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2
votes
1answer
71 views

Deriving Cartan formula

I have trouble deriving Cartan formula of the form: $$ \mathrm{d} \omega (X,Y) = X[\omega(Y)] - Y[\omega(X)] - \omega([X,Y]) \tag{1} $$ where $\mathrm{d}$ is the exterior derivative, $\omega$ is a ...
24
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
51
votes
14answers
5k views

Number theory in Physics

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Why do we require manifolds to be a topological space?

Roughly speaking, we define a manifold $M$ to be covered by a set of charts $\{(U_i , \varphi_i)\}$ such that locally the $n$-dimensional manifolds looks like $\mathbb{R}^n$. One of the conditions is ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Is rigorous functional analysis useful for theoretical physics? [duplicate]

I'm an undergraduate physics without much quantum mechanics at all under my belt. I'm studying functional analysis, and I want to know whether or not this will be useful for me in theoretical physics ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

A question about Hamiltonian phase flow

Show that if a one-parameter group of difeomorphisms of a symplectic manifold preserves the symplectic structure then it is a locally hamiltonian phase flow. Note that A locally hamiltonian ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Principal value of 1/x and few questions about complex analysis in Peskin's QFT textbook

When I learn QFT, I am bothered by many problems in complex analysis. 1) $$\frac{1}{x-x_0+i\epsilon}=P\frac{1}{x-x_0}-i\pi\delta(x-x_0)$$ I can't understand why $1/x$ can have a principal value ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

Physical consequences of non-abelian non-trivial holonomy

The Aharonov-Bohm effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aharonov%E2%80%93Bohm_effect#Significance) can be well described and explained in terms of holonomy of the $U(1)$ connection of the ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Showing that the maximum possible uncertainty for any observable is half the difference between its maximum and minimum eigenvalues

Show that the maximum possible uncertainty for any observable is $\frac{1}{2}|x_2 - x_1|$ where $x_1$ and $x_2$ are the extreme eigenvalues of X (Maximize $\Sigma_i p_ix_i^2 - (\Sigma_i p_ix_i)^2$) ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Relation between solutions to Yang-Baxter equations, integrability and exact solvability?

Wikipedia mentions that there is an implication: Yang-Baxter solutions yield integrable models, what 1D systems concerns. In arbitrary dimensions, what is the relation, if any, between solutions to ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Solution to the “cubic” Helmholtz equation

What is known about the solutions of the differential equation in three-dimensions $$ \nabla^2 \phi = -\kappa^2 (\phi + (1/3!)\phi^3) $$ Without the cubic term, this gives a linear operator ...
3
votes
1answer
966 views

General procedure for Clebsch-Gordan expansions

I'm wondering if the Clebsch-Gordan series generalize to any orthonormal set of basis functions? If so, how would one go about deriving an expression for an arbitrary set of basis functions (perhaps ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

What are type system examples of local gauge transformation- and field strength-like objects?

This is essentially a follow up motivated by this answer to my question about the gauge transformation interpretation of identity types. A field $$\psi:\mathcal M\to\mathbb C^n$$ is a section of the ...
7
votes
1answer
333 views

Why is the Hodge dual so essential?

It seems unnatural to me that it is so often worthwhile to replace physical objects with their Hodge duals. For instance, if the magnetic field is properly thought of as a 2-form and the electric ...
9
votes
5answers
348 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
224 views

Resources showing how to use differential forms in Physics

I've been learning for a while about multivectors and forms and how they simplify many things that in simple vector calculus seems to be complicated. The only problem until now is that differently ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Deriving diffusion coefficients from velocity field?

If I know the velocity, $\mathbf{v}(\mathbf{r},t)$, everywhere, is it possible to determine the diffusion coefficient, $D(\mathbf{r},t)$ everywhere as well? Would it be possible from using Fick's ...
45
votes
13answers
9k 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: ...
11
votes
1answer
179 views

Lie group of Schrodinger Wave equation

In Ballentine's book on quantum mechanics (in 3rd chapter), he introduces the symmetry transformation of Galilean group associated with Schrodinger equation. Now the Galilean group as such has 10 ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Picture of supports

This questions stems from Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory and is mathematical in nature. However, I feel that an answer from physicists is more in line with what I will be asking. Let $\phi$ be a ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Functional differential equations with multiple solutions in physics?

Are there any system in physics that are represented by a functional differential equation that has multiple but a finite number of solutions?
9
votes
2answers
567 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
108 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Solutions of PDEs in different coordinate systems

Suppose we have a PDE, for example the Helmholtz paraxial equation: $$ \nabla_\perp^2A+2ik\frac{\partial A}{\partial z}=0 $$ Solutions depend on the coordinate system we are using, i.e. we obtain ...
8
votes
1answer
261 views

Self-adjoint and unbounded operators in QM

An operator $A$ is said to be self-adjoint if $(\chi,A\psi)=(A\chi,\psi)$ for $\psi, \chi \in D_A$ and $D_A=D_{A^\dagger}$. But for the free particle momentum operator $\hat{p}$ these inner products ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

To all experienced theoretical physicists out there, what is the step by step process in your math education? [duplicate]

I am not doing a physics degree but an engineering degree but i am planning using my free time to self study all the math in preparing myself to self study subjects in theoretical physics. (I've ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Are continuous mathematical models of discrete physical phenomena messy because of a disconnect between “continuous” and “discontinuous”? [duplicate]

