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4
votes
1answer
93 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
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Fields in the action of the Non-linear Sigma Model (WZW)

I am trying to understand the action of the nonlinear sigma model in the context of understanding WZW-models. On Wikipedia, its action is given as $S_k\left(\gamma\right)=-\frac{k}{8\pi}\int_{S^2}\...
9
votes
0answers
90 views

Is it known what the necessary and sufficient conditions are for the existence of a “3+1 split” (by means of a foliation) of a (Lorentzian) manifold?

When trying to do physics on a more general pseudo-Riemannian manifold we want to require that there is a foliation of this manifold into three-dimensional subspaces. By this I mean we would like to ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

QFT: Limits in Time Ordered Correlation Function Derivation

Background In part of the derivation for the time ordered correlation function I have the following equation (This equation I am fine with - it is what follows that I am not), $$ \int\mathcal{D}\...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Free Complex scalar field and conservation principle

In a free complex scalar field, the difference between the number of Particles and antiparticles is conserved. This constarint can be satisfied with a simultaneous creation of equal number of ...
3
votes
3answers
152 views

What is the point of complex fields in classical field theory?

I see a lot of books/lectures about classical field theory making use of complex scalar fields. However why complex fields are used in the first place is often not really motivated. Sometimes one can ...
17
votes
2answers
433 views

Can one write down a Hamiltonian in the absence of a Lagrangian?

How can I define the Hamiltonian independent of the Lagrangian? For instance, let's assume that i have a set of field equations that cannot be integrated to an action. Is there any prescription to ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

What is the limit of the finite solenoid equation?

I'm trying to work out how long to make solenoid in order that the field is uniform over a certain length. I was wondering if there was a formula for this or any rule of thumb? I know the field inside ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How can I prove that the axionic field is a pseudoscalar?

My professor has given me the following action stating that $a(x)$ is an axionic field and told us in class that for this action to be Lorentz invariant the field must be a pseudoscalar. $$ S = -\int ...
-1
votes
2answers
158 views

Super massive Black Hole and photon reduction [closed]

This is a picture of 2 galaxies taken from The Hubble. The arrow shows a smaller galaxy's black hole starving of the usual stars because of the binary rotation about the bigger galaxy that is pulling ...
0
votes
1answer
379 views

Euclidean classical action

This is the Euclidean classical action $S_{cl}[\phi]=\int d^{4}x\ (\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\mu}\phi)^{2}+U(\phi))$. It would be nice if somebody could explain the structure of the potential. I don't ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

General principles require that a massless vector couple to a conserved current?

I have a quote from Introduction to Bosonic Strings by Polchinski on page 28 which is presented below: "General principles require that a massless vector couple to a conserved current and ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

State counting in the d = 1+2, $\cal{N} = 2$ vector multiplet

The question is from Box 8.2, page 282 of the book "Gauge Gravity Duality" by Ammon and Erdmenger. The link to the specific page from Google Books is here. According to the authors, a $\mathcal{N} = ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Reparametrization invariance in scalar QFT: What does it mean, exactly?

In the Cecotti's book "Supersymmetric Field Theories" he wrote " Physical quantities are independent of the fields we use to parametrize the configuration, that is, observables are invariant under ...
6
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Higher order Lagrangians [duplicate]

Recently I have read some papers in which the authors considered higher order lagrangians. For example, in this paper "A path integral leading to higher-order Lagrangians" by C.Acatrinei the higher ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

What is populating a force “field”? [closed]

What "matter" is populating a force "field"? It can't be actually empty?
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Are there conserved quantities in field theory which don't arise from Noether's Theorem?

In some QFT texts one writes down the number operator $N$ for free theories, such that when acting on an $n$-particle state $|n\rangle$ we have $$N|n\rangle=n|n\rangle$$ In free theories this is a ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Why do some fields have a distance limit and other don't? [closed]

I'm not a mathematician or a physicist but interested in quantum mechanics/gravity/relativity. I'm trying to understand some ideas that are presented for laymen, and a lot of them talk about different ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

How is everything a field?

