Calculating Quantum Commutators: [x,xp]

In summary, the conversation is about calculating commutators and checking a specific detail. The formula for [x,xp] is given and the question is whether the result is (x^2 p - X^2 p) or (X^2 p - something else). The answer is that it cannot be swapped due to the non-commutativity of x and p. The conversation ends with a hint for calculating the commutator using the formula [A,BC]=B[A,C]+[A,B]C and a reminder to be careful with the operators x and p.
  • #1
kel
62
0
I have a question where I need to calculate commutators, but I just need to check one detail of this.

I need to work out [x,xp]

What I need to check is the following:

[x,xp] = xxp - xpx

but does this then mean that I get (x^2 p - X^2 p)
or (X^2 p - something else)??

Sorry about the lack of formatting, but hopefully you'll get what I mean.

Thanks
Kel
 
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  • #2
Assuming that you're talking one-dimension, is [x,p] = 0?
 
  • #3
kel said:
What I need to check is the following:

[x,xp] = xxp - xpx

but does this then mean that I get (x^2 p - X^2 p)
No. Since x & p do not commute, you cannot swap their order.
 
  • #4
So, I'll need to work that part out literally in order ie xpx ?

Thanks, I'll give it a go
Kel
 
  • #5
HINT:

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

Daniel.

P.S. Certain care with the ops x & p_x is needed.
 

Related to Calculating Quantum Commutators: [x,xp]

1. What is a quantum commutator?

A quantum commutator is a mathematical operation that determines the difference between two quantum mechanical operators. It is used to calculate the uncertainty in measurements of quantum systems.

2. How is a quantum commutator calculated?

To calculate a quantum commutator, you must use the commutator formula: [A,B] = AB - BA, where A and B are the two quantum mechanical operators.

3. What is the significance of calculating quantum commutators?

Calculating quantum commutators is important because it helps us understand the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics and determine the uncertainty in measurements of quantum systems.

4. Can quantum commutators be used to predict the behavior of quantum systems?

No, quantum commutators cannot be used to predict the behavior of quantum systems. They are used to determine the uncertainty in measurements, but they do not provide information about the specific behavior of a quantum system.

5. Are there any real-life applications of calculating quantum commutators?

Yes, quantum commutators have applications in quantum computing, quantum cryptography, and quantum information processing. They are also used in fields such as quantum chemistry and quantum mechanics to understand the behavior of particles at the quantum level.

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