The time-dependent Schrödinger equation: the need for the Hamiltonian to be self-adjoint

Vanilse S. Araujo, F. A. B. Coutinho, F. M. Toyama
2008 Brazilian journal of physics  
We present some simple arguments to show that quantum mechanics operators are required to be self-adjoint. We emphasize that the very definition of a self-adjoint operator includes the prescription of a certain domain of the operator. We then use these concepts to revisit the solutions of the time-dependent Schroedinger equation of some well-known simple problems -the infinite square well, the finite square well, and the harmonic oscillator. We show that these elementary illustrations can be
more » ... iched by using more general boundary conditions, which are still compatible with self-adjointness. In particular, we show that a puzzling problem associated with the Hydrogen atom in one dimension can be clarified by applying the correct requirements of self-adjointness. We then come to Stone´s theorem, which is the main topic of this paper, and which is shown to relate the usual definitions of a self-adjoint operator to the possibility of constructing well-defined solutions of the timedependent Schrödinger equation.
doi:10.1590/s0103-97332008000100030 fatcat:2sgxxt6dnvfv7n7xsi4uemqn34