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

1
vote
2answers
616 views

Angular Momentum Operators Non-Degenerate

Typically one writes simultaneous eigenstates of the angular momentum operators $J_3$ and $J^2$ as $|j,m\rangle$, where $$J^2|j,m\rangle = \hbar^2 j(j+1)|j,m\rangle$$ $$J_3 |j,m\rangle = \hbar ...
5
votes
2answers
480 views

WKB method of approximation

Would it be legitimate to use the WKB approximation for a particle in a spherically symmetric Gaussian potential? $$V(r)~=~V_0(1-e^{-r^2/a^2}).$$ I'm not sure when to use which approximation ...
-1
votes
1answer
189 views

What will happen when measuring unmeasurable object?

There is a set called Vitali Set which is not Lebesgue measurable. Analogously, there also exists a Vitali set $Y$ in $\mathbb R^3$ which is a subset of $[0,1]^3$ and $|Y\cap q|=1$ for all $q\in ...
2
votes
2answers
869 views

Non-Degeneracy of Eigenvalues of Number Operator for Simple Harmonic Oscillator [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Proof that the One-Dimensional Simple Harmonic Oscillator is Non-Degenerate? I'm trying to convince myself that the eigenvalues $n$ of the number operator ...
1
vote
0answers
128 views

Does the attached “poster” work as a hook into the arXiv paper cited, “Nonlinear Wightman fields”? [closed]

"Nonlinear Wightman fields" are my current response to a wish to do interacting quantum field theory differently, no matter how successful what we currently do may be. The following image of a single ...
16
votes
3answers
607 views

Homotopy $\pi_4(SU(2))=\mathbb{Z}_2$

Recently I read a paper using $$\pi_4(SU(2))=\mathbb{Z}_2.$$ Do you have any visualization or explanation of this result? More generally, how do physicists understand or calculate high dimension ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Canonical Commutation Relations

Is it logically sound to accept the canonical commutation relation (CCR) $$[x,p]~=~i\hbar$$ as a postulate of quantum mechanics? Or is it more correct to derive it given some form for $p$ in the ...
8
votes
2answers
506 views

Is the step of analytic continuation unavoidable or can you model around it?

One sometimes considers the analytic continuation of certain quantities in physics and take them seriously. More so than the direct or actual values, actually. For example if you use the procedure ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How should a theoretical physicist study maths? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should a physics student study mathematics? If some-one wants to do research in string theory for example, Would the Nakahara Topology, geometry and physics book and ...
2
votes
4answers
718 views

Why the Hamiltonian and the Lagrangian are used interchangeably in QFT perturbation calculations

Whenever one needs to calculate correlation functions in QFT using perturbations one encounters the following expression: $\langle 0| some\ operators \times \exp(iS_{(t)}) |0\rangle$ where, ...
0
votes
2answers
167 views

can we investigate physics through investigation of pure number? [closed]

If the consistency between the two is so absolute, why can we not investigate the physical nature of the universe through analysis of pure number? Particularly at the quantum scale?
3
votes
2answers
404 views

(Co)homology of the universe

In this post let $U$ be the universe considered as a manifold. From what I gather we don't really have any firm evidence whether the universe is closed or open. The evidence seems to point towards it ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

electrostatic potential, analytic properties

An electrostatic potential associated with some delocalized charge $\int \rho(\mathbf{r}) d{\mathbf{r}}$ is given by: $$v_H(\mathbf{r}) = \int ...
1
vote
1answer
377 views

What is the definition of density as a function?

(Before I start, I don't know which tag is suitable for this post. Please retag my post if it bothers you.) Let's say there is a string on $[0,1]$ with a mass given by $m(x)$. ($m(x)$ means the mass ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

An issue about the compactness and the existence of CTCs

There is a well known fact that a compact spacetime necessarily contains a closed timelike curve (CTC). Proof can be found in several books on GR (e.g. Hawking, Ellis, Proposition 6.4.2), and in ...
5
votes
2answers
958 views

Electromagnetism for Mathematician

I am trying to find a book on electromagnetism for mathematician (so it has to be rigorous). Preferably a book that extensively uses Stoke's theorem for Maxwell's equations (unlike other books that on ...
2
votes
0answers
84 views

A doubt about fuchsian functions in physics?

