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Lecture 5: Eigenvalue Equations and

Operators
The material in this lecture covers the following in Atkins.
11.5 The informtion of a wavefunction
(b) eigenvalues and eigenfunctions
(c) operators
Lecture on-line
Eigenvalue Equations and Operators (PDF)
Eigenevalue Equations and Operators (PowerPoint)
Handout for lecture 5 (PDF)
Tutorials on-line
Reminder of the postulates of quantum mechanics
The postulates of quantum mechanics (This is the writeup for Dry-lab-II)(
This lecture has covered postulate 4)

Basic concepts of importance for the understanding of the postulates
Observables are Operators - Postulates of Quantum Mechanics
Expectation Values - More Postulates
Forming Operators
Hermitian Operators
Dirac Notation
Use of Matricies
Basic math background
Differential Equations
Operator Algebra
Eigenvalue Equations
Extensive account of Operators
Basic math background
Differential Equations
Operator Algebra
Eigenvalue Equations
Extensive account of Operators

Audio-visuals on-line
Postulates of Quantum mechanics (PDF)
Postulates of Quantum mechanics (HTML)
Postulates of quantum mechanics (PowerPoint ****)

Slides from the text book (From the CD included in Atkins ,**)


+ =
h
2 2
2
2m
x
V x E


(
( ( ) (
x)
x) x)
The Schrdinger equation
can be rewritten as

+

=
h
2 2
2
2m
x
V x x E

( ) ( ) ( x)
or :

( ) (

( ) H x); H= x E
m
x
V x = +
h
2 2
2
2

where H is the quantum mechanical Hamiltonian

Quantum mechanical principles..Eigenfunctions


The Schrdinger equation H is an example
of an eigenfunction equation

= E
=
( )( ) ( tan )( ) operator function cons t samefunction =
(operator)(eigenfunction) = (eigenvalue)(eigenfunction)
Quantum mechanical principles..Eigenfunctions
If for an operator A we have a function f(x) such that
Af(x) = kf(x) (where k is a constant)
than f(x) is said to be an of A
with the eigenvalue k

Eigenfunction
Quantum mechanical principles..Eigenfunctions
e.g.

d
dx
thus exp[2x] is an eigenfunction to
d
dx
with eigenvalue 2
exp[ ] exp[ ] 2 2 2 x x =

( ) ( ) Af x g x = : general definition of operator


An operator is a rule that transforms
a given function f into another function.
We indicate an operator with a
circumflex '^' also called 'hat'.

Quantum mechanical principle Operators ..
Operator A Function f Af(x)
d
dx
f f' (x)
f 3f
x cosx
x x

cos()
3
(

) ( )

( )

( ) : A B f x Af x Bf x + = + Sum of operators
(

) ( )

( )

( ) : A B f x Af x Bf x = Dif. of operators
Rules for operators:

Quantum mechanical principle Operators ..
Example D =
d
dx

(

)( )

( ) ( )
( )
D x D x x
x x
x x
+ = +
= +
= +
3 5 5 3 5
3 3 15
3 3 15
3 3 3
2 3
2 3

( )

[

( )] : ABf x A Bf x = product of operators
We first operate on f with the operator 'B'
on the right of the operator product, and
then take the resulting function (Bf) and
operate on it with the operator A on the left
of the operator product.


Quantum mechanical principle Operators ..
Example D =
d
dx

( )

( ( )) ( ) ' ( )


( ) (

( )) ' ( )
x x
Dxf x D xf x f x xf x
xDf x x Df x xf x
=
= = +
= =
Example :

A = X ; B =
d
dx
2

:

)
ABf x
df
dx
f
xf x
df
dx
= = +
2 2
2 BAf =
d(x
dx
2
[

,

] A B f xf = 2
Operators do not necessarily obey the commutative law:

[

,

] AB BA AB BA A B = 0 0 :
ummutator :

Quantum mechanical principle Operators ..
The square of an operator is defined as the product of
the operator with itself : A = AA
2

Examples : D =
DDf(x) = D(Df(x)) = Df' (x)
d
dx


"( )

