1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Trying to interpret matrix representations of operators

  1. Oct 10, 2013 #1
    Say I have a 3x3 operator Q and I find its eigenvectors and eigenvalues. Now i know that those eigenvectors are the same as eigenfunctions so if i act on them with Q i will get the corresponding eigenvalue.

    What the question im trying to solve asks is, Measure the quantity Q in state where b is given as a 3x1 matrix. I know how to do it mathematically, I just express as a linear combination of my eigenvectors. But I'm trying to interpret what this means. Is the state some state my wavefunction is in and when I measure it, it will be in a state of one of the eigenvectors of Q?

    I am comparing this to Schrodingers cat where before I measure it is in a linear combination of alive and dead and there is a probability that can be alive or dead and when I measure (ie look) the wavefunction collapses to either alive or dead. Am i correct in thinking this way about Q and ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2013 #2

    BruceW

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    yeah, that's right. When they say a measurement of the physical quantity associated with Q, that means the state suddenly jumps into one of the eigenstates of Q.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Trying to interpret matrix representations of operators
Loading...