I'm not sure if this is the right place (or math.stackexchange?) to ask the next What is the difference between fuchsian, theta-fuchsian, and kleinian functions? Please, suggest me an introductory ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

What does Friedrichs mean by “Myriotic fields”?

I came across K. O. Friedrichs' very old book (1953) "Mathematical Apsects of the Quantum Theory of Fields", and hardly any of it makes sense to me. One of the strange things that he refers to are ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Plane wave expansion in cylindrical coordinates

I am trying to solve scattering problem in 2D and got to expand the wave function in cylindrical system which comes out to be Hankel function. Can you tell me how to expand the plane wave $\exp(i ...
2
votes
4answers
380 views

Generalized quantum mechanics

I wonder if it's possible to discover another version of quantum theory that doesn't depend on complex numbers. We may discover a formulation of quantum mechanics using p-adic numbers, quaternions or ...
4
votes
2answers
465 views

How do I define time-ordering for Wightman functions?

This is a follow-up question to What are Wightman fields/functions Ok, so based on my reading, the field operators of a theory are understood to be operator-valued distributions, that is, to be ...
9
votes
1answer
402 views

Integral representation of Thomas-Fermi Equation

The Thomas-Fermi equation with dimensionless variables is identified as; $$ \frac{d^2\phi}{dx^2} = \frac{\phi^{3/2}}{x^{1/2}} $$ with the boundary conditions as $$ \phi(0) = 1 \\ \phi(\infty) = 0. $$ ...
7
votes
1answer
266 views

alternatives to supersymmetry and Coleman-Mandule theorem

Humour me for a minute here and let's imagine that all interesting and plausible supersymmetry models have been "cornered" out by the experimental data; what sort of alternatives are there for having ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Is physics rigorous in the mathematical sense?

I am a student studying Mathematics with no prior knowledge of Physics whatsoever except for very simple equations. I would like to ask, due to my experience with Mathematics: Is there a set of ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What are Wightman fields/functions

Simple question: What are Wightman fields? What are Wightman functions? What are their uses? For example can I use them in operator product expansions? How about in scattering theory?
5
votes
3answers
410 views

Takhatajan's mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics

So I began skimming L. Takhatajan's Quantum Mechanics For Mathematicians, and saw the mathematical formulation of QM that he uses (page 51). (The PDF file is available here.) I've only taken a basic ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

The use of Hall algebras in physics

I asked the same question in mo. I think maybe here there are more physics guys to help me. I once read a statement (not memorized precisely) that a certain physics quantity between two states of ...
1
vote
4answers
216 views

Cubic term in gauge theories

In ordinary classical gauge theories the term $-\frac{1}{2}\mathrm{Tr}(F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu})=-\frac{1}{4}F^a_{\mu\nu}F_a^{\mu\nu}$ in the Lagrangian is completely natural. A somehow rare term would be ...
9
votes
1answer
314 views

7 sphere, is there any physical interpretation of exotic spheres?

Basically an exotic sphere is topologically a sphere, but doesn't look like a one. Or more accurately: homeomorphic but not diffeomorphic to the standard Euclidean n-sphere The first exotic ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Rigged Hilbert space and QM

Are there any comprehensive texts that discuss QM using the notion of rigged Hilbert spaces? It would be nice if there were a text that went through the standard QM examples using this structure.
8
votes
1answer
646 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
647 views

String theory from a mathematical point of view

I have a great interest in the area of string theory, but since I am more focused on mathematics, I was wondering if there is any book out there that covers mathematical aspects of string theory. I ...
3
votes
1answer
382 views

Mathematical definitions in string theory

Does anyone know of a book that has mathematical definitions of a string, a $p$-brane, a $D$-brane and other related topics. All the books I have looked at don't have a precise definition and this is ...
6
votes
2answers
486 views

Can auxiliary fields be thought of as Lagrange multipliers?

