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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The magnetic field of a magnetic monopole

Let us define the magnetic field $$\vec{B} = g\frac{\vec{r}}{r^3}$$ for some constant $g$. How can we show that the divergence of this field correspond to the charge distribution of a single magnetic ...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...