A new look at the quantum Liouville theorem

Pui Tak Leung


We clarify certain confusions in the literature of the density operator in quantum mechanics, and demonstrate that the quantum Liouville theorem has the same form in both the Schrodinger and the Heisenberg pictures.  Our starting point is to treat the density operator as an observable which has its specific time dependence in each of the two pictures.   It is further shown that such a formulation will provide the exact correspondence between classical and quantum statistical mechanics with the Liouville theorem being interpreted as a conservation law, which is derivable from the equation of motion only in the quantum case.


Density operator, Quantum Liouville Theorem, Pictures of time evolution

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