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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
128 views

Getting an equivalent integral equation from a given one

I'm reading a paper and don't understand some of the calculations. We are given an integral equation with asymptotic boundary conditions $\rho_+(u)=\frac{1}{2\pi} ...
4
votes
3answers
334 views

Applying theorem of residues to a correlation function where the Fermi function has no poles

Let $n_F(\omega) = \large \frac{1}{e^{\beta (\omega)} + 1}$ be the Fermi function. A fermionic reservoir correlation function is given by: $$C_{12}(t) = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} d\omega~ ...
16
votes
1answer
410 views

Why do quasicrystals have well-defined Fourier transforms?

I was recently reading about quasicrystals, and I was really surprised to learn that even though they do not have a periodic structure, and only have long range order in a very different sense to the ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

What to consider before taking a physics course (given a mathematical background)? [closed]

I'm a Computer Engineering major, but when I was in high school I was a very poor student. I didn't pay attention and I didn't think I was capable of succeeding in classes like Math and Science so I ...
7
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Misunderstanding Wick Ordering

In M. Salmhofer's "Renormalization, An Introduction" Wick ordering is defined as follows: Let $C = C_\Gamma$ be a nonnegative symmetric operator on $\mathbb{C}^\Gamma$. For $J: \Gamma \to ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Divergence of series [closed]

How do I understand whether a series will diverge at some point? For example, in the Legendre's diff. equation $$(1-z^2)y' '-2zy'+\ell(\ell+1)y~=~0,$$ does $y(z)$ diverge for $z=-1$ and $z=+1$?
6
votes
2answers
787 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
256 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?
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Percolation and number of phases in the 2D Ising model

Update. As my previous figure had conceptual mistakes I decided to change the picture to another, more instructive. After a long time I came back to try to understand an article on the Ising model. ...
4
votes
2answers
159 views

Why Goldstone Bosons? (A Question about VEVs)

I understand how the mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking works, and why it produces Goldstone bosons (for global symmetries) and massive gauge bosons (for local ones). However, I'm confused as ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Scale Factors via Ellipsoidal Coordinate System Scale Factors

In Morse & Feshbach (P512 - 514) they show how 10 different orthogonal coordinate systems (mentioned on this page) are derivable from the confocal ellipsoidal coordinate system $(\eta,\mu,\nu)$ by ...
0
votes
2answers
887 views

Homework Question Transformation Energy [closed]

A $1400kg$ car is approaching the hill shown in the figure at $14.0m/s$ when it suddenly runs out of gas. What is the car's speed after coasting down the other side? I think I have to use this ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

When one discusses the “boundary” of Anti-de Sitter space, what do they mean precisely?

The AdS/CFT correspondence refers to the "boundary" of AdS space but I'm a little confused about what this means. Typically, one writes the AdS metric in the form $ds^2= \frac{L^2}{z^2}(-dt^2+d\vec ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Not satisfied with “trick” in zeta function regularization

I am not satisfied with the explanations of the $\sum_n \log \lambda_n = - \frac{d}{ds} \sum_n \lambda_n^{-s}|_{s=0}$ "trick" used in zeta function regularization, discussed here and here, or the ...
26
votes
3answers
786 views

A “Hermitian” operator with imaginary eigenvalues

Let $${\bf H}=\hat{x}^3\hat{p}+\hat{p}\hat{x}^3$$ where $\hat{p}=-id/dx$. Clearly ${\bf H}^{\dagger}={\bf H}$, because ${\bf H}={\bf T} + {\bf T}^{\dagger}$, where ${\bf T}=\hat{x}^3\hat{p}$. In this ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Canonical form representation of a Linear Gaussian CPD

I'd like to know how a linear Gaussian conditional probability distribution can be represented to a canonical form. For example, let X and Y be two sets of continuous variables, with |X| = n and |Y| ...
8
votes
1answer
166 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Christoffel symbols and Dirac matrices mathematical similarities?

Maybe mine is a silly question, but are there mathematical similarities or common roots between the Christoffel symbols: $ \nabla - \partial = \Gamma $ and the Dirac matrices $ ( \gamma^\mu ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

Grassmann fields according to Peskin and Schroeder

On page 301 in Peskin and Schroeder, they claim that a Grassman field $\psi(x)$ may be decomposed as $$\psi(x) = \sum_i c_i \phi_i(x),$$ where the $c_i$ are Grassmann numbers and the $\phi_i$ are ...
5
votes
2answers
278 views

Clebsch-Gordan in Fock Space?

When adding the angular momenta of two particles, you use Clebsch-Gordan coefficients, which allow you, in fancy language, to decompose the tensor product of two irreducible representations of the ...
0
votes
0answers
75 views

Boundary conditions for 2D helical waveguide

I'm interested in looking at standing wave solutions for the wave equation on a 2D annulus, with the twist that the annulus is "streched" in to a helix in 3D, but so that the rings themselves are ...
-1
votes
1answer
118 views

The Emperor's New Mind or Shadows of the mind? [closed]

OK - I have never posted on this site before, and I hope this question isn't closed as "request for reference" but here goes: I'm a software guy who likes to dabble in math, physics and cosmology. ...
8
votes
1answer
247 views

When motion begins, do objects go through an infinite number of position derivatives?

