observable operator

observable operator

[əb′zər·və·bəl ′äp·ə‚rād·ər]
(quantum mechanics)
A Hermitian operator with a complete, orthonormal set of eigenfunctions on the Hilbert space representing the states of a physical system; such operators are postulated to represent the observable quantities of the system.
References in periodicals archive ?
Feed a quantum state to an observable operator and, unless that state happens to be an eigenstate of that operator, it returns (not the value of the corresponding observable in that state but) some other element of Hilbert space.