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

10
votes
1answer
791 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 ...
43
votes
6answers
5k views

Why does calculus of variations work?

How does it make sense to vary the position and the velocity independently? Edit: Velocity is the derivative of position, so how can you treat them as independent variables? Doesn't every physics ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Variant of the Sokhotski–Plemelj theorem

I am aware of the Sokhotski–Plemelj theorem (I have also heard people referring to it as the "Dirac identity") which states that in the limit $\eta\rightarrow 0^+$ $$\frac{1}{x\pm i\eta}=\mathcal ...
9
votes
3answers
962 views

Boundary layer theory in fluids learning resources

I'm trying to understand boundary layer theory in fluids. All I've found are dimensional arguments, order of magnitude arguments, etc... What I'm looking for is more mathematically sound arguments. ...
69
votes
7answers
8k views

Number theory in Physics [closed]

As a Graduate Mathematics student, my interest lies in Number theory. I am curious to know if Number theory has any connections or applications to physics. I have never even heard of any applications ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Conservation of momentum in infinite square well

This is inspired by Griffiths QM section 2.2, on the infinite square well, which is about how far I've gotten (so, sorry if this is addressed later in the book). For any given starting wavefunction, ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Semi-infinite forms?

I am reading Vafa's paper 'Topological Mirros and Quantum Strings'. In this paper, the author says the Hilbert Space of a fermionic string theory corresponds to the space of semi-infinite forms on the ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Do all equillibrium points of a discrete mapping show up on the bifurcation diagram?

The question in the title is perhaps vaguely posed, so I'll include the concrete example which is bugging me. Suppose we have a mapping given by $$N_{t+1}=N_t\cdot ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Radial quantum number for infinite circular well

For completeness, I will sketch the solution of a particle in an infinite circular well first and then get to my question. I apologize in advance since the introduction is standard undergraduate ...
5
votes
2answers
246 views

What is the correct relativistic distribution function?

General Statement and Questions I am trying to figure out the proper way to model a velocity/momentum distribution function that is correct in the relativistic limit. I would like to determine/know ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Tension in string

In the derivation of the 1d linear wave equation for small amplitude waves on 1d string, they said at the end that if the density $\rho(x)$ is assumed to be constant, then the Tension $T(t)$ would ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Physics : Formula involving density, Mass, temperature and pressure [closed]

A set of dryers has a mass 40kg and density of 16kg/m3 at temperature of 40°C under the pressure 760mmHg. At what temperature will the mass be 50kg with density 20kg/m3 under a pressure of 700mmHg
2
votes
1answer
79 views

What does unphyisical quantity mean? [closed]

I was reading this Terry Tao article and almost near the end he says "the terms involving infinity do not make particularly rigorous sense, but would be considered orthogonal to the application at ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

response function and Fourier transform

A response function defined as the kernel of the following integral: $\rho(t) = \int_{-\infty}^t \chi(t,t') E(t')dt'$ (1), where $\chi(t,t')$ is the response function. Physically, it relates ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Derivation of Schwarzschild metric using the full machinery of differential geometry [closed]

How would one derive the Schwarzschild metric using the full machinery of differential geometry, using the component approach as little as possible? Something along these lines: Begin with a manifold ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

About Green's function in spherical coordinates

Here is a self-contained part of the content from one paper I am currently reading. But there is one point I can't understand. Though there will be some equations, they are easy to follow. In $d$ ...
14
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

A question about the uniqueness of Riesz representation theorem

I am sorry this question may be too math related. However, I come from physics background and I would like to ask for an physicist's explanation. As far as I know, the Riesz representation theorem ...
14
votes
1answer
474 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
111 views

Canonical second quantization vs canonical quantization with multisymplectic form in AQFT

First of all, I'm a mathematician that knows less than the basics of QFT, so forgive me if this question is trivial. Please, keep in my mind that my background in physics is very poor. 1) The usual ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

“Velvet way” to Grassmann numbers

In my opinion, the Grassmann number "apparatus" is one of the least intuitive things in modern physics. I remember that it took a lot of effort when I was studying this. The problem was not in the ...
3
votes
4answers
815 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
438 views

Floquet quasienergy spectrum, continuous or discrete?

I haven't got a feeling about Floquet quasienergy, although it is talked by many people these days. Floquet theorem: Consider a Hamiltonian which is time periodic $H(t)=H(t+\tau)$. The ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Motivation for the use of Tsallis entropy

Every now and again I hear something about Tsallis entropy, $$ S_q(\{p_i\}) = \frac{1}{q-1}\left( 1- \sum_i p_i^q \right), \tag{1} $$ and I decided to finally get around to investigating it. I haven't ...
4
votes
0answers
130 views

Mathematics of Surface Divergence and Surface Curl

While studying electrodynamics I found two functions - Surface Divergence and Surface Curl - that seem to condense the formulas for superficial discontinuities of the electric and magnetic fields ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Physic explanation of some property of heat equation? [closed]

When I compute the heat equation, I found that gross of heat do not change,it is same as our real world.But as I know , the heat equation is found according to the way of heat conduction. Why the ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Spectrum of Laplacian on one hemisphere

as is well-known, the spectrum of the Laplace operator on $S^2$, computed via $-\Delta f=\lambda f$, is positive and discrete. What happens to the spectrum if we just take one hemisphere into ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

The change in time of a concentration in a fluid can be described by Reynolds' theorem. Is that the whole story?

Let $d\in\left\{2,3\right\}$ and $\Omega_t\subseteq\mathbb R^d$ be the bounded set occupied by a fluid at time $t\ge 0$. Moreover, let $\eta_t:\Omega_t\to[0,\infty)$ be the concentration of imaginary ...
0
votes
0answers
69 views

Are there applications of $L_p$ spaces in quantum mechanics?

