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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Potential of an axisymmetric disc with constant rotation velocity

I am having trouble understanding why the form of the 3D potential for a disc with a constant rotation velocity for circular orbits of stars within the disc \begin{equation} v(R) = v_0, \tag{1} ...
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1answer
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Question on doing the integral for Fermi golden rule

Today in the lecture, my professor did something which confused me As an example, we consider the photoelectric effect, in which an electron bound in a Coulomb potential is ionized after ...
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Inner product of standard-momentum one-particle states in Weinberg

My question has essentially already been addressed in Questions concerning some parts of the section on one-particle states in Weinberg's first volume on QFT (third question), but unfortunately ...
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Unfamiliar Notation in Sakurai

In chapter 5 section 9 of Sakurai, 2nd edition, he uses some notation that I am unfamiliar with. This may be suited for Math.se but I figured it could be peculiar physicist notation. Anyways it is ...
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How does a $\Theta$ function arise in this correlator?

I am currently reading the paper by Coleman on Symmetry breaking in 2d, which can be found here. On page 262 (4th page in the document), he is evaluating the following distribution: $$ ...
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What's the value of $\int f(x)\delta(x-a) dx$ if $a$ is not in the domain of integration? [migrated]

A problem occurs when I was solving an exersice of perturbative kind. The delta function has the fundamental property that \begin{align} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}f(x)\delta(x-a)dx=f(a) \end{align} ...
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What is the charge density for line and surface charges?

In electrostatics it is common to see line, surface and volumetric charges being described differently. A line distribution is a function defined on the line, a surface charge distribution is a ...
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19 views

Derivation of generation of time between two subsequent particle enters into computational domain

I have problem with understanding derivation of one equation in following problem. You have 1D computational domain (it is not 1D but because it is symmetrical and we are watching only radial ...
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1answer
45 views

Derivation of Biot Savart law for a curve

I'm ok with the following expression for Biot-Savart: $$ {\mathbf B}({\mathbf r}) = \frac{{\mu _0}}{{4\pi }}\int\frac{{{\mathbf J}({\mathbf r'}) \times {(\mathbf{r-r'})}}}{{|\mathbf{r-r'}|^3 }}dV'. $$ ...
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How to make rigorous the idea of a continuous complete set?

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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How to calculate the second functional derivative of the action of a one-particle system?

Given the Lagrangian $$L(q,\dot{q})=m\dot{q}^2/2-V(q)$$ and the corresponding action $$S[q]\equiv\int_0^t dt' (m\dot{q}^2/2-V(q)),$$ I need to be able to evaluate the second functional derivative ...
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What is the origin of the Dirac delta term in the dipole electric field?

I am a bit lost how one has deduced the formula for electric field with electric dipole because of some inconsistency between different sources. The Wikipedia article contains a delta function in the ...
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43 views

Surface density charge, divergence of the electric field and gauss law

It´s known that the divergence of the electric field at a certain point is given by this formula: $$\nabla \cdot E=\dfrac{\rho (r)}{\epsilon_{0}}$$ Being $\rho (r)$ the volume charge density at that ...
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2answers
60 views

Commutation Relations in Second Quantization

I understand that if I have the field operators $\psi(r)$ and $\psi^\dagger(r)$, then I have the canonical commutation relation (in the boson case) $$[ \psi(r) , \psi^\dagger(r')]=\delta(r-r').$$ My ...
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1answer
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Book to study Dirac delta function from a physics point of view [duplicate]

I am a beginning physics graduate student. I am often bewildered by the strange properties of the Dirac delta function such as: $\delta (a x)= \frac{1}{a} \delta (x)$ The derivative of $\delta (x)$ ...
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1answer
262 views

Imaginary Part of the Free Energy - Sohotski Plemenj theorem

I have posted this question already on Math Stack Exchange and I hope not to annoy the community if I post it here again, looking maybe for a better suited audience. I need to understand how the ...
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3answers
626 views

Normalization of basis vectors with a continuous index?

I have an infinite basis which associates with each point, $x$, on the $x$-axis, a basis vector $|x\rangle$ such that the matrix of $|x\rangle$ is full of zeroes and a one by the $x^{\mathrm{th}}$ ...
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36 views

Why is the inner product of position eigenstates not normalised? [duplicate]

I have read that $$<{\bf r}|{\bf r}'> = δ({\bf r}-{\bf r}').$$ I don't understand how this is correct, I want to say it is equal to 1 or 0, rather than an unnormalised delta function. Clearly ...
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1answer
157 views

Why is the propagator the Green's function for Schrodinger equation? [duplicate]

Sakurai says that the propagator is simply the Green's function for the time-dependent wave equation satisfying $$\left [ -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \triangledown ''^2+V(\mathbf{x''})-ih\frac{\partial ...
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graphical representation of Maxwell velocity distribution law

I have read Maxwell's distribution law it is the probabilistic representation of no. Of particles having velocity between $c$ to $c+DC$,through this representatation we can get the number of particle ...
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3answers
193 views

On the completeness relation in Quantum Mechanics

Why does $$ \sum_n \Phi^{\ast}_n(x)\Phi_n(r)=\delta(x−r) $$ represents a completeness relation? Or, put differently, why does it imply completeness? Is there any way to see it intuitively? Maybe an ...
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1answer
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Delta functional in path integrals

In a few articles dealing with path integral quantization I came across some calculations where apparently identities of the form \begin{equation} \int (\mathcal{D}\Phi)\, ...
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3answers
83 views

Transition probability derivation

I have encountered this limit while learning time dependent perturbation and transition probability in Sakurai. How to show this limit? I tried to integrate around $x=0$ but didn't get anything ...
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1answer
79 views

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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384 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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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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Don't understand the integral over the square of the Dirac delta function

In Griffiths' Intro to QM [1] he gives the eigenfunctions of the Hermitian operator $\hat{x}=x$ as being $$g_{\lambda}\left(x\right)~=~B_{\lambda}\delta\left(x-\lambda\right)$$ (cf. last formula on ...
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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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103 views

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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How is Gauss' Law (integral form) arrived at from Coulomb's Law, and how is the differential form arrived at from that?

On a similar note: when using Gauss' Law, do you even begin with Coulomb's law, or does one take it as given that flux is the surface integral of the Electric field in the direction of the normal to ...
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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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Hilbert space of harmonic oscillator: Countable vs uncountable?

Hm, this just occurred to me while answering another question: If I write the Hamiltonian for a harmonic oscillator as $$H = \frac{p^2}{2m} + \frac{1}{2} m \omega^2 x^2$$ then wouldn't one set of ...
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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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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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45 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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How exactly is the propagator a Green's function for the Schrodinger equation

Sakurai mentions that the propagator is a Green's function for the Schrodinger equation because it solves $$\left(H-i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\right)K(x,t,x_0,t_0) = ...
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1answer
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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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Units INSIDE of a Dirac Delta function

I know that the units of a Dirac Delta function are inverse of it's argument, for example the units of $\delta(x)$ if $x$ is measured in meters is $\frac{1}{meters}$. But, my question is what are ...
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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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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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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Differentiation and delta function

Need help doing this simple differentiation. Consider 4 d Euclidean(or Minkowskian) spacetime. \begin{equation} \partial_{\mu}\frac{(a-x)_\mu}{(a-x)^4}= ? \end{equation} where $a_\mu$ is a constant ...
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2answers
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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 ...