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 ...

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How to think physically about basic “fields”

"Field" is a name for associating a value with each point in space. This value can be a scalar, vector or tensor etc. I read the wikipedia article and got that much, but then it goes it into more ...
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1answer
2k views

Plane wave expansion in cylindrical coordinates

I am trying to solve scattering problem in 2D and got to expand the wave function in cylindrical system which comes out to be Hankel function. Can you tell me how to expand the plane wave $\exp(i ...
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4answers
545 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Sources to learn about Greens functions

For a physics major, what are the best books/references on Greens functions for self-studying? My mathematical background is on the level of Mathematical Methods in the physical sciences by Mary ...
7
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3answers
987 views

Implications of unbounded operators in quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanical observables of a system are represented by self - adjoint operators in a separable complex Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$. Now I understand a lot of operators ...
6
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1answer
276 views

Wightman axioms and gauge symmetries

I have a basic understanding of the Wightman axioms for QFT. I was reading the about the Mass Gap problem for simple compact gauge groups and was wondering how the gauge group is supposed to be ...
6
votes
2answers
188 views

fitting free QFTs into the Haag-Kastler algebraic formulation

Has the free Klein-Gordon quantum field theory been fitted into the Haag-Kastler algebraic framework? (Actually, John Baez told me "yes", and he should know.) If so, can you describe the basic ...
5
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1answer
122 views

Transport theorem derivation question

I am trying to rigorously go through some fluid mechanics proofs and theorems. I am currently going through a proof related to the transport theorem and I am having trouble with a step. The steps in ...
5
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3answers
562 views

Axiomatic statistical mechanics

Ive read a few courses on statistical mechanics, and while their textual explanations and example choices differ, the flow of information from microscopy to macroscopy seems the same, and reading ...
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0answers
136 views

Level quantization of 7d $SO(N)$ Chern-Simons action

In 3d, one can write down the $SO(N)$ Chern-Simons action to be $$S(A)=\frac{k}{192\pi}\int_{M}\text{Tr}(A d A +\frac{2}{3}A^3),$$ where $A$ is an $SO(N)$ connection. The level quantization can be ...
4
votes
1answer
911 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Uniqueness of Helmholtz decomposition?

Helmholtz theorem states that given a smooth vector field $\pmb{H}$, there are a scalar field $\phi$ and a vector field $\pmb{G}$ such that $$\pmb{H}=\pmb{\nabla} \phi +\pmb{\nabla} \times \pmb{G},$$ ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Symplectic geometry in thermodynamics

There seems to be analogues between Hamiltonian dynamics and thermodynamics given the Legendre transforms between Lagrangian and Hamiltonian functions and all of Maxwell's relations. Poincarè tried to ...
3
votes
1answer
594 views

What is a maximal analytic extension?

Can someone explain (as rigorously as possible) what is involved in analytically continuing, say, the Schwarzschild solution to the Kruskal manifold? I understand the two metrics separately but I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

If path integrals aren't well-defined, how can they have any physical meaning?

I am confused about a particular point about the nature of path integration. According to what I've read, what we really mean when we say functional integration is \begin{equation} ...
0
votes
1answer
233 views

Applying theorem of residues to a fermionic reservoir correlation function in order to solve the integral in the CF and obtain a summation

Applying theorem of residues to a fermionic reservoir correlation function in order to solve the integral in the correlation function and obtain a summation.
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votes
5answers
688 views

Applications of Geometric Topology to Theoretical Physics

Geometric topology is the study of manifolds, maps between manifolds, and embeddings of manifolds in one another. Included in this sub-branch of Pure Mathematics; knot theory, homotopy, manifold ...
10
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1answer
420 views

Intuitively Re-Deriving Equations of Mathematical Physics

Using the intuitive interpretation of the Laplacian $\vec{\nabla}^2$ as the difference between the average value of a field in the neighbourhood of a point & the value of the field at that point, ...
9
votes
1answer
767 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
445 views

Is the step of analytic continuation unavoidable or can you model around it?

One sometimes considers the analytic continuation of certain quantities in physics and take them seriously. More so than the direct or actual values, actually. For example if you use the procedure ...
6
votes
2answers
158 views

Eigenstates of a Hermitian field operator

Consider a Hermitian field operator $\phi(x)$ with eigenstates satisfying $$ \phi(x) |\alpha\rangle = \alpha(x) | \alpha \rangle $$ I'm trying to determine the inner product between the eigenstates. ...
6
votes
1answer
166 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 ...
6
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0answers
230 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
887 views

What are Wightman fields/functions

Simple question: What are Wightman fields? What are Wightman functions? What are their uses? For example can I use them in operator product expansions? How about in scattering theory?
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votes
2answers
416 views

Can auxiliary fields be thought of as Lagrange multipliers?

