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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?
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6answers
987 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 ...
10
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3answers
135 views

Physical interpretation to the category of CFTs

This question comes from reading Andre's question where I wandered whether that question even makes sense physically. In mathematics, VOAs form a category, does this category as a whole have a ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Where is the Atiyah-Singer index theorem used in physics?

I'm trying to get motivated in learning the Atiyah-Singer index theorem. In most places I read about it, e.g. wikipedia, it is mentioned that the theorem is important in theoretical physics. So my ...
10
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2answers
276 views

What kind of manifold can be the phase space of a Hamiltonian system?

Of course it should have dimension $2n$. But any more conditions? For example, can a genus-2 surface be the phase space of a Hamiltonian system?
10
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1answer
283 views

Chern-Simons theory

In Witten's paper on QFT and the Jones polynomial, he quantizes the Chern-Simons Lagrangian on $\Sigma\times \mathbb{R}^1$ for two case: (1) $\Sigma$ has no marked points (i.e., no Wilson loops) and ...
10
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8answers
711 views

Mathematical Universe Hypothesis

What is the current "consensus" on Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH) which claims every concievable mathematical structure exists, including infinite different Universes etc. I ...
10
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2answers
177 views

Why isn't Quantum Yang-Mills Rigorous?

Obviously one of the major components of the Yang-Mills existence and mass gap problem of the Clay institute is the proof that 3+1d quantum yang-mills theory has rigorous foundations. This (I believe) ...
10
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1answer
248 views

Conceptual difficulty in understanding Continuous Vector Space

I have an extremely ridiculous doubt that has been bothering me, since I started learning quantum mechanics. If we consider the finite dimensional vector space for the spin$\frac{1}{2}$ particles, ...
10
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2answers
46 views

Extensions of DHR superselection theory to long range forces

For Haag-Kastler nets $M(O)$ of von-Neumann algebras $M$ indexed by open bounded subsets $O$ of the Minkowski space in AQFT (algebraic quantum field theory) the DHR (Doplicher-Haag-Roberts) ...
10
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2answers
1k views

How should a theoretical physicist study maths? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should a physics student study mathematics? If some-one wants to do research in string theory for example, Would the Nakahara Topology, geometry and physics book and ...
10
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2answers
924 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 ...
10
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2answers
291 views

What is the algebraic property that corresponds to a topological term?

Warning: This question will be fairly ill-posed. I have spent a lot of time trying to make it better posed without success, so please bear with me. A single $SU(2)$ spin may be represented by the ...
10
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3answers
564 views

Can physics get rid of the continuum?

Almost every physical equation I can think of (even though I don't actually feel comfortable beyond the scope of classical mechanics and macroscopic thermodynamics, as that's enough for dealing with ...
10
votes
2answers
399 views

$\mathrm{SU(3)}$ decomposition of $\mathbf{3} \otimes \mathbf{\bar{3}} = \mathbf{8} \oplus \mathbf{1}$?

I have a question about the tensor decomposition of $\mathrm{SU(3)}$. According to Georgi (page 142 and 143), a tensor $T^i{}_j$ decomposes as: \begin{equation} \mathbf{3} \otimes \mathbf{\bar{3}} = ...
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2answers
1k views

What does John Conway and Simon Kochen's “Free Will” Theorem mean?

The way it is sometimes stated is that if we have a certain amount of "free will", then, subject to certain assumptions, so must some elementary particles."(Wikipedia) That is confusing to me, ...
10
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2answers
60 views

Examples of heterotic CFTs

I'm trying to get a global idea of the world of conformal field theories. Many authors restrict attention to CFTs where the algebras of left and right movers agree. I'd like to increase my intuition ...
10
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1answer
97 views

Triality and charge

I have a few questions about triality for the representations of $SU(3)$. (I have seen the wikipedia page, but it does not make the connection with physics.) What is triality, how can you compute ...
10
votes
1answer
158 views

Characters of $\widehat{\mathfrak{su}}(2)_k$ and WZW coset construction

I am currently studying affine Lie algebras and the WZW coset construction. I have a minor technical problem in calculating the (specialized) character of $\widehat{\mathfrak{su}}(2)_k$ for an affine ...
10
votes
2answers
310 views

What is known about some massive Gaussian models on a lattice?

Recently I started to play with some massive Gaussian models on a lattice. Motivation being that I work on massless models and want to understand the massive case because it seems easier to handle ...
10
votes
1answer
313 views

What's the physical intuition for symplectic structures?

