Monday, March 26, 2012

1203.5310 (Maurice A. de Gosson)

The Symplectic Camel and Quantum Universal Invariants: the Angel of
Geometry vs. the Demon of Algebra

Maurice A. de Gosson
A positive definite symmetric matrix {\sigma} qualifies as a quantum mechanical covariance matrix if and only if {\sigma}+(1/2)i\hbar{\Omega}\geq0 where {\Omega} is the standard symplectic matrix. This well-known condition is a strong version of the uncertainty principle, which can be reinterpreted in terms of the topological notion of symplectic capacity, closely related to Gromov's non-squeezing theorem. We show that a recent refinement of the latter leads to a new class of geometric invariants. These are the volumes of the orthogonal projections of the covariance ellipsoid on symplectic subspaces of the phase space. We compare these geometric invariants to the algebraic "universal quantum invariants" of Dodonov and Serafini.
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