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2
votes
0answers
72 views

Divergence of series [closed]

How do I understand whether a series will diverge at some point? For example, in the Legendre's diff. equation $$(1-z^2)y' '-2zy'+\ell(\ell+1)y~=~0,$$ does $y(z)$ diverge for $z=-1$ and $z=+1$?
7
votes
2answers
965 views

How important is mathematical proof in physics?

How important are proofs in physics? If something is mathematically proven to follow from something we know is true, does it still require experimental verification? Are there examples of things that ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

Scale Factors via Ellipsoidal Coordinate System Scale Factors

In Morse & Feshbach (P512 - 514) they show how 10 different orthogonal coordinate systems (mentioned on this page) are derivable from the confocal ellipsoidal coordinate system $(\eta,\mu,\nu)$ by ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

Why Goldstone Bosons? (A Question about VEVs)

I understand how the mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking works, and why it produces Goldstone bosons (for global symmetries) and massive gauge bosons (for local ones). However, I'm confused as ...
4
votes
2answers
539 views

Normalization of the path integral

When one defines the path integral propagator, there is the need to normalize the propagator (since it would give you a probability density). There are two formulas which are used. 1) Original ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

How to assign coordinates to the elements of a flat metric space

Consider the metric space $(M, d \,)$ where set $M$ contains sufficiently many (at least five) distinct elements, and consider the assignment $c_f$ of coordinates to (the elements of) set $M$, $c_f ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Homework Question Transformation Energy [closed]

A $1400kg$ car is approaching the hill shown in the figure at $14.0m/s$ when it suddenly runs out of gas. What is the car's speed after coasting down the other side? I think I have to use this ...
26
votes
3answers
847 views

A “Hermitian” operator with imaginary eigenvalues

Let $${\bf H}=\hat{x}^3\hat{p}+\hat{p}\hat{x}^3$$ where $\hat{p}=-id/dx$. Clearly ${\bf H}^{\dagger}={\bf H}$, because ${\bf H}={\bf T} + {\bf T}^{\dagger}$, where ${\bf T}=\hat{x}^3\hat{p}$. In this ...
5
votes
1answer
252 views

When one discusses the “boundary” of Anti-de Sitter space, what do they mean precisely?

The AdS/CFT correspondence refers to the "boundary" of AdS space but I'm a little confused about what this means. Typically, one writes the AdS metric in the form $ds^2= \frac{L^2}{z^2}(-dt^2+d\vec ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Not satisfied with “trick” in zeta function regularization

I am not satisfied with the explanations of the $\sum_n \log \lambda_n = - \frac{d}{ds} \sum_n \lambda_n^{-s}|_{s=0}$ "trick" used in zeta function regularization, discussed here and here, or the ...
6
votes
2answers
260 views

Is the Green function a prescription for a connection?

I'm trying to learn connection on principal fibre bundle. As far as I can see, the connection is just a given prescription for the displaced field/function on the base space to remains on the ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Canonical form representation of a Linear Gaussian CPD

I'd like to know how a linear Gaussian conditional probability distribution can be represented to a canonical form. For example, let X and Y be two sets of continuous variables, with |X| = n and |Y| ...
8
votes
1answer
194 views

Rank of the Poincare group

There are two Casimirs of the Poincare group: $$ C_1 = P^\mu P_\mu, \quad C_2 = W^\mu W_\mu $$ with the Pauli-Lubanski vector $W_\mu$. This implies the Poincare group has rank 2. Is there a way to ...
3
votes
2answers
387 views

Pade Approximant

I have some questions about Pade approximants. Given a divergent power series $ \sum_{n >0} a(n)x^{n} $ can we use a Pade Approximant to it $ R(x)$ so we can obtain a SUM of the series for every ...
5
votes
2answers
310 views

Clebsch-Gordan in Fock Space?

