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20
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5answers
13k views

The meaning of imaginary time

What is imaginary (or complex) time? I was reading about Hawking's wave function of the universe and this topic came up. If imaginary mass and similar imaginary quantities do not make sense in ...
20
votes
1answer
494 views

What is the status of Witten's and Vafa's argument that the QCD vacuum energy is a minimum for zero $\theta$ angle?

The argument, which I reproduce here from Ramond's `Journies BSM', is originally by Witten and Vafa in ($\it{Phys}$. $\it{Rev}$. $\it{Lett}$. 53, 535(1984)). The argument is that for $\theta = 0 $ ...
16
votes
0answers
530 views

Does the existence of instantons imply non-trivial cohomology of spacetime?

Gauge theories are considered to live on $G$-principal bundles $P$ over the spacetime $\Sigma$. For convenience, the usual text often either compactify $\Sigma$ or assume it is already compact. An ...
15
votes
1answer
886 views

Instantons, anomalies, and 1-loop effects

A symmetry is anomalous when the path-integral measure does not respect it. One way this manifests itself is in the inability to regularize certain diagrams containing fermion loops in a way ...
15
votes
1answer
219 views

Instantons and Non Perturbative Amplitudes in Gravity

In perturbative QFT in flat spacetime the perturbation expansion typically does not converge, and estimates of the large order behaviour of perturbative amplitudes reveals ambiguity of the ...
14
votes
1answer
132 views

Instanton Moduli Space with a Surface Operator

I would like to understand the mathematical language which is relevant to instanton moduli space with a surface operator. Alday and Tachikawa stated in 1005.4469 that the following moduli spaces are ...
12
votes
1answer
568 views

The Origins of Instantons from Path Integrals

I know that you can come across non-perturbative effects in QFT, particular when the coupling constant lies outside the radius of convergence of the asympototic perturbation series. From the ...
9
votes
1answer
491 views

How do instantons cause vacuum decay?

From what I read about on instantons (Zee, QFT in a Nutshell, pg 309-310), an instanton is a vacuum solution that maps $S^3 \rightarrow S^3$ (the boundary of Euclideanized spacetime), which comes from ...
7
votes
1answer
341 views

Understanding multiple instanton contributions to vacuum tunneling in a double potential well

I'm trying to understand the method of calculating the transition probability of one vacuum state to another in a double well potential, using instantons. The reference I am following is Sidney ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Do instantons support quantum bound states?

When one quantizes a scalar in the 1+1 dimensions in the kink background of a double well potential, one finds a spectrum that includes: (1) a zero mode corresponding to the classical particle ...
7
votes
3answers
719 views

Solving Quantum Tunnelling Without Wick Rotation

Edit It seems that I haven't written my question clearly enough, so I will try to develop more using the example of quantum tunnelling. As a disclaimer, I want to state that my question is not about ...
7
votes
0answers
313 views

Instantons and Borel Resummation

As explained in Weinberg's The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume 2, Chapter 20.7 Renormalons, instantons are a known source of poles in the Borel transform of the perturbative series. These poles are ...
6
votes
2answers
228 views

Ambiguity in Asymptotic Perturbative Series and Instantons

I know there are a number of questions about the asymptoticity of perturbative series and about instantons on StackExchange (e.g. Instantons and Non Perturbative Amplitudes in Gravity from user566, ...
6
votes
0answers
209 views

Could sphaleron-induced proton decay also cause vacuum decay?

I will say right away that I don't mean standard-model sphalerons, I mean the sphalerons of some extension of the standard model. The reason to even think about this is last year's paper by Frampton ...
6
votes
0answers
182 views

What is the rate of B violation expected in the standard model during high energy collisions?

In a recent question Can colliders detect B violation? I asked about detecting B violation in collisions. Here I am interested in the theory aspect. (I asked both questions originally in the same ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Two expressions for topological instanton number

I have begun to study instantons and I have the following difficulty: $\newcommand{tr}{\operatorname{Tr}}$ I am considering theory with $SU(2)$ gauge group: $S=\frac{1}{2g^{2}}\int \tr ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

4D instantons and the moduli space of N=2 on R^3 x S^1

I am reading the paper arXiv:0807.4723 by Gaiotto, Moore, and Neitzke on wall-crossing. I would like to understand whether if the Darboux coordinates in the mutually non-local case contain the ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

Can massive fermions have zero modes?

