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52
votes
13answers
13k 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
238 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
107 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
36 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
647 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
238 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
59 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
588 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
53 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
179 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
171 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 ...
38
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
401 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
158 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 $L x$, $L t$, $L y$, ...
5
votes
1answer
253 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
139 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
209 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
145 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
143 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
171 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
90 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
142 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
1answer
130 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
42 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
44 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
234 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
295 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
61 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Bounded and Unbounded Operator

Can someone explain with a concrete example of how can I can check whether a quantum mechanical operator is bounded or unbounded? EDIT: For example., I would like to check whether $\hat ...
6
votes
1answer
223 views

Physical intuition for deformation quantization of Poisson manifolds

First of all, I know almost nothing about physics. I was reading Kontsevich´s paper on Deformation quantization of Poisson manifolds, however I could not figure out what´s the intuition for such ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Self-adjoint and nonpositive differential operators

I recently tumbled over a statement in a geophysics paper (PDF here). They have a wave equation which they formulate as $$ \frac{1}{v_0}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2} \begin{pmatrix}p \\ ...
5
votes
1answer
316 views

Self-adjoint differential operators

I'm having a hard time understanding the deal with self-adjoint differential opertors used to solve a set of two coupled 2nd order PDEs. The thing is, that the solution of the PDEs becomes ...
15
votes
2answers
449 views

Generalized Complex Geometry and Theoretical Physics

I have been wondering about some of the different uses of Generalized Complex Geometry (GCG) in Physics. Without going into mathematical detail (see Gualtieri's thesis for reference), a Generalized ...
5
votes
0answers
81 views

Any examples of commensurable subgroups appearing in physics?

I am a mathematician. I am studying and working on Hecke pairs which I am going to give the related definitions in the following. But first let me explain what I am looking for to learn by asking this ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the purpose of differential form of Gauss Law?

I am learning the differential form of Gauss Law derived from the divergence theorem. $${\rm div}~ \vec{E} =\frac{\rho}{\epsilon_0}.$$ So far in my study of math and physics, the word "differential" ...
4
votes
1answer
359 views

Scalar field transformation and generators

When we do a transformation (norm preserving one) for a given quantity, from what I have understood it seems like there is a representation of the group element for each quantity depending how they ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Eigenvalues of Infinite Dimensional Matrix [duplicate]

If I take a infinite-dimensional square matrix, what can I say about its eigenvalue spectrum? Will they have a discrete infinity of eigenvalues or continuous infinity of them?
8
votes
3answers
693 views

Use of 'complete' as in 'complete set of states' or 'complete basis'

Question. In the context of QM, I hear the phrases 'complete set of states' and 'complete basis' (among other similar expressions) thrown around rather a lot. What exactly is meant by 'complete'? ...
10
votes
1answer
294 views

Conceptual difficulty in understanding Continuous Vector Space

I have an extremely ridiculous doubt that has been bothering me, since I started learning quantum mechanics. If we consider the finite dimensional vector space for the spin$\frac{1}{2}$ particles, ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

How many unequivalent Seifert surfaces appear in a AdS/CFT extension?

When introducing the 't Hooft diagrams from Feynman diagrams on a torus has there been a classification in terms of knots and Seifert surfaces?
7
votes
1answer
273 views

Are identity types interpreted physically in an infinity-topos formulation of equations of motion?

In reference to Urs Schreibers paper/book on foundations of field theory Differential cohomology in a cohesive infinity-topos I wonder: are identity types there used "only" for the computations, or ...
17
votes
1answer
472 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
319 views

Double connectivity of $SO(3)$ group manifold

Is there any physical significance of the fact that the group manifold (parameter space) of $SO(3)$ is doubly connected? EDIT 1: Let me clarify my question. It was too vague. There exists two ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Is the system of equations of electrostatics underdetermined or overdetermined? [duplicate]

The following equations are equations of electrostatics: $$\nabla \times \vec E=0$$ $$\nabla\cdot\vec E=\dfrac{\rho}{\epsilon_0}.$$ These are 4 independent equations, while $\vec E$ has only 3 ...
6
votes
3answers
237 views

Can eigenstates of a Hilbert space be thought of as delta functions?

Say we have an observable that describes a Hilbert space and that observable acts on state kets. Lets take the position observable for example. Then $\langle y|x\rangle = \delta(y - x)$. But can the ...
4
votes
1answer
188 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
125 views

interaction between mathematical structures [closed]

From a physicist's perspective there are several situations in which somehow arbitrary choices of mathematical structures can be made. One can describe a system from different perspectives, etc. ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

interaction of mathematical structures (rephrased) [duplicate]

From a physicist's perspective there are several situations in which somehow arbitrary choices of mathematical structures can be made. One can describe a system from different perspectives, etc. ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

String theory in the context of quantization prescriptions

My new question here: has string theory been analyzed somewhere in the context of various quantization prescriptions formulated in a mathematically sound way? I mean something like geometric ...