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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Operators, Distributions and States in QFT

First of all, I will mention what I understand (pls. correct if wrong): States are vectors in the Hilbert space, to include continuous spectrum (and thus distributions), we expand this space to ...
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Representing propagators as Dirac delta functions [closed]

I have found online, in particular on the wolfram site, http://mathworld.wolfram.com/DeltaFunction.html, certain identities that allow one to represent a delta function as limits. Of particular ...
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energy distribution of electrons from the heated cathode in magnetic field

I have a very specific question which is troubling me. I use a heated disk cathode as an electron emitter. I know that the energy distribution of the electrons emitting from the cathode is ...
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What does the Dirac delta function physically do while deriving Gauss Law form Coulomb's law?

While doing this derivation, the the source coordinates are mentioned as "$s$" and the coordinate of the point at which field is to be calculated is mentioned as "$r$". Kindly follow this Wikipedia ...
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Why is it true that Laplace's equation does not hold within the sphere in this case?

Find the average potential over a spherical surface of radius $R$ due to a point charge $q$ located inside. (In this case Laplace's equation does not hold within the sphere) This is a question ...
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Can momentum have a complex expectation value?

I'm making examples of wave functions to incorporate in a QM exam. I came up with the following wave function, which gives me some troubles: $$\psi(x,0) = \begin{cases} A(a-x), & -a \leq x \leq ...
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In nonrelativistic Quantum Mechanics, is the expectation value of a sum of operators always equal to the sum of the expectation values?

Suppose that $\lvert \psi_n \rangle$ are the eigenvectors of a Hamiltonian, $\hat{H}$, which span some Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ and satisfy $$\hat{H}\lvert \psi_n \rangle = E_n \lvert \psi_n ...
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62 views

Heuristics behind Dirac delta function in Master equation for probability?

I'm reading this paper [Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 160601 (2011)] and it studies simple diffusion where a particle stochastically resets to its initial position $x_0$ at a constant rate $r$. As you can ...
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35 views

Integral Represation of Four Current with proper time

I have a question about the four current in covariant representation. the four current is defined as $$ J^{\alpha} = \binom{c\rho}{\vec{j}} $$ and i'm having a point charge, ...
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29 views

The momentum representation of $x$ and $ [x,p]$ [duplicate]

To deduce the momentum representation of $[x,p]$, we can see one paradom $$<p|[x,p]|p>=iℏ$$ $$<p|[x,p]|p>=<p|xp|p>−<p|px|p>=p<p|x|p>−p<p|x|p>=0$$ Why? If we ...
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59 views

The boundary condition for delta function

Beginning with the Schr\"odinger equation for $N$ particles in one dimension interacting via a $\delta$-function potential $$(-\sum_{1}^{N}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial ...
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Dirac Delta in Field Theory

We start with a function $${\Delta(x) = \displaystyle \int \dfrac{d^3k}{(2\pi)^3 2k^0}}\left( e^{ik^\mu x_\mu} - e^{-ik^\mu x_\mu} \right).$$ It is obvious to me that for $t = 0$ the above expression ...
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Problem in understanding Feynman's explanation of the Dirac-Delta function

This is quoted from Feynman's Lectures' Normalization of the states in $x$: We return now to the discussion of the modifications of our basic equations which are required when we are dealing with ...
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Interpretation of the Dirac-measure property

First and foremost, apologies in advance for using an abuse of notation by placing the Dirac measure inside an integral. But given the circumstances, I have no choice. This is essentially a word by ...
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What really is a Dirac delta function?

