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8
votes
0answers
418 views

Intuition for when the replica trick should work and why it works

I am a graduate student in mathematics working in probability (without a very good background in physics honestly) and I've started to see arguments based on computations derived from the replica ...
4
votes
2answers
388 views

Quantum Mechanics in terms of *-algebras

I'm currently trying to find my way into the geometric description of Quantum Mechanics. I therefor started reading: Geometry of state spaces. In: Entanglement and Decoherence (A. Buchleitner et ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

When is Lebesgue integration useful over Riemann integration in physics?

Riemann integration is fine for physics in general because the functions dealt with tend to be differentiable and well behaved. Despite this, it's possible that Lebesque integration can be more ...
1
vote
1answer
224 views

Validity of the Multi-Species Navier-Stokes Equations for real gases

I'm wondering what are the validity limits of Multi-Species Navier-Stokes equations. I'm aware of the limit for rarefied gases. But is there any new limit that arises in the context of real gases? I ...
2
votes
0answers
74 views

Boundaries where AdS/CFT complementarity applies

Usually when I read about AdS/CFT complementarity as a particular case of the Holographic principle, it suggests that physics evolution on a boundary has a map to physics evolution on the bulk. But ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can we have discontinuous wavefunctions in the Infinite Square well?

The energy eigenstates of the infinite square well problem look like the Fourier basis of L2 on the interval of the well. So then we should be able to for example make square waves that are an ...
2
votes
1answer
324 views

Killing vectors for SO(3) (rotational) symmetry

I am reading a paper$^1$ by Manton and Gibbons on the dynamics of BPS monopoles. In this, they write the Atiyah-Hitchin metric for a two-monopole system. The first part is for the one monopole moduli ...
2
votes
1answer
216 views

A good example of a nonlinear symplectomorphism?

What is a good example of a simple, physically useful nonlinear symplectomorphism $\kappa: \mathbb{R}^{2n} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^{2n}$? I'm not much of a physicist, and all the examples I've worked ...
3
votes
2answers
403 views

What are the solution spaces of Nonlinear Schrödinger equations?

As we know, the solution space of Schrödinger equation is a Hilbert space, however, what about it of Nonlinear Schrödinger equations such as $$i\partial_t\psi=-{1\over ...
0
votes
1answer
119 views

If it is given which intervals are spacelike, can be determined which intervals are lightlike?

Provided that the notion of "$\mbox{spacelike}$"-ness (of an interval) is symmetric: $$\text{spacelike}( \, x - y \, ) \Longleftrightarrow \text{spacelike}( \, y - x \, ),$$ then for any set $X$ (of ...
6
votes
5answers
887 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
412 views

Complete set of observables in classical mechanics

I'm reading "Symplectic geometry and geometric quantization" by Matthias Blau and he introduces a complete set of observables for the classical case: The functions $q^k$ and $p_l$ form a complete ...
4
votes
3answers
447 views

If I go to the church of the greater Hilbert space, can I have Unitary Collapse?

Actually, unitary pseudo-collapse? Von Neuman said quantum mechanics proceeds by two processes: unitary evolution and nonunitary reduction, also now called projection, collapse and splitting. ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

Open String Coupling

I'm reading Zwiebach's First Course in String Theory. At present I'm learning about string coupling. Zwiebach says it's possible to prove that $g_o^2=g_c$ where $g_o,\ g_c$ are open and closed string ...
1
vote
1answer
760 views

The Hermiticity of the Laplacian (and other operators)

Is the Laplacian operator, $\nabla^{2}$, a Hermitian operator? Alternatively: is the matrix representation of the Laplacian Hermitian? i.e. $$\langle \nabla^{2} x | y \rangle = \langle x | ...
7
votes
2answers
347 views

Quantum mechanics on Cantor set?