I'm confused about fermion zero modes in relation to instantons. I understand that instantons can create fermion zero modes, but it's not clear to me when a fermion has a zero mode. For example, ...
4
votes
2answers
166 views

What constitutes a 'reliable' instanton calculation?

In Modern Supersymmetry, John Terning, on pgs 151, and 153 performs a so called 'reliable' instanton calculation when dealing with the ADS superpotential 'since the gauge group is completely broken'. ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

The relation between classical and quantum vacua

First let me clarify what I mean by vacuum. Suppose we are concerned with a theory of fields $\phi ^i$ defined on a stationary globally hyperbolic spacetime $M$ (I want the spacetime to be stationary ...
4
votes
1answer
513 views

Yang-Mills instanton

How can instanton solution to Yang-Mills theory with gauge group $SU(3)$ or $SU(N)$ be obtained? For $SU(2)$ it is explained in textbooks but what about more general color gauge groups? EDIT: How ...
4
votes
0answers
96 views

Why is the Taub-NUT instanton singular at $\theta=\pi$?

Consider the following metric $$ds^2=V(dx+4m(1-\cos\theta)d\phi)^2+\frac{1}{V}(dr+r^2d\theta^2+r^2\sin^2\theta{}d\phi^2),$$ where $$V=1+\frac{4m}{r}.$$ That is the Taub-NUT instanton. I have been ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

How can I understand the tunneling problem by Euclidean path integral where the quadratic fluctuation has a negative eigenvalue?

I came across the S. Coleman's seminal papers 'Fate of the false vacuum' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.15.2929, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.16.1762) where he describes the tunneling ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

electric, magnetic and level quantization for a SU(N), SO(N) and a compact U(1) Chern-Simons theory

Imagine three different worlds describe by three theories (I), (II), (III). Theory (I) - compact U(1) Chern-Simons: A compact U(1) Chern-Simons theory with magnetic monopole charges $m_1$. ...
3
votes
1answer
63 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
109 views

How can I understand instantons as sheaves?

In specific, instantons are considered or interpeted as torsion free coherent sheaves. Why is that the case? Is there a nice way to understand this relation and of course also understand how the two ...
3
votes
1answer
406 views

difference between instantons and sphalerons

What is the difference between instantons and sphalerons? If they are different, how do they violate baryon and lepton number in the standard electroweak theory?
3
votes
1answer
114 views

What are the definition and examples of topological excitation?

I read topological excitation in wiki, while it's too brief. What is the precise definition of topological excitation? And can give me some examples and explain why they are topological excitation? ...
3
votes
1answer
465 views

Instantons in Witten's supersymmetry and Morse theory

I'm reading Witten's paper on supersymmetry and Morse theory and am confused about the details of the instanton calculation which he uses to define a Morse complex (beginning at page 11 of the pdf) . ...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Instanton in sine-Gordon equation

This is a statement from Giamarchi's book on Quantum Physics in 1D: "For a single-particle in a cosine potential, the slightest amount of tunneling between two cosine minima leads to conduction ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

Topological terms VEVs and ghosts

Suppose we have the Standard model, and we want to calculate with VEVs of topological susceptibilities of $SU_{L}(2), U_{Y}(1)$ and $SU_{c}(3)$ fields, which have the form $$ \tag 1 \kappa \equiv ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

Does Type IIB string theory feature D(-1) and D9 branes?

I'm slightly confused as to how one deduces the D-brane content of a string theory by studying the p-form fields in the effective field theory. In type IIB supergravity one has: The Kalb-Ramond ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

Are there instantonic corrections to continuously degenerate vacua?

