DO NOT USE THIS TAG just because your question involves math! If your question is on simplification of a mathematical expression, please ask it at math.stackexchange.com. Mathematical physics is the mathematically rigorous study of the foundations of physics, and the application of advanced ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

9
votes
2answers
969 views

Nonseparable Hilbert space

What kind of things can go wrong if we try to do quantum mechanics on a nonseparable Hilbert space? I have heard that usual mathematical manipulations that we take for granted will no longer hold. ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

Applications of partial differential equations in material science [closed]

I've been asked to find a partial differential equation that has applications in material science. However we are not allowed to use the heat equation. I have found Fick's laws (basically the heat ...
8
votes
2answers
332 views

Ambiguity in number of basis vectors [duplicate]

The dimension of the Hilbert space is determined by the number of independent basis vectors. There is a infinite discrete energy eigenbasis $\{|n\rangle\}$ in the problem of particle in a box which ...
0
votes
3answers
329 views

About the postulates of quantum mechanics and self-adjointness

I am a freshman trying to understand the very basics of quantum mechanics but I met barriers at the beginning. What really matters is the postulates of quantum mechanics and their relationship with ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

How can projection operators be expressed in form $\frac{1}{d} (I + \sum_i r_i \lambda_i)$?

How can projection operator be expressed in form $\frac{1}{d} (I + \sum_i r_i \lambda_i)$? I was reading a paper and found out that the density matrix in $d$-dimensional Hilbert Space can be ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Must the wavefunction be analytic?

In order to show the preservation of normalization of the wave function (in one dimension for now), one shows that the time differential is zero, which entails the following step: $$ \frac{d}{dt}\...
2
votes
0answers
101 views

Hodge dual and the Moyal bracket? Any link? [closed]

I have already asked this on the mathematics Stack exchange but I thought I'd try it here too! The Hodge star operator $\star$ is a linear map between $\bigwedge ^pV$ and $\bigwedge ^{n-p}V$ for an ...
3
votes
0answers
290 views

What's the physical meaning of the integral of the squared temperature in a one-dimensional rod, used to prove uniqueness of soln. in heat eqn.?

Before getting to the question, some background. Let $u(x,t)$ be the temperature in a laterally insulated rod of length $L$, at position $x$ and time $t$. The temperature satisfies the heat equation $...
7
votes
1answer
907 views

Mathematically, what is the kernel in path integral?

Mathematically, what is the kernel in path integral? At first, I thought that it is the kernel in the integral transform because when we use the (physical) kernel to transform the wave function (Eq 3....
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Advice on Major Selection [closed]

I need a bit of an advice in deciding my major. My university allows only one major (along with minors) and I'm having a little bit of trouble in deciding what to do. Here's the thing. I want to go ...
4
votes
2answers
276 views

In what way are the Mathematical universe hypothesis and A New Kind of Science connected

The Mathematical universe hypothesis, mainly by Max Tegmark and A new Kind of Science, mainly by Stephen Wolfram both claim (as least as I understand it) that at its innermost core reality is ...
4
votes
1answer
583 views

Time-ordering in QFT [duplicate]

In Srednicki QFT page 37. In the derivation of LSZ reduction formula, he introduces the time-order operator $T$, so no time-dependent creation/annihilation operators are left in the transition ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

0+0 self interacting QFT - $ e^{-\sin^2 x}$ type integral — Bessel function expansion around infinity

In a physics paper (here) I found this variant of the Bessel function of the first kind. $$ \tag{1} Z(g) ~=~ \frac{1}{\sqrt{g}} \int_{-\frac{\pi}{2}}^{\frac{\pi}{2}} e^{-\frac{1}{2g} \sin^2 x} \, dx ...
5
votes
1answer
503 views

Solving Special Function Equations Using Lie Symmetries

The lie group + representation theory approach to special functions & how they solve the ode's arising in physics is absolutely amazing. I've given an example of it's power below on Bessel's ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between “numerical methods” & “mathematical analysis” as said by Feynman in his lectures?

While reading his lectures, I came to these lines: On the basis of Newton's second law of motion,which gives the relation between the acceleration of any body & the force acting on it,any ...
8
votes
2answers
523 views

Infinite dimensional vector spaces vs. the dual space

I just happened across this over on Math Overflow. It references the following theorem from linear algebra: A vector space has the same dimension as its dual if and only if it is finite ...
1
vote
4answers
363 views

Why drops form spheres?

