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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21
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3answers
958 views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
955 views

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} ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Possible ambiguity in using the Dirac Delta function

When doing integration over several variables with a constraint on the variables, one may (at least in some physics books) insert a $\delta\text{-function}$ term in the integral to account for this ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
705 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' ...
7
votes
1answer
316 views

The virial theorem and a delta function potential

So the virial theorem tells us that: $2\langle T\rangle = \langle \textbf{r}\cdot\nabla V\rangle$. Now I was wondering what would happen if V has te form: $V(\textbf{r}-\textbf{r}') = ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

How do you do an integral involving the derivative of a delta function?

I got an integral in solving Schrodinger equation with delta function potential. It looks like $$\int \frac{y(x)}{x} \frac{\mathrm{d}\delta(x-x_0)}{\mathrm{d}x}$$ I'm trying to solve this by ...
6
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
6
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2answers
342 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
293 views

Using $\frac{1}{A+i\epsilon} = PV\frac{1}{A}-i\pi\delta(A)$ in Feynman Integrals

Are the following operations O.K.? This is related to the Feynman parameter trick. $$F:= \int_0^1 \mathrm{d}x\int_0^{1-x}\mathrm{d}y \frac{1}{f(x,y)+\mathrm{i}\epsilon}.$$ Now using ...
5
votes
6answers
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Laplacian of $1/r^2$ (context: electromagnetism and poisson equation)

We know that a point charge $q$ located at the origin $r=0$ produces a potential $\sim \frac{q}{r}$, and this is consistent with the fact that the Laplacian of $\frac{q}{r}$ is ...
5
votes
4answers
887 views

Is the momentum operator diagonal in position representation?

The matrix elements of the momentum operator in position representation are: $$\langle x | \hat{p} | x' \rangle = -i \hbar \frac{\partial \delta(x-x')}{\partial x}$$ Does this imply that $\langle x ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Limit of Lorentzian is Dirac Delta

I have a quick question that just came up in my research and I could not find an answer anywhere so I thought I'd try here. So one of the definitions of the Dirac Delta is the limit of the Lorentzian ...
5
votes
1answer
392 views

Hilbert space of a free particle: Countable or Uncountable?

This is obviously a follow on question to the Phys.SE post Hilbert space of harmonic oscillator: Countable vs uncountable? So I thought that the Hilbert space of a bound electron is countable, but ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Translator Operator

In Modern Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai, at page 46 while deriving commutator of translator operator with position operator, he uses $$\left| x+dx\right\rangle \simeq \left| x \right\rangle.$$ But for ...
5
votes
2answers
140 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Is this a valid proof that the four-current is conserved?

The four-current of a particle moving along a worldine $X^\nu(s)$ is defined as $$j^\mu(x^\nu) = ec \int u^\mu(s)\, \delta^4(x^\nu - X^\nu(s)) \, ds$$ So here's my proof that this is conserved: ...
5
votes
3answers
448 views

Schrodinger equation in term of Fokker-Planck equation

From Wikipedia on the Fokker-Planck equation: $$\tag{1}\frac{\partial }{\partial t}f\left( x^{\prime },t\right) ~=~\int_{-\infty}^\infty dx\left( \left[ D_{1}\left( x,t\right) \frac{\partial ...
4
votes
3answers
418 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
444 views

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. ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Picture of supports

This questions stems from Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory and is mathematical in nature. However, I feel that an answer from physicists is more in line with what I will be asking. Let $\phi$ be a ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

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( ...
4
votes
2answers
358 views

What is the most general expression for the coordinate representation of momentum operator?

I have a question about deriving the coordinate representation of momentum operator from the commutation relation, $[x,p]= i$. One derivation (ref W. Greiner's Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction, 4th ...
4
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1answer
1k views

The definition of Density of States

The density of states (DOS) is generally defined as $D(E)=\frac{d\Omega(E)}{dE}$, where $\Omega(E)$ is the number of states. But why DOS can also be defined using delta function, as ...
4
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
85 views

Free path distribution

I'm studying statistical mechanics, and I'm trying to resolve some problem known from my thermodynamics course. So I want to calculate mean free path for particles with a concentration $n$ and ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Matrix elements of momentum operator in position representation

I have two related questions on the representation of the momentum operator in the position basis. The action of the momentum operator on a wave function is to derive it: $$\hat{p} ...
3
votes
3answers
284 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
430 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
391 views

Multivariable Dirac Delta and Faddeev-Popov Determinant

From this mathstack page and in particular Qmechanic's answer: There exists an $n$-dimensional generalization $$\tag{1} \delta^n({\bf f}({\bf x})) ~=~\sum_{{\bf x}_{(0)}}^{{\bf f}({\bf ...
3
votes
3answers
242 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Delta functional in path integral

I've recently encountered a path integral of the form $$\int \delta[a\phi+b\phi']\,L(\phi,\phi')\;\mathcal D\phi\mathcal D\phi'$$ (where $a$, $b$ are integers) and would like to eliminate one of the ...
3
votes
1answer
76 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), ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

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[ ...
3
votes
1answer
235 views

Getting rid of double delta function in Feynman rules

[1] A very simple example of feynman rule for scalar fields. After computing the diagram i have got the following: $$ -i(2\pi)^4g^2\int d^4q \frac{i}{q^2 -m^2c^2}\delta^{(4)}(p_1 - p_3 -q) ...
3
votes
1answer
343 views

Crazy Dirac Deltas

I'm not expecting any rigor in the following and the answers...since we're dealing with Dirac deltas in the context of QFT. Consider the integral $$ \int d^4q\ \Theta(q_0)\Theta(p_{3,0}+q_0)\ ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
244 views

Distributions (e.g., Dirac Delta): confused and unhappy [closed]

I am sorry that the following set of questions is very fuzzy and ill informed. I am a trained mathematician and now studying an undergraduate theoretical physics course. We use distributions. I have ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Delta Dirac Charge Density question

I have to write an expression for the charge density $\rho(\vec{r})$ of a point charge $q$ at $\vec{r}^{\prime}$, ensuring that the volume integral equals $q$. The only place any charge exists is at ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
297 views

What is the most natural value of Heaviside step function at zero argument?

In many physical applications, the Heaviside step fuction is defined as $$H(x) = \left\{\begin{eqnarray} 1, \quad x>0 \\ 0, \quad x<0 \end{eqnarray}\right.$$ The value $H(0)$ is left undefined. ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

Open problem? Square of the wave function $\Psi(x)_{x_o} = \delta(x-x_0)$ of a particle localized at a point $x_0$?

Does anybody know the status of the problem to define the wave function (non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics) of a particle localized at a definite point? Landau-Lifshitz says in chapter 1 that this ...
2
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
171 views

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 $$ ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

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] ~ ...
2
votes
2answers
76 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
374 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
258 views

How does that Boltzmann distribution interact with entropy?

In an ideal gas, the Boltzmann distribution predicts a distribution of particle energies $E_i$ proportional to $ge^{-E_i/k_bT}$. But, doesn't entropy dictate that the system will always progress ...