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

2
votes
1answer
263 views

Electric force on spherical surface

I have a doubt about electrical forces on surfaces, for instance, on the surface of a sphere. I'll explain my point: let's say we have some spherical surface of unit radius and there's one point ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Representing forces as one-forms

First of all, sorry if any of those things are silly or nonsense, I'm just trying to understand better how the concepts of forms, exterior derivative and so on can be used in physics. This question ...
4
votes
1answer
131 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 \,...
2
votes
1answer
593 views

Physical Significance of Operator Norm/Spectral Norm of a Quantum Operator

Is there any physical significance of operator norm/spectral norm of a hermitian operator?
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
721 views
1
vote
0answers
97 views

Is there a book that discusses General Relativity in terms of Modern Differential Geometry? [duplicate]

All of the physics books that I've seen which discuss General Relativity do so in terms of coordinates - the tensor calculus - even though the naturally relevant entities are invariant under general ...
5
votes
0answers
107 views

Physics textbook for mathematicians [duplicate]

Before this post gets marked as duplicate, I've checked book book recommendations among other posts but I don't think they really answer this fairly niche question. I am looking to compile a list of ...
6
votes
1answer
174 views

Are group representations possible when the solution space is not a vector space?

As far as I understand, the motivation for using representation theory in high energy physics is as follows. Assume that a theory has some (internal or external) symmetry group which acts on a vector ...
2
votes
1answer
696 views

What is the mathematical background needed for quantum physics? [duplicate]

I'm a computer scientist with a huge interest in mathematics. I have also recently started to develop some interest about quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. Assuming some knowledge in the ...
7
votes
0answers
305 views

Prequisites to learn Topological Field Theory? [closed]

Sorry for the somewhat qualitative question but what are the essential prerequisites for someone wanting to learn topological field theory from say the more physical side of things? The math side also ...
3
votes
2answers
246 views

Proof of quantization of magnetic charge of monopoles using homotopy groups

Suppose we place a monopole at the origin $\{{\bf 0}\}$, and the gauge field is well-definded in region $\mathbb R^3-\{0\}$ which is homomorphic to a sphere $S^2$. Then the total manifold is $U(1)$ ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

From differentials to differential equations

Suppose I have a function of time $t$ and position $(x,y)$ such that \begin{equation} p_t \,dt = p \,dy - p_x (1-x) \,dx + p_y \,dy\end{equation} where the subscript denotes a differentiation. In this ...
2
votes
1answer
418 views

Differentiation and delta function

Need help doing this simple differentiation. Consider 4 d Euclidean(or Minkowskian) spacetime. \begin{equation} \partial_{\mu}\frac{(a-x)_\mu}{(a-x)^4}= ? \end{equation} where $a_\mu$ is a constant ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

First Chern number, monoples and quantum Hall states

The first Chern number $\cal C$ is known to be related to various physical objects. Gauge fields are known as connections of some principle bundles. In particular, principle $U(1)$ bundle is said to ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Physical Significance of Fourier Transform and Uncertainty Relationships

What is the physical significance of a fourier transform? I am interested in knowing exactly how it works when crossing over from momentum space to co ordinate space and also how we arrive at the ...
4
votes
1answer
582 views

Time-ordering in QFT [duplicate]

In Srednicki QFT page 37. In the derivation of LSZ reduction formula, he introduces the time-order operator $T$, so no time-dependent creation/annihilation operators are left in the transition ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Chern-Simons term

In the literature I can only find Chern-Simons terms ( i.e. for a 3-dimensional manifold $A \wedge dA + A \wedge A \wedge A$) for odd-dimensional manifolds. Why can't I write such forms for even-...
2
votes
0answers
173 views

Turboshaft Turbine Mathematical Model

Are there any simplified mathematical models for how two gas coupled turbines (also called a free power turbine) should interact with one another as the speed of the driving turbine changes. (i.e.) ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Calculation of spherical Bessel functions - meaning of $\left(\frac{1}{x}\frac{d}{dx}\right)^{l}$

I'm trying to understand the calculation of spherical Bessel functions in chapter four of Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed, p142). He gives $$j_{2}\left(x\right)=\left(-x\right)^{2}...
3
votes
0answers
197 views

What aspects of QFT do mathematicians find troublesome? [closed]

What aspects of "conventional" quantum field theory (i.e. what's used by most practicing physicists) are considered to be lacking mathematical rigor?
4
votes
0answers
306 views

Course advice for someone interested in strings and mathematical physics [closed]

I'll be doing Introductory General Relativity and Graduate Quantum Mechanics II next semester. I still need to choose 2 (or maybe 3, but I don't want to overload too much) from the following: ...
5
votes
0answers
111 views

Finding symmetry of a part of an equation, given the group transformation property of another part

I am reading this paper on Dyons and Duality in $\mathcal{N}=4$ super-symmetric gauge theory. The author finds the zero modes or a dirac equation obtained by considering first order perturbations to ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Isometry group from information about the center of the group

I am reading this paper on Dyons and Duality in $\mathcal{N}=4$ super-symmetric gauge theory. The author finds the zero modes or a dirac equation obtained by considering first order perturbations to ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Intuitive meaning of Hilbert Space formalism

I am totally confused about the Hilbert Space formalism of Quantum Mechanics. Can somebody please elaborate on the following points: The observables are given by self-adjoint operators on the ...
6
votes
3answers
943 views

Intuition for Path Integrals and How to Evaluate Them

I'm just starting to come across path integrals in quantum field theory, and want to get the right intuition for the them from the start. The amplitude for propagation from $x_a$ to $x_b$ is typically ...
5
votes
3answers
254 views

Is there a mathematical relationship here or am I looking for relations when there are none?

