Numbers of the form $\{z= x+ i\,y:\;x,\, y\in\mathbb{R}\}$ where $i^2 = -1$. Useful especially as quantum mechanics, where system states take complex vector values.

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54 views

Path integral measure Fourier transform

Let's have $$ Z[J] = \int D \varphi e^{iS[\varphi , J]}, $$ where $\varphi$ denotes real scalar field. Let's make Fourier transform, $$ \varphi (x) = \int e^{iqx}\varphi (q), \quad \varphi^{*} (q) = ...
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1answer
56 views

How to separate k into real and imaginary parts?

In $k^2 - \frac{\omega^2}{c_o^2} + (\tau_{\alpha} i \omega)^{\alpha} k^2 = 0$, $k$ is the wavenumber, $\omega$ is angular frequency, others are constants. How can I separate the wavenumber $k$ into ...
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3answers
58 views

Use of Imaginary Angles in Physics

I am studying higher algebra. I have learnt that as well as for reals, trigonometric functions can also be defined for complex numbers, by means of power series. Such as: ...
2
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1answer
116 views

Integral over a product of two Green's functions

Need some help here on a frequently encountered integral in Green's function formalism. Forgive me since I am a junior student. I have an integral/summation as a product of a retarded and advanced ...
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1answer
27 views

Metal Refractive index

I'm working on Fresnel equation for calculation of reflection of a light (532 nm) on Iron. I've got a question: Is metals refractive index always a real number or it can be a complex number?
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1answer
57 views

QM: Why is there a minus sign on the Energy operator when using complex conjugate?

I understand how they get the first equation. But I have no idea why there is a minus sign on the second equation: This is from a derivation for the probability density current found here: ...
2
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2answers
135 views

Imaginary number for extinction coefficient in complex refractive index

In complex refractive index on a material, $n=n'+ ik$, the imaginary part $k$ is physical meaning, as it shows absorption in the material but it is an imaginary. How we measure an imaginary values in ...
3
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0answers
121 views

Why is imaginary time “outdated”? [closed]

I was looking at reviews for Sakurai's Quantum Mechanics textbook, and some mentioned it being outdated, specifically mentioning his use of imaginary time. Is this idea deliberately avoided in modern ...
2
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3answers
86 views

Can we define the zero potential at an imaginary point?

Consider a force field defined as $$\vec{F}(x) = \left(\frac{A}{x^2}-B\right)\hat{i}\space$$ where $A, B$ are positive constants. We want to get the potential energy function for this field. We can ...
2
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1answer
53 views

$SU(2)$ generators and creation annihilation operators

The algebraic method to find the irreducible representation of the $SU(2)$ group makes use of the operators: $$J_z\\J_+=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(J_x+iJ_y)\\J_-=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(J_x-iJ_y)$$ In the book ...
4
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2answers
56 views

Complex dimensional analysis

Does complex numbers have physical dimensions? Is it sensible to talk about the dimensional analysis of $Z$ where $Z$ is the impedance of a mechanical oscillatory system? Or is it the $|Z|$ which has ...
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2answers
53 views

Hermitian Metric and Geodesics

Why isn't general relativity developed with a Hermitian metric and a theory of complex valued paths and geodesics? The concept of arc length and geodesic suffers under a pseudo-Riemannian metric. My ...
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1answer
47 views

Variation over complex function in Ginzburg-Landau theory

When deriving the Ginzburg-Landau equations, we minimize the following free energy over the complex function $\psi$: $$F = \int dV \left \{\alpha |\psi|^2 + \frac{\beta}{2}|\psi|^4 + \frac{1}{2m^*} ...
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2answers
56 views

Physical Interpretation of the Residue

In my complex analysis course (taught by the physics department no less) we've obviously paid close attention to the residue for solving our problems, but there has been no attempt to try and attach ...
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2answers
89 views

Properties of Hodge Duality

So we know that Hodge duality works this way $$⋆(dx^i_1 \wedge ... \wedge dx^i_p)= \frac{1}{(n-p)!} \epsilon^{i_1..i_p}_{i_{p+1}..i_n} dx^{i_{p+1} } \wedge dx^{i_n}$$ where $p$ represents the $p$ in ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Variational Derivation of Schrodinger Equation

In reading Weinstock's Calculus of Variations, on pages 261 - 262 he explains how Schrodinger apparently first derived the Schrodinger equation from variational principles. Unfortunately I don't ...
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1answer
123 views

What is the advantage of using exponential function over trigonometric function in analyzing waves?