This might be a very vague and unclear question, but let me explain. When an object at rest moves, or moves from point $A$ to point $B$, we know the object must have had some velocity (1st derivative ...
3
votes
1answer
316 views

Path Integral on a circle (calculation of phase and linear independance)

I am reading Schulman's "Techniques and applications of path integration" chapter on Path integrals on multiply-connected spaces. In the first section he calculates the path integral of a free ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Wick's theorem again

Could someone please elaborate on the accepted answer to this mathoverflow post? I'm working on a problem that looks like this \begin{equation}I=\int d^{n} x\, f(\vec x)\, e^{-\frac{1}{2} \vec x ...
0
votes
1answer
208 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.
4
votes
2answers
460 views

Normalization of the path integral

When one defines the path integral propagator, there is the need to normalize the propagator (since it would give you a probability density). There are two formulas which are used. 1) Original ...
1
vote
0answers
109 views

Is there a known generalization of the Schmidt decomposition based on a maximal set of “locally recorded branches”?

I came across an unusual multi-partite generalization of the Schmidt decomposition in my work, which I describe below. Usually, when people say "a multi-partite Schmidt decomposition", they mean a ...
2
votes
1answer
232 views

Open problem? Square of the wave function $\Psi(x)_{x_o} = \delta(x-x_0)$ of a particle localized at a point $x_0$?

Does anybody know the status of the problem to define the wave function (non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics) of a particle localized at a definite point? Landau-Lifshitz says in chapter 1 that this ...
2
votes
1answer
299 views

Continuous spectrum (quantum mechanics) [duplicate]

Does a continuous spectrum of an observable always imply that the corresponding eigenvectors will not be normalizable? If yes, how to prove it?
0
votes
0answers
63 views

Reference request for mathematical physics from an axiomatically rigorous perspective [duplicate]

Being a grad student in math, and a rather pedantic one indeed, I was unable to accept many of the things taught to me in undergrad physics courses. I am now trying to learn the applications of ...
4
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Delta functional in path integral

I've recently encountered a path integral of the form $$\int \delta[a\phi+b\phi']\,L(\phi,\phi')\;\mathcal D\phi\mathcal D\phi'$$ (where $a$, $b$ are integers) and would like to eliminate one of the ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Does Clifford algebra depend on the topology of manifold?

We know the greatest feature of Clifford algebra is coordinate-free. One can do vector operations without knowing the representation of vectors. And due to its very characteristc, Clifford or ...
2
votes
2answers
267 views

What restrictions on time boundary conditions does it have to use Fourier transform to solve wave equation?

The wave equation can be solved using Fourier transform, by assuming a solution of the form of $$\mathbf{E}(x,y,z,t)~=~\mathbf{E}(x,y,z)e^{j\omega t}$$ and then reducing the equation to the Helmholtz ...
33
votes
2answers
1k views

Intuitively, why are bundles so important in Physics?

This question probably seems silly and I don't really know if it fits properly here, but the point is the following: I've seem the notion of bundles, fiber bundles, connections on bundles and so on ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

Is it possible to deduce the Archimedes' law of the lever using only the laws of conservation of the physics?

Is it possible to deduce the Archimedes' law of the lever using only the laws of conservation of the classical mechanics? I never saw (which is strange), but I think that it's possible.
3
votes
2answers
239 views

Thermalisation - Open quantum systems

I would like to understand better a phenomenon of a quantum heat bath. Below I present one example, which seems quite clear to me. It would be great to see some less-discrete models, and more ...
16
votes
1answer
530 views

What does it mean for a QFT to not be well-defined?

It is usually said that QED, for instance, is not a well-defined QFT. It has to be embedded or completed in order to make it consistent. Most of these arguments amount to using the renormalization ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

What exactly is the meaning of weak formulations and what is its purpose?

What is the purpose behind weak formulation of PDEs? I have read in the book by Zienkiewicz and Taylor that a weak formulation is more "permissive" that the original problem in the sense that it ...
6
votes
2answers
470 views

Vector Potential for Magnetic field when the field is not in simply-connected region

According to Poincare's Lemma, if $U\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ is a star-shaped set and if $\omega$ is a $k$-form defined in $U$ that is closed, then $\omega$ is exact, meaning that there's some ...
4
votes
2answers
235 views

Star product of two commuting spinors

Ok so this might be a very stupid and trivial question but I have spent a couple of hours on this little problem. I am trying to derive a simple formula in a paper. We have a real commuting spinorial ...
2
votes
3answers
229 views

Implicit Postulate of Quantum Mechanics

Consider the following quantum system: a particle in a one dimensional box (= infinite potential well). The energy eigenstates wave functions all vanish outside the box. But the position eigenstates ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Mathematical form of chemical potential difference and entropy production

I'm trying to understand the form of the 'force' which drives chemical reactions, ie. the difference in chemical potential, also sometimes called the 'affinity'. $$\Delta \mu = - kT ln ...
5
votes
4answers
520 views

Final theory in Physics: a mathematical existence proof?

Some time ago, I read something like this about the issue of "a final theory" in Physics: "Concerning the physical laws, we have several positions as scientists There are no fundamental physical ...
2
votes
3answers
293 views

Probability density in Hamiltonian Mechanics

I am currently studying Liouville's theorem compare wikipedia and there this mysterious probability density $\rho$ appears and I was wondering how one can determine this quantity analytically for a ...
9
votes
1answer
482 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
137 views

A simple question on the projected wave function?

For example, consider a spin-1/2 AFM Heisenberg Hamiltonian $H=\sum_{<ij>}\mathbf{S}_i\cdot\mathbf{S}_j$, and we perform a ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

What is ``thermal" about a thermal quotient of EdS and EAds?

This is in continuation of my previous question and is in reference to this paper. I guess that the authors are interested in $S^n$ and $\mathbb{H}^n$ since these are the Euclideanized versions of ...