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Advanced Quantum Mechanics

WS 2016/17, FU-Berlin

Problem sheet 1
Please hand in your solutions before the lecture on Wednesday, November 2nd.

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1.1

Introduction
Problem I - n-representation

In the n-representation the Hilbert space of a one-dimensional particle is spanned by eigenkets |ni of the harmonic
oscillator Hamiltonian
p2
1
H=
+ m 2 x
2
(1)
2m 2
at eigenvalue (n + 1/2)~. An arbitrary ket |i can then be represented by means of the n representation
wavefunction
(n) = hn|i.
(2)
Find the n-representation expressions for the operators x
and p.

1.2

Problem II - Particle in a spherically symmetric potential well

Consider a spinless particle of mass m in a central potential V (r) equal to



V0 if 0 r < a,
V (r) =
0
if r a,

(3)

where V0 > 0. We look for negative-energy eigenfunctions of the time-independent Schrodinger equation
n (r) =

~2 2
(r) + V (r)(r)
2m r

(4)

of the form (r) = Ylm (, )Rln (r), where Ylm (, ) is a spherical harmonic.
(a) Give the explicit form of the differential equation for the radial wavefunction Rln (r).
(b) We restrict ourselves to eigenstates with m = l = 0. Negative energies < 0 correspond to bound states.
Give an expression for the radial wavefunction R0n (r) in this case and give an implicit equation from which
the bound state energies n can be calculated. Are there bound states for all positive V0 ?

1.3

Problem III - Wavefunctions, operators and rotations

A rotation in three-dimensional space is described by a 3 3 matrix R, such that an (initial) position r is rotated
into the (final) position r0 = Rr.
(a) Give an explicit expression for the rotation matrix R for a rotation around the z axis by the angle .
(b) Show that the operator R is unitary, R = R1 .
(c) Show that the wavefunction 0 (r) after rotation is related to the wavefunction (r) before rotation via the
inverse rotation matrix,
0 (r) = (R1 r).
(5)
In addition to rotating the system itself, one can also rotate the measurement apparatus. If A is an observable,
then we use A0 to denote the observable that corresponds to a rotation of the measurement instrument. Since a

rotation of both the system and the measurement apparatus can not change the outcome of the measurement, the
expectation values of A0 in the state | 0 i must be equal to the expectation values of A in the original state |i,
h 0 |A0 | 0 i = h|A|i.

(6)

Since | 0 i = R|i and since the above relation must hold for all |i, we conclude
A0 = RAR .

(7)

(e) Show that unitarity of R ensures that A0 has the same spectrum as A. What is the relation between the
eigenkets of A and the eigenkets of A0 ?

1.4

Problem IV - Scalar operators

AR
= A for an arbitrary rotation
An operator A is called a scalar operator if it is invariant under rotations, R

described by the rotation operator R.


(a) Show that scalar operators commute with the angular momentum j.
(b) Show that eigenfunctions of A can be chosen to be eigenfunctions of j2 and jz simultaneously.
(c) The eigenvalues of j2 and jz are ~2 j(j + 1) and ~m, respectively. Show that the eigenvalues of A do not
depend on the magnetic quantum number m.

1.5

Problem V - Pure states and mixed states

Consider a quantum system with density matrix .


(a) Show that tr = 1.
(b) Show that tr 2 = 1 if the system is in a pure state, whereas tr 2 < 1 if the system is in a mixed state.

1.6

Problem VI - Densitry matrix for spin 1/2

(Optional)
Consider a spin 1/2 and use the eigenkets |i, = 1 of z as a basis for the Hilbert space H. (This is the
representation.) In this exercise, you compare two cases:
1) The spin is in a mixed state in which the states |1i and | 1i have probabilities p1 = |a|2 and p1 = |b|2 ,
respectively, with a 6= 0, b 6= 0, and |a|2 + |b|2 = 1.
2) The spin is in the pure quantum state a|1i + b| 1i, again with a 6= 0, b 6= 0, and |a|2 + |b|2 = 1.
For both cases, find
(a) An expression for the density matrix in the representation.
(b) An expression for in terms of the spin operators x , y , z and the unit matrix.
(c) The expectation values x , y , z .