We present the general ideas on supersymmetric quantum mechanics (SUSY-QM) using different representations for the operators in question, which are defined by the corresponding bosonic Hamiltonian as part of SUSY Hamiltonian and its supercharges, which are defined as matrix or differential operators. We show that, although most of the SUSY partners of one-dimensional Schrödinger problems have already been found, there are still some unveiled aspects of the factorization procedure which may lead to richer insights of the problem involved.
- supersymmetric quantum mechanics
- quasi-exactly solvable potentials
We present the general ideas on supersymmetric quantum mechanics (SUSY-QM) using different representations for the operators in question, which are defined by the corresponding bosonic Hamiltonian as part of SUSY Hamiltonian and its supercharges, and , which are defined as matrix or differential operators. We show that, although most of the SUSY partners of one-dimensional Schrödinger problems have already been found , there are still some unveiled aspects of the factorization procedure which may lead to richer insights of the problem involved. In particular, we refer to the factorization of the Hamiltonian in terms of two non-mutually adjoint operators [2, 3].
In this work, we try three main schemes; the first one consists on finding the eigenvalue Schrödinger equation in one dimension using the matrix representation via the appropriate factorization with ladder-like operators and finding the one parameter isospectral equation for this one. In this scheme, the wave function is written as a supermultiplet. Continuing with the Schrödinger model, we extend SUSY to include two-parameter factorizations, which include the SUSY factorization as particular case. As examples, we include the case of the harmonic oscillator and the Pöschl-Teller potentials. Also, we include the steps for the two-dimensional case and apply it to particular cases. The second scheme uses the differential representation in Grassmann numbers, where the wave function can be written as an n-dimensional vector or as an expansion in Grassmann variables multiplied by bosonic functions. We apply the scheme in two bosonic variables a particular cosmological model and compare the corresponding solutions found. The third scheme tries on extensions to the SUSY factorization and to the case of quasi-exactly solvable potentials; we present a particular case which does not form part of the class of potentials found using Lie algebras.
To establish the different approaches presented here, we will briefly describe the different main formalisms applied to supersymmetric quantum mechanics, techniques that are now widely used in a rich spectrum of physical problems, covering such diverse fields as particle physics, quantum field theory, quantum gravity, quantum cosmology, and statistical mechanics, to mention some of them:
In one dimension, SUSY-QM may be considered an equivalent formulation of the Darboux transformation method, which is well-known in mathematics from the original paper of Darboux , the book by Ince , and the book by Matweev and Salle , where the method is widely used in the context of the soliton theory. An essential ingredient of the method is the particular choice of a transformation operator in the form of a differential operator which intertwines two Hamiltonian and relates their eigenfunctions. When this approach is applied to quantum theory, it allows to generate a huge family of exactly solvable local potential starting with a given exactly solvable local potential . This technique is also known in the literature as isospectral formalism [7, 8, 9, 10].
Those defined by means of the use of supersymmetry as a square root [11, 12, 13, 14], in which the Grassmann variables are auxiliary variables and are not identified as the supersymmetric partners of the bosonic variables. In this formalism, a differential representation is used for the Grassmann variables. Also the supercharges for the n-dimensional case read as
where is known as the superpotential function which are related to the physical potential under consideration, when the Hamiltonian density is written as the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, and the algebra for the variables and is
There are two forms where the equations in 1D are satisfied: in the literature we find either the matrix representation or the differential operator scheme. However for more than one dimensions, there exist many applications to cosmological models, where the differential representation for the Grassmann variables is widely applied [14, 15, 16, 17, 18]. There are few works in more dimensions in the first scheme ; we present in this work the main ideas to build the 2D case, where the supercharge operators become matrices.
2. Factorization method in one dimension: matrix approach
We begin by introducing the main ideas for the one-dimensional quantum harmonic oscillator. The corresponding Hamiltonian is written in operator form as
where is the generalized coordinate and is the associated momentum, the canonical commutation relation between this quantities being . We introduce two new operators, known as the creation and annihilation operators , respectively, defined as
This Hamiltonian can be written in terms of the anti-commutation relation between these operators as
The symmetric nature of under the interchange of and suggests that these operators satisfy Bose-Einstein statistics, and it is therefore called bosonic.
Now, we build the operators and that obey similar rules to operators changing , that is,
and in analogy to (5), we define the corresponding new Hamiltonian as
The antisymmetric nature of under the interchange of and suggests that these operators satisfy the Fermi-Dirac statistics, and it is called fermionic.
