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 ...

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11
votes
7answers
1k 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
408 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
151 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
214 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
307 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 ...
11
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
631 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
624 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
377 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
479 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
512 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
145 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
128 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
286 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
478 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
583 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
559 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
734 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
259 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
259 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
433 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
395 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
232 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
76 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
345 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
221 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
421 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
120 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
935 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
430 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
481 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
152 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
795 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
364 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
402 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
316 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
266 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
639 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
157 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
629 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
732 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
679 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
932 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 ...