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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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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What is the distribution for this function? [migrated]

Suppose we let X1, X2,...,Xn be an IID random sample of observations on the random variable X. So what my question is: Assuming that X ~ (μ,σ^2), find the distribution of √n(μ̂-μ)/σ. This is a ...
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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
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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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242 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: 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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1answer
115 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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
130 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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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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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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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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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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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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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
104 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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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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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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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 ...