When adding the angular momenta of two particles, you use Clebsch-Gordan coefficients, which allow you, in fancy language, to decompose the tensor product of two irreducible representations of the ...
1
vote
1answer
250 views

Grassmann fields according to Peskin and Schroeder

On page 301 in Peskin and Schroeder, they claim that a Grassman field $\psi(x)$ may be decomposed as $$\psi(x) = \sum_i c_i \phi_i(x),$$ where the $c_i$ are Grassmann numbers and the $\phi_i$ are ...
0
votes
1answer
223 views

Applying theorem of residues to a fermionic reservoir correlation function in order to solve the integral in the CF and obtain a summation

Applying theorem of residues to a fermionic reservoir correlation function in order to solve the integral in the correlation function and obtain a summation.
0
votes
0answers
77 views

Boundary conditions for 2D helical waveguide

I'm interested in looking at standing wave solutions for the wave equation on a 2D annulus, with the twist that the annulus is "streched" in to a helix in 3D, but so that the rings themselves are ...
-1
votes
1answer
118 views

The Emperor's New Mind or Shadows of the mind? [closed]

OK - I have never posted on this site before, and I hope this question isn't closed as "request for reference" but here goes: I'm a software guy who likes to dabble in math, physics and cosmology. ...
8
votes
1answer
254 views

When motion begins, do objects go through an infinite number of position derivatives?

This might be a very vague and unclear question, but let me explain. When an object at rest moves, or moves from point $A$ to point $B$, we know the object must have had some velocity (1st derivative ...
5
votes
2answers
495 views

In quantum mechanics(QM), can we define a high-dimensional “spin” angular momentum other than the ordinary 3D one?

Inspired by my previous question Questions about angular momentum and 3-dimensional(3D) space? and another relevant question How to define angular momentum in other than three dimensions? , now I get ...
3
votes
1answer
352 views

Path Integral on a circle (calculation of phase and linear independance)

I am reading Schulman's "Techniques and applications of path integration" chapter on Path integrals on multiply-connected spaces. In the first section he calculates the path integral of a free ...
7
votes
0answers
156 views

The Integral Trick and An Equality in Nakajima's Lecture

In Nekrasov et al's series papers MNS, they calculate such kinds of integral $$ \frac{E_1 E_2}{N(2\pi i)^N(E_1+E_2) }\oint d\phi_1 \wedge d\phi_2\wedge \ldots\wedge d\phi_N \prod_{i<N} (-\phi_i) ...
22
votes
10answers
4k views

Applications of Algebraic Topology to physics

I have always wondered about applications of Algebraic Topology to Physics, seeing as am I studying algebraic topology and physics is cool and pretty. My initial thoughts would be that since most ...
9
votes
1answer
520 views

The vacuum in quantum field theories: what is it?

In Section 10.1 of his textbook Quantum Field Theory for Mathematicians, Ticciati writes Assuming that the background field or classical source $j(x)$ is zero at space-time infinity, the presence ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Wick's theorem again

Could someone please elaborate on the accepted answer to this mathoverflow post? I'm working on a problem that looks like this \begin{equation}I=\int d^{n} x\, f(\vec x)\, e^{-\frac{1}{2} \vec x ...
0
votes
1answer
331 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Motivation to introduce von Neumann algebras in addition to $C^*$algebras?

Observables are self-adjoint elements of a $C^*$algebra. As such, this structure seems sufficient to describe physics. A theorem by Gelfand and Naimark says that a $C^*$algebra can always be ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

Negative probabilities in quantum physics

Negative probabilities are naturally found in the Wigner function (both the original one and its discrete variants), the Klein paradox (where it is an artifact of using a one-particle theory) and the ...
1
vote
0answers
116 views

Is there a known generalization of the Schmidt decomposition based on a maximal set of “locally recorded branches”?

I came across an unusual multi-partite generalization of the Schmidt decomposition in my work, which I describe below. Usually, when people say "a multi-partite Schmidt decomposition", they mean a ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Don't understand the integral over the square of the Dirac delta function

In Griffiths' Intro to QM [1] he gives the eigenfunctions of the Hermitian operator $\hat{x}=x$ as being $$g_{\lambda}\left(x\right)~=~B_{\lambda}\delta\left(x-\lambda\right)$$ (cf. last formula on ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

Open problem? Square of the wave function $\Psi(x)_{x_o} = \delta(x-x_0)$ of a particle localized at a point $x_0$?

Does anybody know the status of the problem to define the wave function (non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics) of a particle localized at a definite point? Landau-Lifshitz says in chapter 1 that this ...
0
votes
0answers
137 views

A simple question on the projected wave function?