Consider a drop of water floating in an inertial frame in STP air (e.g., the ISS). Intuitively, the equilibrium shape of the drop is a sphere. How would one prove that? Is it equivalent to showing ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

Relationship between Connection and Material Derivative

Suppose $D\subset \Bbb R^3$ contains a fluid and that $f : D\times \mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R}$ is a time dependent function defined on the fluid region. In that case, the material derivative is defined ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the meaning of following expression $C=\frac{\delta Q}{dT}$ mathematically?

Our professor raised the following question during our lecture in Statistical Physics (even so it's related to Thermodynamics): Many text books (even Wikipedia) writes wrong expressions (from ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

Spectral properties in Solid state physics

So assume we have a periodic 1d Schrödinger operator $$- f'' + V(x) f(x)= \lambda f(x)$$ and we want $V$ to be periodic. Now if we assume that we are on a finite interval and that we have periodic ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

Akin to gauge field, why GR's lagrangian is not $R_{abcd}R^{abcd}$? What's the mathematical or physical meaning of $R_{abcd}R^{abcd}$?

For gauge field theory, the Lagrangian of the gauge field is $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}\mathrm{tr}(\mathcal{F}_{\mu\nu}\mathcal{F}^{\mu\nu})=-\frac{1}{8}F_{a\ \mu\nu}F^{a \ \mu\nu}$$ The field ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Intuitive meaning of Hilbert Space formalism

I am totally confused about the Hilbert Space formalism of Quantum Mechanics. Can somebody please elaborate on the following points: The observables are given by self-adjoint operators on the ...
5
votes
4answers
496 views

Kähler and complex manifolds

I was wondering if anyone knows any good references concerning Kähler manifolds and complex manifolds? I am studying supergravity theories and for the simplest $\mathcal{N}=1$ supergravity we will get ...
6
votes
2answers
271 views

Does the Hermitian operator $H=-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$ have imaginary eigenvalues?

In quantum mechanics, Hermitian operators play a very important role because they possess real eigenvalues. Considering $-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$, it is a Hermitian operator (Actually it's the simplest ...
4
votes
2answers
331 views

Can Minkowski spacetime be redefined as a non-flat riemannian manifold?

Minkowski space time is defined in terms of a flat pseudo-Riemannian manifold. I have wondered if it can be redefined as Riamannian manifold and in the case what type of curvature would there appear. ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Connection between Poisson Brackets and Symplectic Form

Jose and Saletan say the matrix elements of the Poisson Brackets (PB) in the $ {q,p} $ basis are the same as those of the inverse of the symplectic matrix $ \Omega^{-1} $, whereas the matrix elements ...
1
vote
0answers
84 views

Contradiction in classical analysis of the hamiltonian $\mathcal{H}=xp$?

I am writing an essay on the Berry Keating article proposing to use the $\mathcal{H}=xp$ hamiltonian to get a correspondence between the nontrivial riemann zeros and the eigenvalues of an Hermitian ...
1
vote
2answers
237 views

Why is quantum mechancis is not content with symmetric operators, but wants self-adjoint operators?

A symmetric operator has only real eigenvalues and different eigenvectors corresponding to different eigenvalues are orthogonal. These are exactly what we want for a physical observable. I think ...
2
votes
1answer
433 views

Discrete vs Continuous spectra of operators [duplicate]

Why is it that if an operator $Q$ has a discrete spectra, that the eigenfunctions are all in Hilbert space? Why is it that if the spectrum is continuous we automatically know that the eigenfunctions ...
0
votes
1answer
437 views

Expansion in solid spherical harmonics on the lattice

I'm interested in calculating scattering processes (e.g. Coulomb scattering of an electron beam by a single ion) in the context of lattice quantum field theory, and wonder if there is something like ...
1
vote
2answers
481 views

Hilbert space and Hamiltonians

Assume a system described by a Hamiltonian H, and assume that the eigenstates of H, $φ_i$(r) are integrable in absolute square. We say that these states belong to a Hilbert space (they can even form a ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

A question on the existence of Dirac points in graphene?

