A gauge theory has internal degrees of freedom that do not affect the foretold physical outcomes of the theory. The theory has a Lie group of *continuous symmetries* of these internal degrees of freedom, *i.e.* the predicted physics under any transformation in this group on the degrees of freedom. ...

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56
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4answers
5k views

Gauge symmetry is not a symmetry?

I have read before in one of Seiberg's articles something like, that gauge symmetry is not a symmetry but a redundancy in our description, by introducing fake degrees of freedom to facilitate ...
30
votes
0answers
837 views

On the Coulomb branch of N=2 supersymmetric gauge theory

The chiral ring of the Coulomb branch of a 4D $\mathcal N=2$ supersymmetric gauge theory is given by the Casimirs of the vector multiplet scalars, and they don't have non-trivial relations; the ...
22
votes
0answers
184 views

Systematic approach to deriving equations of collective field theory to any order

The collective field theory (see nLab for a list of main historical references) which came up as a generalization of the Bohm-Pines method in treating plasma oscillations are often used in the study ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a T-dual of Witten's twistor topological string theory?

In late 2003, Edward Witten released a paper that revived the interest in Roger Penrose's twistors among particle physicists. The scattering amplitudes of gluons in $N=4$ gauge theory in four ...
19
votes
4answers
466 views

Which exact solutions of the classical Yang-Mills equations are known?

I'm interested in the pure gauge (no matter fields) case on Minkowski spacetime with simple gauge groups. It would be nice if someone can find a review article discussing all such solutions EDIT: I ...
16
votes
1answer
226 views

Models of higher Chern-Simons type

It has long been clear that (the action functional of) Chern-Simons theory has various higher analogs and variations of interest. This includes of course traditional higher dimensional Chern-Simons ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Diff(M) as a gauge group and local observables in theories with gravity

In a gauge theory like QED a gauge transformation transforms one mathematical representation of a physical system to another mathematical representation of the same system, where the two mathematical ...
15
votes
2answers
374 views

Coulomb gauge fixing and “normalizability”

The Setup Let Greek indices be summed over $0,1,\dots, d$ and Latin indices over $1,2,\dots, d$. Consider a vector potential $A_\mu$ on $\mathbb R^{d,1}$ defined to gauge transform as $$ A_\mu\to ...
13
votes
1answer
167 views

realization of: CFT generating fuction = AdS partition function

An important aspect of the AdS/CFT correspondence is the recipe to compute correlation functions of a boundary operator $\mathcal{O} $ in terms of the supergravity fields in the interior of the ...
13
votes
4answers
751 views

To which extent is general relativity a gauge theory?

In quantum mechanics, we know that a change of frame -- a gauge transform -- leaves the probability of an outcome measurement invariant (well, the square modulus of the wave-function, i.e. the ...
13
votes
2answers
460 views

Hilbert Space of (quantum) Gauge theory

Since quantum Gauge theory is a quantum mechanical theory, whether someone could explain how to construct and write down the Hilbert Space of quantum Gauge theory with spin-S. (Are there something ...
13
votes
2answers
270 views

Normalization of the Chern-Simons level in $SO(N)$ gauge theory

In a 3d SU(N) gauge theory with action $\frac{k}{4\pi} \int \mathrm{Tr} (A \wedge dA + \frac{2}{3} A \wedge A \wedge A)$, where the generators are normalized to $\mathrm{Tr}(T^a ...
13
votes
4answers
689 views

Can we measure an electromagnetic field?

As far as I can check, the Aharonov-Bohm effect is not -- contrary to what is claimed in the historical paper -- a demonstration that the vector potential $A$ has an intrinsic existence in quantum ...
12
votes
2answers
510 views

Gauge fields — why are they traceless hermitian?

A gauge field is introduced in the theory to preserve local gauge invariance. And this field (matrix) is expanded in terms of the generators, which is possible because the gauge field is traceless ...
12
votes
2answers
269 views

Topological twists of SUSY gauge theory

Consider $N=4$ super-symmetric gauge theory in 4 dimensions with gauge group $G$. As is explained in the beginning of the paper of Kapustin and Witten on geometric Langlands, this theory has 3 ...
12
votes
1answer
345 views

What is a “free” non-Abelian Yang-Mill's theory?

I hope this question will not be closed down as something completely trivial! I did not think about this question till in recent past I came across papers which seemed to write down pretty much ...
12
votes
1answer
139 views

Are possible gauge fields in a Lagrangian theory always determined by the structure of the charged degrees of freedom?