In the BRST formalism of gauge theories, the Lautrup-Nakanishi field $B^a(x)$ appears as an auxiliary variable $$\mathcal{L}_\text{BRST}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}^a F^{a\,\mu\nu}+\frac{1}{2}\xi B^a B^a + ...
5
votes
3answers
515 views

Why we use $L_2$ Space In QM?

I asked this question for many people/professors without getting a sufficient answer, why in QM Lebesgue spaces of second degree are assumed to be the one that corresponds to the Hilbert vector space ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Compactness of spacetime: experiment and math

It is common to find models built on a compact spacetime. In mathematics, compactness is a very nice property $-$ and lot of powerful results depend on it. But how safe is assuming compactness of ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Reading list in topological QFT

I'm interested in learning about topological QFT including Chern Simons theory, Jones polynomial, Donaldson theory and Floer homology - basically the kind of things Witten worked on in the 80s. I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Inverting an anisotropic distribution

I have come across a research problem where I need to solve an integral equation of the form $\int A^{-1}(x,y) \nabla_z\cdot\left[\nabla_y\cdot\left(v(y) G(y-z) \right) v(z)\right]dy = \delta(x-z)$, ...
1
vote
0answers
301 views

A question from Hilbert and Courant's Vol II of Methods of Mathematical Physics (I might have spotted an error)

In page 751 (I hope some folks have a copy of it, legal or otherwise, I have a legal one :-D), I am attaching scans of pages 750-751. Anyway, I don'tunderstand two things, the equation in page ...
5
votes
1answer
486 views

How to prove Gegenbauer's addition theorem?

I asked this at: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/210153/, but didn't get any reply, so I am trying here, since I actually need this in physics anyway. How can one prove the following ...
4
votes
2answers
594 views

Mathematically challenging areas in Quantum information theory and quantum cryptography

I am a physics undergrad and thinking of exploring quantum information theory. I had a look at some books in my college library. What area in QIT, is the most mathematically challenging and rigorous? ...
0
votes
1answer
574 views

State normalization in Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics

Let us divide the time $T$ into $N$ segments each lasting $δt = T/N$. Then we write $\langle q_F | e^{−iHT} |q_I \rangle = \langle q_F | e^{−iHδt} e^{−iHδt} . . . e^{−iHδt} |q_I \rangle $ Our ...
1
vote
1answer
774 views

Proof of equality of the integral and differential form of Maxwell's equation

Just curious, can anyone show how the integral and differential form of Maxwell's equation is equivalent? (While it is conceptually obvious, I am thinking rigorous mathematical proof may be useful in ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Problem in Hamiltonian

I need to elaborate the equation ,and need to know what is the physical significance and how matrices will manipulate in the equation $$ \hat{H} = (\hat{\tau_3}+i\hat{\tau_2})\frac{\hat{p}^2}{2m_0}+ ...
3
votes
1answer
261 views

Question on Sakurai's treatment of the Harmonic Oscillator:

In Section 2.3 of the second edition of Modern Quantum Mechanics (which discusses the harmonic oscillator), Sakurai derives the relation $$Na\left|n\right> = (n-1)a\left|n\right>,$$ and states ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Reason for the discreteness arising in quantum mechanics?

What is the most essential reason that actually leads to the quantization. I am reading the book on quantum mechanics by Griffiths. The quanta in the infinite potential well for e.g. arise due to the ...
2
votes
1answer
261 views

Open boundary condition and Glauber Dynamics

Warning: by background is in math, not physics. I've just recently started working with things that are close to theoretical physics. So please note that I'm still very confused by the jargon. Maybe ...
8
votes
0answers
439 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
396 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 ...