What is Expectation value: Definition and 346 Discussions

In quantum mechanics, the expectation value is the probabilistic expected value of the result (measurement) of an experiment. It can be thought of as an average of all the possible outcomes of a measurement as weighted by their likelihood, and as such it is not the most probable value of a measurement; indeed the expectation value may have zero probability of occurring (e.g. measurements which can only yield integer values may have a non-integer mean). It is a fundamental concept in all areas of quantum physics.

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  1. Rayan

    The time-dependence of the expectation values of spin operators

    So first I derived the expressions for the dynamics of the spin operators and got: $$ \frac{d\hat{S}_y}{dt} = w\hat{S}_x^H $$ $$ \frac{d\hat{S}_x}{dt} = w\hat{S}_y^H $$ $$ \frac{d\hat{S}_z}{dt} = 0 $$ Now I want to calculate the time-dependence of the expectation values of the spin operators...
  2. T

    I Evaluating a Stochastic Average

    Hi all, I am not familiar with stochastic processes, but I would like to know how to evaluate the following expectation value: $$\mathbb{E}[e^{\int_{0}^{t}d\tau(V_{i}(\tau)-V_{j}(\tau))}]$$ where ##\mathbb{E}[V_{i}(t)] = 0,\mathbb{E}[V_{i}(t),V_{j}(t')] = \gamma\delta_{ij}\delta(t-t')## for some...
  3. M

    I Help with a derivation from a paper (diatomic molecular potential)

    Hello! I am confused about the derivation in the screenshot below. This is in the context of a diatomic molecular potential, but the question is quite general. Say that the potential describing the interaction between 2 masses, as a function of the radius between them is given by the anharmonic...
  4. patric44

    Expectation value of an operator to the power of n

    hi all how do I prove that $$ <A^{n}>=<A>^{n} $$ It seems intuitive but how do I rigorously prove it, My attempt was like , the LHS can be written as: $$ \bra{\Psi}\hat{A}.\hat{A}.\hat{A}...\ket{\Psi}=\lambda^{n} \bra{\Psi}\ket{\Psi}=\lambda^{n}\delta_{ii}=\lambda^{n} $$ and the RHS equal: $$...
  5. uxioq99

    The Energy Expectation Value for a Moving Hydrogen Atom

    ##\begin{align} \langle E \rangle &= \int_{\mathbb R^3} \int_{\mathbb R^3} \int_{\mathbb R^3} \int_{\mathbb R^3} g^\dagger (\tilde K) g(K) |\psi_0(x)|^2 \left(E_0 +\frac{\hbar^2 |K|^2}{2m}\right) e^{i(K-\tilde K)\cdot X -\frac{i}{\hbar} \left(\frac{\hbar^2 |K|^2}{2m}-\frac{\hbar^2...
  6. uxioq99

    Time Independence of the Momentum Uncertainty for a Free Particle Wave

    Mine is a simple question, so I shall keep development at a minimum. If a particle is moving in the absence of a potential (##V(x) = 0##), then ##\frac{\langle\hat p \rangle}{dt} = \langle -\frac{\partial V}{\partial x}\rangle=0## will require that the momentum expectation value remains...
  7. P

    Understanding the meaning of "expected fraction" (Statistics)

    The first part of the question asked me to calculate the mean and standard deviation for the number of remain votes in the simple binomial model consisting of total sample size of 2091 people. I believe this is fairly straightforward, it was simply ##E(X) = \mu = 2091(0.5) = 1045.5## votes and...
  8. VVS2000

    I Other ways of finding expectation value of momentum

    Apart from the usual integral method, are there any other ways to find expectation value of momentum? I know one way is by using ehrenfest theorem, relating it time derivative of expectation value of position operator. Even using the uncertainty principle, we might get it if we know the...
  9. VVS2000

    Expectation value in momentum space

    so from Fourier transform we know that Ψ(r)=1/2πℏ∫φ(p)exp(ipr/ℏ)dp I proved that <p>= ∫φ(p)*pφ(p)dp from <p>=∫Ψ(r)*pΨ(r)dr so will the same hold any operator??
  10. Ahmed1029

    I Spin expectation value for one particle vs actual measurement

    When the expectation value of spin in the z direction for one particle is zero and I make measurements for an even number of particles in the same state, do I get exactly half to be spin up and half to be spin down along the z direction? More generally, what does spin expectation value for one...
  11. D

    I Is the Energy Expectation Value Always Real and Above a Minimum Potential?