Yesterday a friend asked me what a Dirac delta function really is. I tried to explain it but eventually confused myself. It seems that a Dirac delta is defined as a function that satisfies these ...
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265 views

Normalized wave functions in position and momentum space

Using the following expression for the Dirac delta function: $$\delta(k-k')=\frac{1}{2\pi}\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}e^{i(k-k')x}\mathrm{d}x$$ show that if $\Psi(x,t)$ is normalized at time $t=0$, ...
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Continuous basis of eigenvectors

In Quantum Mechanics, when using Dirac's formalism one of its features is the expansion of state vectors into continuous basis of eigenvectors of unbounded self-adjoint operators. Let $\mathcal{H}$ be ...
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139 views

Definition of a line charge with Dirac delta function [closed]

Is the following statement correct for a line charge distribution $λ(x)$? $$ρ(\mathbf r)=λ(x)δ(y)δ(z)$$ If yes - what does it say?
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87 views

State time evolution of a quantum harmonic oscillator with a Dirac-Delta function as an initial state [closed]

I have a question just like this Phys.SE problem here with a difference that our system is a harmonic oscillator (rather than a free particle). A particle with mass $m$ is connected to a string with ...
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2answers
246 views

Gauss' law in differential form for a point charge

I'm trying to understand how the integral form is derived from the differential form of Gauss' law. I have several issues: 1) The law states that $ \nabla\cdot E=\frac{1}{\epsilon 0}\rho$, but when ...
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93 views

How does one make sense of a delta function of a scalar field?

Disclaimer: Originally posted on math SE, but thought that it was better in physics SE, so deleted my post on math SE and posted here. In the classic review summary of stochastic quantization here, ...
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Why don't both equivalent forms of this delta function give the correct answer?

I am a bit confused on a basic problem involving a Dirac delta function being integrated over in a multiple integral. The original problem is to find the probability distribution in position-momentum ...
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Bound states of the $V(x)=\pm \delta'^{(n)}(x)$ potential?

The $\delta(x)$ Dirac delta is not the only "point-supported" potential that we can integrate; in principle all their derivatives $\delta', \delta'', ...$ exist also, do they? If yes, can we look for ...
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175 views

Can operators be argument of Dirac Delta function

In one part of Marc Bee's book on Quasielastic Neutron Scattering, he defines the pair correlation function $$ G(\textbf r,t) = \frac{1}{(2\pi)^3}\int I(\textbf Q,t)\text e^{-i\textbf Q.\textbf r}\ ...
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Dirac delta function definition in scattering theory

I'm studying scattering theory from Sakurai's book. In the first pages he gets to the following expression: $$\langle n|U_I(t, t_0)|i\rangle=\delta_{ni}-\frac{i}{\hbar}\langle ...
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44 views

Distribute force over a rod

Well, the idea is that I have a rod of length $L$ and force $F_0$. Now I have to distribute those $F_0$ Newtons on the rod. But the problem is, that I want to do it continuously. So what I want in the ...
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138 views

Klein-Gordon Green's function: derivative of delta distribution?

In Peskin/Schroeder there is an explicit calculation showing that the retarded Green's function of the real Klein-Gordon field $$D_R(x-y) ~\equiv~ \theta(x^0 - y^0) \langle 0 | [\phi(x), \phi(y)] ...
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1answer
144 views

How do you know when you need to use distributions to represent charge densities? [closed]

I tried to solve a problem using Gauss' law in the following way. Let's assume we have a spherical shell of radius $R$ with a charge $Q$ being homogenously distributed on its surface. I am trying to ...
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42 views

Dirac delta function equation intuition and proof [duplicate]

What is the intuition and where should I find proof of this equation (do not know what its name is). It is used to derive Gauss law from Newton equation. $${\nabla \cdot \Bigg ( ...
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72 views

Poisson-like green functions

How can I verify that equation $$\nabla ^2 f (r) = - \frac{e}{4 \pi \epsilon ^2} \delta (r-\epsilon)$$ in 3D has a solution of the form $$f (r) = a - \frac{e}{4 \pi r} \theta (r-\epsilon) ...
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Distributional Extension of a Hilbert Space

This question comes from the Complexification section of Thomas Thiemann's Modern Canonical Quantum General Relativity, but I believe it just deals with the foundations of quantum mechanics. The ...
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68 views

A boundary term for a Bessel Function?

I am reading 't Hooft lectures on black holes and on p. 35, it is stated, that it is not difficult to show that $$ K^*(\omega,a)=\int_0^{\infty} \frac{ds}{s} e^{-i\omega \ln{s} + ia(s-\frac{1}{s})} = ...
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Does regularity of distributions have anything to do with definiteness of their product?

