Distributions are generalized functions, such as, e.g., the Dirac delta function. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for statistical probability distributions, profiles, graphs, plots, etc.

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How to interpret the derivative of the Dirac delta potential?

I met a Hamiltonian containing the derivative of the Dirac delta potential: It is surprising to see terms like $b \delta'(x)$. How to interpret $ \delta'(x) $ ?
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Velocity Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution for dummies

I have a volume with N molecules; I need to assign to each particle a velocity vector: $$|\mathbf{v}_{i}|=[v_{x}, v_{y}, v_{z}]^{T}$$ for the i-th molecule; the velocities must fallow the ...
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87 views

Green function solutions in electrostatics

I have a conducting plate on $x$-$y$ plane. So I have a boundary condition at $z=0$ $\Phi=0$ but, for $z>0$ I have a point charge at z=a which is expected to create a potential. $$ ...
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71 views

Phase space measure in positron-electron annihilation calculation

I'm still trying to calculate the cross-section of the $e^- e^+ \rightarrow \mu^- \mu^+$ interaction in first order. This time I'm struggling with the phase space measure. Note that I have two ...
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1answer
69 views

Is it equivalent to derive Gauss's law from discrete and continuous source distributions?

I've seen two derivations for Gauss's law in electrostatics. The first assumes a discrete charge distribution, the second a continuous one: Use superposition $$\vec{E}=\sum_{i=1}^n\vec{E}_i,$$ so ...
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Field Lagrangian <--> Particle Lagrangian

The action-functionals describing the motion $\mathbf{x}:[a,b]\to \mathbb{R}^3$ of a free particle of mass $m$ and the evolution $\varphi:[a,b]\times \Omega\to \mathbb{R}$ of a free scalar field of ...
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1answer
76 views

How do we normalize a delta function position space wave function? [duplicate]

I have a position space wavefunction $$\psi(x) = \delta(x-a) + \delta(x+a).$$ Now the question states to compute the following: The Fourier transform of $\psi(x)$. (Which invariably is the momentum ...
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72 views

Functional derivatives as distributions

I have asked this on math stack exchange, due to its mostly mathemtical content, but aside from one upvote and minimal views it has not garnered any attention, so I am trying here as well. This isn't ...
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Triple integral $\iiint_{\mathbb{R}^3} d^{3}q ~\delta^{3}(\vec{q})\frac{(\vec{p}\cdot\vec{q})^2}{q^{2}} $ involving Dirac Delta function

I am trying find $$\iiint_{\mathbb{R}^3} d^{3}q ~\delta^{3}(\vec{q})\frac{(\vec{p}\cdot\vec{q})^2}{q^{2}},$$ where $\vec{p}$ is some fixed vector. The answer should be $\frac{p^2}{3}$. Below is ...
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147 views

Why is $\nabla\cdot(\hat{\bf r}/r^2)$ giving 0 as answer? [closed]

While I was reading I encountered the statement $\nabla\cdot(\hat{\bf r}/r^2)$ (r cap divided by $r$ square) is 0. Can anyone explain proof of the statement why is it giving 0?
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135 views

Second derivative of dirac delta expression

I have come across the expression $$ \int f(x) \delta(x-a) \delta''(x-a) \mathrm dx$$ where the prime represents the derivative. Usually with derivatives of the delta distribution I'd partially ...
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Calculation of the Poisson bracket of a (Classical) Yang-Mills generator

This question might be too technical or minute, but I believe someone can give me the right advise. What I want to calculate is a Poisson bracket algebra of classical YM gauge generators, ...
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2answers
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Unitary change of X Basis: Shankar Exercise 7.4.9 [closed]

I'm currently working through Shankar's Quantum Mechanics and am stuck on one of his exercises. In Exercise 7.4.9 Shankar would like us to show that: if $\mid x \rangle$ is changed to $\mid ...
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4answers
274 views

Having trouble understanding some stuff about delta functions [closed]

I was going through one of the examples in Griffith's Quantum book and there was a few things in Example 3.3 that I didn't understand that I was hoping to get some clarification on. For instance, we ...
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Mathematical understanding of Quantum Mechanics

Assuming that $\phi(r) = F (\psi(r))$ for some operator $F$ in Quantum Mechanics. Then, in our lecture today, we said that $$\phi(r) = \langle r|F |\psi\rangle = \int_{\mathbb{R}} \langle r |F| r' ...
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92 views

Yang-Mills constraints and Poisson brackets

Let's have constraints for Yang-Mills theory: $$ \varphi_{a} = \partial_{i}\pi^{i}_{a} - f_{abc}\pi^{b}_{i}A^{c}_{i}. $$ I have read the statement that $$ \tag 1 [\varphi_{a}(\mathbf x), ...
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99 views

Is it enough to use only sigma criterion to calculate expected value for ideal Bell's test experiment?

