. Using

Eq. 2.20 for p^x leads to


!
p^2x 1 1 @
h
= p^x (^
px ) = p^x
2m 2m 2m i @x
! !2
1 h
@ h
@ 1 h
@ 2 (x; y; z)
= = (2.25)
2m i @x i @x 2m i @x2

Similarly
!2
p^2y 1 h
@ 2 (x; y; z)
= (2.26)
2m 2m i @y 2

and
!2
p^2z 1 h
@ 2 (x; y; z)
= (2.27)
2m 2m i @z 2
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 16

Using Eqs. 2.25{2.27 in Eq. 2.24 gives


!
2
^ =h @ 2 @ 2 @ 2
K + 2 + 2 (2.28)
2m @x2 @y @z

The negative sign comes from the relation i2 = 1. I can also use the

denition
@2 @2 @2
+ + (2.29)
@x2 @y 2 @z 2

of the Lapacian (or Laplace operator) and write


!
2
^ =h 2
h @2 @2 @2
K = + + (2.30)
2m 2m @x2 @y 2 @z 2

with the understanding that such equations are meaningful only when both

sides act on the same function .

How about systems having many particles? The classical kinetic energy

of a system with N particles is


N
X p(`) p(`) p(1) p(1) p(N) p(N)
K= = + +
`=1
2m(`) 2m(1) 2m(N )

The vector p(`) is the momentum of particle `. The corresponding operator

is obtained by using Eq. 2.30 for the kinetic energy of each particle:
N
X
^ = ^ (`) p
p ^ (`)
K
`=1 2m(`)

It is easy to see that


!
^ 2 X
h N
1 @2 @ 2 @2
K(r(1); : : : ; r(N)) = + + (2.31)
2 `=1 m(`) @x(`)2 @y(`)2 @z(`)2
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 17

x 14. The total energy (the Hamiltonian). In classical mechanics, the total

energy (or the Hamiltonian)

H =K +V

is the sum of the kinetic energy K and the potential energy V . The operator

^ is
H

^ =K
H ^ + V^ (2.32)

For an N -particle system,

^
H(r(1); ^
: : : ; r(N )) = K(r(1); : : : ; r(N )) + V^ (r(1); : : : ; r(N))
!
N
X 2
h @ 2 @2 @ 2
= + +
`=1 2m(`) @x(`)2 @y(`)2 @z(`)2
+ V (r(1); : : : ; r(N))(r(1); : : : ; r(N)) (2.33)

Here V (r(1); : : : ; r(N )) is the classical potential energy of the system.

x 15. Angular momentum. I come now to the last operator that I consider

here, the angular momentum. In classical mechanics this is dened by

L=rp

I remind you of the rules for calculating the cross product, which can be
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 18

written as a determinant:



i j k




L=rp= x y z (2.34)



px py pz

Expanding the determinant in the right-hand side of Eq. 2.34 by cofactors

gives



y z x z x y
L = i
j

+ k


py pz
px pz
px py

= i(ypz zpy ) j(xpz zpx ) + k(xpy ypx )

The x-component of L is therefore

Lx = ypz zpy (2.35)

For the other components, we have:

Ly = zpx xpz (2.36)

and

Lz = xpy ypx (2.37)

There are all kinds of rules for remembering these equations. I give you

Metiu's rule: remember a book where the equations are written down and

remember where you put the book.


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 19

The operators corresponding to Lx , Ly , Lz are easily found.


!
^ x = (^ @
h h
@ h
@ @
L y p^z z^p^y ) = y z = y z (2.38)
i @z i @y i @z @y

Another way of writing this is


!
^x = h
L

y
@
z
@
(2.39)
i @z @y

The other components are


!
^y = h
L

z
@
x
@
(2.40)
i @x @z

and
!
^z = h
L
@
x y
@
(2.41)
i @y @x

The square of the angular momentum

L2 = L L = L2x + L2y + L2z (2.42)

is important in classical mechanics because it enters into the rotational energy

of a particle. The corresponding operator in Quantum Mechanics is

^2 = L
L ^ 2x + L
^ 2y + L
^ 2z (2.43)

^ 2 (x; y; z) by using Eq. 2.43 and Eqs. 2.39{2.41.


Exercise 2.6 Calculate L
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 20

p 2
Exercise 2.7 For r = x + y 2 + z 2 and a a real number, show that (see

WorkBookQM.2.2)

^ z ear = 0
L

^ 2 ear = 0
L

^ z ear z
L = 0

^ 2 ear z
L = 2h2 ear z

Exercise 2.8 Show that (see WorkBookQM.2.2) if

z(x + iy)
(x; y; z) =
x2 + y 2 + z 2

then

^z = h
L

and

^ 2 = 6h2
L

x 16. Summary. In Quantum Mechanics, the dynamical variables are repre-

sented by operators. Here is a list of the important ones.

