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Product rule for derivatives

  1. Apr 23, 2010 #1
    [tex] [x_{\alpha}, p_{\alpha}]\psi(r)=[x_{\alpha}(-i\hbar \frac{\partial}{{ \partial x_\alpha}})-(-i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x_{\alpha}})x_{\alpha}]\psi(r)[/tex]

    why the result is

    [tex] i\hbar\psi(r)[/tex] should not be 0?

    and then the same situation
    why in this case we get 0?

    [tex] [x_{\beta}, p_{\beta}]\psi(r)=0[/tex] ???? Can someone please explain it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2010 #2

    Fredrik

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    Re: operators

    You need to use the product rule for derivatives when you evaluate the term on the right, and if the indices are different (you made them the same in both your examples), the extra term that comes from the product rule is zero.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2010 #3
    Re: operators

    hm.....i still do not know what they just dont dissapear..they have opposite signs..
    Why does the first term on the right side of the equation just dissapear? and the second one remains?
    you mean the rule
    [tex] [f(x)g(x)]= f'(x)g(x)+f(x)g'(x)[/tex] ?
     
  5. Apr 23, 2010 #4

    Fredrik

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    Re: operators

    Yes that's the rule, but I would write the left-hand side as [tex](fg)'(x)[/tex]. You could also write it as [tex]\frac{d}{dx}\big(f(x)g(x)\big)[/tex]. Show us what you got so we can tell you what you did wrong.
     
  6. Apr 23, 2010 #5
    Re: operators

    this was made by our teacher on classes
    [tex] [x_{\alpha}, p_{\alpha}]\psi(r)=[x_{\alpha}(-i\hbar \frac{\partial}{{ \partial x_\alpha}})-(-i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x_{\alpha}})x_{\alpha}]\psi(r)=i\hbar(\frac{\partial}{\partial x_\alpha}}x_{\alpha})\psi(r)=i\hbar\psi(r)[/tex]
    this was the first one

    the second case was
    [tex] [x_{\alpha}, p_{\beta}]\psi(r)=[x_{\alpha}(-i\hbar \frac{\partial}{{ \partial x_\beta}})-(-i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x_{\beta}})x_{\alpha}]\psi(r)=0[/tex]
     
  7. Apr 23, 2010 #6

    Fredrik

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    Re: operators

    Those are correct, but you didn't actually include the step where you use the product rule.
     
  8. Apr 23, 2010 #7
    Re: operators

    becuase that step does not exist in the solution, thats why i do not get it, he just jumped over this moment and i dont know how make it myself
     
  9. Apr 23, 2010 #8

    Fredrik

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    Re: operators

    At least try. You have the product rule in front of you. Do you understand what it says?
     
  10. Apr 23, 2010 #9
    Re: operators

    oh i found it!!! so stupid i have missed it before
    [tex] [x_{\alpha}, p_{\alpha}]\psi(r)=x_{\alpha}(-i\hbar \frac{\partial}{{ \partial x_\alpha}}\psi(r))+i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x_{\alpha}})(x_{\alpha}\psi(r))=-i\hbar x\frac{\partial\psi(r)}{\partial x}+i\hbar\psi(r)+i\hbar x\frac{\partial\psi(r)}{\partial x}=i\hbar\psi(r)[/tex]

    thank you for your help
     
  11. Apr 23, 2010 #10
    Re: operators

    I'll try to pitch in, since I vividly remember being confused when I first saw this.

    When you see ABf, with A and B operators and f some function, remember you first operate with B on f and then you operate with A on the result (which is a product in your case!). It's not [tex]Af \cdot Bf[/tex]

    edit: never mind;)
     
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