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11
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1answer
488 views

How is the Dirac adjoint generalized?

I am wondering how one can generalize the Dirac adjoint to flat "spacetimes" of arbitrary dimension and signature. To be more specific, a standard situation would be to consider 4 dimensional ...
11
votes
1answer
167 views

Explaining causal completion axiom in Haag-Kastler axioms?

There are several variants of the Haag-Kastler axioms for algebraic quantum field theory. Usually one associates an algebra $\mathcal{A}(O)$ to each open region $O$ of spacetime. An often-suggested ...
11
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0answers
584 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
204 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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5answers
647 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
567 views

Electromagnetic field and continuous and differentiable vector fields

We have notions of derivative for a continuous and differentiable vector fields. The operations like curl,divergence etc. have well defined precise notions for these fields. We know electrostatic and ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Differences between symmetric, Hermitian, self-adjoint, and essentially self-adjoint operators

I am a physicist. I always heard physicists used the terminology "symmetric", "Hermitian", "self-adjoint", and "essentially self-adjoint" operators interchangeably. Actually what is the difference ...
10
votes
1answer
497 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
votes
1answer
1k views

Topological insulators: why K-theory classification rather than homotopy classification?

I am reading a 2009 paper by Kitaev on K-theory classification of topological insulators. In the 4th page, 1st paragraph in the section "Classification principles", he says, Continuous ...
10
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1answer
1k views

How algebraic geometry and motives appears in physics?

First, I'm not a physicist so I have just a little background in physics. I have been reading some noncommutative geometry books and papers (Connes, Rosenberg, Kontsevich etc) and a lot of high ...
10
votes
2answers
65 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
votes
9answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
791 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
611 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

“An operator is hermitian”. Implications?

Alastair Rae states that there are 4 postulates of Quantum Mechanics in his text on the subject matter. The first part of his second postulate can be stated as: Every dynamical variable may be ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
230 views

Time derivative of the state vector as expressed in abstract Hilbert space vs. as a wavefunction

The Schrodinger equation in Hilbert space is expressed as : $$\frac{\partial}{\partial t} \psi(t) = \frac{-i}{\hbar}H\psi(t). $$ Here $\frac{\partial}{\partial t} \psi(t) \equiv \psi'(t) \equiv\lim ...
10
votes
2answers
88 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
votes
1answer
236 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
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
450 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 $$ \phi(0) = 1 \\ \phi(\infty) = 0. $$ ...
10
votes
1answer
371 views

7 sphere, is there any physical interpretation of exotic spheres?

Basically an exotic sphere is topologically a sphere, but doesn't look like a one. Or more accurately: homeomorphic but not diffeomorphic to the standard Euclidean n-sphere The first exotic ...
10
votes
1answer
789 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
436 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
votes
2answers
568 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: ...
10
votes
0answers
433 views

Noether currents for the BRST tranformation of Yang-Mills fields

The Lagrangian of the Yang-Mills fields is given by $$ \mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}(F^a_{\mu\nu})^2+\bar{\psi}(i\gamma^{\mu} D_{\mu}-m)\psi-\frac{1}{2\xi}(\partial\cdot A^a)^2+ ...
9
votes
5answers
434 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
863 views

Lie bracket for Lie algebra of $SO(n,m)$

How does one show that the bracket of elements in the Lie algebra of $SO(n,m)$ is given by $$[J_{ab},J_{cd}] ~=~ i(\eta_{ad} J_{bc} + \eta_{bc} J_{ad} - \eta_{ac} J_{bd} - \eta_{bd}J_{ac}),$$ ...
9
votes
3answers
353 views

Is particle number a problem for formulating statistical physics in a mathematically rigorous manner?

Quantities like the chemical potential can be expressed as something like $$\mu=-T\left(\tfrac{\partial S}{\partial N}\right)_{E,V}.$$ Now the entropy is the log some volume, which depends on the ...
9
votes
2answers
7k 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

Principal value integral

I am reading A. Zee, QFT in a nutshell, and in appendix 1 he has: Meanwhile the principal value integral is defined by: $$\int dx\,{\cal P}{1\over x}f(x)~=~ \lim_{\epsilon \rightarrow 0} \int ...
9
votes
1answer
324 views

Rank of the Poincare group

There are two Casimirs of the Poincare group: $$ C_1 = P^\mu P_\mu, \quad C_2 = W^\mu W_\mu $$ with the Pauli-Lubanski vector $W_\mu$. This implies the Poincare group has rank 2. Is there a way to ...
9
votes
2answers
447 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
615 views

What are orbifolds and why are they useful and interesting for physics?

Just what the title says. What's the basic definition of an orbifold? How do they arise in physics and why are they interesting?
9
votes
2answers
951 views

The derivation of fractional equations

Recently I saw some physical problems that can be modeled by equations with fractional derivatives, and I had some doubts: is it possible to write an action that results in an equation with fractional ...
9
votes
2answers
655 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?
9
votes
2answers
608 views

Why isn't the path integral rigorous?

I've recently been reading Path Integrals and Quantum Processes by Mark Swanson; it's an excellent and pedagogical introduction to the Path Integral formulation. He derives the path integral and shows ...
9
votes
6answers
1k 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
2answers
357 views

Motivation to introduce von Neumann algebras in addition to $C^*$algebras?

Observables are self-adjoint elements of a $C^*$algebra. As such, this structure seems sufficient to describe physics. A theorem by Gelfand and Naimark says that a $C^*$algebra can always be ...
9
votes
1answer
939 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
1answer
470 views

Fourier Methods in General Relativity

I am looking for some references which discuss Fourier transform methods in GR. Specifically supposing you have a metric $g_{\mu \nu}(x)$ and its Fourier transform $\tilde{g}_{\mu \nu}(k)$, what does ...
9
votes
1answer
335 views

Why isn't the path integral defined for non homotopic paths?

Context In the Aharonov Bohm effect, there is a solenoid which creates a magnetic field. Since the electron cannot be inside the solenoid, the configuration space is not simply connected. Question ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Introductory texts for functionals and calculus of variation

I am going to learn some math about functionALs (like functional derivative, functional integration, functional Fourier transform) and calculus of variation. Just looking forward to any good ...
9
votes
2answers
900 views

Nonseparable Hilbert space

What kind of things can go wrong if we try to do quantum mechanics on a nonseparable Hilbert space? I have heard that usual mathematical manipulations that we take for granted will no longer hold. ...
9
votes
4answers
521 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
1answer
1k views

Diffeomorphisms, Isometries And General Relativity

Apologies if this question is too naive, but it strikes at the heart of something that's been bothering me for a while. Under a diffeomorphism $\phi$ we can push forward an arbitrary tensor field $F$ ...
9
votes
3answers
955 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
222 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
802 views

Representations of Lorentz Group

I'd be grateful if someone could check that my exposition here is correct, and then venture an answer to the question at the end! $SO(3)$ has a fundamental representation (spin-1), and tensor product ...
9
votes
1answer
128 views

Resources for algebraic topology in condensed matter physics

I wanted to know if anyone had any good introductions on algebraic topology for the theoretical physicist? I am particularly interested in applications to condensed matter physics, but would be happy ...