I always thought about symplectic forms as elements of areas in little subspaces because of the Darboux theorem, however I cannot get the physical intuition for it and for the hamiltonian vector ...
10
votes
1answer
377 views

False vacuum in axiomatic QFT

There is an elegant way to define the concept of an unstable particle in axiomatic QFT (let's use the Haag-Kastler axioms for definiteness), namely as complex poles in scattering amplitudes. Stable ...
10
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0answers
219 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 ...
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10answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
275 views

Where do theta functions and canonical Green functions appear in physics

In the beginning of Section 5 in his article, Wentworth mentions a result of Bost and proves it using the spin-1 bosonization formula. This result provides a link between theta functions, canonical ...
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5answers
1k views

Hubble's law and conservation of energy

If all distances are constantly increasing, as Hubble's law say, then lots of potential energies of form ~$\frac{1}{r}$ changes, so how is the total energy of the Universe conserved with Hubble's ...
9
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5answers
339 views

Motivation for tensor product in Physics

This question is about a mathematical object (the tensor product) but thinking about the motivation that comes from Physics. Algebraists motivate the tensor product like that: "given $k$ vector spaces ...
9
votes
3answers
654 views

Rigorous proof of Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization

Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization provides an approximate recipe for recovering the spectrum of a quantum integrable system. Is there a mathematically rigorous explanation why this recipe works? In ...
9
votes
3answers
777 views

What is a dual / cotangent space?

Dual spaces are home to bras in quantum mechanics; cotangent spaces are home to linear maps in the tensor formalism of general relativity. After taking courses in these two subjects, I've still never ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Some Korean researchers saying that they solved Yang-Mills existence and mass gap problem

Today, Korean media is reporting that a team of South Korean researchers solved Yang-Mill existence and mass gap problem. Did anyone outside Korea even notice this? I was not able to notice anything ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Integral of the product of three spherical harmonics

Does anyone know how to derive the following identity for the integral of the product of three spherical harmonics?: $\int_0^{2\pi}\int_0^\pi ...
9
votes
1answer
662 views

Quivers in String Theory

Why do a physicist, particularly a string theorist care about Quivers ? Essentially what I'm interested to know is the origin of quivers in string theory and why studying quivers is a natural thing ...
9
votes
2answers
448 views

Algebraic/Axiomatic QFT vs Topological QFT

Can anybody please tell me a good source investigating the relation between Algebraic/Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory (AQFT) and Topological Quantum Field Theory (TQFT)? Or is there none?
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3answers
495 views

What areas of physics should a mathematician study to understand TQFT?

I am studying topological quantum field theory from the view point of mathematics.(axiomatic treatise) So it has no explanation about physics. I would like to know physic background of TQFT. But I ...
9
votes
9answers
992 views

Is causality a formalised concept in physics?

I have never seen a “causality operator” in physics. When people invoke the informal concept of causality aren’t they really talking about consistency (perhaps in a temporal context)? For example, if ...
9
votes
2answers
194 views

Deriving the expectation of $[\hat X,\hat H]$

For a free particle of mass $m$, with Hamiltonian $$\hat{H} = \frac {\hat{P}^2} {2m},$$ where $$\hat{P} = -i \hbar \frac{\partial} {\partial x}.$$ The commutative relation is given by $$[\hat{X}, ...
9
votes
6answers
557 views

In coordinate-free relativity, how do we define a vector?

Relativity can be developed without coordinates: Laurent 1994 (SR), Winitzski 2007 (GR). I would normally define a vector by its transformation properties: it's something whose components change ...
9
votes
4answers
449 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
722 views

Why does iteratively solving the Hartree-Fock equations result in convergence?

[ Cross-posted to the Computational Science Stack Exchange: http://scicomp.stackexchange.com/questions/1297/why-does-iteratively-solving-the-hartree-fock-equations-result-in-convergence ] In the ...
9
votes
1answer
458 views

The vacuum in quantum field theories: what is it?

In Section 10.1 of his textbook Quantum Field Theory for Mathematicians, Ticciati writes Assuming that the background field or classical source $j(x)$ is zero at space-time infinity, the presence ...
9
votes
4answers
464 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
554 views

Schwinger representation of operators for n-particle 2-mode symmetric states

A bosonic (i.e. permutation-symmetric) state of $n$ particles in $2$ modes can be written as a homogenous polynomial in the creation operators, that is $$\left(c_0 \hat{a}^{\dagger n} + c_1 ...
9
votes
1answer
499 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
222 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
437 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
342 views

Integral representation of Thomas-Fermi Equation

The Thomas-Fermi equation with dimensionless variables is identified as; $$ \frac{d^2\phi}{dx^2} = \frac{\phi^{3/2}}{x^{1/2}} $$ with the boundary conditions as $$ \phi(0) = 1 \\ \phi(\infty) = 0. $$ ...
9
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2answers
509 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: ...
9
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0answers
354 views

Classical mechanics: Generating function of lagrangian submanifold

I have a short question regarding the geometrical interpretation of the Hamilton-Jacobi-equation. One has the geometric version of $H \circ dS = E$ as an lagrangian submanifold $L=im(dS)$, which is ...
9
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3answers
800 views

Will a violin string keep vibrating for longer time in vacuum than in air?

Hitting a string of a violin or a guitar will cause that string to vibrate, but after short time the amplitude of the vibration will decay, consequently the produced sound will die out. I suppose ...
8
votes
3answers
101 views

Does the complex 3-sphere have a complex structure modulus?

This question has a flavor which is more mathematical than physical, however it is about a mathematical physics article and I suspect my misunderstanding occurs because the precise mathematical ...