A.P.French in his book Vibrations and Waves writes: . . . Why should the exponential function be such an important contribution to the analysis of vibrations? The prime reason is the special ...
0
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1answer
96 views

Finding the Direction of Measurement Given the Spin State

I am currently trying to gain a fuller understanding of the meaning of various spin states and their relation to the direction of measurement by a Stern-Gerlach device. I came across two spin-${1 ...
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2answers
145 views

Difficulty evaluating a complex integral on Griffiths

This actually a question from Griffiths QM. (Q2.21) I have difficulty understanding integrals involving imaginary components. In this example, it looks like the first term (encircled in red) explodes ...
3
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1answer
193 views

Transmission + Reflection coefficients >1 For Potencial Barrier with Negative Complex Part Contradicts Paper

I am studying reflection and transmission coefficients for a barrier consisting of a a step potencial defined by: $$V(x):=\begin{cases}0&{\rm if}\,|x|>a/2 \\ V_0+iW_0 & {\rm ...
2
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2answers
176 views

Complex numbers in quantum mechanics and in special relativity

Is there a physical relation between the use of complex numbers for the wavefunction in (non-relativistic) quantum mechanics and in special relativity (as formulated in the setting of Minkowski ...
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7answers
1k views

Can one do the maths of physics without using $\sqrt{-1}$?

The use of imaginary and complex values comes up in many physics and engineering derivations. I have a question about that: Is the use of complex numbers simply to make the process of derivation ...
0
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1answer
205 views

Is imaginary time a fifth dimension? [duplicate]

I've read that by introducing the concept of imaginary time, the dimension of time can be treated like a spatial dimension mathematically. Assuming, without imaginary time, one considers the universe ...
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1answer
109 views

Complex comjugate of Schrodinger equation: paradox in matrix form?

We can take the complex conjugate of schrodinger equation, and obtain $$ -\frac{\hbar^2 }{2m}\frac{\partial^2\psi}{\partial x^2} + V(x)\psi = i \hbar \frac{\partial \psi}{\partial t} $$ $$ ...
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3answers
1k views

Complex numbers in optics

I have recently studied optics. But I feel having missed something important: how can amplitudes of light waves be complex numbers?
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11answers
9k views

About the complex nature of the wave function?

1. Why is the wave function complex? I've collected some layman explanations but they are incomplete and unsatisfactory. However in the book by Merzbacher in the initial few pages he provides an ...
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0answers
227 views

What is the physical meaning of complex eigenvalues?

I understand the mathematical origin of complex eigenvalues, and that complex eigenvalues come in pairs. But what is the meaning of the imaginary part? In particular I refer to an acoustic problem ...
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4answers
4k views

Confused over complex representation of the wave

My quantum mechanics textbook says that the following is a representation of a wave traveling in the +$x$ direction:$$\Psi(x,t)=Ae^{i\left(kx-\omega t\right)}\tag1$$ I'm having trouble visualizing ...
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2answers
83 views

A question over the reality of $\sin x$

Harmonic functions are in widespread use in physical descriptions of natural real phenomena. I am just wondering therefore how we can define $\sin(x)$ to be part of a real physical quantity (with ...
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3answers
164 views

Root of $i$, which one to take?

The propagator of a free particle in 1d is $$ K(x_b, t_b; x_a, t_a ) = \sqrt{\frac{m}{2\pi i \hbar (t_b-t_a)}} \exp \left [ \frac{i m (x_b-x_a)^2}{2 \hbar (t_b-t_a)} \quad \right ] .$$ It looks ...
3
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1answer
70 views

Why is the value of the action integral in general relativity the same on all regions that are homologous?

In their famous paper Action integrals and partition functions in quantum gravity, Gibbons and Hawking argue that in order to avoid the singularity of a Schwarzschild black hole you can complexify ...
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4answers
461 views

Complex Conjugate of Wave Function

I've been reading through Griffiths QM book, and the only thing bugging me is they never fully described what $\Psi^* $ should be for any given function. I know it's the complex conjugate at the same ...
4
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2answers
786 views

Finding Stagnation Points from the complex potential

I am trying to find the stagnation point of a fluid flow from a complex potential. The complex potential is given by $$\Omega(z) = Uz + \cfrac{m}{2\pi}\ln z.$$ From this I found the streamfunction to ...
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0answers
68 views

Topological implications of symbolic represenation of the relativity

I have seen in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in the entry on Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics that Niels Bohr had argued that the theory of relativity is not a literal ...
5
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1answer
142 views

Faraday's law: sin and cos?

