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1answer
468 views

Generator of local symmetries

Let us only consider classical field theories in this discussion. Noether's theorem states that for every global symmetry, there exists a conserved current and a conserved charge. The charge is the ...
7
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1answer
879 views

U(1) Charged Fields

I don't quite understand what is actually meant by a field charged under a $U(1)$ symmetry. Does it mean that when a transformation is applied the field transforms with an additional phase? More ...
7
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1answer
232 views

Why does Einstein say contradictions arise from treating the EM field as lines of force?

EDIT - I have included the context of the quote I am interested in, as people seem to be as baffled by Einstein's quote as I am: In a 1920 address Einstein says this: Think of waves on the ...
7
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1answer
178 views

Relations between diffeomorphism symmetry theories and invariant $SU(N), N \rightarrow \infty$ theories

Is it possible to have, an exhaustive panorama (as much as possible), about the relations between theories having a diffeomorphism symmetry, and theories having a $SU(N), N\rightarrow\infty$ ...
7
votes
1answer
161 views

Gauge fixing of an arbitrary field

How to count the number of degrees of freedom of an arbitrary field (vector or tensor)? In other words, what is the mathematical procedure of gauge fixing?
7
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1answer
591 views

Is Bose-Einstein condensate a good example of a classical massive boson field?

Physically, we know that a BEC has formed if a macroscopic number of bosons occupy a single quantum state. The wave-function $\Psi(x)$ of the latter, normalized to the total number of condensed atoms ...
7
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1answer
287 views

effect of a simultaneous local and a global $U(1)$ symmetry breaking

EDIT : I am trying to figure out the effect of symmetry breaking in a $U(1)_Y\times U(1)_Z$ invariant lagrangian where $U(1)_Y$ is local symmetry of the Lagrangian and $U(1)_Z$ is a global symmetry of ...
7
votes
2answers
153 views

Can we make the Dirac representation a gauge theory?

I'm looking for comments and references about an idea : gauging the Dirac representation of the Dirac matrices. What kind of field interaction would it give ? Specifically, the Dirac equation is ...
7
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0answers
139 views

Electric charges on compact four-manifolds

Textbook wisdom in electromagnetism tells you that there is no total electric charge on a compact manifold. For example, consider space-time of the form $\mathbb{R} \times M_3$ where the first factor ...
6
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2answers
2k views

What does a Field Theory mean?

What exactly is a field theory? How do we classify theories as field theories and non field theories? EDIT: After reading the answers I am under the impression that almost every theory is a ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Gauge fixing choice for the gauge field $A_0$

In many situations, I have seen that the the author makes a gauge choice $A_0=0$, e.g. Manton in his paper on the force between the 't Hooft Polyakov monopole. Please can you provide me a ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Coordinate Transformation of Scalar Fields in QFT

By definition scalar fields are independent of coordinate system, thus I would expect a scalar field $\psi [x]$ would not change under the transformation $x^\mu \to x^\mu + \epsilon^\mu $. Correct? ...
6
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2answers
150 views

Beyond Hamiltonian and Lagrangian mechanics

Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations are the bedrock of particle and field theories, produce the same equations of motion, and are related through a Legendre transform. Are there more such ...
6
votes
1answer
299 views

What is meant by the term “value” of a scalar quantum field?

During the slow roll of a scalar field, the scalar field is changing its value over time. But what is meant by the term "value" of a scalar field? Since the scalar field is quantized, I don't ...
6
votes
1answer
397 views

Quantum Field Theory: why fields are equal to zero on the boundary?

One of the first assumptions, when introducing the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian in an undergraduate course on QFT is $$ \phi(x)=0\,\text{on the boundary} $$ and this is widely used in many situations (e....
6
votes
1answer
1k views

The equipartition theorem in momentum space

Motivated by the answers to this question on turbulence, I'm interested in an explanation and/or derivation/reference of the equipartition theorem in momentum space. To formulate it as a question: ...
6
votes
2answers
342 views

(Un)countability in QFT

I am a mathematician self-studying physics, and a currently working on QFT with Srednicki's book. One thing that bothers me is that for a scalar field (in the Hamiltonian version) there is a ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a chiral field?