These operators and admit a matrix representations in terms of Pauli matrices that satisfy all rules defined above, that is,
with , .
Now, consider both Hamiltonians as a composite system, that is, we consider the superposition of two oscillators, one being bosonic and one fermionic, with energy
When we demand that both frequencies are the same, , we introduce a new symmetry, called supersymmetry (SUSY); we can see that the simultaneous creation of a quantum fermion causes the destruction of quantum boson and vice versa, in the sense that the total energy is unaltered. The ground energy state is exact and no degenerate. The degeneration appears from n = 1, where it is double degenerate.
In this way, we have the super-Hamiltonian , written as
where I is a unit matrix and where the two components of in (10) can be written independently as
The question is, what are the generators for this SUSY Hamiltonian? The answer is, considering that the degeneration is the result of the simultaneous destruction (creation) of quantum boson and the creation (destruction) of quantum fermion, the corresponding generators for this symmetry must be written as (or ). Therefore we introduce the following generators, called supercharges and , defined as
and satisfying the following relations
We can generalize this procedure for a certain function W(q), and at this point, we can define two new operators and with a property similar to (4),
In order to obtain the general solutions, we can use an arbitrary potential in Eq. (3), that is,
The Hamiltonians and determine two new potentials,
where the potential term V+(q) is related to the superpotential function W(q) via the Riccati equation
(modulo constant , which is related to some energy eigenvalue) and , with the same spectrum, except for the ground state, which is related to the energy potential .
In a general way, let us now find the general form of the function W. The quantum equation (17) applied to stationary wave function becomes
where are the energy eigenvalues. Considering the transformation and introducing it into (18), we have that
Then, this equation is the same as the original one, Eq. (21), that is, W is related to an initial solution of the bosonic Hamiltonian. What happens to the isopotential ? Considering that
the question is, what is if we know the function W? Finding it we can build a family of potentials depending on a free parameter , the supersymmetric parameter that, to some extent, plays the role of internal time. Following the procedure , where the function y(q) satisfy the linear differential equation , the solution implies
The family of potentials can be built now as
is the isospectral solution of the Schrödinger-like equation for the new family potential (23), with the condition , which in the limit
This parameter is included not for factorization reasons; in particular, in quantum cosmology the wave functions are still nonnormalizable, and is used as a decoherence parameter embodying a sort of quantum cosmological dissipation (or damping) distance.
2.1 Two-dimensional case
We use Witten’s idea  to find the supersymmetric supercharge operators and that generate the super-Hamiltonian . Using Eqs. (13)–(15), we can generalize the one-dimensional factorization scheme. We define the two-dimensional Hamiltonian as
where the Schrödinger-like equation can be obtained as the bosonic sector of this super-Hamiltonian in the superspace, i.e., when all fermionic fields are set equal to zero (classical limit).
In two dimensions, the supercharges are defined by the tensorial products
where the super-Hamiltonian, (14), can be written as
The Riccati equation (20) is written in 2D as
and, using separation variables, we get
In general, we find that each potential satisfies
and we can find the isopotential as , when is known.
Following the same steps as in the 1D case, we find that the solutions (22) are the same in this case. So, the general solution for is , with . The general solution for the superpotential is
where and .
In the same manner, we have that
with and .
On the other hand, using the Riccati equation, we can build a generalization for the isopotential, using the new potential , as
For the other coordinate, we have
The general solutions for depend on the initial solutions to the original Schrödinger equations in the variables (x,y), that is, , , being
2.2 Application to cosmological Taub model
The Wheeler-DeWitt equation for the cosmological Taub model is given by
where . These equations can be separated using and , rendering
where the parameter is the separation constant. These equations possess the solutions
where K (or I) is the modified Bessel function of imaginary order and the function L is defined as
Using Eq. (40) we can obtain general solutions for the functions and in the following way
3. Differential approach: Grassmann variables
The supersymmetric scheme has the particularity of being very restrictive, because there are many constraint equations applied to the wave function. So, in this work and in others, we found that there exist a tendency for supersymmetric vacua to remain close to their semiclassical limits, because the exact solutions found are also the lowest-order WKB-like approximations and do not correspond to the full quantum solutions found previously for particular models [14, 15, 16, 17, 18].