Has quantum mechanics been studied on highly singular and/or discrete spaces? The particular space that I have in mind is (usual) Cantor set. What is the right way to formulate QM of a particle on a ...
2
votes
1answer
367 views

Equivalent definitions of primary fields in CFT

I have come across two similar definitions of primary fields in conformal field theory. Depending on what I am doing each definition has its own usefulness. I expect both definitions to be compatible ...
4
votes
1answer
291 views

Entropy, flow of informations and fundamental theories

In the hierarchy of theories, first comes hamiltonian theory, from which one deduces kinetics theory, and at last thermodynamics and fluid theories. From a kinetics point of view, entropy and ...
5
votes
2answers
262 views

Is it normal for physical functions to lack a 2nd derivative?

My question is about the appearance of a non-analytic function in the formula for the resistive force in air or other medium. Considering the 1-dimensional case as covered by Walter Lewin in his 8.01 ...
3
votes
2answers
607 views

Is there an analogue of configuration space in quantum mechanics?

In classical mechanics coordinates are something a bit secondary. Having a configuration space $Q$ (manifold), coordinates enter as a mapping to $\mathbb R^n$, $q_i : Q \to \mathbb R$. The primary ...
1
vote
1answer
151 views

what is wrong with the following argument about stokes law in compact universes?

I want to understand what is wrong with the following argument: in a topologically compact spacetime, a closed 3D boundary separates the spacetime in two connected components, because of this ...
9
votes
4answers
576 views

Why are the inner products of the eigenfunctions of an operator with a discrete eigenvalue spectrum guaranteed to exist?

I was reading through a textbook, and the statement was made that the inner products are guaranteed to exist if the eigenvalue spectrum of the operator is discrete. I have come across no support for ...
3
votes
1answer
703 views

Quantum mechanic newbie: why complex amplitudes, why Hilbert space? [duplicate]

I'm just starting learning quantum mechanics by myself (2 "lectures" so far) and I was wondering why we need to define quantum states in a complex vector space rater than a real one? Also I was ...
3
votes
3answers
638 views

Existence of creation and annihilation operators

In a multiple particle Hilbert space (any space of any multi-particle system), is it sufficient to define creation and annihilation operators by their action (e.g. mapping an n-particle state to an ...
3
votes
3answers
863 views

Equations of fluid dynamics and differential geometry [closed]

Where can I look for equations of fluid motion written in terms of nifty things from differential geometry like exterior derivative, Hodge dual, musical isomorphism? Preferably both with and without ...
7
votes
3answers
326 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
616 views

Can physics get rid of the continuum?

Almost every physical equation I can think of (even though I don't actually feel comfortable beyond the scope of classical mechanics and macroscopic thermodynamics, as that's enough for dealing with ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What's the meaning of the general solution and the particular solution in differential equations?

Can anybody cast some physical insight into this? I've been studying differential equations on my own and don't understand how you can have a whole host of general solutions. It seems like a rather ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Smooth trajectory on a smooth manifold

Physicists talk about a smooth trajectory of a particle on a smooth manifold and they label it as q(t) where q_1(t)....q_n(t) are component functions coming from the homeomorphism. I don't see how we ...
9
votes
2answers
691 views

Schwinger representation of operators for n-particle 2-mode symmetric states

A bosonic (i.e. permutation-symmetric) state of $n$ particles in $2$ modes can be written as a homogenous polynomial in the creation operators, that is $$\left(c_0 \hat{a}^{\dagger n} + c_1 ...
5
votes
3answers
316 views

Could general relativity and gauge theories in principle be covered in one course?

It's always nice to point out the structural similarieties between (semi-)Riemannian geometry and gauge field theories alla Classical yang Mills theories. Nevertheless, I feel the relation between the ...
2
votes
1answer
360 views

Why can't the functional integral be derived in a mathematically rigorous way?

