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Essential Quantum Mechanics$
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Gary Bowman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228928.001.0001

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Matrix Mechanics

Matrix Mechanics

Chapter:
(p.68) 6 Matrix Mechanics
Source:
Essential Quantum Mechanics
Author(s):

Gary E. Bowman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228928.003.0006

This chapter introduces the matrix-mechanics formulation of quantum mechanics, emphasizing both calculational techniques and conceptual understanding. Parallels between matrix mechanics and ordinary vectors and matrices are extensively utilized. Starting with the representation of ordinary vectors as rows or columns of numbers, the scalar product is discussed, followed by the transformation of vectors by matrices, as illustrated by rotations. The vector representation of quantumstates, the inner product of two such states, and the matrix representation of operators are then introduced. The simple forms assumed in matrix mechanics by a basis state, and by an operator, when either is written in its eigenbasis, are discussed, as are the specific forms of adjoint, Hermitian, and unitary operators. The chapter concludes with a brief exposition of eigenvalue equations in matrix mechanics.

Keywords:   vector, matrix, scalar product, rotation, matrix operator, state vector, eigenvalue equation

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