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I Obtain simultaneous eigenfunctions?

  1. Nov 10, 2018 #1
    Let's consider two observables, H (hamiltonian) and P (momentum).

    These operators are compatible since [H,P] = 0.

    Let's look at the easy to prove rule:
    1: "If the observables F and G are compatible, that is, if there exists a simultaneous set of eigenfunctions of the operators F and G, then these operators must commute; [F , G] = 0."

    This can be turned around to yield,
    2: " If the operators F and G commute, then it is possible to find a simultaneous set of eigenfunctions."

    How would the simultaneous eigenfunctions look like for H and P? Would it be something on matrix form?

    Or is the following functions simply the "simultaneous eigenfunctions":

    $$\hat{H} u_{n,m}(x) = E_n u_{n,m}(x)$$
    $$\hat{P} u_{n,m}(x) = P_m u_{n,m}(x)$$

    where ## \psi(x) = \Sigma_{n,m} C_{n,m} u_{n,m}(x)## ?

    And I think the spectrum cannot be continuous right...

    EDIT: How would I express a generic wave function as a superposition of the above eigenstates if they are "equivalent"?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2018 #2

    hilbert2

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    Gold Member

    If you have a 1d free particle, the eigenfunctions of ##\hat{p}## are like ##Ae^{ikx}## with ##A## and ##k## some real-valued constants. These are all eigenfunctions of ##\hat{H}##. The set of eigenfunctions of ##\hat{H}## also contains functions like ##Ae^{ikx} + Be^{-ikx}## which are not eigenfunctions of ##\hat{p}## because the sign of the 1d momentum is uncertain.

    If you have a Hamiltonian operator that also depends on position ##\hat{x}## , then the ##\hat{H}## and ##\hat{p}## will not commute.
     
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