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The Schrodinger-Equation Presentation of Any Oscillatory Classical Linear System that Is Homogeneous and Conservative

Steven K. Kauffmann


The time-dependent Schrodinger equation with time-independent Hamiltonian matrix is a homogeneous linear oscillatory system in canonical form. We investigate whether any classical system that itself is linear, homogeneous, oscillatory and conservative is guaranteed to linearly map into a Schrodinger equation. Such oscillatory classical systems can be analyzed into their normal modes, which are mutually independent, uncoupled simple harmonic oscillators, and the equation of motion of such a system linearly maps into a Schrodinger equation whose Hamiltonian matrix is diagonal, with h times the individual simple harmonic oscillator frequencies as its diagonal entries. Therefore if the coupling-strength matrix of such an oscillatory system is presented in symmetric, positive-definite form, the Hamiltonian matrix of the Schrodinger equation it maps into is h-bar times the square root of that coupling-strength matrix. We obtain a general expression for mapping this type of oscillatory classical equation of motion into a Schrodinger equation, and apply it to the real-valued classical Klein-Gordon equation and the source-free Maxwell equations, which results in relativistic Hamiltonian operators that are strictly compatible with the correspondence principle. Once such an oscillatory classical system has been mapped into a Schrodinger equation, it is automatically in canonical form, making second quantization of that Schrodinger equation a technically simple as well as a physically very interpretable way to quantize the original classical system.

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