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15
votes
4answers
84 views

Why can't noncontextual ontological theories have stronger correlations than commutative theories?

EDIT: I found both answers to my question to be unsatisfactory. But I think this is because the question itself is unsatisfactory, so I reworded it in order to allow a good answer. One take on ...
22
votes
1answer
496 views

Mermin-Wagner theorem in the presence of hard-core interactions

It seems quite common in the theoretical physics literature to see applications of the "Mermin-Wagner theorem" (see wikipedia or scholarpedia for some limited background) to systems with hard-core ...
16
votes
6answers
958 views

Applications of delay differential equations

Being interested in the mathematical theory, I was wondering if there are up-to-date, nontrivial models/theories where delay differential equations play a role (PDE-s, or more general functional ...
6
votes
1answer
219 views

Nonextensive statistical mechanics

I know that the Tsallis($S_q$) entropy is called nonextensive information measure in the sense that if $P$ and $Q$ are two probability distributions then $S_q(P\times ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

How to calculate 2D soft-body Physics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 2d soft body physics mathematics The definition of rigid body in Box2d is A chunk of matter that is so strong that the distance between any two bits of matter on ...
35
votes
2answers
598 views

Physical interpretation of different selfadjoint extensions

Given a symmetric (densely defined) operator in a Hilbert space, there might be quite a lot of selfadjoint extensions to it. This might be the case for a Schrödinger operator with a "bad" potential. ...
12
votes
1answer
190 views

Are possible gauge fields in a Lagrangian theory always determined by the structure of the charged degrees of freedom?

An elementary example to explain what I mean. Consider introducing a classical point particle with a Lagrangian $L(\mathbf{q} ,\dot{\mathbf{q}}, t)$. The most general gauge transformation is $L ...
19
votes
2answers
104 views

Significance of the hyperfinite $III_1$ factor for axiomatic quantum field theory

Using a form of the Haag-Kastler axioms for quantum field theory (see AQFT on the nLab for more details), it is possible in quite general contexts to prove that all local algebras are isomorphic to ...
17
votes
2answers
173 views

Can symmetry generators be used for quantization?

Take the Poincaré group for example. The conservation of rest-mass $m_0$ is generated by the invariance with respect to $p^2 = -\partial_\mu\partial^\mu$. Now if one simply claims The state where ...
77
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the justifying foundations of statistical mechanics without appealing to the ergodic hypothesis?

This question was listed as one of the questions in the proposal (see here), and I didn't know the answer. I don't know the ethics on blatantly stealing such a question, so if it should be deleted or ...
9
votes
2answers
527 views

Transforming a sum into an integral

I posted this in the mathematical forums. Maybe you will help me. I found an hard article http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PR/v105/i3/p776_1 of yang huang and luttinger. The authors begins with the sum: ...
3
votes
4answers
641 views

Generalized functions in physics

Prior to the Dirac delta function, what other distributions functions where physicists using? I find it hard to motivate the theory of generalized functions with just the delta function alone.
4
votes
0answers
139 views

K3 gravitational instanton

Could you please recommend a sufficiently elementary introduction to K3 gravitational instanton in general relativity and the problem of finding its explicit form? Under 'sufficiently elementary' I ...
2
votes
1answer
487 views

Orientability of spacetime

In many theoretical setups it is implicitly assumed that the underlying manifold (i.e. spacetime) is orientable. Then our analysis depends on this implicit assumption. For example, Stokes' theorem ...
5
votes
2answers
588 views

Positive Mass Theorem and Geodesic Deviation

This is a thought I had a while ago, and I was wondering if it was satisfactory as a physicist's proof of the positive mass theorem. The positive mass theorem was proven by Schoen and Yau using ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Normalizing the free particle wave function

One way to normalize the free particle wave function "is to replace the the boundary condition $\psi(\pm{\frac{a}{2}}) = 0$ [for the infinite well] by periodic boundary conditions expressed in ...
3
votes
1answer
865 views

Are There Strings that aren't Chew-ish?

