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4
votes
2answers
887 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
181 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
375 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
722 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
73 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
359 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
417 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
160 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
446 views

What restrictions on time boundary conditions does it have to use Fourier transform to solve wave equation?

The wave equation can be solved using Fourier transform, by assuming a solution of the form of $$\mathbf{E}(x,y,z,t)~=~\mathbf{E}(x,y,z)e^{j\omega t}$$ and then reducing the equation to the Helmholtz ...
54
votes
2answers
3k views

Intuitively, why are bundles so important in Physics?

I've seem the notion of bundles, fiber bundles, connections on bundles and so on being used in many different places on Physics. Now, in mathematics a bundle is introduced to generalize the ...
0
votes
2answers
192 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.
3
votes
2answers
330 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
747 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
193 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
683 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
304 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
334 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
279 views

Mathematical form of chemical potential difference and entropy production

I'm trying to understand the form of the 'force' which drives chemical reactions, ie. the difference in chemical potential, also sometimes called the 'affinity'. $$\Delta \mu = - kT ln ...
7
votes
5answers
928 views

Final theory in Physics: a mathematical existence proof?

Some time ago, I read something like this about the issue of "a final theory" in Physics: "Concerning the physical laws, we have several positions as scientists There are no fundamental physical ...
4
votes
3answers
685 views

Probability density in Hamiltonian Mechanics

I am currently studying Liouville's theorem compare wikipedia and there this mysterious probability density $\rho$ appears and I was wondering how one can determine this quantity analytically for a ...
9
votes
1answer
939 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
156 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
75 views

What is ``thermal" about a thermal quotient of EdS and EAds?

This is in continuation of my previous question and is in reference to this paper. I guess that the authors are interested in $S^n$ and $\mathbb{H}^n$ since these are the Euclideanized versions of ...
5
votes
2answers
574 views

In the topos-theoretic interpretation of Physics by Isham & Doering what role does intuitionistic logic play?

Isham & Doering have written a series of papers exploring how to ground physics in topoi. Now the internal logic of topoi is higher order typed intuitionistic logic. In their theory what role is ...
3
votes
1answer
497 views

Evaluation of QED amplitude with 1 external photon

I'm trying to compute the exact QED amplitude with one external photon. Suppose that the photon has 4-momentum $q$ and polarization $\varepsilon^\mu$. Peskin and Schroeder (p318) claim that ignoring ...
7
votes
2answers
374 views

Physical consequences of non-abelian non-trivial holonomy

The Aharonov-Bohm effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aharonov%E2%80%93Bohm_effect#Significance) can be well described and explained in terms of holonomy of the $U(1)$ connection of the ...
9
votes
2answers
447 views

What is the algebraic property that corresponds to a topological term?

Warning: This question will be fairly ill-posed. I have spent a lot of time trying to make it better posed without success, so please bear with me. A single $SU(2)$ spin may be represented by the ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

Justification for smeared fields in the Wightman axioms?

I just started reading PCT, Spin and Statistics, and All That. Can someone explain why we use operator valued distributions to describe fields? I read somewhere that it would take infinite energy to ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

OPE and 4-point correlation function in CFT_d

I'm reading this paper where to determine the coefficient $C^{\phi\phi O}(x_{12},\partial_2)$ of the OPE (p.10) $$\phi^\alpha (x_1)\phi^\beta (x_2)=C_\phi ...
3
votes
3answers
520 views

Physical significance of getting an non-integrable function in an equation

I just found out during my Calculus course in High School, that there exist functions which cannot be integrated. Then I thought that I come across a lot of integrals while solving Physics ...
14
votes
1answer
972 views

Fundamental question about the Buckingham $\pi$ theorem (dimensional analysis)

I have a rather fundamental question about the Buckingham $\pi$ theorem. They introduce it in my book about fluid mechanics as follows (I state the description of the theorem here, because I noticed ...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

Books for learning Mathematics in Physics? [duplicate]

Currently I'm doing Advanced Classical Mechanics courses. I'm finding it hard to understand due to the lack of knowledge in linear algebra, multi variable calculus and other chapters. Can anyone ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Tensor Operators