Let's build some custom distribution for particle measurement result in CHSH test. Let's assume ideal particles and detectors. Let's also assume that each particle has hidden parameter $z$. Parameter ...
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185 views

What is the expectation value of the 3D delta function for the Hydrogen atom ground state?

I'm trying to evaluate the expectation value of some perturbation Hamiltonian $$H=\alpha \delta^3(\vec{r}),$$ where $\alpha$ is a positive constant, for the ground state wavefunction of the hydrogen ...
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1answer
94 views

Dirac Notation Question Appearing In a Projection

So I have a part of the energy eigenvalue equation that look like this: $$ \delta(\hat{x})|n\rangle $$ Where n is the energy basis of the Hamiltonian I'm considering. To deal with this, I tried ...
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What is the square root of the Dirac Delta Function?

What is the square root of the Dirac Delta Function? Is it defined for functional integrals? Can it be used to describe quantum wave functions? \begin{align} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} ...
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Mathematical interpretation of Poisson Brackets

Lets say we are working in a classical scalar field theory and we have two functional $ F[\phi, \pi](x)$ and $G[\phi, \pi](x)$. In most of the references, starting with two functional the Poisson ...
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1answer
117 views

Fourier integral form of the delta function?

I'm learning basic maths for physicist and was wondering what do we use the Dirac delta function for? What is the difference between "the Fourier integral form" and the usual way of expressing the ...
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157 views

Eigenstates of a Hermitian field operator

Consider a Hermitian field operator $\phi(x)$ with eigenstates satisfying $$ \phi(x) |\alpha\rangle = \alpha(x) | \alpha \rangle $$ I'm trying to determine the inner product between the eigenstates. ...
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How do you handle a functional input in a Dirac delta function and prove these types of relations?

I have a quadratic relation inside of a Dirac delta function with the following relation \begin{align} \delta((x-x_1)(x-x_2)) = \dfrac{ \delta(x-x_1) + \delta(x-x_2) }{|x_1-x_2|}. \end{align} How do ...
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The Dirac-Delta function as an initial state for the quantum free particle

I want to ask if it is reasonable that I use the Dirac-Delta function as an intial state ($\Psi (x,0) $) for the free particle wavefunction and interpret it such that I say that the particle is ...
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Finding the moments of the Boltzmann/Gibbs Distribution

I am trying to compute the moments of the Boltzmann distribution using a moment generating function, by taking the Fourier transform of the distribution and then taking derivatives to find the ...
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185 views

Describing a circular current loop as delta functions

It would be really nice to see how Jackson got eqn 5.33 on his example problem for finding the vector potential of a circular current loop $$ ...
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1answer
121 views

Where does this delta of zero come from?

It is common when evaluating the partition function for a $O(N)$ non-linear sigma model to enforce the confinement to the $N$-sphere with a delta functional, so that $$ Z ~=~ \int d[\pi] d[\sigma] ~ ...
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2answers
49 views

Reference on electrodynamics with tempered distributions

Back in my undergrad I had a course on classical electrodynamics where the fields had values in the space of tempered distributions. In this way one could correctly treat self-interaction and ...
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179 views

Resources for theory of distributions (Generalized functions) for physicists

I am looking for tutorials, articles or books containing theory of distributions in context of mathematical physics. Please suggest.
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Basis in quantum mechanics

My quantum mechanics textbook (Primer of Quantum Mechanics, by Marvin Chester) says that both the momentum space and the position space are basis spaces. It also says that the momentum space is ...
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Divergence of a field and its interpretation

The divergence of an electric field due to a point charge (according to Coulomb's law) is zero. In literature the divergence of a field indicates presence/absence of a sink/source for the field. ...
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A rigorous treatment of distributions in quantum mechanics

In many introductory courses to quantum mechanics, we see $\delta$-functions all over the place. For example when expressing an arbitrary wave function $\psi(x)$ in the basis of eigenfunctions of the ...
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Derivation of (2.45) in Peskin and Schroeder

