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

0
votes
0answers
201 views

Epstein-Glaser causal perturbation theory

Why does causal perturbation theory in the sense of Epstein Glaser fall under algebraic QFT rather than heuristic QFT in renormalization?
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Divergence Theorem, mathematical approach to Gauss's Law?

Let $D$ be a compact region in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with a smooth boundary $S$. Assume $0 \in \text{Int}(D)$. If an electric charge of magnitude $q$ is placed at $0$, the resulting force field is ...
5
votes
1answer
243 views

Physical intuition/interpretation of fractional derivatives/integrals?

Oftentimes, when the derivative and integral operations are introduced within the realm of physics, we are taught some physical interpretation of them: Velocity is the derivative of position ...
6
votes
2answers
147 views

$su(1,1) \cong su(2)$?

The three generators of $su(2)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ [J_0 , J_\pm] = J_\pm , \quad [J_+, J_- ] = +2J_0 .$$ The three generators of $su(1,1)$ satisfy the commutation relations $$ ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Boundary conditions of the radial Schrodinger equation

Consider the radial differential equation $$\bigg( - \frac{d^2}{dr^2} + \frac{(\ell+\frac{d-3}{2})(\ell+\frac{d-1}{2})}{r^2} + V(r) + m^2 \bigg) \phi_\ell (r) = \lambda\ \phi_\ell (r),$$ which I've ...
0
votes
3answers
77 views

How can I tell if the spectrum of an operator in QM is degenerate?

I know that the collection of all the eigenvalues of an operator $\hat{Q}$ is called its point spectrum, and sometimes two or more linearly independent eigenfunctions share the same eigenvalue, and in ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

For what values of $\lambda$ is the distribution $(x-i\varepsilon)^\lambda$ positive?

I've been reading the famous unpublished paper by Luescher and Mack "The energy momentum tensor of critical quantum field theories in 1+1 dimensions". In the proof of their main theorem, page 7 of the ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Lax representation of the harmonic oscillator

Peter Lax showed that the differential operators $$L=-6\partial_x^2-u,\quad B=-4\partial_x^3-u\partial_x-(1/2)u_x$$ fulfilling the Lax equation $$\dot{L}+[L,B]=0$$ is equivalent to the KdV equation ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

How do we know there are dimensions above the third?

Excluding the interpretation of time being the forth dimension, what mathematical evidence is there that suggests it exists? When talking about string theory they say how there is 12 dimensions and I ...
2
votes
2answers
403 views

p-adic quantum mechanic [closed]

i got a degree on physics so my question is ?as a physicist could i learn P-adic analysis or p-adci quantum mechanics ?? is there any good book on the subject ? as an introductory level How the ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Role of Hilbert Space in physics [duplicate]

Why in quantum mechanics do we require that the state space be a Hilbert space rather than just an inner product? Does the completeness of the norm have any clear physical role?
3
votes
2answers
210 views

What exactly implies the need of quantum mechanics for self-adjoint and not only symmetric operators? [duplicate]

We know that quantum mechanics requires self-adjoint operators, not only symmetric. Can we say that this follows ONLY from the two following axioms of quantum mechanics, namely that each observable ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Refined diffusion/heat models [duplicate]

I'm a math student myself, but as is natural I encounter some physics along the way too. My question concerns the heat/diffusion model. As the reader will recall this is that the heat function ...
5
votes
2answers
150 views

Momentum is a cotangent vector?

Imagine we have a particle described by $x \in M$, where $M$ is some manifold, then it is very intuitive I think that a velocity is an element of the tangent space at $x$, so $x' \in T_{x}M.$ Thus, by ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

About states, observables and the wave functional interpretation in QFT with gauge fields

First of all, I'm a mathematician, so forgive me for my possible trivial mistakes and poor knowledge of physics. In a QFT, we just start with a field (scalar, vectorial, spinorial, gauge etc), so I ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

What is the most general definition of a coordinate system?

What is the most general definition of a coordinate system? Specificly: given a suitably general metric space $(\mathcal S, s)$ consisting of a set $\mathcal S$ of elements (for instance: a set ...
38
votes
2answers
1k views

Can we infer the existence of periodic solutions to the three-body problem from numerical evidence?