The momentum operator of particle ` with Cartesian coordinates x(`); y(`); z(`)

is a vector with components

h
@
p^x(`) = (2.44)
i @x(`)
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 21

@
h
p^y (`) = (2.45)
i @y(`)
@
h
p^z (`) = (2.46)
i @z(`)

In a system for which V (r(1); : : : ; r(N)) is the classical potential energy, the

potential energy operator V^ is dened by

V^ (r(1); : : : ; r(N)) = V (r(1); : : : ; r(N ))(r(1); : : : ; r(N )) (2.47)

The rule is: multiply by the classical formula V (r(1); : : : ; r(N)) for the

potential energy.

The total energy (the Hamiltonian) operator is


N
X
^ = ^ p
p ^
H + V^
`=1 2m(`)
!
N
X 2
h @2 @2 @2
= + + + V (r(1); : : : ; r(N )) (2.48)
`=1
2m(`) @x(`)2 @y(`)2 @z(`)2

The angular momentum operator of particle ` is a vector L with Cartesian

components
!
^ x (`) = h
L

y(`)
@
z(`)
@
(2.49)
i @z(`) @y(`)
!
^ y (`) = h
@ @
L z(`) x(`) (2.50)
i @x(`) @z(`)
!
^ h
@ @
Lz (`) = x(`) y(`) (2.51)
i @y(`) @x(`)

Angular momentum squared is

^2 = L
L ^2 + L
^2 + L
^2 (2.52)
x y z
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 22

In later chapters, I will explain how these operators are connected to mea-

surable physical quantities.

Supplement 2.1. Review of complex numbers

x 17. Complex numbers. In many problems in quantum mechanics, the values

of the wave function turn out to be complex numbers. We need to remind

ourselves of a few of their properties.

A complex number is dened by

z = a + ib(1) (2.53)

where a and b are two real numbers called the real and imaginary parts of z,

respectively, and
p
i= 1 (2.54)

The notations Re(z) and Im(z) are used for the real and imaginary parts of

z. Obviously i has the property

i2 = 1 (2.55)

Here are the operations you can perform with two complex numbers z1 =

a1 + ib1 and z2 = a2 + ib2 :


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 23

Addition of two complex numbers

z1 + z2 = (a1 + a2 ) + i(b1 + b2 ) (2.56)

Multiplication of a complex number by a real number c

cz1 = ca1 + i(cb1 ) (2.57)

Multiplication of two complex numbers

z1 z2 = (a1 + ib1 )(a2 + ib2 ) = a1 a2 + ib1 a2 + ia1 b2 + i2 b1 b2

= (a1 a2 b1 b2 ) + i(a1 b2 + a2 b1 ) (2.58)

The last equality was obtained by using i2 = 1.

Division of two complex numbers

z1 a1 + ib1 a1 a2 + b1 b2 b1 a2 a1 b2
= = 2 2
+i 2 (2.59)
z2 a2 + ib2 a2 + b2 a2 + b22

Complex conjugation: if z = a + ib, then

z a ib (2.60)

is called the complex conjugate of z. In general, to obtain the complex

conjugate of a complicated expression, replace i throughout by i.


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 24

r
b

q
a

Figure 2.1: Polar representation of a complex number: a + ib = ei

Polar representation: a complex number z = a + ib can be written in

the form

z = exp[i] (2.61)

where and are real numbers, > 0, and 0 < 2. To connect

and to a and b, we can use Euler's relation

exp[i] = cos + i sin (2.62)

Inserting this in Eq. 2.61 gives

z = [cos + i sin ] = cos + i sin

Comparison with z = a + ib gives (see Figure 2.1)

a = cos

b = sin
QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 25

From these two equations, we easily obtain

p
= + a2 + b2 (2.63)
!
b
= arctan with 0 < 2 (2.64)
a

For a pure imaginary number z = ib, = 0 and = b.

Absolute value: the quantity

p
jzj = z z (2.65)

is called the absolute value of the complex number z. If we use the

polar form z = exp[i], then we have

q q
jzj = ( exp[i])( exp[i]) = 2 = jj (2.66)

where jj is the absolute value of the real number . If we use the form

z = a + ib, then

q p p
jzj = (a ib)(a + ib) = a2 + iab iab + b2 = a2 + b2 (2.67)

Exercise 2.9 (a) Calculate and for z = 2 + 3:1i.

(b) Calculate the real and imaginary parts of

x = (2:1 + 0:3i)(3:13 2:1i)


QM 2. Dynamical variables and operators, May 30, 2005 26

y = 3(1:7 2:1i)
2 + 1:3i
m =
3 + 1:1i

(Hint: multiply the numerator and denominator of m by 3 1:1i.)

(c) Write x, y, and m from part (b) in polar form.

(d) Use the relation ei = cos + i sin to show that

ei + ei
cos =
2

and
i h i i
sin = e ei
2

(e) Use Mathematica to perform these exercises.

x 18. Complex functions of real variables. Now that we know how to per-

form operations (addition, multiplication, etc.) with complex numbers, we

can dene functions whose argument is a real number and whose value is a

complex number. An example of such a function is

z = () = exp[i]

with a real number. Since the values of () are complex numbers, you can

handle it according to the rules in x17. For example, the complex conjugate

of () = ei is written () or () and has the value ei .