I've heard before that everything in physics can be thought of as either a field, or its excitation. Is there some intuitive explanation of how I can look at gravity, light, electromagnetism, etc as a ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Majorana fermions and the continuum limit of the Ising model

In Paolo Moligini's Analyzing the two dimensional Ising model with conformal field theory lecture notes, it is shown at the end of chapter 3 that the Lagrangian of the continuum limit of the Ising ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

What is the difference between the momentum in the Fourier transform of a scalar field and the conjugate momentum of the field?

What is the difference between the momentum $p$ in $e^{i\mathbf{p}\cdot{\mathbf{x}}}$ in the Fourier transform of a scalar field and the corresponding conjugate momenta $\pi(x)$ of the scalar field?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Why do $\psi_a$ and $\bar{\psi}_{\dot{\alpha}}$ represent two different degrees of freedom?

I am taking a course in QFT and I've been introduced to the concept of left-handed (undotted) and right-handed spinors (dotted). I know that left-handed spinors are associated with the irreducible ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

How to interpret the field configuration in quantum field theory?

We often use the Fock space as the start point for our quantum field theory. In the Fock space we have definite physical meanings for the state. For example, the state $$|k_1k_2...k_n\rangle$$ ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Non-perturbative effects: classical or quantum?

Are non-perturbative effects (solitons) classical or quantum effects (corrections) ? (examples ?) My confusion stems from the fact that, for instance, an instanton is a classical solution of the ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Simple conceptual question conformal field theory

I come up with this conclusion after reading some books and review articles on conformal field theory (CFT). CFT is a subset of FT such that the action is invariant under conformal transformation ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Magnetic field outside the solenoid

I found solution to problem 257 from "300 Creative Physics problems" hard to understand. In that problem we have very long solenoid with coil wounded in one layer. Data such as: density of turns, ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Relation between interaction Lagrangian and interaction Hamiltonian

I work with this interaction Lagrangian density $$\mathcal{L}_{int} = ia\bar{\Psi}\gamma^\mu\Psi Z_\mu +ib(\phi^\dagger\partial_\mu \phi - \partial_\mu\phi^\dagger \phi)Z^\mu,$$ where $Z^\mu$ is an ...
21
votes
1answer
394 views

What, to a physicist, are instantons and the Donaldson invariants?

I study gauge theory from a mathematical perspective. To me, one of the most fundamental ideas is the notion of an instanton on a 4-manifold. To be precise, I have a Riemannian 4-manifold and a ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Center of mass of a quantum field

In classical field theory the Noether conserved quantities associated to the translation symmetry are the momentum of the field $P^i = \int\! d^3 x\ T^{0i}$, where $T^{\mu \nu}$ is the energy-momentum ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Self Study Textbook Progression from QM to QFT? [duplicate]

Hello Physics StackExchange! I will put the TL;DR in the beginning: I need a self contained, relatively hand-holding sequence of textbooks that covers up from the end of Griffith's Intro to QM to ...
0
votes
1answer
238 views

Why four-point vertex function in $\phi^3$ theory?

So as I understand it the order of $\phi$ in a scalar Quantum field theory is indicative of the number of lines entering a given vertex. For example for $\phi^3$ this leads to vertices like the one ...
31
votes
1answer
1k views

Can lightning be used to solve NP-complete problems?

