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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11
votes
4answers
629 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
179 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, ...
7
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
644 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
382 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
2answers
132 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
163 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
719 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
258 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
511 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
3answers
250 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
987 views

How to interpret the continuity conditions in the PDEs (for example, Maxwell equations) originated in physics?

I am currently working on PDEs in physics, mostly Maxwell equations. I am a mathematics graduate student, and this question has been haunting me for years. In PDE theory, or more specifically the ...
4
votes
2answers
290 views

Combinatorial sum in a problem with a Fermi gas

I'm solving a problem involving a Fermi gas. There is a specific sum I cannot figure my way around. A set of equidistant levels, indexed by $m=0,1,2 \ldots$, is populated by spinless fermions with ...
3
votes
3answers
357 views

Does the variation of the Lagrangian satisfy the product rule and chain rule of the derivative?

I have seen wikipedia use the product rule and maybe the chain rule for the variation of the Langragin as follows: \begin{align} \dfrac{\delta [f(g(x,\dot{x}))h(x,\dot{x})] } {\delta x} = \left( ...
3
votes
0answers
77 views

Divergence calculation of a lie algebra valued quantity having spinor indices

I am reading this paper by E. Weinberg - Fundamental monopoles and multimonopole solutions for arbitrary simple gauge groups. I am having a problem with a calculation. I don't have much experience ...
2
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
232 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.
2
votes
2answers
215 views

Is there a physical intuition for diamagnetic inequality?

Diamagnetic inequality implies, quantum mechanically, for a charged particle without intrinsic magnetic moment(or to say ignoring spin-magnetic field interaction) in some potential $V(\vec{x})$, when ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Does the positive mass conjecture indicate a necessity of interactions in our universe?

The positive mass conjecture was proved by Schoen and Yau and later reproved by Witten. Total mass in a gravitating system must be positive except in the case of flat Minkowski space, where energy is ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

The Euler-Poincare equation

Can anyone tell me very basically how the Euler-Poincare equation generalises the Euler-Lagrange equation? Further does anyone know if there is an "easy" relationship between the two, i.e. can anyone ...
1
vote
2answers
303 views

How much physics a mathematician needs to know to study GR? [duplicate]

I'm intending to study General Relativity on my own. The thing is, my physics background is not very strong. I know classical mechanics and I know some electromagnetism. I'm familiar with Gauss' law, ...
7
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
292 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
279 views

1-form formulation of quantized electromagnetism

In a perpetual round of reformulations, I've put quantized electromagnetism into a 1-form notation. I'm looking for references that do anything similar, both to avoid reinventing the wheel and perhaps ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

How do aspherical gravitational monopoles look like?

I was recently pointed by laboussoleestmonpays to a beautiful paper from some time ago, Aspherical gravitational monopoles. Alain Connes, Thibault Damour and Pierre Fayet. Nucl. Phys. B 490 no. ...
5
votes
2answers
264 views

Is it normal for physical functions to lack a 2nd derivative?

My question is about the appearance of a non-analytic function in the formula for the resistive force in air or other medium. Considering the 1-dimensional case as covered by Walter Lewin in his 8.01 ...
5
votes
2answers
609 views

Are there 'higher order moments' in physics?

This may be a rather noob question but please let me clarify: I'm struggling to understand the use of the word 'moments' w.r.t., probability distributions. It seems after some research and poking ...
5
votes
2answers
587 views

Positive Mass Theorem and Geodesic Deviation

This is a thought I had a while ago, and I was wondering if it was satisfactory as a physicist's proof of the positive mass theorem. The positive mass theorem was proven by Schoen and Yau using ...
4
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
381 views

Mathematics and Physics prerequisites for mirror symmetry [closed]

I am a physics undergrad interested in Mathematical Physics. I am more interested in the mathematical side of things, and interested to solve problems in mathematics using Physics. My current ...
4
votes
10answers
2k views

Addition of different physical quantities

We all know the "apples and oranges" rule which says that it's meaningless to add or subtract two different quantities like apples and oranges. But the same rule doesn't hold for the multiplication ...
3
votes
3answers
126 views