I recently found out about the discovery of 13 beautiful periodic solutions to the three-body problem, described in the paper Three Classes of Newtonian Three-Body Planar Periodic Orbits. Milovan ...
41
votes
9answers
4k views

Is there something similar to Noether's theorem for discrete symmetries?

Noether's theorem states that, for every continuous symmetry of a system, there exists a conserved quantity, e.g. energy conservation for time invariance, charge conservation for $U(1)$. Is there any ...
5
votes
5answers
404 views

Infinite series of derivatives of position when starting from rest

Suppose you have an object with zero for the value of all the derivatives of position. In order to get the object moving you would need to increase the value of the velocity from zero to some finite ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

When is the spectrum of the Hamiltonian (purely) continuous?

Given a quantum hamiltonian $H = \frac{1}{2m}\vec{p}^2 +V(\vec{x})$ in $n$-dimensions, the general rule-of-thumb is that the energy will be discrete for energies $E$ for which $\{ \vec{x} | ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

What insights does category theory offer in terms of grand unified theories?

What insights does category theory offer in terms of grand unified theories? Any references to books or papers that give categorical descriptions of any of the common grand unified theories would be ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Why must the Gamow state be exponentially increasing?

Why must the Gamow state be exponentially increasing? Why cannot it be exponentially decreasing? The energy is $E- i \Gamma$, but the square root of $E- i \Gamma $ can have either positive or negative ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Cayley transform to von Neumann theorem

Self-ajointness of an operator can be found using the Cayley transform of the operator, if its unitary, $$ U = (A - i I)(A + i I)^{-1} $$ From this we can go about finding the deficiency subspaces ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

What really is the self-adjoint extension?

Going through the Quantum mechanics book by Capri, am time and again held with some stupid doubts on this topic of self-adjointness. We have for the momentum operator in finite domain, $$ p = ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Eigenvectors of $p_x$ in a particular domain

Defining the $p_x$ operator for the problem of particle in a infinite well. In the book by Capri on Quantum mechanics, the domain of the operator is given by, $$ p = -i\hbar \frac{\partial ...
6
votes
0answers
93 views

What is the physical interpretation of the automorphism on bounded operators induced by an S matrix?

In a QFT, the S-matrix $S$ is a unitary operator, that fixes the vacuum and commutes with the unitary operators implementing the action of the Poincare group on an appropriate Hilbert space $H$. ...
1
vote
2answers
142 views

About the orthogonality of the Hamiltonian eigenstates for the the continuous energy spectrum

I would like first to describe a strange case that I encountered. $ \ \ - $ I solved the Schrodinger equation with a potential barrier (a potential well limited by a finite height wall which decrease ...
0
votes
0answers
94 views

Integrability in classical mechanics

An integrable system in classical mechanics is defined by action-angle variables and closed loop trajectories in phase space. I have also heard that the flow lines of an integrable system are ...
5
votes
4answers
126 views

Physical intuition on $\mathbf{v}\otimes \mathbf{w}$

On Physics there's one very clear intuition on what a vector $\mathbf{v}$ is: they represent things with direction and magnitude (although when no metric is available there's no clear concept of ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Why do some bound states disappear in a discontinuous way?

Generally, we have the picture that as the parameter (say, the depth of a trap) of a system varies, the bound state gets more and more extended and disappears eventually at some critical parameter ...
56
votes
14answers
17k views

Best books for mathematical background?

What are the best textbooks to read for the mathematical background you need for modern physics, such as, string theory? Some subjects off the top of my head that probably need covering: ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

When can an autonomous system be written using a Hamiltonian?

