The pointwise Hellmann-Feynman theorem

David Carfì


In this paper we study from a topological point of view the Hellmann-Feynman theorem of Quantum Mechanics. The goal of the paper is twofold:
  • On one hand we emphasize the role of the strong topology in the classic version of the theorem in Hilbert spaces, for what concerns the kind of convergence required on the space of continuous linear endomorphisms, which contains the space of (continuous) observables.
  • On the other hand we state and prove a new pointwise version of the classic Hellmann-Feynman theorem. This new version is not yet present in the literature and follows the idea of A. Bohm concerning the topology which is desiderable to use in Quantum Mechanics. It is indeed out of question that this non-trivial new version of the Hellmann-Feynman theorem is the ideal one - for what concerns the continuous observables on Hilbert spaces, both from a theoretical point of view, since it is the strongest version obtainable in this context - we recall that the pointwise topology is the coarsest one compatible with the linear structure of the space of continuous observables -, and from a practical point of view, because the pointwise topology is the easiest to use among topologies: it brings back the problems to the Hilbert space topology.
Moreover, we desire to remark that this basic theorem of Quantum Mechanics, in his most desiderable form, is deeply interlaced with two cornerstones of Functional Analysis: the Banach-Steinhaus theorem and the Baire theorem.

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[DOI: 10.1478/C1A1001004] About DOI

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