=
=
f x
D
d
dx
2
2
2

Quantum mechanical principle Operators ..
Some linear operators:
x x
d
dx
d
dx
; ; ;
2
2
2
Multiplicative
Differential
cos; :
[ ]
2
Some non- linear operators:
For linear operators the following identities apply:
(A+B)C = AC+BC; A(B+C) = AB+AC

We shall be dealing with linear operators A,B,C, etc.
where the follow rules apply

{ ( ) ( )}

( )

( ) A f x g x Af x Ag x + = +

{ ( )}

( ) A kf x kAf x =

Quantum mechanical principle Operators ..
Quantum mechanical principles..Eigenfunctions
with the eigenfunction f and the eigenvalue k .
**
**

Af kf =

( ) ( ) A cf k cf =
Must show
Demonstrate that cf also is an eigenfunction to A
with the same eigenvalue k if c is a constant

proof :

A is a Linear operator

( )

A cf cAf =
*

( )

A cf cAf =
Let A be a linear operator *

c is a constant
f is a function
e g . . A =
d
dx

= ckf
f is an eigenfunction of A

Rearrangement of constant
factors and QED
= k cf ( )
G Ge e n n e e r r a a l l C Co o m mm mu u t t a a t t i i o o n n R Re e l l a a t t i i o o n n s s
The following relations are readily shown
[A
^

,
B
^

] = - [B
^
,A
^

]
[A
^

,
A
^
n
] = 0 n=1,2,3,.......
[kA
^

,
B
^

] = [A
^

,
k B
^
] = k[A
^

,
B
^

]
[A
^

,
B
^
+
C
^

] = [A
^

,
B
^

] + [A
^

,
C
^

]
[A
^
+B
^
,C
^
] = [A
^
,B
^
] + [A
^
,C
^
]

Quantum mechanical principle Operators ..
[A
^

,
B
^
C
^

] = [A
^
, B
^
]C
^

+ B
^
[A
^
, C
^
]
[ A
^
B
^
, C
^
] = [ A
^

,
C
^
] B
^
+ A
^
[ B
^

,
C
^
]
The operators A
^

,
B
^

,
C
^

are differential or multiplicative operators

Quantum mechanical principle Operators ..
The set of eigenfunction {f
is orthonormal :
f f
n
i
space
j
( ), ..}
( ) ( )
x n
x x dx
all
ij
=

=
1

= o if i j
= 1 if i = j
A linear operator A will have a set of
eigenfunctions f {n = 1, 2, 3..etc}
and associated eigenvalues k such that :
n
n

( ) x

( ) ( ) Af f
n n
x k x
n
=
Quantum mechanical principles..Eigenfunctions
Example Operator Eigenfunction Eigenvalue
1



x
exp[ ] ikx ik
2


x

2
exp[ ] ikx
k
2
3


x

2
coskx
k
2
4


x

2
sinkx
k
2
Examples of operators and their
eigenfunctions
Quantum mechanical principles..Eigenfunctions
What you should learn from this lecture
1. ;
.
.
an eigenvalue equation : an operator
works on a function to give the function back times
a constant The function is called an eigenfunction and
the constant
In

=
2. An operator ( A) is a rule that transforms a given
function f into another function g as Af = g.
We indicate an operator with a
circumflex '^' also called 'hat'.

A(BC)f(x) = (AB)Cf(x) : associative law of multiplication



(

) ( )

( )

( ) : A B f x Af x Bf x + = + Sum of operators
(

) ( )

( )

( ) : A B f x Af x Bf x = Dif. of operators

( )

[

( )] : ABf x A Bf x = product of operators
3. obays : Oprators


AB BA = [A, B] 0; Operators do not commute,
order of operators matters. [A, B] is call the commutator.
What you should learn from this lecture

{ ( ) ( )}

( )

( ) A f x g x Af x Ag x + = +

{ ( )}

( ) A kf x kAf x =
Some linear operators are :
x x
d
dx
d
dx
; ; ;
2
2
2
4. Linear operators obey :
5. A linear operator A will have a set of eigenfunctions
f {n=1,2,3..etc} and associated eigenvalues
such that : Af f
The set of eigenfunction {f
is orthonormal :
f f
n
n n
n
i
space
j

( )

( ) ( )
( ), ..}
( )( ( ))
*
x k
x k x
x n
x x dx
n
n
all
ij
=
=

=
1