I am looking at this paper (Hanna S. A., Varhue W. J. and Titcomb S., IEEE Trans. on Instrumentaion and Measurement, Vol. 58, No. 1, 2009). They claim that the voltage generated in a loop of $N$ turns ...
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0answers
31 views

Flow in the strip $0 < x < \pi/2$, $y > 0$ [closed]

Could anyone please explain how to show that a complex valued function represents a flow? For example, how does one show that $\Phi(z) = \sec^2 z$, where $z = x + iy$ with $x, y \in \mathbb{R}$, ...
4
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1answer
130 views

Imaginary time is to inverse temperature what imaginary entropy is to …?

The Wick-Rotation rotates imaginary time into inverse temperature (as can be seen from its "rotating" the Schrödinger equation into the heat equation). Now since entropy is temperature's conjugate, I ...
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0answers
46 views

Can we take transport equation of imaginary quantity?

In the RANS equation we approximate the nonlinear fluctuating terms to eddy viscosity times strain rate. Then by using turbulence models like Spalart-Allmaras etc, we take the transport equation of ...
2
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0answers
51 views

Set of orthotogonal complex functions [closed]

Show that the functions $e^{in\pi x/l}$, n = 0, ±1, ±2, ..., are a set of orthogonal functions on $(-l, l)$ using: $A(x)$ and $B(x)$ are orthogonal on $(a,b)$ if $$\int^b_a A^*(x)B(x)dx = 0$$ ...
5
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2answers
148 views

Motivating Complexification of Lie Algebras?

What is the motivation for complexifying a Lie algebra? In quantum mechanical angular momentum the commutation relations $$[J_x,J_y]=iJ_z, \quad [J_y,J_z] = iJ_x,\quad [J_z,J_x] = iJ_y$$ become, on ...
0
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1answer
84 views

Complex theory in physics [duplicate]

I'm a physics graduate and usually encounter with complex numbers in physics. For example, in electrical engineering, Why do we express capacitive reactance as an imaginary number..? Can't it be ...
4
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2answers
244 views

QFT Hilbert spaces over other rings than the complex numbers $\mathbb{C}$

I would like some help evaluating a physics theory recently proposed by a physics professor at the College of Dupage. I think the theory is utterly wrong, for very simple reasons. If an amateur ...
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2answers
132 views

Can speed be defined in the complex plane?

This question cropped up while I was playing with the equation for time dilation. If I set the speed to be $i$ (imaginary unit) the answer from the equation still makes sense, but does that matter if ...
6
votes
4answers
322 views

Complex integration by shifting the contour

In section 12.11 of Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics, he evaluates an integral involved in the Green function solution to the 4-potential wave equation. Here it is: $$\int_{-\infty}^\infty dk_0 ...
4
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1answer
84 views

Why can we leave off half of the general solution?

In these pdf notes, it says at the bottom of the first page and beginning of the second: [...] whose solution is: $$\Psi(\theta) = c_1 e^{i\omega\theta} + c_2 e^{-i\omega\theta}$$ Since we are ...
4
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2answers
73 views

Tensors of rotations about an arbitrary vector in C^2

I'm trying to solve the following equation: $$e^{-i\theta/2 \sigma_{\vec{i}}^A} \otimes e^{-i\theta/2 \sigma_{\vec{i}}^B} |\Psi\rangle_{AB} = e^{i\phi} |\Psi\rangle_{AB} $$ where $e^{i\phi}$ should ...
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0answers
28 views

Confusion regarding the trial solution taken in the mathematical treatment of forced oscillations, at steady state

In the text-book that I am currently using, it is given that in case of forced oscillations, the periodic external driving force is a complex-driving force, and is generally of the form $F_0e^{jwt}$. ...
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1answer
156 views

Complex Quantum Wave [closed]

Can the complex nature of quantum wave arise from the fact that particle is represented as wave packet in spatial frequency and particle's total energy is represented as wave packet in time frequency? ...
5
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3answers
706 views

What does the Schrodinger Equation really mean?

I understand that the Schrodinger equation is actually a principle that cannot be proven. But can someone give a plausible foundation for it and give it some physical meaning/interpretation. I guess ...
2
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1answer
115 views

Is it okay to Wick rotate to give the negative of the Euclidean metric? Also, could we make the space-like coordinates imaginary instead?

There are 2 parts to my question: 1) Say we choose the metric signature to be (-+++), as in the Wikipedia page. Then the invariant interval in Minkowski space is written: $ds^{2} = -(dt^{2}) + ...