Normal ordering and abnormal nonsense

Solomon, Allan I. (2010). Normal ordering and abnormal nonsense. Foundations of Physics, 40(7) pp. 684–691.



The technique of the normal ordering of non-commuting operators is an important tool in the solution of problems involving creation and annihilation operators in quantum physics, such as in many-body theory or quantum optics. We point out the inconsistencies in previous definitions of the two standard normal ordering procedures for such operators, and show how consistent definitions may be made.

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