Maintaining the structure of Eqs. (13)–(16), taking the differential representation for the fermionic operator for convenience in the calculations, and changing the function , the supercharges for the n-dimensional case read as
where is known as the superpotential functions which are related to the physical potential under consideration, when the Hamiltonian density is written as the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, and the following algebra for the variables and (similar to Eq. (6))
These rules are satisfied when we use a differential representation for these variables in terms of the Grassmann numbers, as
where is a diagonal constant matrix, its dimensions depending on the independent bosonic variables that appear in the bosonic Hamiltonian. Now the super-Hamiltonian is written as
where is the quantum version of the classical bosonic Hamiltonian, is the d’Alembertian in three dimension when we have three bosonic independent coordinates, and is the potential energy in consideration.
The superspace for three-dimensional model becomes , where the variables are the coordinate in the fermionic space, as the Grassmann numbers, which have the property of , and the wave function has the representation
where the indices values are 0, 1, and 2 and and are bosonic functions which depend on the bosonic coordinates and not on the Grassmann numbers. Here, the wave function representation structure is set in terms of components, for independent bosonic coordinates, with half of the terms coming from the bosonic (fermionic) contribution into the wave function.
It is well-known that the physical states are determined by the applications of the supercharges and on the wave functions, that is,
where we use the usual representation for the momentum . Considering the 2D case, the last second equation gives
On the other hand, the first equation in (53) gives
The free term equation is written as , and taking the ansatz Eq. (56) is fulfilled, so we obtain for the free term,
with the solution to , with h an arbitrary function depending of its argument. However, this function f must depend on the potential under consideration.
whose solution is . In this way, all functions entering the wave function are
3.1 The unnormalized probability density
To obtain the wave function probability density in this supersymmetric fashion, we need first to integrate over the Grassmann variables . This procedure is well-known , and here we present the main ideas. Let and be two functions that depend on Grassmann numbers; the product is defined as
and the integral over the Grassmann numbers is .
In 2D, the main contributions to the term come from
and using that , and , which act as a filter, we obtain that
By demanding that does not diverge when , only the contribution with the exponential will remain.
4. Beyond SUSY factorization
Although most of the SUSY partners of 1D Schrödinger problems have been found , there are still some unveiled aspects of the factorization procedure. We have shown this for the simple harmonic oscillator in previous works [2, 3] and will proceed here in the same way for the problem of the modified Pöschl-Teller potential. The factorization operators depend on two supersymmetric type parameters, which when the operator product is inverted, allow us to define a new SL operator, which includes the original QM problem.
where and the integer is greater than 0. To shorten the algebraic equations, we shall set .
The eigenvalue problem may be solved using the Infeld and Hull’s (IH) factorizations ,
where the IH raising/lowering operators are given by
and where ; also , and is the eigenvalue index,
Beginning with the zeroth-order eigenfunctions, the eigenfunctions can be found by successive applications of the raising operator, which only increases the value of the upper index. That is,
4.1 Two-parameter factorization of the Pöschl-Teller Hamiltonian
where and are functions of , and we require that . Then and are the solutions of
By multiplying the first equation by and adding, we have that
The constant is usually related to the lowest energy eigenvalue, but here the two different values come from the index asymmetry in the factorizations (63) and (64). Following Ref. , we solve for .
The general solution to the pair of coupled equations (69) is
where has to satisfy . The corresponding condition on involves transcendental functions, but one may use to determine the parameter space. When we recover the original IH raising/lowering operators.
4.2 Reversing the operator product: new Sturm-Liouville operator
Now we invert the first-order operators’ product, keeping in mind Eq. (64),
Then we can define a new Sturm-Liouville (SL) eigenvalue problem , where
with the weight function .
This new SL operator is isospectral to the original PT problem. The zeroth-order eigenfunction is easily found by solving which gives
4.3 Regions in the two-parameter space
We may recover the original QM problem when , the origin of the two-parameter space. Moreover, the SUSY partner of the PT problem arises when one sets , moving along the horizontal axis. In this case, becomes
where , with , and . These in turn define a SUSY PT problem
where the partner SUSY potentials are given by
The zeroth-order eigenfunction is defined by , that is,
5. Quasi-exactly solvable potentials
In exactly solvable problems, the whole spectrum is found analytically, but the vast majority of problems have to be solved numerically. A new possibility arises with the class of QES potentials, where a subset of the spectrum may be found analytically [25, 26, 27]. QES potentials have been studied using the Lie algebraic method : Manning , Razavy , and Ushveridze  potentials belong to this class (see also ). These are double-well potentials, which received much attention due to their applications in theoretical and experimental problems. Furthermore, hyperbolic-type potentials are found in many physical applications, like the Rosen-Morse potential , Dirac-type hyperbolic potentials , bidimensional quantum dot , Scarf-type entangled states , etc. QES potentials’ classification has been given by Turbiner  and Ushveridze .
