The tag has no wiki summary.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

67
votes
8answers
7k views

The speed of gravity?

Sorry for the layman question, but it's not my field. Suppose this thought experiment is performed. Light takes 8 minutes to go from the surface of the Sun to Earth. Imagine the Sun is suddenly ...
48
votes
8answers
9k views

Why is quantum entanglement considered to be an active link between particles?

From everything I've read about quantum mechanics and quantum entanglement phenomena, it's not obvious to me why quantum entanglement is considered to be an active link. That is, it's stated every ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Definitions: 'locality' vs 'causality'

I'm having trouble unambiguously interpreting many answers here due to the fact that the terms locality and causality are sometimes used interchangeably, while other times seem to mean very different ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views
16
votes
1answer
339 views

Is string theory local?

By locality I mean something like the Atiyah-Segal axioms for Riemannian cobordisms (see e.g. http://ncatlab.org/nlab/show/FQFT). I.e. to any (spacelike) hypersurface in the target we associate a ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What combinations of realism, non-locality, and contextuality are ruled out in quantum theory?

Bell's inequality theorem, along with experimental evidence, shows that we cannot have both realism and locality. While I don't fully understand it, Leggett's inequality takes this a step further and ...
15
votes
1answer
541 views

Can the Hubble constant be measured locally?

The Hubble constant, which roughly gauges the extent to which space is being stretched, can be determined from astronomical measurements of galactic velocities (via redshifts) and positions (via ...
14
votes
3answers
264 views

Uncertainty principle - momentum so precise that uncertainty of position is outside light-cone?

Thought experiment: what happens if we measure momentum of a particle so precisely, that the uncertainty of its position becomes absurd? For example, what if the uncertainty of the position exceeds 1 ...
12
votes
2answers
408 views

Locality in the scattering amplitude

Early in this talk by Nima Arkani-Hamed, he describes what locality means for scattering amplitudes. "Locality tells you that the only poles in the scattering amplitude occur when the sum of a subset ...
12
votes
3answers
976 views

Bell's theorem and why nonlocality is problematic

I generally hear it assumed that Bell's inequality implies violation of counterfactual definiteness, because locality is considered sacrosanct. I understand of course that measurable violations of ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Do electrostatic fields really obey “action at a distance”?

In an electromagnetic theory class, my professor introduced the concept of "action at a distance in physics". He said that: If two charges are at some very large distance, and if any one of the ...
10
votes
1answer
242 views

Assumptions of the Coleman-Mandula Theorem

In the original paper All Possible Symmetries of the S-Matrix, by S. Coleman and J. Mandula, they prove their famous 'no go' theorem regarding the possible extensions of Poincaré symmetry. The ...
9
votes
2answers
555 views

Algebraic/Axiomatic QFT vs Topological QFT

Can anybody please tell me a good source investigating the relation between Algebraic/Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory (AQFT) and Topological Quantum Field Theory (TQFT)? Or is there none?
8
votes
5answers
563 views

Quantum entanglement and spooky action at a distance

When quantum entanglement is explained in "layman's terms", it seems (to me) that the first premise, that we have to accept on faith, is that a particle doesn't have a certain property (the particle ...
8
votes
1answer
382 views

Is this field redefinition for free scalar field theory non-local?

The action of free scalar field theory is as follows: $$ S=\int d^4 x \frac{\dot{\phi}^2}{2}-\frac{\phi(m^2-\nabla^2)\phi}{2}. $$ I have been thinking to redefine field as ...
7
votes
1answer
434 views

How is the 'cluster decomposition principle' implemented in holographic theories?

Since holographic theories are non-local by definition, how is this principle implemented? Naively, it seems to me it is not, at least, in some sense. I would appreciate an explanation as simple ...
7
votes
1answer
312 views

Theories with non-vanishing commutators outside the lightcone

I'm reading Weinberg's new book on Quantum Mechanics, and in Chapter 8.7 "Time-Dependent Perturbation Theory" he derives the usual Dyson series for the $S$ matrix when the interaction Hamiltonian ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is lagrangian density correct?

The textbooks I have available explain that due to the infinite degrees of freedom of a field, the relevant object in QFT is the lagrangian density. A lagrangian is then obtained for the field by ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Bells Theorem for Dummies, How does it work?

I've been reading up on theoretical physics for a few years now and I feel like I am starting to get an understanding of particle physics, at least as much as you can from Wikipedia pages. One thing ...
6
votes
2answers
443 views

How does locality decouple the UV and IR behaviour of a QFT?

I came a comment in this paper: Scattering Amplitudes and the positive grassmannian in the last paragraph of page 104 which says: "One of the most fundamental consequences of space-time locality is ...
6
votes
0answers
104 views

Why don't we have logarithms or exponentials of the fields in the Lagrangians?

All tbe Lagrangian densities I have seen have always been polynomials of the fields. Is this a coincidence or is there a reason forbid, say, Lagrangians with logarithms or exponentials of the fields?
5
votes
3answers
778 views

Assumptions in Bell's Theorem

It is often Stated that Bell's Theorem is equivalent to the statement: No theory of Local Hidden Variables can reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics. I see nowhere in Bell's Theorem ...
5
votes
4answers
776 views

Locality in Quantum Mechanics

We speak of locality or non-locality of an equation in QM, depending on whether it has no differential operators of order higher than two. My question is, how could one tell from looking at the ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

How soon that a force affect another object?

Imagine this scenario: I have 2 objects in vacuum without any force exerted upon them not even a possible gravitational force between them. Now if one of them gets a gravitational or magnetic force, ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Commutation relations in QFT and the principle of locality

My question is, given two space-time points $x^{\mu}$ and $y^{\mu}$, if the events that occur at these points are simultaneous, i.e. $x^{0}=y^{0}$, are the two events necessarily space-like separated? ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

If strings are infinitely extended, are they nonlocal?