String theory is made from Chew-ish strings, strings which follow Geoffrey Chew's S-matrix principle. These strings have the property that all their scattering is via string exchange, so that the ...
4
votes
2answers
291 views

Combinatorial sum in a problem with a Fermi gas

I'm solving a problem involving a Fermi gas. There is a specific sum I cannot figure my way around. A set of equidistant levels, indexed by $m=0,1,2 \ldots$, is populated by spinless fermions with ...
2
votes
2answers
923 views

Does the phase space (configuration and momentum space) of particles have a Euclidean norm? Does it have a useful meaning of “distance”?

Often in engineering physics, different vector spaces are used to visualize the trajectories (evolution) of systems. An example being the 6n dimensional phase space of n particles. It is not very ...
3
votes
2answers
916 views

Complete vs General Integral of first order PDE

The following is an excerpt from Landau's Course on Theoretical Physics Vol.1 Mechanics: ... we should recall the fact that every first-order partial differential equation has a solution depending ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

In quantum mechanics, given certain energy spectrum can one generate the corresponding potential?

A typical problem in quantum mechanics is to calculate the spectrum that corresponds to a given potential. Is there a one to one correspondence between the potential and its spectrum? If the ...
9
votes
4answers
494 views

Why must the field equations be differential?

In Landau–Lifshitz's Course of Theoretical Physics, Vol. 2 (‘Classical Fields Theory’), Ch. IV, § 27, there is an explanation why the field equations should be linear differential equations. It goes ...
2
votes
1answer
229 views

Fourier analysis in crystallography

What is the best reference for an introduction to the use of Fourier analysis in crystallography?
3
votes
1answer
595 views

Numerical computation of the Rayleigh-Lamb curves

The Rayleigh-Lamb equations: $$\frac{\tan (pd)}{\tan (qd)}=-\left[\frac{4k^2pq}{\left(k^2-q^2\right)^2}\right]^{\pm 1}$$ (two equations, one with the +1 exponent and the other with the -1 exponent) ...
5
votes
2answers
253 views

differential equation with periodic conditions

given the differential operator Eigenvalue problem $ -D^{2}y(x)=E_{n}y(x) $ with boundary periodic conditions $ y(x)=y(x+1)$ my question is if there is a similar probelm for the Dilation operator $ ...
13
votes
1answer
563 views

How come random matrices can predict energy spectra of heavy atoms?

Some of the applications of random matrices is to find the spectra of heavy atoms in nuclear physics which are usually difficult to find otherwise. How can starting from randomness of some kind, ...
12
votes
5answers
951 views

Examples where an ill-behaved function leads to surprising results?

In mathematical derivations of physical identities, it is often more or less implicitly assumed that functions are well behaved. One example are the Maxwell identities in thermodynamics which assume ...
3
votes
2answers
407 views

Pade Approximant

I have some questions about Pade approximants. Given a divergent power series $ \sum_{n >0} a(n)x^{n} $ can we use a Pade Approximant to it $ R(x)$ so we can obtain a SUM of the series for every ...
9
votes
1answer
583 views

Discrete gauge theories

I'm trying to understand a particular case of gauge theories, namely discrete spaces on which a group G can act transitively, with a gauge group H which is discrete as well. From what I've already ...
10
votes
1answer
233 views

Can Fermionic symmetries be fully integrated into geometric deformation complexes or symplectic reduction?

How should a geometer think about quotienting out by a Fermionic symmetry? Is this a formal concept? A strictly linear concept? A sheaf theoretic concept? How does symplectic reduction work with odd ...
7
votes
3answers
854 views

What is a basis for the Hilbert space of a 1-D scattering state?

Suppose I have a massive particle in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Its wavefunction can be written in the position basis as $$\vert \Psi \rangle = \Psi_x(x,t)$$ or in the momentum basis as ...
4
votes
1answer
673 views

Physical significane and context in which Dirac introduced the Dirac Delta function

I'd like to know the exact context in which Paul Dirac introduced the Dirac delta function. What was the physical significance of the Dirac delta function when he first used it in Physics ?
5
votes
0answers
101 views

What can quantum adiabatic computation provably accomplish?

