Schrödinger representation

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One of the basic possible (together with the Heisenberg representation and the interaction representation (cf. Interaction, representation of)) equivalent representations of the dependence on time of operators and wave functions in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. In the Schrödinger representation the operators corresponding to physical dynamical quantities do not depend on ; thus, the solution of the Schrödinger equation


can be formally expressed by the Hamilton operator , which is independent of , in the form


where , being the initial value, does not depend on time, and the wave function in the Schrödinger representation depends on and contains all information with respect to changes in the state of the system when changes. The mean value of the operator in the Schrödinger representation


depends on as a result of the dependence on of the wave functions . can be also considered as the mean value of the time-dependent operator over the wave functions , which do not depend on :


i.e. as the mean value of an operator in the Heisenberg representation. The invariance property of the mean value (which should be observable and have physical meaning) under unitary transformations of type (4) means that the Schrödinger representation, the Heisenberg representation and the interaction representation are equivalent.

The Schrödinger representation was called after E. Schrödinger, who introduced it in 1926 when formulating an equation in quantum mechanics that was later called the Schrödinger equation.


Instead of Schrödinger representation one uses sometimes Schrödinger picture.

Equation (2) is correct for time-independent Hamiltonian operators only (cf. Schrödinger equation).

How to Cite This Entry:
Schrödinger representation. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by V.D. Kukin (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article