I have not found a clear definition of this. A teacher told me that it was a field having some constrains but that is not very convincing for me. He told me also that some examples could be skyrme ...
6
votes
1answer
176 views

Intuition for actions written as integrals over spacetime

Right now I'm simply looking for an intuitive explaination of actions that integrate over a 4-volume element, $d^4x$ rather than a parameter say $\lambda$. More specifically I'm well versed in action ...
6
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2answers
613 views

From Lagrangian to Hamiltonian in Fermionic Model

While going from a given Lagrangian to Hamiltonian for a fermionic field, we use the following formula. $$ H = \Sigma_{i} \pi_i \dot{\phi_i} - L$$ where $\pi_i = \dfrac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{\...
6
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1answer
195 views

How do creation operators change with time in an interacting theory?

When studying the quantization of a field theory with free fields, the creation operators $a^\dagger(k)$ are independent of time. In an interacting theory, they are time-dependent, and therefore $a^\...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Local and Global Symmetries

Could somebody point me in the direction of a mathematically rigorous definition local symmetries and global symmetries for a given (classical) field theory? Heuristically I know that global ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the essence of BCFW recursion techniques?

I have recently briefly read about new methods as the Britto-Cachazo-Feng-Witten (BCFW) on-shell recursion method. Can anybody please tell me about the essence of it? What does it mean for the ...
6
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1answer
185 views

Transformation of photons under Lorentz transformation

This question is a continuation of one of my earlier post. In this post,I asked about the transformation of photon fields under rotation. Here I generalize the question to Lorentz transformation, and ...
6
votes
1answer
194 views

Cut-off Regularisation and Renormalisation in Scalar Field Theory, Deriving the Cutoff Independent Physical Mass

I'm having trouble reproducing Equation 42: \begin{equation}\tag{1} m^{2}_{\text{phys}}= m^{2}_{r} + m^{2}_{r} \tilde{\lambda} \text{log} \left( \dfrac{m^{2}_{r}}{\mu^{2}} \right) \end{equation} ...
6
votes
2answers
366 views

Is internal symmetry the same as gauge symmetry?

This is more a terminology question. I have seen that some people differentiate between the two types of symmetry: internal symmetry and gauge symmetry (of a field theory). Is there a difference (in ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

In which field theories with fermions do string- and fivebrane structures not come up?

A year ago, username @Greg Graviton asked in a thread here about the Spin group as covering of the spatial rotations. A subquestion was: What other groups, even larger than SU(2) are there that (...
6
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2answers
710 views

Winding number in the topology of magnetic monopoles

I am reading on magnetic monopoles from a variety of sources, eg. the Jeff Harvey lectures.. It talks about something called the winding $N$, which is used to calculate the magnetic flux. I searched ...
6
votes
1answer
84 views

Is there a systematic way to obtain all conserved quantities of a system?

I'd like to know whether, given a system, there's a way to obtain all the conserved quantities. For instance if the system consists of electric and magnetic fields, the fields must satisfy Maxwell's ...
6
votes
2answers
264 views

Mass generation by Chern-Simons theory

Why the mass generation via a Higgs mechanism is different from that of Chern-Simons theory? I haven't done any formal course in Quantum field theory,so how do I understand this just having some basic ...
6
votes
1answer
277 views

Proof that we can always find a gauge transformation such that $A_0=0$?

I'm trying to follow Coleman's proof from his lectures "Aspects of Symmetry" on page 200-201. He proofs it is always possible to work in the temporal gauge for a general Yang-Mills-Higgs theory. I ...
6
votes
1answer
474 views

Electromagnetic 4-potential and basic index contraction

I'm trying to learn about relativistic electrodynamics on my own, and I am struggling with derivatives of the 4-potential and index (Einstein) notation. I think I understand expressions such as $\...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Use partial or covariant derivatives when deriving equations of a field theory?

