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Quantum vaccum one dimensional?

  1. May 31, 2007 #1
    Is a quantum vacuum 1 dimensional?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2007 #2
    The quantum vacuum is a state in an infinite dimensional Hilbert space. To be more specific, the vacuum is the eigenstate of the Hamiltonian operator with the lowest energy eigenvalue. A more appropriate name for 'vacuum', often used in nonrelativistic QM is ground state.

    If the Hilbert space of the system is spanned by the eigenstates of a single position operator X we say the system under consideration has one spatial degree of freedom. For such a system, the wavefunction corresponding to the vaccuum/ground state |O> is a function of one spatial variable x: Psi_0 (x) = <x|O> . Here |x> denotes eigenstate of the operator X with eigenvalue x.

    If the system has 3 spatial degrees of freedom, its Hilbert space is spanned by eigenstates of 3 position operators X, Y, Z that mutually commute. Correspondingly the wavefunction of the ground state, Psi_0(x,y,z) = <x,y,z|O> is a function of 3 spatial variables x, y, z. Here |x,y,z> is the commont eigenstate of operators X, Y, Z of eigenvalues x, y, z.
    Last edited: May 31, 2007
  4. May 31, 2007 #3
    I'm lost, but I expected to be. I'm very physics illiterate and just starting to learn.
    Thanks for the reply.
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