In the case of discretely degenerate vacua, for example in the double well potential, there are instantonic corrections to the energies. The degeneracy is lifted, and the true vacuum becomes a ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

A Variation on Laplace's equation (context: Yang-Mills N-Instantons, Rajaraman's book)

Statement of the problem I need to solve the equation \begin{align} 0 = \frac{1}{\phi} \partial_{\sigma}\partial_{\sigma} \phi \hspace{20mm} (1) \end{align} where $\phi$ is a scalar field and ...
2
votes
0answers
128 views

Intuition behind Nekreasov's instanton partition function. What do the partitions represent exactly?

I am struggling to understand many things behind Nekrasov's solution. Firstly I want to understand the following In this theory, $a$ represents VEVs the Higgs scalar. So, is the gauge field of the ...
2
votes
0answers
112 views

Why instantons can not cause confinement in 4d?

I am reading Aspects of Symmetry by Sidney Coleman. More specifically I am trying to learn about instantons, and I would like some clarifications. In chapter 7, section 4. he derives confinement in ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

manipulations with SU(N) Nekrasov partition function

Think of a Young tableau $R$ as collection of rows $y_1 \geq ... \geq y_d > y_{d+1}=0$ and all others zero, with $\ell(Y):= \sum_j y_j$ and for a box $s=(i,j)\in R$ we have $a_Y(s):=y_i-j$ and ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

't Hooft many instanton solutions

I'm study 't Hooft many instanton solutions of self-duality equation. In this method $A^a_\mu=-\bar{\eta}^{a}_{\mu\nu}\partial^\nu \ln{\Phi}$. After substitution in self-duality equation I've proven ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Proof for the Mass gap of non-chiral Luttinger liquids with a Cosine potential

Similar to this post, I believe in condensed matter, people know the mass-gap statement for non-chiral Luttinger liquids with large $g \cos(\beta_{}^{} \cdot\phi_{})$ potential. This is the ...
1
vote
1answer
546 views

About solitons, what is the difference between kinks and vortices?

I am reading papers about solitons for my small reports, and i could not understand its physical meaning in detail. I know soliton is solitary wave which behaves like particle. And many text they ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Few basic questions about instantons

For the $SU(2)$ Yang-Mill's theory, (1) how can one understand that the finite action solutions of the Euclidean equations of motion (called Instantons) exhibit tunneling effects? (2) Since, this ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Instantons as a -1 dimensional object

I don't know much about Instantons, and looking through the Wiki page it seems like one must have a lot of knowledge about QFT to understand them. However recently I've encountered a statement (which ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Translational versus dilatational zero modes?

Why are the zero modes of the SU(2) Yang Mills instanton referred to as translational or dilatational zero modes? Is this standard terminology?
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Is it possible to have the principle of least action and multiple solutions?

This is possibly a silly question but when we derive the equations of motion of a particle using the principle of least action. We must assume that there is a single minimum (for a fixed choice of ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Euclidean functional Integrals

In the chapter "Uses of Instantons" from the book "aspects of symmetry" by Sidney Coleman I have come across the euclidean version of the path integral in semi-classical approximation. To evaluate the ...
1
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0answers
64 views

Instantons and Fivebranes

What is the general relationship between instantons and fivebranes? In the paper ``Magnetic Monopoles in String Theory'' by Gauntlett, Harvey and Liu, the authors state the fivebrane ansatz of ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Neutron dipole moment and $\theta -$term

In many references is stated that by having QCD $\theta -$term, $$ L_{\theta} = \frac{g_{s}^{2}}{8 \pi^{2}}\theta F \wedge F, $$ we may compute the value of neutron dipole moment, $$ d \approx ...
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0answers
38 views
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0answers
27 views

Few questions about SM baryogenesis

SM provides baryogenesis via leptogenesis due to anomalies and sphaleron processes. I have a few questions on it. How exactly the anomalies in lepton and baryon currents provide convertation of ...
1
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0answers
67 views

Instantons and confinement

Do instantons tell us something about behavior of QCD when lowering an energies? I.e., is it possible that instantons provide confinement? Are there some calculations which tell us that instantons ...