Quantum dynamics of the classical harmonic oscillator

Dimitrios Giannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A correspondence is established between measure-preserving, ergodic dynamics of a classical harmonic oscillator and a quantum mechanical gauge theory on two-dimensional Minkowski space. This correspondence is realized through an isometric embedding of the L2(μ) space on the circle associated with the oscillator's invariant measure, μ, into a Hilbert space H of sections of a C-line bundle over Minkowski space. This bundle is equipped with a covariant derivative induced from an SO+(1, 1) gauge field on the corresponding inertial frame bundle, satisfying the Yang-Mills equations. Under this embedding, the Hamiltonian operator of a Lorentz-invariant quantum system, constructed as a geometrical Laplace-type operator on bundle sections, pulls back to the generator of the unitary group of Koopman operators governing the evolution of classical observables of the harmonic oscillator, with Koopman eigenfunctions of zero, positive, and negative eigenfrequencies corresponding to quantum eigenstates of zero ("vacuum"), positive ("matter"), and negative ("antimatter") energies. The embedding also induces a pair of operators acting on classical observables of the harmonic oscillator, exhibiting canonical position-momentum commutation relationships. These operators have the structure of order-1/2 fractional derivatives and therefore display a form of non-locality. In a second part of this work, we study a quantum mechanical representation of the classical harmonic oscillator using a one-parameter family of reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces, K^τ, associated with the time-τ transition kernel of a fractional diffusion on the circle. As shown in recent work, these spaces are unital Banach *-algebras of functions. It is found that the evolution of classical observables in these spaces takes place via a strongly continuous, unitary Koopman evolution group, which exhibits a stronger form of classical-quantum consistency than the L2(μ) case. Specifically, for every real-valued classical observable in K^τ, there exists a quantum mechanical observable, whose expectation value is consistent with classical function evaluation. This allows for a description of classical state space dynamics, classical statistics, and quantum statistics of the harmonic oscillator within a unified framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042701
JournalJournal of Mathematical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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