In the BRST formalism of gauge theories, the Lautrup-Nakanishi field $B^a(x)$ appears as an auxiliary variable $$\mathcal{L}_\text{BRST}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}^a F^{a\,\mu\nu}+\frac{1}{2}\xi B^a B^a + ...
6
votes
2answers
661 views

What is the symmetry that corresponds to conservation of position?

We know that conserved quantities are associated with certain symmetries. For example conservation of momentum is associated with translational invariance, and conservation of angular momentum is ...
6
votes
1answer
565 views

There seems to be no definition of “stability” in axiomatic QFT. Is there? And, if not, is this a problem?

"stability" is invoked as the justification for the axiomatic requirement that the spectrum of the generators of the translation group must be confined to the forward light-cone. The spectrum ...
5
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1answer
302 views

Grassmann Variables Representation?

It might be a silly question, but I was never mathematically introduced to the topic. Is there a representation for Grassmann Variables using real field. For example, gamma matrices have a ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Jauch, Piron, Ludwig -> QFT? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a complete book for quantum field theory? At the moment I am studying Piron: Foundations of Quantum Physics, Jauch: Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, and ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Is gauge connection unique?

In QFT, given a gauge group and matter field, is the form of the gauge field unique? In other words, given a principal G-bundle and its associated vector bundle, is the construction of the principle ...
4
votes
1answer
187 views

Continuity domain for momentum operator

I know this is essentially a mathematic question, but I received no answer on math SE. Moreover it has a direct application in physics, so I thought to ask this here too. The momentum operator in one ...
3
votes
1answer
271 views

Paths in the path integral

In the path integral approach one defines in some heuristic way the functional path integral \begin{equation} Z=\int{\cal{D}}\phi e^{iS(\phi)} \end{equation} and the one claims that one must ...
3
votes
3answers
370 views

Physical significance of getting an non-integrable function in an equation

I just found out during my Calculus course in High School, that there exist functions which cannot be integrated. Then I thought that I come across a lot of integrals while solving Physics ...
3
votes
1answer
308 views

p-adic quantum mechanic

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

How many digits of Pi are required in physics?

In other words: which physics experiment requires to know Pi with the highest precision?
2
votes
1answer
195 views

Resources for theory of distributions (Generalized functions) for physicists

I am looking for tutorials, articles or books containing theory of distributions in context of mathematical physics. Please suggest.
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votes
4answers
641 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, ...
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vote
0answers
58 views

Learning Roadmap to Mathematical Physics [duplicate]

Currently, I am a graduate student specializing in algebraic geometry. On the other hand, I have also become extremely interested in the mathematical physics. However, I am not sure what steps I ...
0
votes
1answer
504 views

State normalization in Dirac's formulation of quantum mechanics

Let us divide the time $T$ into $N$ segments each lasting $δt = T/N$. Then we write $\langle q_F | e^{−iHT} |q_I \rangle = \langle q_F | e^{−iHδt} e^{−iHδt} . . . e^{−iHδt} |q_I \rangle $ Our ...
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4answers
615 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
162 views

Discussions of the axioms of AQFT

The most recent discussion of what axioms one might drop from the Wightman axioms to allow the construction of realistic models that I'm aware of is Streater, Rep. Prog. Phys. 1975 38 771-846, ...
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votes
2answers
1k views

How important is mathematical proof in physics?

How important are proofs in physics? If something is mathematically proven to follow from something we know is true, does it still require experimental verification? Are there examples of things that ...
7
votes
2answers
604 views

Interesting topics to research in mathematical physics for undergraduates

I'm planning on getting into research in mathematical physics and was wondering about interesting topics I can get into and possibly make some progress on. I'm particularity fond of abstract algebra ...
6
votes
1answer
351 views

Thermodynamic limit “vs” the method of steepest descent

Let me use this lecture note as the reference. I would like to know how in the above the expression (14) was obtained from expression (12). In some sense it makes intuitive sense but I would ...
5
votes
3answers
654 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
1answer
240 views

How Exactly Does Linear Regge Trajectories Imply Stability?

(for a more muddled version, see physics.stackexchange: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/14020/whats-with-mandelstams-argument-that-only-linear-regge-trajectories-are-stable) There is a ...
5
votes
3answers
477 views

Curvature of Conical spacetime

Inspired by: Angular deficit The 2+1 spacetime is easier for me to visualize, so let's use that here. (so I guess the cosmic string is now just a 'point' in space, but a 'line' in spacetime) Edward ...
4
votes
0answers
138 views

explicit matrix elements for a representation decomposed into subgroup by branching rules

I'm looking for a way to construct a representation for a simple Lie group such that one particular subgroup is manifest. I learned the branching rules from Cahn, Georgi and Slansky, but I'm still not ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Finite or ∞ set of masses & ∃ gravity center?

Any finite & non empty set of masses has a computable center of gravity: $\vec{OG} = \frac{\sum_i m_i \vec{OM}_i}{\sum_i m_i}$ . Does the contrapositive permits to conclude that a mass system ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...