Why can't the functional integral be derived in a mathematically rigorous way? What are the obstacles that we have to overcome in order to achieve that goal?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Principal value integral

I am reading A. Zee, QFT in a nutshell, and in appendix 1 he has: Meanwhile the principal value integral is defined by: $$\int dx\,{\cal P}{1\over x}f(x)~=~ \lim_{\epsilon \rightarrow 0} \int ...
6
votes
0answers
215 views

Physical interpretation: weighted eigenvalues of the Laplacian with a potential

I'm a mathematician with only the basic knowledge of Physics, so my question may be trivial: in this case, mercy me. :-) Let $\Omega \subseteq \mathbb{R}^N$ be a domain and let $V,m:\Omega \to ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

Group rings in Physics

In my institute a few mathematicians work on Group Ring. Since it has close connection with representation theory, I thought that there must be some interesting connections of it with Physics. However ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

When does the “norm of quasi-eigenvectors” matter in calculations? For which physical results are these even used?

Which physical system in nonrelativistic quantum mechanics is actually described by a model, where the norm of the "position eigenstate" (i.e. the delta distribution as limit of vectors in the ...
2
votes
0answers
249 views

How is the poincare conjecture(and perelman proof) helpful in studying the properties of the universe?

Can someone tell me how the poincare's famous conjecture or its proof by perelmen can be helpful in deciding some properties like the shape of the universe?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the relation between (physicists) functional derivatives and Fréchet derivatives

I´m wondering how can one get to the definition of Functional Derivative found on most Quantum Field Theory books: $$\frac{\delta F[f(x)]}{\delta f(y) } = \lim_{\epsilon \rightarrow 0} ...
3
votes
4answers
990 views

Topology needed for Differential Geometry [duplicate]

I am a physics undergrad, and need to study differential geometry ASAP to supplement my studies on solitons and instantons. How much topology do I need to know. I know some basic concepts reading from ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

The (co)algebra for the (co)monad of a light switch

If we take a light switch to embody an entire category, we could take the light switch to be a set with two elements and the morphisms are all endofunctions. Let's say, for fun, that we define the ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Ideal gas with two kinds of particles, Grand canonical partition function

Consider an ideal gas contained in a volume V at temperature T. If all particles are identical the Grand canonical partition function can be calculated using $$Z_g(V,T,z) := \sum_{N=0}^\infty z^N ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

Hairy ball theorem: references to applications

I'm looking for references to applications of the Hairy ball theorem. This is a result of mathematics (topology), but I am interested in applications. I already visited wikipedia and cited ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Book covering Topology required for physics and applications

I am a physics undergrad, and interested to learn Topology so far as it has use in Physics. Currently I am trying to study Topological solitons but bogged down by some topological concepts. I am not ...
4
votes
1answer
386 views

interpretation of Green function

Is there a physical interpretation of the existence of poles for a Green function? In particular how can we interpret the fact that a pole is purely real or purely imaginary? It's a general question ...
13
votes
0answers
321 views

What is Motivic mathematics and how is it used in physics?

In a few videos I've seen where he discusses the new approach to calculating the super Yang Mills scattering amplitudes, Nima Arkani-Hamed sometimes alludes to the use of Motivic methods as being ...
5
votes
1answer
313 views

Grassmann Variables Representation?

It might be a silly question, but I was never mathematically introduced to the topic. Is there a representation for Grassmann Variables using real field. For example, gamma matrices have a ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Introduction to string theory

I am in the last year of MSc. and would like to read string theory. I have the Zwiebach Book, but along with it what other advanced book can be followed, which can be a complimentary to Zwiebach. I ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Variational wavefunctions and “spread” of potential in quantum mechanics

A particle in a box has an energy that decreases with the size of the box. In the general case, it is often said that a variational solution for a "narrow and deep" potential is higher in energy than ...
3
votes
0answers
212 views

What are the topics of string theory that are comprehensible with only a mathematical background on Manifolds and Algebraic Topology?

What are the topics of string theory that are comprehensible with only a mathematical background on manifolds and algebraic topology? Also, I have read only the first four chapters in Peskin & ...
1
vote
1answer
681 views

Wigner-Eckart projection theorem

I'm following the proof of Wigner-Eckart projection theorem which states that: $$\langle \bf{A} \rangle ~=~ \frac{\langle \bf{A} \cdot \bf{J} \rangle}{\langle {\bf{J}}^2 \rangle} \langle \bf{J} ...