Motivation. I was recently reviewing the section 3.10 in Sakurai's quantum mechanics in which he discusses tensor operators, and I was left desiring a more mathematically general/precise discussion. ...
1
vote
2answers
378 views

How much physics a mathematician needs to know to study GR? [duplicate]

I'm intending to study General Relativity on my own. The thing is, my physics background is not very strong. I know classical mechanics and I know some electromagnetism. I'm familiar with Gauss' law, ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Bounded and Unbounded (Scattering) States in Quantum Mechanics

I understand that bounded states in quantum mechanics imply that the total energy of the state, $E$, is less than the potential $V_0$ at + or - spatial infinity. Similarly, the scattering state ...
1
vote
0answers
152 views

C Method for Diffraction grating

Alright, so I am trying to find the efficiencies of a coated diffraction grating through the method in this paper. This is through a change of coordinate system. So I went through and derived all of ...
2
votes
0answers
175 views

Doubts about the Aharonov-Bohm effect

In F. Schwabl, Quantum Mechanics p.148 it is explained that if we have a particle in an electromagnetic field given by potentials $\varphi$ and $\mathbf{A}$ with wave function $\psi$, then a gauge ...
39
votes
0answers
1k views

Linear sigma models and integrable systems

I'm a mathematician who recently became very interested in questions related to mathematical physics but somehow, I already have difficulties in penetrating the literature... I'd highly appreciate any ...
7
votes
0answers
174 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) ...
2
votes
1answer
255 views

From the Poincare group to Minkowski space

In special relativity one assume that spacetime can be locally described by 4 coordinates, so it makes sense to model it as a 4-dimensional manifold. I had the impression that it is assumed that ...
2
votes
1answer
248 views

Axiomatic structure behind Dirac's formulation of QM?

According to the paper Quantum Mechanics Beyond Hilbert Space by J.P. Antoine, several mathematical structures have been devised to make mathematical sense of Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics ...
0
votes
1answer
119 views

splitting spin representation when reducible

I'm looking at the spin representation of the orthogonal algebra $so(2m,C)$. This representation is $2^m$ dimensional and an explicit construction with gamma matrices is well known (see for example ...
3
votes
2answers
571 views

Tensor Product of Hilbert spaces

This question is regarding a definition of Tensor product of Hilbert spaces that I found in Wald's book on QFT in curved space time. Let's first get some notation straight. Let $(V,+,*)$ denote a set ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Direct Sum of Hilbert spaces

I am a physicist who is not that well-versed in mathematical rigour (a shame, I know! But I'm working on it.) In Wald's book on QFT in Curved spacetimes, I found the following definitions of the ...
4
votes
2answers
259 views

Why there is no Gibb's phenomenon in QM?

Why we don't see any Gibb's phenomenon in quantum mechanics? EDIT At sharp edges (discontinuities), we usually find ringing. This can be observed in many physical phenomenon (eg. shock waves). ...
28
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
305 views

Operator norm of creation and annihilation operators

Are the creation and the annihilation operators $a(f)$ and $a^{\dagger}(f)$ for the bosonic Fock space bounded? What is their norm? So far I did not have found any note about this in the linked ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Duhamel formula for propagators

Let $\dot{z} = A(t)z + b(t)$ with $ z(t) \in \mathbb{R}^n$ and $A(t)$ be a linear map from $\mathbb{R}^n \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^n$. A propagator is also a linear map $P(t,s):$ $\mathbb{R}^n ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Killing vector field in terms of the tetrad basis

I have come across the following equations in Wald. For a static spherically symmetry metric $$ds^2 = -f(r)dt^2 + h(r)dr^2 + r^2 ( d{\theta^2} \sin^2{\theta}d{\phi^2})$$. If $(e_{\mu})_a$ are the ...
4
votes
0answers
148 views

The interaction picture doesn't exist? [duplicate]

I have recently encountered Haag's theorem and according to Wikipedia: Rudolf Haag postulated [1] that the interaction picture does not exist in an interacting, relativistic quantum field theory ...