    Hi A theorem states that if V(x , t) ≥ V0 then <E> is real and <E> ≥V0 for any normalizable state. The proof contains the following line <E> = (ħ2/2m)∫∇ψ*∇ψ d3x + ∫ Vψ*ψ d3x ≥ ∫ V0ψ*ψ Can anybody explain why that inequality is true ? Thanks
  12. Bruno Cardin

    A Expectation value in Heisenberg picture: creation and annihilation

    So, I have a hamiltonian for screening effect, written like: $$ H=\sum_{k}^{}\epsilon_{k}c_{k}^{\dagger}c_{k}+ \frac{1}{\Omega}\sum_{k,q}^{}V(q,t)c_{k+q}^{\dagger}c_{k} $$ And I have to find an equation for the time evolution of the expected value of the operator ##c_{k-Q}^{\dagger}c_{k}##. I...
  13. Mr_Allod

    Position expectation value of 2D harmonic oscillator in magnetic field

    Hello there, for the above problem the wavefunctions can be shown to be: $$\psi_{n,l}=\left[ \frac {b}{2\pi l_b^2} \frac{n!}{2^l(n+l)!}\right]^{\frac12} \exp{(-il\theta - \frac {r^2\sqrt{b}}{4l_b^2})} \left( \frac {r\sqrt{b}}{l_b}\right)^lL_n^l(\frac {r^2b}{4l_b^2})$$ Here ##b = \sqrt{1 +...
  14. F

    I How to define expectation value in relativistic quantum mechanics?

    In non relativistic quantum mechanics, the expectation value of an operator ##\hat{O}## in state ##\psi## is defined as $$<\psi |\hat{O}|\psi>=\int\psi^* \hat{O} \psi dx$$. Since the scalar product in relativistic quantum has been altered into $$|\psi|^2=i\int\left(\psi^*\frac{\partial...
  15. T

    A QFT with vanishing vacuum expectation value and perturbation theory

    In This wikipedia article is said: "If the quantum field theory can be accurately described through perturbation theory, then the properties of the vacuum are analogous to the properties of the ground state of a quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator, or more accurately, the ground state of a...
  16. docnet

    B Question about this equation for the expectation value

    Hi all, I found this notation of expectation values in a NMR text. In class, I learned that expectation values are given by $$<\hat{X}>=\int_{-\infty}^\infty\psi^*x\psi dx$$ why does this textbook divide by the integral of probability density ##\int \psi^*\psi dx##?
  17. tanaygupta2000

    Expectation value of momentum operator

    I know that the eigenstates of momentum operator are given by exp(ikx) To construct a real-valued and normalized wavefunction out of these eigenstates, I have, psi(x) = [exp(ikx) + exp(-ikx)]/ sqrt(2) But my trouble is, how do I find the expectation value of momentum operator <p> using this...
  18. docnet

    Expectation value of kinetic energy operator

    The expectation value of the kinetic energy operator in the ground state ##\psi_0## is given by $$<\psi_0|\frac{\hat{p^2}}{2m}|\psi_0>$$ $$=<\psi_0|\frac{1}{2m}\Big(-i\sqrt{\frac{\hbar mw}{2}}(\hat{a}-\hat{a^{\dagger}})\Big)^2|\psi_0>$$ $$=\frac{-\hbar...
  19. berkeman

    Finding expectation value of two operators in a 3 state QM system

    A recent thread by @coolcantalope was accidentally deleted by a Mentor (I won't say which one...), so to restore it we had to use the cached version from Yahoo.com. Below are the posts and replies from that thread. The cached 2-page thread can be found by searching on the thread title, and is...
  20. N

    I How Does the Many-Worlds Interpretation Handle Expectation Values?

    I may have misunderstood the expectation value, but if not then with the Copenhagen Interpretation it is easy to understand the expectation value for a wave function. It is just based on the probability of each event. If there were 4 possible events, and the probability of the event having a...
  21. I

    Expectation Value Notation in Griffiths QM Textbook Third Edition

    In the 3rd edition of the Introduction to Quantum Mechanics textbook by Griffiths, he normally does the notation of the expectation value as <x> for example. But, in Chapter 3 when he derives the uncertainity principle, he keeps the operator notation in the expectation value. See the pasted...
  22. TheBigDig

    Sum of the Expected Values of Two Discrete Random Variables

    Apologies if this isn't the right forum for this. In my stats homework we have to prove that the expected value of aX and bY is aE[X]+bE[Y] where X and Y are random variables and a and b are constants. I have come across this proof but I'm a little rusty with summations. How is the jump from the...
  23. cemtu

    Quantum Mechanics Hydrogen Atom Expectation Value Problem

    I can not solve this problem: However, I have a similar problem with proper solution: Can you please guide me to solve my question? I am not being able to relate Y R (from first question) and U (from second question), and solve the question at the top above...
  24. Z

    Do i need to calculate the expectation value of the Hamiltonian?

