Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

It is well known that we can switch from a statistical system to a quantum mechanical system by a Wick rotation. Has this rotation some implication on the way the time flow? namely, this is an accident or has a deep meaning?

share|cite|improve this question
You don't always get a statistical system, it is not an accident, but it doesn't have anything to do with the "arrow of time", that's just thermodynamics. – Ron Maimon Jul 27 '12 at 13:54

In perturbation theory, the Wick rotated Euclidian Green functions are exactly the time ordered vacuum expectations. The reason behind that is that the Wick rotation in the complex plane is only possible given the analyticity properties of the causal Green functions. The situation in nonperturbative situations is more subtle, because not always the action functional becomes negative after the Wick rotation, please see the following article by t'Hooft.

share|cite|improve this answer
Bar Mosche What does it means from the physical point of view? – Emanuele Luzio Jun 9 '12 at 9:17

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.