Statistical Mechanics - Distribution of Energies

Consider a state space $\mathbb{X}$. The probability density function under a canonical ensemble is given by the Boltzmann distribution $$\pi_{\mathbb{X}}(x)=\frac{e^{-\beta ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Differential Realizations of certain algebras

I'm a first year graduate student in Mathematical Physics, and I am trying to generalise a certain method involving the so-called "Differential realizations" of certain algebras. The problem I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
455 views

Tensor Product of Hilbert spaces

This question is regarding a definition of Tensor product of Hilbert spaces that I found in Wald's book on QFT in curved space time. Let's first get some notation straight. Let $(V,+,*)$ denote a set ...
3
votes
2answers
262 views

Extension to continuous in proofs of rigid body mechanics

I'm studying rigid body mechanics and I've seen several proofs of properties related to total angular momentum, kinetic energy, etc. that all regard discrete set of points. For example, to show that ...
3
votes
2answers
325 views

Higher order covariant Lagrangian

I'm in search of examples of Lagrangian, which are at least second order in the derivatives and are covariant, preferable for field theories. Up to now I could only find first-order (such at ...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

Isospin and Hypercharge of the SU(2) bps monopole embedding

I am reading the paper Fundamental monopoles and multimonopole solutions for arbitrary simple gauge groups - Weinberg, Erick J . In appendix C of this paper the author states, that the solution ...
3
votes
1answer
432 views

What are Grassmann (even/odd) numbers used in superalgebras?

Are Grassmann numbers a concept of graded Lie algebras or is something specific to superalgebras? What are they (i.e: how are they defined, important properties, etc.)? Is there a reasonable ...
2
votes
2answers
206 views

A rigorous treatment of distributions in quantum mechanics

In many introductory courses to quantum mechanics, we see $\delta$-functions all over the place. For example when expressing an arbitrary wave function $\psi(x)$ in the basis of eigenfunctions of the ...
2
votes
1answer
532 views

What is the mathematical background needed for quantum physics? [duplicate]

I'm a computer scientist with a huge interest in mathematics. I have also recently started to develop some interest about quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. Assuming some knowledge in the ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

electrostatic potential, analytic properties

An electrostatic potential associated with some delocalized charge $\int \rho(\mathbf{r}) d{\mathbf{r}}$ is given by: $$v_H(\mathbf{r}) = \int ...
2
votes
4answers
376 views

Generalized quantum mechanics

I wonder if it's possible to discover another version of quantum theory that doesn't depend on complex numbers. We may discover a formulation of quantum mechanics using p-adic numbers, quaternions or ...
2
votes
1answer
227 views

Equivalent system in Centre manifold theory

I was studying the centre manifold theory. It says (see Kuznetsov page 155, theorem 5.2) that the system on the left side of the picture is topologically equivalent to the one on the right. $ ...
2
votes
1answer
527 views

What is the mathematical nature of space time quantization in string theory/super string theory?

I don't know much about string theory, apart from it being a theory of everything which brings QM, QED and nuclear forces and gravity under one single roof. I am curious to know from a mathematical ...
1
vote
1answer
44 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
3answers
112 views

Can one construct a new operator in terms of the powers of another operator?

Suppose we have a quantum state, well described by its time-independent wave function Psi. And we have a well-defined Hermitian (self-adjoint) operator $A$. We successfully evaluate the expectation ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

Separation of variables in various PDEs, physical meaning

The method of separation of variables produces an undetermined separation constant and a family of solutions indexed by the values of this constant. For instance, in the case of an infinitely long ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

In QM, do we deal with basis or orthonormal sets?

Most textbooks say, that given a (countable) basis ${|\phi_n\rangle}$ of a Hilbert space, that every vector $|\psi\rangle$ of the space can be written as: $$\psi\rangle=\sum_{n=1}^\infty ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

Could two different bases of a Hilbert space have different cardinality? [duplicate]

Here is a quote from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert_space#Hilbert_dimension (accessed: Nov. 22, 2013) : As a consequence of Zorn's lemma, every Hilbert space admits an orthonormal basis; ...