For example, consider a spin-1/2 AFM Heisenberg Hamiltonian $H=\sum_{<ij>}\mathbf{S}_i\cdot\mathbf{S}_j$, and we perform a ...
6
votes
2answers
492 views

Vector Potential for Magnetic field when the field is not in simply-connected region

According to Poincare's Lemma, if $U\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ is a star-shaped set and if $\omega$ is a $k$-form defined in $U$ that is closed, then $\omega$ is exact, meaning that there's some ...
2
votes
1answer
363 views

Continuous spectrum (quantum mechanics) [duplicate]

Does a continuous spectrum of an observable always imply that the corresponding eigenvectors will not be normalizable? If yes, how to prove it?
0
votes
0answers
65 views

Reference request for mathematical physics from an axiomatically rigorous perspective [duplicate]

Being a grad student in math, and a rather pedantic one indeed, I was unable to accept many of the things taught to me in undergrad physics courses. I am now trying to learn the applications of ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Delta functional in path integral

I've recently encountered a path integral of the form $$\int \delta[a\phi+b\phi']\,L(\phi,\phi')\;\mathcal D\phi\mathcal D\phi'$$ (where $a$, $b$ are integers) and would like to eliminate one of the ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Does Clifford algebra depend on the topology of manifold?

We know the greatest feature of Clifford algebra is coordinate-free. One can do vector operations without knowing the representation of vectors. And due to its very characteristc, Clifford or ...
36
votes
2answers
2k views

Intuitively, why are bundles so important in Physics?

This question probably seems silly and I don't really know if it fits properly here, but the point is the following: I've seem the notion of bundles, fiber bundles, connections on bundles and so on ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

Quantum mechanics on a manifold

In quantum mechanics the state of a free particle in three dimensional space is $L^2(\mathbb R^3)$, more accurately the projective space of that Hilbert space. Here I am ignoring internal degrees of ...
3
votes
2answers
249 views

Thermalisation - Open quantum systems

I would like to understand better a phenomenon of a quantum heat bath. Below I present one example, which seems quite clear to me. It would be great to see some less-discrete models, and more ...
16
votes
1answer
557 views

What does it mean for a QFT to not be well-defined?

It is usually said that QED, for instance, is not a well-defined QFT. It has to be embedded or completed in order to make it consistent. Most of these arguments amount to using the renormalization ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

Is it possible to deduce the Archimedes' law of the lever using only the laws of conservation of the physics?

Is it possible to deduce the Archimedes' law of the lever using only the laws of conservation of the classical mechanics? I never saw (which is strange), but I think that it's possible.
7
votes
3answers
302 views

Is particle number a problem for formulating statistical physics in a mathematically rigorous manner?

Quantities like the chemical potential can be expressed as something like $$\mu=-T\left(\tfrac{\partial S}{\partial N}\right)_{E,V}.$$ Now the entropy is the log some volume, which depends on the ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

What exactly is the meaning of weak formulations and what is its purpose?

What is the purpose behind weak formulation of PDEs? I have read in the book by Zienkiewicz and Taylor that a weak formulation is more "permissive" that the original problem in the sense that it ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the mathematical problems in introducing Spin 3/2 fermions?

Can the physics complications of introducing spin 3/2 Rarita-Schwinger matter be put in geometric (or other) terms readily accessible to a mathematician?
4
votes
2answers
253 views

Star product of two commuting spinors

Ok so this might be a very stupid and trivial question but I have spent a couple of hours on this little problem. I am trying to derive a simple formula in a paper. We have a real commuting spinorial ...
32
votes
10answers
1k views

Examples of number theory showing up in physics

My question is very simple: Are there any interesting examples of number theory showing up unexpectedly in physics? This probably sounds like rather strange question, or rather like one of the ...
4
votes
3answers
223 views

Finite or ∞ set of masses & ∃ gravity center?

Any finite & non empty set of masses has a computable center of gravity: $\vec{OG} = \frac{\sum_i m_i \vec{OM}_i}{\sum_i m_i}$ . Does the contrapositive permits to conclude that a mass system ...
2
votes
3answers
242 views

Implicit Postulate of Quantum Mechanics

Consider the following quantum system: a particle in a one dimensional box (= infinite potential well). The energy eigenstates wave functions all vanish outside the box. But the position eigenstates ...