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Ladder Operators and Dirac as the source. 
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#1
Nov1612, 05:19 AM

P: 44

Hello,
I've read that Dirac introduced the idea of the creation and annihilation operators in the solution to the quantum harmonic oscillator problem, but can anyone tell me where he did this? In a paper, or maybe in a book? I've had a little search online, but I've yet to discover anything, so I thought I'd check the PF collective in case anyone knew off the top of their head. 


#2
Nov1612, 07:16 AM

P: 1,020

you may try 'modern quantum mechanics' by sakurai.



#3
Nov1612, 11:42 AM

Sci Advisor
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P: 4,160

The use of raising and lowering operators to solve the harmonic oscillator goes back at least as far as 1930, "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" by Dirac. See here, on p136.



#4
Nov1612, 11:44 AM

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P: 11,896

Ladder Operators and Dirac as the source.
Hi Bill, your link is to the 4th edition. One must provide us with the same page (if the same page) from the 1st edition of 1930.



#5
Nov1612, 12:40 PM

Sci Advisor
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P: 4,160

Sorry, you're right. The best I can do is confirm that section 41 of the 1st edition is entitled "The Harmonic Oscillator", however the text of it does not seem to be available online.
( copies of the 1st edition sell for ~ $1500!) 


#6
Nov1612, 12:55 PM

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P: 11,896

Well, ita, itabar operators make sense only in the braket context and there is no printed version of the braket formalism before his 1930 book (?). Actually, I'm not sure which was the first textbook by another author copying Dirac's braket treatment, but that of course after 1930, perhaps 1940.



#7
Nov1712, 02:21 PM

P: 44

Consensus seems to be that Dirac introduced them in his textbook on Quantum Mechanics. Ok, cool, thanks very much people.



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