I'm a MS/BS computer science guy who is wondering about why lightning can't (or can?) be used to solve NP complete problems efficiently, but I don't understand the physics behind lightning, so I'm ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Stress-Energy Tensor of Riemann's Curvature Field

Einstein, in "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity," as well as most modern lecturers in the subject, use a pseudo-tensor for the stress-energy of the gravitational field. By ...
-1
votes
2answers
90 views

Fermion Lagrangian with linear momentum versus quadratic momentum

$$ L = \bar{\psi} (\gamma^\mu (p_\mu -A_\mu)- m)\psi \tag{1} $$ $$ L = \bar{\psi} ((\gamma^\mu( p_\mu-A_\mu))^2 - m^2)\psi \tag{2} $$ Is there a difference between the two Lagragians in equations 1 ...
3
votes
0answers
55 views

What is a field? [duplicate]

What is a field? Lengthy texts about fields have been published but none ever answer the simple question "What do you mean when you say the world field."
1
vote
1answer
149 views

Field theory: equivalence between Hamiltonian and Lagrangian formulation

Let $\mathscr{B}$ be a space of physics we have and $\mathscr{T}$ be the duration. Let $\mathscr{L}$ be a lagrangian density of the field such that the action is a functional of $\phi:\mathbb{R}^4\...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

How can we get the interaction hamilton $H_\text{int}$ from the Lagrange $L$?

After we quantize the free field we continue on determining the form of $H$. We can impose, by example: $$H=H_0+\lambda V_\text{int}$$ My question is, can we determine $H_\text{int}$ by the ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Non-abelian gauge covariant derivative acting on non-algebra-valued quantities

How does a gauge covariant derivative in a non-abelian field theory act on various quantities which are not valued in the algebra, and why? In particular, how does it act on a scalar valued function $...
0
votes
0answers
107 views

Book on Noether theorem and classical field theory

I couldn't follow the derivation of Noether theorem in my QFT book, and have some problems with classical field theory and functional derivatives etc. Is there a book which gives an introduction to ...
45
votes
9answers
4k views

Why are differential equations for fields in physics of order two?

What is the reason for the observation that across the board fields in physics are generally governed by second order (partial) differential equations? If someone on the street would flat out ask ...
3
votes
3answers
179 views

Interpretation of QED gauge freedom

In quantum (or classical) electrodynamics we are free to make gauge transformations, which change the form of terms in the Feynman diagrams (or the potentials) without affecting any physical ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Dimensions of $\phi$ in scalar field theory

On Srednicki page 90-91 (in printed edition) he derives that $$[\phi] = \frac{1}{2}(d-2) \tag{12.10}$$ from $${\cal L}=-\frac{1}{2}\partial^{\mu}\phi\partial_{\mu}\phi -\frac{1}{2}m^{2}\phi^{2} - \...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

What is the relation between dimension and Quantum Field Theory? How does different dimensions change QFT? [closed]

Does the quantisation rules & field operators for scalar or Dirac fields change with dimension? Most books wrote about 3 spatial dimensions, and then upgraded it to 4 spacetime dimensions, keeping ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

What happens when a field turns on or off?

Short Setup I am curious about the the mechanics of fields, whether electromagnetic, gravitational, etc. So as a specific example in order to simplify (hopefully) how to ask this question, consider ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

What does 'vector-like' mean?

What are properties of vector-like field/particle? What's the counterpart of it? Chiral like?
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Transformation Law for a scalar field [closed]

The following is taken from Peskin and Schroeder page 36: $$\partial_{\mu}\phi(x) \rightarrow \partial_{\mu}(\phi(\Lambda^{-1}x)) = (\Lambda^{-1})^{\nu}_{\mu}(\partial_{\nu}\phi)(\Lambda^{-1}x)$$ It ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Boundary conditions of fields from the stationary action principle

First principle of stationary action Consider a real Klein-Gordon scalar field $\phi$ living in a $D$ dimensional flat spacetime. The field is considered off shell (the on shell condition is defined ...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

Why is $V=(1/2) m^2 \phi^2$ for a free relativistic scalar field of mass $m$?

Bit of a basic question here but how come for a free relativistic scalar field of mass $m$ such as Klein Gordon theory, we take the potential to be $$V=\frac{1}{2} m^2 \phi^2$$ Is the mass term ...