A Concise Treatise on Quantum Mechanics in Phase Space by Thomas L Curtright

A Concise Treatise on Quantum Mechanics in Phase Space

byThomas L Curtright, David B Fairlie, Cosmas K Zachos

Kobo ebook | November 11, 2013

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This is a text on quantum mechanics formulated simultaneously in terms of position and momentum, i.e. in phase space. It is written at an introductory level, drawing on the remarkable history of the subject for inspiration and motivation. Wigner functions — density matrices in a special Weyl representation — and star products are the cornerstones of the formalism.

The resulting framework is a rich source of physical intuition. It has been used to describe transport in quantum optics, structure and dynamics in nuclear physics, chaos, and decoherence in quantum computing. It is also of importance in signal processing and the mathematics of algebraic deformation. A remarkable aspect of its internal logic, pioneered by Groenewold and Moyal, has only emerged in the last quarter-century: it furnishes a third, alternative way to formulate and understand quantum mechanics, independent of the conventional Hilbert space or path integral approaches to the subject.

In this logically complete and self-standing formulation, one need not choose sides between coordinate or momentum space variables. It works in full phase space, accommodating the uncertainty principle; and it offers unique insights into the classical limit of quantum theory. The observables in this formulation are c-number functions in phase space instead of operators, with the same interpretation as their classical counterparts, only composed together in novel algebraic ways using star products.

This treatise provides an introductory overview and supplementary material suitable for an advanced undergraduate or a beginning graduate course in quantum mechanics.


  • Historical Survey
  • Introduction
  • The Wigner Function
  • Solving for the Wigner Function
  • The Uncertainty Principle
  • Ehrenfest's Theorem
  • Illustration: The Harmonic Oscillator
  • Time Evolution
  • Non-Diagonal Wigner Functions
  • Stationary Perturbation Theory
  • Propagators and Canonical Transformations
  • The Weyl Correspondence
  • Alternate Rules of Association
  • The Groenewold–van Hove Theorem; The Uniqueness of MBs and *-Products
  • Advanced Topic: Quasi-Hermitian Quantum Systems
  • Omitted Miscellany
  • Synopses of Selected Papers

Readership: Advanced undergraduates and graduates studying quantum mechanics.
Key Features:

  • Hard-to-find supplementary material which may be used for an advanced undergraduate or a beginning graduate course in quantum mechanics
  • A well-chosen collection of instructive exercises
  • An intellectual narrative account of the subject that is long overdue
Title:A Concise Treatise on Quantum Mechanics in Phase SpaceFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:November 11, 2013Publisher:World Scientific Publishing CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9814520462

ISBN - 13:9789814520461

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