I feel like this question has been asked before but I can't find it. would the Euler Lagrange equation for, say, the standard model Lagrangian be $$\frac{\partial L}{\partial \phi}=\partial_\mu \frac{\...
6
votes
1answer
334 views

Noether's identities

I have some questions about the Noether's second theorem (generally not covered by field theory books): What is the most general Noether identity for (classical) field theories? Why are Noether ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
244 views

Performing Wick Rotation to get Euclidean action of scalar field

I'm working with the signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and with a Minkowski space-stime Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}_M = \Psi^\dagger\left(i\partial_0 + \frac{\nabla^2}{2m}\right)\Psi $$ The Minkowski action is $$ ...
6
votes
0answers
246 views

Peskin-Schroeder Problem 3.5, supersymmetric theories regarded as field theories on parameter space w/commuting & anticommuting coordinates?

I know how to do Problem 3.5 of Peskin-Schroeder. Let us organize the fields $\phi$, $\chi_\alpha$, $F$ of Problem 3.5 into a superfield$$\Phi(x + i\theta\sigma\overline{\theta}, \theta) = \phi(x) + \...
6
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0answers
115 views

The consistency conditions of constrained Hamiltonian systems

I am studying the Hamiltonian description of a constrained system. There are some questions puzzled me for days, which I have been stuck on it. From the lagrangian, we can obtain the primary ...
6
votes
0answers
218 views

Are there known turbulent nonlinear equations where the cascade is a thermal gradient?

In a recent answer (here: The equipartition theorem in momentum space ), I suggested that if you have an appropriate first order equation (in the answer I used a second order equation, but it is more ...
5
votes
3answers
943 views

Meaning of kinetic part in the Lagrangian density?

What is the physical meaning of the kinetic term in the classical scalar field Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}_{kin}~=~\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi)(\partial^\mu\phi)~?$$ It gives how does the field change ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Are the field lines the same as the trajectories of a particle with initial velocity zero

Is it true that the field lines of an electric field are identical to the trajectories of a charged particle with initial velocity zero? If so, how can one prove it? The claim is from a german ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Why can the bra and ket be varied independently?

Given a functional which depends on a function (ket), and its complex conjugate (bra), e.g. $$F[\varphi] = \langle \varphi|\hat{F}|\varphi\rangle = \int \varphi^{*}(\mathbf{r}) \hat{F} \varphi(\...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the fundamental representation in field theory?

In field theory we associate to each Gauge theory a continuous group of local transformations (a Gauge group), and then we require\define fermion fields to be irreducible representations belonging to ...
5
votes
1answer
352 views

formal framework for talking about 'minimal couplings'

usually on physical theories one would have Lagrangians or Hamiltonians with multiple fields; say, a vector $A_{\mu}$ and a scalar $\phi$ and one would postulate ad hoc a coupling between the fields ...
5
votes
1answer
282 views

Translations and Noether's Theorem

I'm fine with $U(1)$ symmetry and Noether's Theorem, but struggling with the translations of the field; namely $$\phi'(x^{\mu})=\phi(x^{\mu}-a^{\mu}),$$ where $a^{\mu}$ constant four-vector $$x^{\...
5
votes
1answer
756 views

Einstein's Field equations and impulse-energy tensor

I premise that I haven't yet studied General Relativity, but in Relativistic Electrodymaics I have knowed impulse-energy tensor of Electromagnetic Field. I know in Einstein's equations there is ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

Yang-Mills potential and principal bundles

In section 2.7.2 of Bertlmann's "Anomalies in quantum field theory", it is stated that since a non-trivial principal bundle (based on a Lie group $G$) does not admit a global section, the Yang-Mills ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

Non-Euclidean mechanics; is it useful?

Special relativity has the following single-particle Lagrangian: $$S = \int_{t_0}^{t_f}\sqrt {\langle \mathrm d\vec{s},\mathrm d\vec{s}\rangle}.$$ Clearly it is based on Euclidean norms; it is in ...
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votes
5answers
477 views

Euler-Lagrange equation for continuous systems

I'm having a little trouble with wrapping my head around a part of a method which is fairly 'new' in some fashions to me. I imagine it should be fairly obvious, but I am not seeing something at the ...
5
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1answer
155 views

Unitary gauge for non-abelian case

I'm reading Chapter 19 of Mandle and Shaw's Quantum field theory. In the first section it is explained that one can go with a $SU(2)$ followed by a $U(1)$ transformation from $$\begin{bmatrix}\eta_1(x)...