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 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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60 views

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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24 views

History of delta barrier in QM [migrated]

I'm interested in finding something out about the history of the problem of the delta potential barrier in QM. Which was the first study to propose this problem, and perhaps any particular motivation ...
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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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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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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
129 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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38 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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66 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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1answer
60 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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1answer
56 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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46 views

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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103 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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1answer
134 views

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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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
45 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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1answer
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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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2answers
63 views

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
269 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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1answer
185 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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91 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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121 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
213 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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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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1answer
199 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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0answers
60 views

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
138 views

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
284 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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3answers
757 views

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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1answer
126 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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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
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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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1answer
325 views

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
139 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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174 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 ...