When I was taking classical mechanics, we dealt a lot with pendulums, and orbiting bodies problems. This lead me to think about the two situations depicted above. Left: Shows two balls of equal mass ...
5
votes
2answers
599 views

Does the mathematics of physics require impure set theory?

Suppose for the sake of this question that all mathematics is ultimately reducible to set theory in such a way that the only mathematical objects there really are, are sets. Now, there is a common ...
3
votes
3answers
420 views

Banach Space representations of physical systems

I think most physicists mostly model physical systems as some kind of Hilbert space. Hilbert spaces are a strict subset of Banach spaces. Questions: Can physical systems really have non-compact ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Local and Global Symmetries

Could somebody point me in the direction of a mathematically rigorous definition local symmetries and global symmetries for a given (classical) field theory? Heuristically I know that global ...
3
votes
0answers
148 views

Isospin and Hypercharge of the SU(2) bps monopole embedding

I am reading the paper Fundamental monopoles and multimonopole solutions for arbitrary simple gauge groups - Weinberg, Erick J . In appendix C of this paper the author states, that the solution ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

Einstein's equations as a Dirichlet boundary problem

Can Einstein's equations in vacuum $R_{ab} - \frac{1}{2}Rg_{ab} + \Lambda g_{ab}= 0$ be treated as a Dirichlet problem? I am thinking of something along those lines: Consider a compact manifold $M$ ...
14
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
289 views

Equivalent Representations of Clifford Algebra

I'm reviewing David Tong's excellent QFT lecture notes here and am a little confused by something he writes on page 94. We've considered the standard chiral representation of the Clifford Algebra, ...
1
vote
1answer
405 views

Lorentz Invariant Equation of Motion for Scalar Field

I'm trying to understand why you can't write down a first order equation of motion for a scalar field in special relativity. Suppose $\phi(x)$ a scalar field, $v^{\mu}$ a 4-vector. According to my ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Diffeomorphisms, Isometries And General Relativity

Apologies if this question is too naive, but it strikes at the heart of something that's been bothering me for a while. Under a diffeomorphism $\phi$ we can push forward an arbitrary tensor field $F$ ...
9
votes
1answer
814 views

Representations of Lorentz Group

I'd be grateful if someone could check that my exposition here is correct, and then venture an answer to the question at the end! $SO(3)$ has a fundamental representation (spin-1), and tensor product ...
3
votes
1answer
808 views

What is the physical meaning of a flux of gravitational field in classics?

I've stumbled upon an answer to a question about square power in Newton's law of gravity. After reading it I got a question whether the flux of gravitational field has actually any physical meaning. ...
12
votes
1answer
491 views

How is the Dirac adjoint generalized?

I am wondering how one can generalize the Dirac adjoint to flat "spacetimes" of arbitrary dimension and signature. To be more specific, a standard situation would be to consider 4 dimensional ...
3
votes
2answers
408 views

Gaussian type integral with negative power of variable in integrand

How can we compute the integral $\int_{-\infty}^\infty t^n e^{-t^2/2} dt$ when $n=-1$ or $-2$? It is a problem (1.11) in Prof James Nearing's course Mathematical Tools for Physics. Can a situation ...
3
votes
0answers
351 views

Interesting Math Topics Useful for Physics [closed]

What are some interesting, but less popular, math topics that are useful for physics that can be self-studied? Specifically, topics that might ultimately be useful in high energy theory (even if it is ...
3
votes
0answers
127 views

Asymptotic limit of the two kink solution of the sine-gordon equation

I am reading a paper on the sine-gordon model. The solution for a two kink solution is given as: $$\phi=4\arctan\left(\frac{\sinh\frac{1}{2}(\theta_1-\theta_2)}{(a_{12})^\frac{1}{2}\cosh\frac{1}{2}(\...
11
votes
1answer
391 views

Witten's constrained S-matrix and Coleman-Mandula Theorem

I remember reading somewhere that Witten argued that if the Poincaré symmetry of spacetime were nontrivially combined with internal symmetries, then the S-matrix would be so constrained that the ...
5
votes
1answer
301 views

Expectation value calculation for a weird operator

In the paper Fundamental monopoles and multimonopole solutions for arbitrary simple gauge groups.- E weinberg I am not being able to see one of the calculation. The author states (eqn 3.26) $$\langle ...
3
votes
0answers
86 views

Divergence calculation of a lie algebra valued quantity having spinor indices

I am reading this paper by E. Weinberg - Fundamental monopoles and multimonopole solutions for arbitrary simple gauge groups. I am having a problem with a calculation. I don't have much experience ...
1
vote
2answers
731 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 m|j,m\...
5
votes
2answers
553 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 method....
0
votes
1answer
202 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 \...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 $N=a^{\dagger}a$ ...
17
votes
3answers
704 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 ...