To completely localize a string within any bounded region of space, no matter how large, requires an infinite energy. Does this mean strings modes are inherently nonlocal?
4
votes
2answers
207 views

Difference between locality and causality?

I ask this question as the two seem to be very closely related and are sometimes taken to be one and the same (in the notion of microcausality in QFT), which has left me confused as to what meaning of ...
4
votes
2answers
109 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
3answers
587 views

Special conformal transformations and locality

In the conformal symmetry, used in some QFT theories, the infinitesimal generators, applying to space-time, are all linear (translations, rotations, boosts, dilatation), except the special conformal ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

$U(1)$ abelian/axial/chiral anomaly in 4D

I am reading $U(1)$ abelian/axial/chiral anomaly in 3+1 dimensions using the path integral method (Fujikawa). Am I wrong in assuming that the anomaly can be cancelled by introducing a counter term in ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Non-local structure of field theory

Can someone explain what is non-local structure of field theory? I know you cannot have $\phi(x) \phi(y)$ term in Lagrangian which indicates the non-locality. However, why I cannot have the non-local ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

Coincidence of spacetime events & Lorentz invariance

Am I correct in thinking that if two spacetime events are coincident in one frame of reference, then they are coincident in all frames of reference, i.e. coincidence of spacetime events is a Lorentz ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

Locality, unitarity & vacuum energy

I've read in a set of lecture notes that the requirement of locality and unitarity in QFT imply that the vacuum must have a non-zero energy associated with it (http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.05296 , top of ...
4
votes
1answer
491 views

Tracking down the locality assumption in a CHSH inequality derivation

CHSH inequality requires both locality and realism. I will equate here realism with counterfactual definiteness. Now counterfactual definiteness tells us that given two different measurements on the ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

Definition of Local Function

Now a days I am studying Srednicki's QFT book. In its third chapter it is written that Any local function of φ(x) is a Lorentz scalar, [...] . Now my question is: What is a local function?
3
votes
1answer
935 views

What is known on violations of unitarity or locality?

Recently the amplituhedron become a hot topic. I realized that two of the central pillars that QFT is based on, unitarity and locality, are no longer playing an important part (due to gravitational ...
3
votes
1answer
372 views

Wavefunction in quantum mechanics and locality

Every wavefunction of a form $\Psi(x)$ can be described as a superposition of multiple free particle solutions. We can see the following Fourier transform: $$ \psi(x) = \int e^{ik\cdot x} \psi(k) dk ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Exact meaning of locality and its implications on the formulation of a QFT

As far as I understand it, locality in physics is the statement that interactions can only occur between physical objects if the spacetime interval separating them is null or time-like. Thus, if the ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Are locality and separability two distinct notions?

Is there any difference between locality and separability in quantum mechanics, or do they mean the same thing? It seems authors do not always agree.
3
votes
2answers
178 views

Could we get rid of explicit fields derivatives in Quantum Field Theories?

For instance, if we choose the following scalar field Lagrangian, which is (I hope) Lorentz-invariant, where $l$ is a a length scale, and with a $(-1,1,1,1)$ metric: $$ \mathfrak{L}(x) \sim ...
2
votes
1answer
272 views

How come the concept of an instant of time is such a controversial topic with relativity, but with entanglement it's completely acceptable?

When talking about relativity most people say that a universal instant of time doesn't exist, but when talking about entanglement most will say that the particles are both measured instantaneously. ...
2
votes
1answer
477 views

How to tell local and non-local in QFT?

I'm taking QFT course in this term. I'm quite curious that in QFT by which part of the mathematical expression can we tell a quantity or a theory is local or non-local?
2
votes
2answers
236 views

$\nabla$ and non-locality in simple relativistic model of quantum mechanics

In Wavefunction in quantum mechanics and locality, wavefunction is constrained by $H = \sqrt{m^2 - \hbar^2 \nabla^2} $, and taylor-expanding $H$ results in: $$ H = \dots = m\sqrt{1 - \hbar^2/m^2 ...
2
votes
2answers
368 views

What's the relationship between quantum entanglement and the relativity of time?

Apologies in advance for what may be a stupid question from a layman. In reading recently about quantum entanglement, I understood there to be a direct link between entangled particles, even at ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Embedding of particles into fields

For the classification of particles (Wigner 1939), we look for unitary representations of the Poincaré/Lorentz group. There are are only infinite-dimensional (non-trivial) unitary representations! To ...
2
votes
1answer
277 views

Local versus non-local functionals

I'm new to field theory and I don't understand the difference between a "local" functional and a "non-local" functional. Explanations that I find resort to ambiguous definitions of locality and then ...
2
votes
4answers
241 views

Are Everettian branchings global or local?

Everett's theory of quantum mechanics is about the wavefunction of the whole universe holistically. If a branching occurs very far away at the Andromeda galaxy, do I also branch? Are branchings global ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

Does Bell's theorem sort out local field theories?

For example the Maxwell's equations is a local theory. It's a set of differential equations that describe how should the state at a point change based on its neighbourhood. Counter example: Newtonian ...
2
votes
1answer
712 views

How are fundamental forces transmitted?

How are the fundamental forces transmitted? In particular I wonder, are all "processes" local, i.e. without superluminal distant interactions? But if they are local, then particles would have to ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Local symmetry and General Relativity

First I want to consider an example of 1D motion. Lagrange equation: $$ \frac{d}{dt} \frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot x} - \frac{\partial L}{\partial x} = 0 $$ If we transform $ L \rightarrow L+a $ ...