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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 3 Quantum statistics “Each photon then interferes only with itself. Interference between two di ff erent photons never occurs.” – Paul Dirac, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Fourth Edition, Chapter 1 Note 1: Quantum interference is interference between di ff erent possibilities (no matter whether they follows the classical physical laws) of a single object, being one photon, two photons, or else, no be tween di ff erent objects. Ignore those hairsplitters. Note 2: Possibilities which can interference must be associated with probability amplitudes (complex numbers), instead of probabilities (positive real numbers) as in classical statistics. Note 3: Probabilities! Thus PHYS 5510. 3.1 Quantum measurement In quantum mechanics, the state of an object is a vector  ψ ⟩ in the Hilbert space. A physical quantity is an Hermitian operator O . The eigen states { ψ n ⟩} of the operator satisfy O  ψ n ⟩ = O n  ψ n ⟩ , (3.1) where the eigen value O n is a real number. The eigen states form a complete orthogonal basis, in which the operator can be written as O = ∑ n  n ⟩ O n ⟨ n  . (3.2) In general, the quantum object can be in a superposition of the eigen states,  ψ ⟩ = ∑ n C n  ψ n ⟩ , where C n ’s are complex numbers satisfying the normalization condition ∑ n  C n  2 = 1. The state vector is defined up to a phase factor, i.e., e i ϕ  ψ ⟩ and  ψ ⟩ describe the same physical state, so a physical state is indeed represented by a vector ray in the Hilbert space. A particularly interesting observable is the Hamiltonian H which determines the evolution of a quantum state by the Schr¨odinger equation i ~ ∂ t  ψ ⟩ = H  ψ ⟩ . (3.3) 29 30 CHAPTER 3. QUANTUM STATISTICS The eigen values { E n } of Hamiltonian are energy of the eigen states. A superposition of di ff erent energy eigen states evolves as  ψ ( t ) ⟩ = ∑ n e − iE n t / ~ C n  n ⟩ . Randomness is intrinsic in quantum mechanics. This is due to the following quantum mea surement postulate: For a quantum object in the state  ψ ⟩ , the measurement of the physical observable O will yield randomly an eigen value O n with probability p n = ⟨ n  ψ ⟩ 2 = ⟨ n  ψ ⟩⟨ ψ  n ⟩ . Thus in general a physical quantity cannot be determined with 100% precision no matter how well the measurement could be done. For systems at the same quantum state, the measurement results would not be the same but there would be random results with distribution p n . From the quantum measurement postulate, the average or expectation value of an observable is ⟨ O ⟩ = ∑ n p n O n = ∑ n ⟨ n  ψ ⟩⟨ ψ  O  n ⟩ = ∑ n ⟨ ψ  O  n ⟩⟨ n  ψ ⟩ = ⟨ ψ  O  ψ ⟩ . (3.4) Note that unlike in classical ensembles, the expectation value may never be expected in quantum mechanics. For example, for a spin1 / 2, the output of s z is either + 1 / 2 or − 1 / 2. The quantum object in the state (  + 1 / 2 ⟩ +  −...
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 Spring '10
 DrKwong
 mechanics, Photon

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