An elementary example to explain what I mean. Consider introducing a classical point particle with a Lagrangian $L(\mathbf{q} ,\dot{\mathbf{q}}, t)$. The most general gauge transformation is $L ...
12
votes
2answers
329 views

How do we know we've unified two interactions?

What is the precise definition of unification of fields (in classical and quantum mechanics)? In general, does unification of a field mean that we can write both of them at both sides of an equation ...
11
votes
3answers
625 views

Why am I wrong about how to view gauge theory?

Edit: I know there have been some similar questions but I don't think any had quite articulated my particular confusion. If gauge symmetries are really just redundancies in our description accounting ...
11
votes
2answers
265 views

Gauge invariance for electromagnetic potential observables in test function form

This is a reference request for a relationship in quantum field theory between the electromagnetic potential and the electromagnetic field when they are presented in test function form. $U(1)$ gauge ...
11
votes
2answers
482 views

Gauge invariance and diffeomorphism invariance in Chern-Simons theory

I have studied Chern-Simons (CS) theory somewhat and I am puzzled by the question of how diff. and gauge invariance in CS theory are related, e.g. in $SU(2)$ CS theory. In particular, I would like to ...
11
votes
1answer
208 views

**Group structure** in Chern-Simons theory?

A non-Abelian Chern-Simons(C-S) has the action $$ S=\int L dt=\int \frac{k}{4\pi}Tr[\big( A \wedge d A + (2/3) A \wedge A \wedge A \big)] $$ We know that the common cases, $A=A^a T^a$ is the ...
11
votes
1answer
282 views

How can two time theories be compactified to 3+1 without any Kaluza-Klein remnants

I have recently been looking into the two-time theories and the implied concepts. For me this seems slightly hard to grasp. How can I see the basic concept in this theory in a fundamental way based ...
10
votes
4answers
640 views

Nonlinear optics as gauge theory

the widely used approach to nonlinear optics is a Taylor expansion of the dielectric displacement field $\mathbf{D} = \epsilon_0\cdot\mathbf{E} + \mathbf{P}$ in a Fourier representation of the ...
10
votes
1answer
243 views

Chern-Simons theory

In Witten's paper on QFT and the Jones polynomial, he quantizes the Chern-Simons Lagrangian on $\Sigma\times \mathbb{R}^1$ for two case: (1) $\Sigma$ has no marked points (i.e., no Wilson loops) and ...
10
votes
3answers
891 views

Is it really proper to say Ward identity is a consequence of gauge invariance?

Many (if not all) of the materials I've read claim Ward identity is a consequence of gauge invariance of the theory, while actually their derivations only make use of current conservation ...
10
votes
1answer
277 views

What is the meaning of non-compactness in the context of $U(1)$ in gauge theories?

In John Preskill's review of monopoles he states Nowadays, we have another way of understanding why electric charge is quantized. Charge is quantized if the electromagnetic U(l)em gauge group ...
10
votes
1answer
352 views

How does the Ward-Takahashi Identity imply that non-transverse photons are unphysical in QED?

Peskin and Schroeder say that the Ward Identity of QED proves that non-transverse photon polarizations can be consistently ignored, but I'm confused about the details. Setup One starts by ...
10
votes
1answer
504 views

argument about fallacy of diff(M) being a gauge group for general relativity

I want to outline a solid argument (or bulletpoints) to show how weak is the idea of diff(M) being the gauge group of general relativity. basically i have these points that in my view are very solid ...
10
votes
1answer
175 views

Phase Structure of (Quantum) Gauge Theory

Question: How to classify/characterize the phase structure of (quantum) gauge theory? Gauge Theory (say with a gauge group $G_g$) is a powerful quantum field theoretic(QFT) tool to describe ...
9
votes
1answer
42 views

Dual Pairs in Four Dimensions

Following the conversation here, I am wondering if anyone knows of an example of dual pair with 4-dimensional N=1 SUSY which relates a non-Abelian gauge theory on one side to a theory with a ...
9
votes
1answer
227 views

Anomalies for not-on-site discrete gauge symmetries

If a symmetry group $G$ (let's say finite for simplicity) acts on a lattice theory by acting only on the vertex variables, I will call it ultralocal. Any ultralocal symmetry can be gauged. However, in ...
9
votes
1answer
361 views

Large and small gauge transformations?

I've a questions about the difference between small and large gauge transformations (a small gauge transformation tends to the identity at spatial infinity, whereas the large transformations don't). ...
9
votes
1answer
358 views

How to determine if an emergent gauge theory is deconfined or not?

