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256 views

Can we construct Axiomatic system of physical laws?

If we construct axiomatic system of physical laws that are independent one another as in axioms in mathematics, what should they be? Can there be such a finite system of physical laws that can explain ...
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0answers
144 views

Understanding the intermediate field method for the $\phi^4$ interaction

In Rivasseau's and Wang's How to Resum Feynman Graphs, on page 11 they illustrate the intermediate field method for the $\phi^4$ interaction and represent Feynman graphs as ribbon graphs. I had to ...
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1answer
197 views

Could two different bases of a Hilbert space have different cardinality? [duplicate]

Here is a quote from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert_space#Hilbert_dimension (accessed: Nov. 22, 2013) : As a consequence of Zorn's lemma, every Hilbert space admits an orthonormal basis; ...
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1answer
210 views

Arbitrary Complex Powers of Ladder Operators

Given the following pair of operators $a$ and $a^{\dagger}$ that satisfy the usual bosonic CCR: $$[a,a]=[a^{\dagger},a^{\dagger}] = 0;\ [a,a^{\dagger}] = 1$$ For what values of $\alpha \in\mathbb C$ ...
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1answer
879 views

“An operator is hermitian”. Implications?

Alastair Rae states that there are 4 postulates of Quantum Mechanics in his text on the subject matter. The first part of his second postulate can be stated as: Every dynamical variable may be ...
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8answers
3k views

Crash course on algebraic geometry with view to applications in physics

Could you please recommend any good texts on algebraic geometry (just over the complex numbers rather than arbitrary fields) and on complex geometry including Kahler manifolds that could serve as an ...
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0answers
181 views

QFT as a rigorous mathematical theory [duplicate]

I understood that quantum field theory is essentially based on a problematic mathematical basis. Can someone please explain what is the fundamental problem to formulate QFT as a rigorous mathematical ...
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2answers
1k views

Rigorous underpinnings of infinitesimals in physics

Just as background, I should say I am a mathematics grad student who is trying to learn some physics. I've been reading "The Theoretical Minimum" by Susskind and Hrabovsky and on page 134, they ...
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1answer
204 views

Christoffel symbols and Dirac matrices mathematical similarities?

Maybe mine is a silly question, but are there mathematical similarities or common roots between the Christoffel symbols: $ \nabla - \partial = \Gamma $ and the Dirac matrices $ ( \gamma^\mu ...
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3answers
343 views

Applying theorem of residues to a correlation function where the Fermi function has no poles

Let $n_F(\omega) = \large \frac{1}{e^{\beta (\omega)} + 1}$ be the Fermi function. A fermionic reservoir correlation function is given by: $$C_{12}(t) = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} d\omega~ ...
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1answer
383 views

Intuitively Re-Deriving Equations of Mathematical Physics

Using the intuitive interpretation of the Laplacian $\vec{\nabla}^2$ as the difference between the average value of a field in the neighbourhood of a point & the value of the field at that point, ...
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1answer
639 views

How algebraic geometry and motives appears in physics?

First, I'm not a physicist so I have just a little background in physics. I have been reading some noncommutative geometry books and papers (Connes, Rosenberg, Kontsevich etc) and a lot of high ...
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2answers
324 views

What are orbifolds and why are they useful and interesting for physics?

Just what the title says. What's the basic definition of an orbifold? How do they arise in physics and why are they interesting?
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1answer
124 views

Ergodicity of the Drude model

The Drude model of electric conduction in solids deals with independent free electrons subject to random collisions with the crystal lattice (the direction where the electrons are scattered after a ...
3
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1answer
145 views

Getting an equivalent integral equation from a given one

I'm reading a paper and don't understand some of the calculations. We are given an integral equation with asymptotic boundary conditions $\rho_+(u)=\frac{1}{2\pi} ...
5
votes
3answers
436 views

Why is this identity an if, rather than if and only if?

A recent question (Product of exponential of operators) asked who to proved that the exponentials of operators multiply in same manner as those of scalars if and only if the commutator of the ...
2
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1answer
134 views

Misunderstanding Wick Ordering

In M. Salmhofer's "Renormalization, An Introduction" Wick ordering is defined as follows: Let $C = C_\Gamma$ be a nonnegative symmetric operator on $\mathbb{C}^\Gamma$. For $J: \Gamma \to ...
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4answers
744 views

Does the axiom of choice appear to be “true” in the context of physics?

I have been wondering about the axiom of choice and how it relates to physics. In particular, I was wondering how many (if any) experimentally-verified physical theories require axiom of choice (or ...
3
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1answer
212 views

What to consider before taking a physics course (given a mathematical background)? [closed]

I'm a Computer Engineering major, but when I was in high school I was a very poor student. I didn't pay attention and I didn't think I was capable of succeeding in classes like Math and Science so I ...
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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 $z=+1$?
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2answers
1k 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
255 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
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2answers
180 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
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2answers
558 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 ...
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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
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3answers
898 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
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1answer
270 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
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2answers
261 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
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0answers
87 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
204 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
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2answers
388 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
328 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
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1answer
258 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
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1answer
226 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
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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 ...
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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
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1answer
259 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
510 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
364 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
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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
534 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
130 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 ...
5
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1answer
179 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
118 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 ...
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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
263 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 ...