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In natural basis $| 0 \rangle = \begin{pmatrix} 1 \\0 \end{pmatrix}$, $| 1 \rangle = \begin{pmatrix} 0 \\ 1 \end{pmatrix}$, what physical situation/model does the following Hamiltonian represent: $H = \alpha \Big( |01 \rangle \langle10| + | 10 \rangle \langle 01| \Big)$?. Here, $\alpha$ has the dimensions of energy.

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I'm not sure for this specific problem, and more broadly Hamiltonians are typically in the "eye of the beholder."

For example, for quantum chemistry problems, Hamiltonians are really clean mappings from problems that were originally in quantum chemistry. For example, there are "annihilation/creation operators" (discussed more here) that could be converted into quantum simulation problems through the Jordan-Wigner Transforms.

$$ a^{\dagger} = \frac{X + i Y}{2}, a = \frac{X - i Y}{2} $$

Even though $ a^{\dagger}, a $ aren't unitary, we can exponentiate the transformations:

$$ e^{a^{\dagger} + a} = e^{1/2}e^{X + iY} e^{1/2}e^{X - iY} + O(*) $$

(Where $O(*)$ is some error term, because matrix exponentiation isn't like scalar exponentials). This produces a bunch of matrix exponentials that are implementable on a quantum computer, whereas $a^{\dagger}, a$ were not.

I believe there are some commonalities that hold, like how the expectation value of a Hamiltonian represents the energy level, but I'd appreciate additional clarification from community members in other fields.

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