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Quantum Mechanics and Observables

  1. Jul 25, 2013 #1
    Hi guys! I have one question! I know that in quantum mechanics, observables must be in the form of operators. However, does that mean that all observables are quantized in quantum mechanics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2013 #2
    No. Operators can have continuous spectrum, so the observables may by continuous. This is the case of energy of a free particle for example.
  4. Jul 25, 2013 #3
    Oh okay! So if the particle was in a potential then the energy of the particle would be quantized?
  5. Jul 25, 2013 #4


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    That's true for potentials that are not bounded from above (e.g. the harmonic oscillator potential). Some potentials, like that of an electron interacting with a proton, result in a set of quantized bound states with negative energy and a continuum of unbound "scattering states" with positive energy.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  6. Jul 25, 2013 #5
    I see.(: Thanks guys!
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