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I Weinberg Lectures in QM (2013 Ed.), Equation 7.10.15

  1. Mar 20, 2016 #1
    Hello everyone,
    I don't get how the second-order derivative ##\partial^2 S/\partial x_i \partial x_j## of the phase S arrives here. If one performs a power series expansion of the Hamiltonian around ##\nabla S##, then I do get where the first term ##A## comes from, but then adding higher-order derivatives doesn't seem to introduce this second-order derivative of the phase S (even taking the somewhat
    fuzzy footnote into account).
    Does anyone who has read this book have an idea?
    Thanks in advance.
    Pierre
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2016 #2
    To put my question in perspective, I put below an excerpt of the corresponding page (I hope small quotes are ok on the forum; if not, please feel fee to let me know) in Weinberg's book.

    Schrodinger's equation 7.10.1 is ##H(p,x)\psi(x) = E \psi(x)##. The idea is to assume a solution ##\psi(x)= N(x)e^{-iS(x)\hbar}## (Equation 7.10.2), in which case, after identifying as usual ##p## with ##-i\hbar\nabla##, Schrodinger's equation is equivalent to Equation 7.10.13 below. Then, my question amounts to understanding the right part of Equation 7.10.15, and thus 7.10.14.

    Thanks.

    7.10.15.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  4. Mar 22, 2016 #3
    I'm not entirely sure I follow (7.10.13) (why p is identified with the expression containing grad S), but is it not simply the case that by acting on the product [itex]\psi = N e^{ i S} [/itex] with two derivatives it's inevitable that you'll pull down a term that looks like the second derivative of S, just because of the product rule and the derivatives of exponentials?
     
  5. Mar 23, 2016 #4

    vanhees71

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    One way to derive classical mechanics from quantum theory is to use singular perturbation theory, i.e., a formal expansion in powers of ##\hbar##, starting with the term ##\propto 1/\hbar## around ##\hbar=0##. In physics it's also known as the Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin approximation. It's exactly the same technique how you derive ray optics from wave optics, i.e., the Maxwell equations. In leading order ##\mathcal{O}(1/\hbar)## you get the Hamilton-Jacoby partial differential equation for the "eikonal" ##S##, which is nothing else than the classical action, and that's equivalent to good old Newtonian mechanics.
     
  6. Mar 23, 2016 #5
    Hi,

    Thanks muppet for your message.

    My understanding of Equation 7.10.13 is that it is the transcription of Schrodinger’s equation when applied to ##\psi## defined in terms of ##N(x)## and ##S(x)##.

    The application of the operator ##p = -i\hbar\nabla## to such ##\psi## yields ##-i\hbar\nabla N(x) e^{iS(x)/\hbar}+N(x) \nabla S(x) e^{iS(x)/\hbar}##, which is equivalent to ##((-i\hbar\nabla + \nabla S(x) )N(x)) e^{iS(x)/\hbar}##. So since the phase exponential part of ##\psi## is kept unchanged, it can be factored out of the whole Schrodinger’s equation on ##\psi##, giving 7.10.13, which only applies to the ##N(x)## part of the wave function.

    Now, if one performs a first-order power series expansion of the Hamiltonian at ##\nabla S(x)##, one gets the first parts of Equations 7.10.14 and 7.10.15, but I don’t see how to obtain the second parts even with higher-order expansions.

    Thanks.

    Pierre
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  7. Mar 23, 2016 #6
    Hi vanhees71,

    Thanks for your comments, and I do remember reading about doing expansions in powers of ##\hbar##. But here, Weinberg speaks of orders of gradients, not of ##\hbar## (even though this is the same here, when dealing with the gradient of ##N(x)##). Given the book self-containedness up to now, I assume I should be able to derive this formula and see where the second-order derivatives of ##S## come from. But I don't see how.
     
  8. Jun 18, 2016 #7
    Ok, going back to this after a small hiatus, I think I got it, and it's pretty simple in fact. Basically, from (7.10.13), one does a first-order expansion of H around ##\nabla S(x)##, yielding
    $$H(\nabla S)N + (-i\hbar\sum_i\nabla_i)[(\partial H/\partial p_i)_{p=\nabla S} N] = E N.$$ The zero-th order terms ##H(\nabla S)N## and ##E N## cancel, as per (7.10.3). The remaining ##\nabla## yields then
    $$ \sum_i(\partial H/\partial p_i)_{p=\nabla S} (\nabla_i N) + N\sum_{ij} (\partial p_j / \partial x_i)_{p=\nabla S} \partial/\partial p_j (\partial H/\partial p_i)_{p=\nabla S} = 0,$$
    i.e., $$A.\nabla(N)+N {1\over 2}\sum_{ij} (\partial^2 S / \partial x_j\partial x_i) (\partial^2 H/\partial p_j\partial p_i)_{p=\nabla S} = A.\nabla(N)+NB = 0,$$
    as in (7.10.14).
     
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