    Hi, I have a question which asks me to use the generalised Ehrenfest Theorem to find expressions for ##\frac {d<Sx>} {dt}## and ##\frac {d<Sy>} {dt}## - I have worked out <Sx> and <Sy> earlier in the question. Since the generalised Ehrenfest Theorem takes the form...
  25. P

    QHO: Time dependant expectation value of the potential energy

    Summary:: Linear Quantum harmonic oscillator and expectation value of the potential energy (time dependent) Hello, I have attached a picture of the full question, but I am stuck on part b). I have found the expectation value of the <momentum> and the <total energy> However I am struggling with...
  26. Johny Boy

    A Expectation Value of a Stabilizer

    Given that operator ##S_M##, which consists entirely of ##Y## and ##Z## Pauli operators, is a stabilizer of some graph state ##G## i.e. the eigenvalue equation is given as ##S_MG = G## (eigenvalue ##1##). In the paper 'Graph States as a Resource for Quantum Metrology' (page 3) it states that...
  27. I

    Expectation value of an angular momentum with a complex exponent

    I am struggling to figure out how to calculate the expectation value because I am finding it hard to do something with the exponential. I tried using Euler's formula and some commutator relations, but I am always left with some term like ##\exp(L_z)## that I am not sure how to get rid of.
  28. I

    Time Derivatives of Expectation Value of X^2 in a Harmonic Oscillator

    I can show that ##\frac{d}{dt} \langle \psi (t) \vert X^2 \vert \psi (t) \rangle = \frac{1}{m} \langle \psi (t) \vert PX+XP \vert \psi (t) \rangle##. Taking another derivative with respect to time of this, I get ##\frac{d^2}{dt^2} \langle \psi (t) \vert X^2 \vert \psi (t) \rangle = \frac{i}{m...
  29. S

    What are the expectation values for position and momentum in states Ψ0 and Ψ1?

    For question 2.2: <Ψ0|p|Ψ0> = ∫Ψ0 -iħ d/dx(Ψ0) =M Using Integration by parts i get: M = -Ψ0 iħ d/dx(Ψ0) (assuming hilbert space) Implying the expectation values for momentum are zero , however i get all the expectation values are zero for x and momentum in both states which makes no sense :(
  30. E

    Expectation value of operators and squeezing in the even cat state

    I started and successfully showed that the expectation of X_1 and X_2 are zero. However the expectation value of X1^2 and X2^2 which I am getting is <X1^2> = 0.25 + \alpha^2 and <X2^2> = 0.25. How do I derive the given equations?
  31. J

    Expectation of Momentum in a Classical (Infinite) Potential Well

    Okay so I begin first by mentioning the length of the well to be L, with upper bound, L/2 and lower bound, -L/2 and the conjugate u* = Aexp{-iz} First I begin by writing out the expectation formula: ## \langle p \rangle = \int_{\frac{L}{2}}^{ \frac{L}{2} } Aexp(-iu) -i \hbar \frac{ \partial }{...
  32. Danny Boy

    A Query about an article on quantum synchronization

    I am currently studying this paper on quantum synchronization. The first page gives an introduction to synchronization and the basic setup of the ensembles in the cavity. My query is on the second page where the following statements are made. Can anyone see why the implication is that all...
  33. L

    I Expectation value of the occupation number in the FD and BE distributions

    In the derivation of the Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions, we compute the Grand Partion Function ##Q##. With ##Q##, we can compute the espection value of the occupation number ##n_{l}##. This is the number of particles in the same energy level ##\varepsilon _{l}##. The book I am...
  34. J

    I Time evolution of an expectation value

    Watching Dr. Susskind show how to find the time evolution of the average of an observable K, he writes: I can not for the life of me figure out he derived it, and he also did something which I found terribly annoying throughout which is set hbar to 1, so after steps you lose where the hbar...
  35. J

    Finding the expected value of position in a Potential Well

    Homework Statement Hello today I am solving a problem where an electron is trapped in a potential well. I have a solved Schrodinger's Equation. I am having problems in figuring out what the wave function should be. When I solved the equation I got a complex exponential. I know I cannot use the...
  36. astrocytosis