I'm having trouble understanding the step $$\left[\pi (\vec{x},t),\int d^{3}y ~(\frac{1}{2} \pi (\vec{y},t)^{2}+\frac{1}{2}\phi (\vec{y},t)(-\nabla^{2} +m^{2})\phi (\vec{y},t)) \right]$$ $$ =\int ...
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155 views

Hamiltonian with Dirac Delta function

I've to compute this expression $$ \hat{H} ~=~\frac{1}{4}g_2\int d^3R\int d^3r\ \bar{\Psi}(\vec{R}+\frac{\vec{r}}{2})\bar{\Psi}(\vec{R}-\frac{\vec{r}}{2}) $$$$ \times \left[ ...
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1answer
102 views

George Green's definition of Green's function

This is a curious question about the way George Green could have defined his Green's function. All the definitions I see have only Dirac-delta $\delta(x−x′)$ function as their source on the RHS. But ...
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96 views

Divergence of conservative electric field

I have a little doubt about the following: according Gauss law in the form of Maxwell's equation, we know that: $$ {\rm div} (D)~=~ \rho(v) $$ This just tells us that the electric field has nonzero ...
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Application of Poisson summation Formula to Casimir Effect

I'm studying the Casimir Effect at finite temperature. To calculate the Helmoltz free energy in the canonical ensemble I need to sum a particular series. In some scientific papers it is suggested to ...
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152 views

Simple question regarding the Green's function for the diffusion equation

The differential operator for diffusion in three dimensions is given by $\partial_t - k \nabla^2$ where $k$ is a constant. The Green's function is (according to Wikipedia) $$\theta(t)\left( ...
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Laplacian and Dirac Delta function

Although I find it mathematically dubious, we said that $$\Delta \frac{1}{r} ~=~ -4\pi \delta^3({\bf r}).$$ Now, I was wondering is there a similar relation to the delta function if we look at ...
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201 views

Principal value of 1/x and few questions about complex analysis in Peskin's QFT textbook

When I learn QFT, I am bothered by many problems in complex analysis. 1) $$\frac{1}{x-x_0+i\epsilon}=P\frac{1}{x-x_0}-i\pi\delta(x-x_0)$$ I can't understand why $1/x$ can have a principal value ...
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Can the expectation value of the square of momentum be negative?

I've been solving a problem in quantum mechanics, and I was deriving the standard deviation of $P$, knowing that $\langle P\rangle=0$. Because $\Delta P=\sqrt{\langle P^2 \rangle - \langle P \rangle ...
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107 views

Picture of supports

This questions stems from Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory and is mathematical in nature. However, I feel that an answer from physicists is more in line with what I will be asking. Let $\phi$ be a ...
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Multivariable Dirac Delta and Faddeev-Popov Determinant

From this mathstack page and in particular Qmechanic's answer: There exists an $n$-dimensional generalization $$\tag{1} \delta^n({\bf f}({\bf x})) ~=~\sum_{{\bf x}_{(0)}}^{{\bf f}({\bf ...
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Is this a valid proof that the four-current is conserved?

The four-current of a particle moving along a worldine $X^\nu(s)$ is defined as $$j^\mu(x^\nu) = ec \int u^\mu(s)\, \delta^4(x^\nu - X^\nu(s)) \, ds$$ So here's my proof that this is conserved: ...
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Particle in a higher-dimensional box with an attractive delta potential

Suppose you have a particle in the box $[0,L]^d$, with an attractive Dirac delta potential $-\delta_{\vec w}(x)$ at $\vec w$. How do you solve the Schroedinger equation for this system? In the case ...
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Calculate 2D density of states from 3D density of states

I have a 3D DOS which is calculated by this formula: $$D(E) = \sum_n\int\frac{\mathrm d^3k}{(2π)^3}\delta(E−\epsilon_n(k)) $$ I do not have any analytical expression for kinetic energy. Is there any ...
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Infinite well particle subject to additional time dep. potential

I am asked to find the wavefunction of the particle in a well subject to an additional potential $$V(x,t)=\frac{\pi x \hbar}{L}\delta(t).$$ I have already solved that ...
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Normalization of Momentum Eigenfunctions: the number of particles

After finding the eigenfunctions $u_p(x)=Ce^{ipx/\hbar}$ of the momentum operator just like in this UCSD lecture notes, one seeks to normalize them, so one first tries: ...
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Distributions (e.g., Dirac Delta): confused and unhappy [closed]

I am sorry that the following set of questions is very fuzzy and ill informed. I am a trained mathematician and now studying an undergraduate theoretical physics course. We use distributions. I have ...