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PH407 / PH4005 : Quantum Mechanics I (3-1-0),Autumn, 2018

Department of Physics & Astronomy, N.I.T, Rourkela


Assignment 3 Due Date: Self Assessment

1. Consider the following operators (for −∞ < x < ∞) :

(i) translation operator , T̂a : T̂a ψ(x) ≡ ψ(x + a),


(ii) inversion operator , Iˆ : Iψ(x)
ˆ ≡ ψ(−x),
(iii) complex-conjugation operator, K̂ : K̂ψ(x) ≡ ψ ∗ (x),
(iv) permutation operator of identical particles P̂12 : P̂12 ψ(x1 , x2 ) ≡ ψ(x2 , x1 ).

(a) Are these operators linear ?


(b) Find the Hermitian conjugate (in terms of the original operator) and the inverse of
the operators defined above.
R∞
Hint: For example, for (i) prove T̂a† = T̂−a . Start with the expression −∞
ψ ∗ (x)T̂a ψ(x) dx.

2. Â and B̂ are Hermitian operators and L̂ is an arbitrary linear operator. Prove that the
following operators are Hermitian: 1) L† L̂ and L̂L̂† ; 2) L̂ + L̂† ; 3) L̂ÂL̂† ; 4) i(L̂ + L̂† ); 5)
ÂB̂ + B̂ Â; 6) i(ÂB̂ − B̂ Â)

3. Prove that an arbitrary linear operator L̂ can be expressed in the form L̂ = Â + iB̂, where
 and B̂are Hermitian operators.

4. Assume that λ is a small parameter. Derive an expansion of the operator (Â − λB̂)−1 in
the powers of λ.
Hint: Write (Â − λB̂)−1 = ∞
P n
0 λ Ĉn . Multiply both sides by (Â − λB̂) and compare
the terms with same power of λ.

5. Show the following:


ˆ ˆ Beware here Iˆ is the inversion operator of Problem 1.(ii);
(a) eiaI = cos a + isin aI.
d
(b) ea dx ψ(x) = ψ(x + a) and identify the operator;
d
(c) eax dx ψ(x) = ψ(ea x).

Remember a is a real parameter.

6. One of the most important relation to remember.


h i
Let’s assume Â, B̂ = ic1̂, where c is a number and 1̂ is the identity operator. Prove
that,
e(Â+B̂) = e eB̂ e−ic/2 .

1
7. Action of a linear operator, L̂, in a Hilbert space (vector space) spanned by functions,
ψ(ζ), can be represented as action of an integral operator as
Z
φ(ξ) = L̂ψ(ξ) ≡ L(ξ, ξ 0 ) ψ(ξ 0 ) dξ 0 ,

where L(ξ, ξ 0 ) is called the kernel of the operator, L̂. (ξ represents a set of variables of
a particular representation used).

(a) Show that for a generic linear operator L̂, L† (ξ, ξ 0 ) = l∗ (ξ 0 , ξ).
ˆ T̂a , x̂ ≡ x, p̂ ≡= −ih̄d/dx.
(b) Find the kernels for I,

8. Find the relation between the mean values of coordinate and momentum in the quantum
states ψ1 (x) and ψ2 (x), related by

(a) ψ2 (x) = ψ1 (x + a),


p0 x
(b) ψ2 (x) = ei h̄ ψ1 (x).

9. Prove that the mean value of the dipole moment of a system containing charged particles
vanishes in a state with a certain-parity: ψ({ra }) = Iψ({−ra }), with I = ±1.
Hint: The dipole moment operator is dˆ = a ea ra , where ea is the charge of a particle.
P

Show that the expectation value of dˆ is zero if ψ({ra }) has a definite parity.

ˆ 1 (x) ≡ ψ(−x). Show that in momentum


10. In coordinate representation we have ψ2 (x) = Iψ
representation also Iˆ remain the inversion operator, that is Iφ(p)
ˆ = φ(−p), where φ(p) =
R ∗
ψp (x) ψ(x) dx.
Hint: use the explicit form of ψp (x), the momentum wavefunction in coordinate repre-
sentation.

11. Consider a free quantum particle in one dimension. The Hamiltonian is Ĥ = p̂2 /2m. First
prove ˆ
h that i the momentum
h i operator p̂ and hthe inversion
i operator
h i I do not commute, that
is p̂, Iˆ 6= 0, but p̂2 , Iˆ = 0. Show that, Ĥ, p̂ = 0 and Ĥ, Iˆ = 0. Finally show that
these relation between p̂ and Iˆ leads to two-fold degeneracy of the free particle spectrum,
that is E(p) = E(−p).

12. Prove that in spherical coordinate system, the radial part of the momentum operator p̂r
is given by
h̄ 1 ∂
p̂r = r.
i r ∂r

13. Find the projection operators P̂± that project onto states with a definite even/odd parity
with respect to coordinate inversion, r → −r. Express the projectors in terms of the
ˆ
inversion operator, I.

2
Hint: Start by identifying that any arbitrary function ψ(r) can be written as a superpo-
sition of even (ψ+ (r)) and odd (ψ− (r)) components (under coordinate inversion, r → −r).
Then figure out the operator P̂± which will satisfy the relations P̂± ψ(r) = ψ± (r). Check
that you truly have the projection operator, that is P̂±2 = P̂± and P̂+ + P̂− = 1.

14. Given a wavefunction, ψ(x, y, z), write down the mathematical expression for the prob-
ability of finding a particle with the z-coordinate in the interval, z1 < z < z2 , and the
y-component of momentum in the interval, p1 < py < p2 .

15. Is it possible that some unitary operator (matrix) is at the same time an Hermitian one?
If yes, then give examples.

16. Prove that any unitary operator can be expressed as a superposition of a Hermitian and
anti-Hermitian operators and these two operators can be diagonalized simultaneously.

17. Find the energy spectrum and wavefunctions of the stationary states of a particle in the
potential U (x) = F0 x for x > 0 and U (x) = ∞ for x ≤ 0.
Hint: By doing a suitable transformation Schrödinger equation can be converted into
Stokes’ equation. Solution of Stokes equation are well known. Directly use the solution
and use boundary condition to get the eigenenergies.

18. For a spin-half electron, let us choose the eigenkets (|Sz , +i , |Sz , −i) of Ŝz as the basis.

(a) Write down the completeness relation.


(b) Write down an explicit form of Ŝz such that Ŝz = |Sz , ±i = ± h̄2 |Sz , ±i
(c) Find the matrix representation of Ŝz in this basis.
(d) Given that Ŝx |Sz , ±i = h̄2 |Sz , ∓i, find an explicit form of the operator Ŝx and the
corresponding matrix representation. Repeat the same for Ŝy , where Ŝy |Sz , ±i =
± ih̄
2
|Sz , ∓i,
(e) Now, if we choose |Sx , ±i = √12 |Sz , +i ± √12 |Sz , −i as our basis then find the matrix
representation of Ŝz , Ŝx and Ŝy in this new basis.

19. The Hamiltonian of a two state system is Ĥ =  (|1i h1| + |2i h2|) + ∆ (|1i h2| + |2i h1|),
where  is real and ∆ is a complex number. Find the energy eigenvalues and the corre-
sponding energy eigenkets in terms of |1i and |2i. Show that the spectrum is degenerate
when ∆ = 0.

20. For the spin precision problem that we discussed in class , prove that if the initial state
of the spin was |α, t = 0i = |Sx , +i and a magnetic field Bz is turned on at t = 0, then
Sx (t) = hα, t = t| Ŝx |α, t = ti = h̄2 cos ωt with ω = |e|B
me c
z
.