Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Operators interpretation (Dirac notation)

  1. Oct 7, 2012 #1
    Hi all!
    If you are given an operator such that A|1> = √(1/3) |1> +√(2/3) |2>, how do we interpret it?
    I do know that 1/3 and 2/3 are probabilities but is this operator application on state one suggesting that this state in state 1 and 2 with probabilities 1/3 and /3 respectively?

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Interpret what exactly? The operator, the equality you posted, or just the right-hand side of that equality? To fully define the operator, you must specify its action on all members of an orthonormal basis, not just its action on one of them. I don't see a way to interpret the equality. To interpret the state, you must explain what |1> and |2> are.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook