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Lecture# Linear Algebra Concepts: Motivation for Studying Eigenmodes in Physical Systems

Description

This lecture introduces the motivation for studying linear algebra concepts in the context of eigenmodes of vibration in physical systems such as violin strings, waveguides, plasma, and the hydrogen atom. It explains how linear algebra plays a central role in quantum mechanics by representing states as vectors in a Hilbert space and describing measurable quantities with self-adjoint operators.

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In course

PHYS-216: Mathematical methods for physicists

This course complements the Analysis and Linear Algebra courses by providing further mathematical background and practice required for 3rd year physics courses, in particular electrodynamics and quant

Instructors (2)

Related concepts (37)

Rigged Hilbert space

In mathematics, a rigged Hilbert space (Gelfand triple, nested Hilbert space, equipped Hilbert space) is a construction designed to link the distribution and square-integrable aspects of functional analysis. Such spaces were introduced to study spectral theory in the broad sense. They bring together the 'bound state' (eigenvector) and 'continuous spectrum', in one place. A function such as is an eigenfunction of the differential operator on the real line R, but isn't square-integrable for the usual Borel measure on R.

Quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including quantum chemistry, quantum field theory, quantum technology, and quantum information science. Classical physics, the collection of theories that existed before the advent of quantum mechanics, describes many aspects of nature at an ordinary (macroscopic) scale, but is not sufficient for describing them at small (atomic and subatomic) scales.

Reproducing kernel Hilbert space

In functional analysis (a branch of mathematics), a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) is a Hilbert space of functions in which point evaluation is a continuous linear functional. Roughly speaking, this means that if two functions and in the RKHS are close in norm, i.e., is small, then and are also pointwise close, i.e., is small for all . The converse does not need to be true. Informally, this can be shown by looking at the supremum norm: the sequence of functions converges pointwise, but does not converge uniformly i.

Interpretations of quantum mechanics

An interpretation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to explain how the mathematical theory of quantum mechanics might correspond to experienced reality. Although quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous and extremely precise tests in an extraordinarily broad range of experiments, there exist a number of contending schools of thought over their interpretation. These views on interpretation differ on such fundamental questions as whether quantum mechanics is deterministic or stochastic, local or non-local, which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered real, and what the nature of measurement is, among other matters.

Hilbert cube

In mathematics, the Hilbert cube, named after David Hilbert, is a topological space that provides an instructive example of some ideas in topology. Furthermore, many interesting topological spaces can be embedded in the Hilbert cube; that is, can be viewed as subspaces of the Hilbert cube (see below).