A copy of my question on Mathematics: Examples from statistical mechanics and continuum mechanics abound: a discrete phenomenon (e.g. kinetic energy of molecules) is "averaged" out over the ...
4
votes
0answers
149 views

Topological Quantum Field Theories

I've asked this on Math.SE, but with no avail. So, I decided to ask it here. I was wondering about the following after reading the Wikipedia article on TQFTs. It is said that TQFTs have vanishing ...
1
vote
0answers
142 views

Divergent path integral

What does it mean to have a divergent path integral in a QFT? More specifically, if $$\int e^{i S[\phi]/\hbar} D\phi (t)=\infty $$ What does this mean for the QFT of the field $\phi $? The field ...
33
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

CFT and the conformal group

Equations 2-7 on page 21 of these notes, http://www.math.ias.edu/QFT/fall/NewGaw.ps seems to give a fairly compact definition of what a CFT is. But I have two questions, This definition is ...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

Exponential of a differential operator

I have a differential operator $L$, $\displaystyle L = i (t\frac{\partial}{\partial z} - z\frac{\partial}{\partial t})$ I can trivially hit this operator to $x,y,z$ and $t$ as $L x$, $L t$, $L y$, ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Couder-Fort Oil Bath Experiments and Quantum Entanglement Phenomena

The oil bath experiments of Couder and Fort have been able to reproduce various "pilot wave like" quantum behavior on a macroscopic scale. Particularly striking is the fact that the double-slit ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

In what way are the Mathematical universe hypothesis and A New Kind of Science connected

The Mathematical universe hypothesis, mainly by Max Tegmark and A new Kind of Science, mainly by Stephen Wolfram both claim (as least as I understand it) that at its innermost core reality is ...
6
votes
0answers
137 views

What does “mathematically well defined” quantum field theory mean? [duplicate]

Reading Wald's book (page 380, end of the first paragraph of section 14.1) while the author is giving an overall discussion of quantum field theories you can read However, for the more interesting ...
5
votes
2answers
199 views

Evaluate $1$-loop contribution to the $4$-point Green's function

I am trying to evaluate the following integral \begin{equation} I = \int \frac{d^d p_\text{E}}{(2 \pi)^d} \frac{1}{(p_\text{E}^2+m^2)((q_\text{E}-p_\text{E})^2 + m^2)} \tag{1} \end{equation} where ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Determining the Hodge numbers of some orbifold examples

I'm currently reading about complex geometry in order to get a feeling of how to determine the Hodge numbers, e.g. of certain orbifold constructions. Since I'm a physicist with no deeper mathematical ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Is basic quantum mechanics mathematically as robust a theory as special relativity?

This question is specifically about the robustness of mathematical models. Special relativity can be derived from very basic principles. Assuming that space is homogeneous and isotropic and that ...
3
votes
3answers
96 views

Discrete sum over a gaussian function

I have a sum of the form $$\sum_{n,m=-N}^N e^{-\alpha (n-m)^2}$$ where $α>0$ is some constant, and I don't mind if the limit $N\rightarrow\infty$ is taken. I know there is a possibility of ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Eigenfunction associated with the $\hat{x}$ operator

Consider the following operator $\hat{x}=i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial p}$. I am trying to show that the eigenfunctions of $\hat{x}$ are not square-normalizable. I am interested in doing so since ...
7
votes
1answer
138 views

Are there cases in which we should consider tensors as equivalence classes?

Usually in texts about Physics that uses tensors defines them as multilinear maps. So if $V$ is a vector space over the field $F$, a tensor is a multilinear mapping: $$T:V\times\cdots\times V\times ...
8
votes
0answers
516 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
124 views

Lagrangian formalism and Contact Bundles

In his Applied Differential Geometry book, William Burke says the following after telling that the action should be the integral of a function $L$: A line integral makes geometric sense only if ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Linear Algebra For Physicists (Book Recommendations) [duplicate]

I am aware that there are plenty of questions regarding book recommendations, however, I have not found one that fully matches what I intend to ask. I have provided a list of links to some similar ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

Finding charge (electromagnetism course) [duplicate]

I'm a maths undergrad taking a course on electromagnetism, I've drawn a diagram to represent this following question, but I'm having a bit of trouble approaching it: "Two tiny balls of mass m = 0:1 g ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Lorentz transformation of the vacuum state

In general, the Hamiltonian $H$ has non-zero vacuum expectation value (VEV): $$ H \left.| \Omega \right> = E_0 \left.|\Omega \right>, $$ where $\left.|\Omega\right>$ is the vacuum state. The ...
5
votes
1answer
327 views

Hilbert space of a free particle: Countable or Uncountable?

This is obviously a follow on question to the Phys.SE post Hilbert space of harmonic oscillator: Countable vs uncountable? So I thought that the Hilbert space of a bound electron is countable, but ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

On a trick to derive Noether current

Suppose, in whatever dimension and theory, the action $S$ is invariant for a global symmetry with a continuous parameter $\epsilon$. The trick to get the Noether current consists in making the ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

The superposition of force (or acceleration) configurations

My question is quite specific as it refers to this article but I hope that someone here could help me. I cite the relevant part of the article: ... The second example consists of gravitational ...