If I have an autonomous series of differential equations $$\tag{1} \frac{dx_i}{dt} ~=~ A_i(x_1,...,x_n)$$ with the condition that $$\tag{2} \sum_{i=1}^n\frac{\partial A_i}{\partial x_i}~=~0$$ in all ...
15
votes
1answer
512 views

A Theorem Due to Hodge: Hawking/Ellis

This is probably quite an obscure question but hopefully somebody has a simple answer. I'm studying the proof of the topology theorem on black holes due to Hawking and Ellis (Proposition 9.3.2, p. 335 ...
7
votes
4answers
384 views

Coadjoint orbits in physics

I am looking for some application of coadjoint orbits in physics. If you know some of them please let me know.
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Hydrogen radial wave function infinity at $r=0$

When trying to solve the Schrödinger equation for hydrogen, one usually splits up the wave function into two parts: $$\psi(r,\phi,\theta)= R(r)Y_{l,m}(\phi,\theta).$$ I understand that the radial ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Particle in a one dimensional box conditions

Why does the wave function have to be $C^1(\mathbb{R})$ for a finite square well but not for an infinite square well? For an infinite square well with boundaries at $x=0$ and $x=L$, we have ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

What physical effects cause materialization of a system of particles for a short time?

It is well-known from physics that a photon with enough energy creates a pair of particles: one electron and one positron. This pair of particles can only exist for a short time. This process is ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

Tensor Operators

Motivation. I was recently reviewing the section 3.10 in Sakurai's quantum mechanics in which he discusses tensor operators, and I was left desiring a more mathematically general/precise discussion. ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Metric and the Lagrangian [duplicate]

Does the Lagrangian formalism require a metric on the configuration manifold $Q$ in order to define a Lagrangian $L$ on the tangent bundle $TQ$? Further, if we specify a metric on the tangent bundle ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Product of deltas in kinetic second quantization hamiltonian

I am trying to derive the result for a kinetic hamiltonian in second quantization in term of the fields, that is: $\hat{H} = \int - \Psi^\dagger (r) \frac{\hbar^2\hat{\nabla}^2}{2m} \Psi(r)$ I start ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

What algebraic structure does the collection of all physical quantities form?

What algebraic structure -- by which I'm referring to abstract algebra theoretic ones such as ring, field, module, etc. -- does the collection of all physical quantities form? An related and/or ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Reference frames are frame fields on spacetime?

The idea of a reference frame as discussed in this question is that of a viewpoint. So that we have some phenomenon, we want to describe be able to predict things and we must specify the viewpoint ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Description of charged sphere with Heaviside function in cylindrical coordinates

I need to describe density of charge of uniformly charged sphere (radius R, total charge Q, position of centre (0,0,0)) with Dirac delta function and Heaviside step function. The hard part is to ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

Calculus of variations and string theory

In Polchinski's String theory book, Vol 1., in chapter 1, p. 18, he is deriving the Lagrangian in the light cone gauge (that's not necessary to know in order to answer this question), and he gets ...
9
votes
1answer
166 views

What are the implications for the AdS/Cft program if AdS is unstable?

To my understanding recent progress in the study of the non linear stability of AdS spacetime suggest that $AdS$ might be unstable. If this is true, what are the physical and mathematical ...
3
votes
2answers
405 views

Physical significance of Taylor and Maclaurin series - What is the significance of defining a Maclaurin series in Mathematical Physics?

In physics, usually Taylor series is used to express a quantity which keep changes with coordinate. For example the potential energy of a molecule changes with coordinate, so we express the potential ...
1
vote
2answers
149 views

Good Fiber Bundles and Differential Geometry references for Physicists

I'm a student of Physics and I have interest on the theory of Fiber Bundles because of the applications they have in Physics (gauge theory for example). What are good books to learn the theory of ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Help needed in finding the integral curves given by orbits of one-parameter groups

Equip $\mathbb{R}^2$ with standard symplectic structure and inner product. Consider a Hamiltonian $$H=(x,y)A(x,y)^t.$$ I have to determine orbits of one-parameter groups acting by isometries of ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Laplacian of $1/r^2$ (context: electromagnetism and poisson equation)

We know that a point charge $q$ located at the origin $r=0$ produces a potential $\sim \frac{q}{r}$, and this is consistent with the fact that the Laplacian of $\frac{q}{r}$ is ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Intuitive meaning of the exponential form of an unitary operator in Quantum Mechanics

I'm an undergraduate student in Chemistry currently studying quantum mechanics and I have a problem with unitary transformations. Here in my book, it is stated that Every unitary operator ...