Recently I've gone through some literature concerning causal perturbation theory (CPT). As is well known, it deals with UV divergences in QFT by defining products of (operator-valued) distributions ...
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61 views

Where does this relativistic relation involving the delta function come from?

\begin{equation} \int\delta(E^2-\mathbf{p}^2-m^2)dE=\frac{1}{2E_\mathbf{p}} \end{equation} Shouldn't integrating the delta function like this just give 1?
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Normalization of the overlap $\langle x'|p'\rangle$

Let $$\langle x'|p'\rangle = N \exp(\frac{ip'x'}{\hbar})$$ be the overlap between position and momentum space, where $N$ is a normalization constant to be determined. We can then compute $N$ by $$ ...
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For what values of $\lambda$ is the distribution $(x-i\varepsilon)^\lambda$ positive?

I've been reading the famous unpublished paper by Luescher and Mack "The energy momentum tensor of critical quantum field theories in 1+1 dimensions". In the proof of their main theorem, page 7 of the ...
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In Solution of the equation $\Box A_\sigma=0$. I find some mathematical difficulties [closed]

The solution of the equation $$\Box A^\mu(x)=0$$ has the form $$A^\mu(x)=\int\frac{d^4k}{(2\pi)^4} e^{ik^\mu x_\mu}A^\mu(k)\delta(k^2).$$ Where we take $A^\mu(k)$ of the form $$A^\mu(k)=\sum ...
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Equivalence of delta functions when calculating decay rate [closed]

$\newcommand{\bs}{\boldsymbol}$ Hello, I'm currently working through the lecture notes of my Theoretical Particle Physics course, and there, we are calculating the decay rate of the following process ...
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Notation - d.o.f.'s for Grassmann delta functions in a SUSY field theory amplitude

I was reading the following paper http://arxiv.org/pdf/1306.2962v1.pdf as I stumbled upon an issue concerning counting and assigning the Grassmann degrees of freedom that appear in grassmann delta ...
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119 views

Generalizing a Gaussian distribution

Perhaps this a nonsensical question but hear me out. I have a random variable $x$ whose moments I can calculate. The first moment $<x>$ is zero and the second $<x^2> = X^2$ is something ...
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Distributions (generalized functions) over manifolds

I have asked a similar question on the math stackexchange website, but since this type of question might have an answer that is known to physicists better than mathematicians I'm posting the question ...
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The delta function as an eigenfunction of the position operator explanation

$\delta (\textbf{r})$ can be interpreted as a wavefunction. [...] It is non-vanishing only for $\textbf{r}=0$. [...] $\delta(\textbf{r})$ is an eigenfunction of the position operator with ...
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92 views

Delta correlated white noise

I am studying Brownian motion, specifically Langevin equation. This equation includes a force expressed by a white noise, say $\xi(t)$. One of the hypothesis is that it is $\delta$-correlated (since ...
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1answer
56 views

Divergence of a vector field, going through the math [closed]

The example I'm working on has this given identity: $\bigtriangledown \cdot \mathbf{\bar{r}}=3$. The question is: find the divergence of a vector field $\bar{\mathbf{E}}=\frac{\mathbf{r}}{r^{3}}$. ...
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Regarding calculations with plane waves

I'm dealing with some basic calculations with plane waves and I'm having some trouble with an idea. It has been said in another question that if you take to momenta like, for example ...
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Expectation value with plane waves [duplicate]

Hey guys Im a little confused with the concept of plane waves and how to perform an expectation value. Let me show you by an example. Suppose you have a wave function of the form ...
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4answers
288 views

Fourier Transform of 1 [closed]

Consider the following convention for defining the Fourier transform $\hat{f}(\omega) = \int f(x) e^{-2 \pi i x \omega } d\omega $. Why is the Fourier transform of 1 equal to $\delta(\omega)$. ...
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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: In order to do it we use a method described in [9]. We define a formal Hamiltonian $$ ...
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275 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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111 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 ...