    Darwin term in a hydrogen atom - evaluating expectation values

    Homework Statement Homework Equations VD= -1/(8m2c2) [pi,[pi,Vc(r)]] VC(r) = -Ze2/r Energy shift Δ = <nlm|VD|nlm> The Attempt at a Solution I can't figure out how to evaluate the expectation values that result from the Δ equation. When I do out the commutator, I get p2V-2pVp+Vp2. This...
  37. redtree

    I Expectation value of Fourier conjugates

    I understand that the Uncertainty Principle relates the variances of Fourier conjugates. I am having trouble finding: 1) the mathematical relationship between the expectation values of Fourier conjugates generally; 2) and then specifically for a normalized Gaussian. Any suggestions or insights?
  38. D

    How to find the expectation value of cos x

    Homework Statement If x is a continuous variable which is uniformly distributed over the real line from x=0 to x -> infinity according to the distribution f (x) =exp(-4x) then the expectation value of cos 4x is? Answer is 1/2 Follow· 01 Request Homework Equations the expectation value of any...
  39. L

    Help with finding the expectation value of x^2

    The question is as follows: A particle of mass m has the wave function psi(x, t) = A * e^( -a ( ( m*x^2 / hbar) +i*t ) ) where A and a are positive real constants. i don't know how to format my stuff on this website, so it may be a bit harder to read. Generally when i write "int" i mean the...
  40. M

    Quantum Zeno Effect and Evolution Operator Properties

    Homework Statement Let ##U_t = e^{-iHt/\hbar}## be the evolution operator associated with the Hamiltonian ##H##, and let ##P=\vert\phi\rangle\langle \phi\vert## be the projector on some normalized state vector ##\vert \phi\rangle##. Show that $$\underbrace{PU_{t/n}P\dots PU_{t/n}}_{n\text{...
  41. M

    Find the spinor-state for a given expectation value

    Homework Statement Let ##\vec{e}\in\mathbb{R}^3## be any unit vector. A spin ##1/2## particle is in state ##|\chi \rangle## for which $$\langle\vec{\sigma}\rangle =\vec{e},$$ where ##\vec{\sigma}## are the Pauli-Matrices. Find the state ##|\chi\rangle## Homework Equations :[/B] are all given...
  42. Faizan Samad

    Calculate the expectation value of V from Ehrenfest's theorem

    Homework Statement I have a general question how I calculate the expectation value of V (potential energy) with Ehrenfest’s theorem. Do I have to integrate d<p>/dt with respect to d<x>. Also if the potential is symmetric (even) would that mean the expectation value of the potential is 0...
  43. Warda Anis

    Expectation value <p> of the ground state of hydrogen

    Homework Statement How should I calculate the expectation value of momentum of an electron in the ground state in hydrogen atom. Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution I am trying to apply the p operator i.e. ##-ihd/dx## over ##\psi##. and integrating it from 0 to infinity. The answer I...
  44. Matt Chu

    Time Derivative of Expectation Value of Position

    Homework Statement I want to prove that ##\frac{\partial \langle x \rangle}{\partial t} = \frac{\langle p_x \rangle}{m}##. Homework Equations $$i\hbar \frac{\partial \Psi}{\partial t} = -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \frac{\partial^2 \Psi}{\partial x^2} + V \Psi$$ The Attempt at a Solution [/B] So...
  45. K

    I What is the correct expectation value for this game with redraw?

    Hi all, I am creating a game for fun, which need some math skill to work out the chance of winning and the way to keep the banker never lose. The configuration of the game is like this: five boxes marked no.1, no.2, no.3, no.4 and no.5; there are many balls in different color in each box. For...
  46. renec112

    Expectation value of raising and lower operator

    I am practicing old exams. I tried my best but looking at an old and a bit unreliable answer list, and i am not getting the same result. Homework Statement At time ##t=0## the nomralized harmonic oscialtor wavefunction is given by: ## \Psi(x,0) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{3}}(\psi_0(x) + \psi_1(x) + i...
  47. J

    Expectation Value of a Stochastic Quantity

    Homework Statement I'm working on a process similar to geometric brownian motion (a process with multiplicative noise), and I need to calculate the following expectation/mean; \langle y \rangle=\langle e^{\int_{0}^{x}\xi(t)dt}\rangle Where \xi(t) is delta-correlated so that...
  48. D

    Expectation value of position

    Homework Statement Show that, for a general one-dimensional free-particle wave packet $$\psi (x,t) = (2 \pi h)^{-1/2} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} exp [i (p_x x - p_x^2 t / 2 m)/h] \phi (p_x) dp_x$$ the expectation value <x> of the position coordinate satisfies the equation $$<x> = <x>_{t=t_0}...