Here we show that the Lie algebraic procedure may impose strict restrictions on the solutions: we shall construct here analytical solutions for the Razavy-type potential based on the polynomial solutions of the related confluent Heun equation (CHE) and show that in that case the energy eigenvalues diverge when , a feature solely of the procedure. We shall also show that other QES potentials may be found that do not belong to any of the potentials found using the Lie algebraic method.
5.1 A Razavy-type QES potential
Let us consider Schrödinger’s problem for the Razavy-type potential ,
For simplicity, we set [35, 36].
Here the potential function is the hyperbolic Razavy potential , with , where energy levels are found if is a positive integer . It may also be viewed as the Ushveridze potential , when and , or vice versa , which is QES if (with ). El-Jaick et al. showed that it is also QES if half-integer and .
In the case of the Razavy potential, the solutions obtained by Finkel et al. are
with the parameters or , the energy eigenvalues being the roots of the polynomials , satisfying the three-term recursive relations
with , and
5.2 Symmetric solutions for
To find the even solutions to Eq. (81) with , let us set , to get
The highest power of in Eq. (86) fix to . The energy eigenvalues and the roots satisfy
is found to depend on the order of the polynomial, for even solutions, and solutions with different cannot be scaled one into the other due to the dependence of the potential function. The highest solution order is , and we use subindexes to label eigenvalues/eigenfunctions.
For , , we get , , and the (unnormalized) ground-state eigenfunction . For , , equating to zero the coefficients of the polynomial , we get the coupled equations
Solving these, we find that , and the three possible eigenvalues, , , and .
5.3 Antisymmetric solutions
In order to find antisymmetric solutions to Eq. (86), we set , to obtain
This CHE can be solved in power series: if , or for . Then, , and
Here, , and all even and odd solutions have different . The maximum solutions order is . For example, for we get , , and
We find four eigenvalues, , , , and .
6. The potential function
Now we apply our analysis to the problem with , which is a symmetric double well if . To find even solutions, we set again and , with ,
We now find that , varying freely. For example, if , , and no negative energy eigenvalues may exist. For the two energy eigenvalues found are
meaning that for we will have negative eigenvalues. Note that for , it is always possible to find a zero-energy ground state, a feature that may have cosmological implications .
For the case with , choosing , the energy eigenvalues are , , and . The corresponding eigenfunctions are plotted in Figure 1.
Now, to find the antisymmetric eigenfunctions, we set , to get the CHE
For we get that and , such that if , we may find negative energy eigenvalues. For , , if we set , the energy eigenvalues found are , , and . The eigenfunctions are plotted in Figure 1.
Note that in this case , and it is not possible to distinguish these eigenvalue’s lines from each other in Figure 1 for antisymmetric eigenvalues, implying quasi-degenerate eigenstates. A similar effect is seen in the symmetric case.
6.1 The case with
As was seen in Section VI, the ground-state energy diverges as and as , and this also happens to all higher-order even eigenvalues (see Eq. (94)). This is a strange behavior, since it is clear that the potential function has a rather simple functional form for any value of : a single or double well with infinite barriers. We can see that this is only a characteristic due to the analytical solution procedure, coming from the fact that the potential strength is also divergent when .
6.2 Unclassified QES potentials
Finally, we would like to emphasize that there should be other potential functions which may not be classified form the Lie algebraic method .
Indeed, let us consider Schrödinger’s problem with the potential function
For this problem, the ground-state eigenfunction and eigenvalue are given by
while this particular problem does not belong to the class of potentials found using the Lie algebraic method. Similar potentials may be found which do not belong to that class, leaving space for further developments.
This work was partially supported by CONACYT 179881 grants and PROMEP grants UGTO-CA-3. This work is part of the collaboration within the Instituto Avanzado de Cosmología. E. Condori-Pozo is supported by a CONACYT graduate fellowship.