2+1D lattice gauge theory can emerge in a spin system through fractionalization. Usually if the gauge structure is broken down to $\mathbb{Z}_N$, it is believed that the fractionalized spinons are ...
9
votes
2answers
216 views

What forbids the existence of a $\lambda (A^\mu A_\mu)^2$ term in the Stueckelberg action?

In QFT, the Stueckelberg "trick" is often used to show how one can write a fully gauge invariant Lagrangian out of one that is not. For example, if we have $\mathcal{L} = ...
9
votes
1answer
480 views

Discrete gauge theories

I'm trying to understand a particular case of gauge theories, namely discrete spaces on which a group G can act transitively, with a gauge group H which is discrete as well. From what I've already ...
9
votes
0answers
182 views

How does the Super-Kamiokande experiment falsify SU(5)?

In his book "The Trouble With Physics", Lee Smolin writes that he is still stunned by the falsification of the $SU(5)$ Georgi-Glashow model by the null results of proton decay experiments. I should ...
9
votes
0answers
546 views

Gauge redundancies and global symmetries

It is often said that local (gauge) transformation is only redundancy of description of spin one massless particles, to make the number degrees of freedom from three to two. It is often said that ...
8
votes
2answers
210 views

Is ghost-number a physical reality/observable?

One perspective is to say that one introduced the ghost fields into the Lagrangian to be able to write the gauge transformation determinant as a path-integral. Hence I was tempted to think of them as ...
8
votes
2answers
297 views

How to prove quantum N=4 Super-Yang-Mills is superconformal?

I'm especially interested in elegant illuminating proofs which don't involve a lot of straightforward technical computations Also, does a non-perturbative proof exist?
8
votes
2answers
231 views

Obtaining supergravity from gauging global supersymmetry

On page 92, my still favorite supersymmetry book says, by making the global infinitisimal parameter of a SUSY tranformation spacetitime dependent (gauging) it forces one to introduce a new gauge field ...
8
votes
2answers
370 views

Geometrical significance of gauge invariance of the QED Lagrangian

The QED Lagrangian is invariant under $\psi(x) \to e^{i\alpha(x)} \psi (x)$, $A_{\mu} \to A_{\mu}- \frac{1}{e}\partial_{\mu}\alpha(x)$. What is the geometric significance of this result? Also why is ...
8
votes
1answer
196 views

Global Chern-Simons forms and topological gauge theories

I am reading the classic Dijkgraaf and Witten paper on topological gauge theories and something struck me that I didn't understand. For a trivial bundle $E$ on smooth 3-manifold $M$ with compact ...
8
votes
3answers
333 views

Chern-Simons degrees of freedom

I'm currently reading the paper http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9405171 by Banados. I am just getting acquainted with the details of Chern-Simons theory, and I'm hoping that someone can explain/elaborate ...
8
votes
1answer
192 views

Understanding Elitzur's theorem from Polyakov's simple argument?

I was reading through the first chapter of Polyakov's book "Gauge-fields and Strings" and couldn't understand a hand-wavy argument he makes to explain why in systems with discrete gauge-symmetry only ...
8
votes
1answer
164 views

Sign in the photon propagator

The Klein Gordon propagator is given (I use Peskin and Schroeder's conventions, if it matters...), \begin{equation} \frac{ i }{ p ^2 - m ^2 + i \epsilon } \end{equation} The photon propagator ...
8
votes
1answer
95 views

Complex Representation of a gauge group and a Chiral Gauge Theory

In this John Preskill et al paper, a statement is made in page 1: We will refer to a gauge theory with fermions transforming as a complex representation of the gauge group as a chiral gauge ...
8
votes
0answers
125 views

Gauge fields in Polyakov's treatment of renormalization for nonlinear sigma model

I am deriving the results of renormalization for nonlinear sigma model using Polyakov approach. I am closely following chapter 2 of Polyakov's book--- ``Gauge fields and strings''. Action for the ...
7
votes
2answers
262 views

What is the origin of the factor of $-1/4$ in the Maxwell Lagrangian?

I have seen numerous 'derivations' of the Maxwell Lagrangian, $$\mathcal{L} ~=~ -\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu},$$ but every one has sneakily inserted a factor of $-1/4$ without explaining why. ...
7
votes
4answers
887 views

How many fundamental forces could there be?

We’re told that ‘all forces are gauge forces’. The process seems to start with the Lagrangian corresponding to a particle-type, then the application of a local gauge symmetry leading to the emergence ...