As we know, there are two distinct Dirac points for the free electrons in graphene. Which means that the energy spectrum of the 2$\times$2 Hermitian matrix $H(k_x,k_y)$ has two degenerate points $K$ ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Symplectic Structure without predefined Hamiltonian

Here there is a link which has helped me understanding the relationship between symplectic geometry and classical mechanincs. In short, the symplectic form transforms the derivative of the Hamiltonian,...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

The index of a Dirac operator and its physical meaning

I recently read Witten's paper from the 1980s and he often uses the notion of the index of a Dirac operator in K-theory. What is the meaning of the index of a Dirac operator? What exactly is the ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Path integral formulation of quantum mechanics

I'm a mathematics student with not much background in physics. I'm interested in learning about the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics. Can anyone suggest me some books on this topic with ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

What is the relation between renormalization and self-adjoint extension?

What is the relation between renormalization and self-adjoint extension? It seems that a renormalization scheme can be rigorously treated mathematically using the self-adjoint extension theory. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

The relationship between the structure of spacetime and the existence of spinor field?

We all know that the existence of spinor fields implies that spacetime must be time-orientable. Thus that spacetime is time-orientable is a necessary condition for existence of spinor fields. Geroch, ...
2
votes
0answers
108 views

Intuition behind $U(1)$-gauge model of Electrodynamics in a general spacetime

As the article Electrodynamics in general spacetime greatly explains, the $U(1)$-gauge theory is a good base for working in non-simply connected spaces. But I wonder whether there is a deep reason to ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Charge and current density fields

The charge and current density fields in classical electromagnetism are scalar real number fields on space time manifold. But these fields diverge/become infinite in case of point charges, how is this ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

Do there exist functions $\phi$ and $A$ such that $\vec E$ satisfies the Helmholtz Theorem $\vec E = -\nabla \phi + \nabla \times \vec A$?

Helmholtz Decomposition theorem stats: "Let $\vec F$ be a vector field on a bounded domain $V$ in $\mathbb R^3$, which is twice continuously differentiable, and let $S$ be the surface that encloses ...
2
votes
2answers
294 views

Separability of a Hilbert space and its implications for the formalism of QM

In the text I'm using for QM, one of the properties listed for Hilbert space that is a mystery to me is the property that it is separable. Quoted from text (N. Zettili: Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and ...
3
votes
1answer
144 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
190 views

Why use a particular regularization for $\int_0^\infty \mathrm{d}x\,e^{i p x}$?

There are many badly defined integrals in physics. I want to discuss one of them which I see very often. $$\int_0^\infty \mathrm{d}x\,e^{i p x}$$ I have seen this integral in many physical problems. ...
9
votes
1answer
347 views

Why isn't the path integral defined for non homotopic paths?

Context In the Aharonov Bohm effect, there is a solenoid which creates a magnetic field. Since the electron cannot be inside the solenoid, the configuration space is not simply connected. Question ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

Scalar field in a Schwarzschild metric

I have found this article recently published in Classical and Quantum Gravity giving the exact solution of a scalar field in the Kerr-Newman metric. These authors also derived Hawking radiation for ...
3
votes
3answers
191 views

Statistical Mechanics - Distribution of Energies

Consider a state space $\mathbb{X}$. The probability density function under a canonical ensemble is given by the Boltzmann distribution $$\pi_{\mathbb{X}}(x)=\frac{e^{-\beta E(x)}}{\mathbb{Z}(\beta)}$...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Rigorous proof of Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization

Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization provides an approximate recipe for recovering the spectrum of a quantum integrable system. Is there a mathematically rigorous explanation why this recipe works? In ...
0
votes
0answers
75 views

Do all the spacelike curve terminate at the spatial infinity $i_0$ in the Penrose Diagram of a Schwarzchild black hole?

Let's restrict to the radial direction, so the metric can be expressed as $ds^2=-(1-r_S/r)dt^2+(1-r_S/r)^{-1}dr^2$ with $r_S$ the Schwarzchild radius. Expressed in Kruskal coordinates, the metric is ...
2
votes
3answers
596 views

About the definition of the Møller operator

The Møller operator is defined as $$\Omega_+ = \lim_{t\rightarrow -\infty} U^\dagger (t) U_0(t).$$ Does the operator $$ \lim_{t\rightarrow -\infty} U_0^\dagger (t) U(t) $$ also make sense? Is it ...
8
votes
1answer
730 views

A confusion from Weinberg's QFT text (a vanishing term in Lippmann-Schwinger equation)

I was reviewing the first few chapters of Weinberg Vol I and found a hole in my understanding in page 112, where he tried to show in the asymptotic past $t=−∞$, the in states coincide with a free ...