Let's say I have a quantum adiabatic computer in a black-box that works perfectly, doesn't suffer from decoherence/noise problems, etc. Are there any proven bounds for an adiabatic algorithm that ...
1
vote
0answers
145 views

Question on energies obtained via WKB approximation

Suppose we are given an ODE problem $$ y''(x)+V(x)f(x)=E_{n} y(x) $$ with boundary conditions $ y(0)=y(\infty)=0$. Here $V(x)$ is a potential function. Then is it always true that (for $n ...
13
votes
2answers
418 views

The entropic cost of tying knots in polymers

Imagine I take a polymer like polyethylene, of length $L$ with some number of Kuhn lengths $N$, and I tie into into a trefoil knot. What is the difference in entropy between this knotted polymer and ...
5
votes
2answers
345 views

Proof that Statistical Mechanics is a model of Themodynamics

The laws of thermodynamics are essentially four axioms of a mathematical theory. The expectation values of a statistical ensemble are supposed to satisfy the axioms of thermodynamics (under the ...
7
votes
1answer
422 views

The role of metric in the Wave Equation

The wave equation is often written in the form $$(\partial^2_t-\Delta)u=0,$$ involving the Laplace-Beltrami operator $\Delta$. However, the Laplace-Beltrami operator $\Delta$ is defined only in the ...
6
votes
1answer
500 views

Boundary Conditions Invariant Under Conformal Transformations in Electrostatics?

in two dimensional electrostatics it is assumed that the whole physical system is translationally invariant in one direction. Here, the two-dimensional Laplace equation $$\Delta \phi(x,y) = ...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

Did classical applications of density functional theory precede its use as an electronic structure method?

Density Functional Theory (DFT) is usually considered an electronic structure method, however a paper by Argaman and Makov highlights the applicability of the DFT formalism to classical systems, such ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the mathematical problems in introducing Spin 3/2 fermions?

Can the physics complications of introducing spin 3/2 Rarita-Schwinger matter be put in geometric (or other) terms readily accessible to a mathematician?
6
votes
1answer
454 views

Why Zeta regularization is not valid for multiple-loops?

Why zeta regularization only valid at one-loop? I mean there are zeta regularizations for multiple zeta sums. Also we could use the zeta regularization iteratively on each variable to obtain finite ...
2
votes
2answers
254 views

What is sector decomposition

What is sector decomposition and how can it be used to 'disentangle' UV and IR divergences? I have read about it in the paper SecDec: A general program for sector decomposition, but I have no idea ...
2
votes
2answers
575 views

Operator relation involving the logarithm of an operator?

Dirac gives the relation: $\exp(iaq)f(q,p) = f(q, p - a\hbar)\exp(iaq)$ where $\hbar$ is Planck's constant. Can anybody give me the corresponding relation when the $\exp$ function is a $\ln$?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there books on Regularization and Renormalization in QFT at an Introductory level?

Are there books on Regularization and Renormalization, in the context of quantum field theory at an Introductory level? Could you suggest one? Added: I posted at math.SE the question Reference ...
3
votes
2answers
938 views

Why was the truncated icosahedron (i.e. soccer ball) geometry chosen for the implosive lenses in the “Fat Man” atomic bomb?

Quoting from Wolfram Mathworld: " It is the shape used in the construction of soccer balls, and it was also the configuration of the lenses used for focusing the explosive shock waves of the ...
4
votes
10answers
2k views

Addition of different physical quantities

We all know the "apples and oranges" rule which says that it's meaningless to add or subtract two different quantities like apples and oranges. But the same rule doesn't hold for the multiplication ...
6
votes
1answer
975 views

Gelfand-Yaglom theorem for functional determinants

What is the 'Gelfand-Yaglom' Theorem? I have heard that it is used to calculate Functional determinants by solivng an initial value problem of the form $Hy(x)-zy(x)=0$ with $y(0)=0$ and ...
8
votes
1answer
606 views

Iterated dimensional regularization

Given a 2-loop divergent integral $\int F(q,p)\,\mathrm{d}p\mathrm{d}q$, can it be solved iteratively? I mean I integrate over $p$ keeping $q$ constant Then I integrate over $q$ In both iterated ...
6
votes
2answers
397 views

Lagrangians combining terms with 1 and 2 derivatives

How are field theory Langrangians treated when some terms have 2 derivatives but others have only 1? Because the number of derivatives in a Lagrangian term is more easily even than odd, the ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

What does a frame of reference mean in terms of manifolds?

Because of my mathematical background, I've been finding it hard to relate the physics-talk I've been reading, with mathematical objects. In (say special) relativity, we have a Lorentzian manifold, ...