In quantum mechanics, there a lot of emphasis on $L^2$ spaces since Hilbert spaces describe states in quantum mechanics, so we have $$ \langle \psi | \psi \rangle = \int |\psi^2(x)|\, dx$$ Even ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

Proof that fixed points of a null field are zero

Suppose we have a scalar field $V$ (which can be acoustic pressure, or a scalar electric potential) that is a solution of the wave equation $$\Box V(x,y,z,t) = 0$$ I am wondering if a fixed ...
20
votes
1answer
371 views

What, to a physicist, are instantons and the Donaldson invariants?

I study gauge theory from a mathematical perspective. To me, one of the most fundamental ideas is the notion of an instanton on a 4-manifold. To be precise, I have a Riemannian 4-manifold and a ...
1
vote
0answers
164 views

Legendre Transformation for multiple variables

I need to show that for $F(x_1, .., x_n)$, the Legendre transformation is, $$G(s_1, ..., s_n) = \sum_{i}^{N} x_i s_i - F$$ where $$s_i = \frac{\partial F}{\partial x_i}$$ and has the property that ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Not satisfied with “trick” in zeta function regularization

I am not satisfied with the explanations of $$\sum_n \log \lambda_n = - \frac{d}{ds} \sum_n \lambda_n^{-s}\bigg|_{s=0}$$ "trick" used in zeta function regularization, discussed here and here, or the ...
7
votes
1answer
255 views

$L^{1}$ energy-momentum tensors in general relativity; semi-classical gravity

I was unsure whether to pose this question in a physics or mathematics forum, but it is an interesting idea I have been thinking about for some time. In any (semi-)classical field theory it is often ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Is time-1 map of a Hamiltonian vector field on a cylinder always twist?

I have a one degree of freedom analytic Hamiltonian $H(q,p)$ defined on a semi-infinite cylinder, i.e. $(q,p) \in \mathbb{T} \times \mathbb{R}^{+}$, such that all level sets $H(q,p)=c$ are closed ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Angular momentum partial components of a $k$-dependent pairing potential

I am going over this review on pairing in unconventional superconductors :http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.4609v3 which on page 21 states that for a "regular" function $U(\theta)$, partial components $U_l$ ...
40
votes
0answers
1k views

Linear sigma models and integrable systems

I'm a mathematician who recently became very interested in questions related to mathematical physics but somehow, I already have difficulties in penetrating the literature... I'd highly appreciate any ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What happened with Hilbert's sixth problem (the axiomatization of physics) after Gödel's work?

I'll write the question but I'm not fully confident of the premises I'm making here. I'm sorry if my proposal is too silly. Hilbert's sixth problem consisted roughly about finding axioms for physics ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Expansion of comparator

Currently I am working on Pesking Schroeder Section 15.1 and trying to understand the expansion given in (15.5), which is $$ U(x+\epsilon n, x) = 1 - i\,e\,\epsilon\,n^{\mu}\,A_{\mu}(x)+O(\epsilon^2) ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Equation of a torus

In the recent paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.03612, page 37. They say that a torus can be described by the equation $$y^2=x(z-x)(1-x)$$ where $x$ is a coordinate on the base $\mathbb{P}_1$. Could ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

In the algebraic formulation of Quantum Mechanics, how do probability amplitudes naturally arise?

In the algebraic formulation of quantum mechanics, consider $\mathcal{B}(\mathcal{H})$ as the set of all bounded operators on $\mathcal{H}$ (with involution, norm, etc.), which form a C*-algebra $C$. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Books for linear operator and spectral theory

I need some books to learn the basis of linear operator theory and the spectral theory with, if it's possible, physics application to quantum mechanics. Can somebody help me?
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Maxwell Boltzmann distribution: Going from momentum to energy

I am learning about the Maxwell Boltzmann distribution, and am trying to convert the equation from momentum into energy, but I'm stuck on changing $d^n p$ into $dE$. I have the equation: $$ ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Optics Diffraction Grating Plot

I was unsure whether to post this in physics stackexchange or mathematica stackexchange, so I posted it in both. I'm trying make an intensity plot for a diffraction grating that contains 100 ...
15
votes
10answers
4k views

Physics for mathematicians

How and from where does a mathematician learn physics from a mathematical stand point? I am reading the book by Spivak Elementary Mechanics from a mathematicians view point. The first couple of pages ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a good introduction to integrable models in physics?

I would be interested in a good mathematician-friendly introduction to integrable models in physics, either a book or expository article. Related MathOverflow question: what-is-an-integrable-system.
13
votes
4answers
891 views

Can momentum have a complex expectation value?

I'm making examples of wave functions to incorporate in a QM exam. I came up with the following wave function, which gives me some troubles: $$\psi(x,0) = \begin{cases} A(a-x), & -a \leq x \leq ...
30
votes
3answers
5k views

Mathematically-oriented Treatment of General Relativity

Can someone suggest a textbook that treats general relativity from a rigorous mathematical perspective? Ideally, such a book would Prove all theorems used. Use modern "mathematical notation" as ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

Experiments to resolve dillema between continuity and discrete

Which experiments/experimental methods are suggested to resolve an alternative about the structure of our universe space and time - is it continuous or is it discrete in a very small scale, especially ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Time dependent electric field: Mathematical expansion for local electric field

In many articles and books I see that local electric field is expanded as $$\vec E_0(\vec r(t)) = \vec E_0(\vec R_0) − (\vec a(t) \cdot \nabla) \vec E_0(\vec R_0) \cos(\Omega t) + \ldots $$ For ...