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

0
votes
3answers
49 views

What's the difference between “numerical methods” & “mathematical analysis” as said by Feynman in his lectures?

While reading his lectures, I came to these lines: On the basis of Newton's second law of motion,which gives the relation between the acceleration of any body & the force acting on it,any ...
1
vote
4answers
214 views

Why drops form spheres?

Consider a drop of water floating in an inertial frame in STP air (e.g., the ISS). Intuitively, the equilibrium shape of the drop is a sphere. How would one prove that? Is it equivalent to showing ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Relationship between Connection and Material Derivative

Suppose $D\subset \Bbb R^3$ contains a fluid and that $f : D\times \mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R}$ is a time dependent function defined on the fluid region. In that case, the material derivative is defined ...
6
votes
5answers
786 views

What is the meaning of following expression $C=\frac{\delta Q}{dT}$ mathematically?

Our professor raised the following question during our lecture in Statistical Physics (even so it's related to Thermodynamics): Many text books (even Wikipedia) writes wrong expressions (from ...
2
votes
3answers
146 views

Spectral properties in Solid state physics

So assume we have a periodic 1d Schrödinger operator $$- f'' + V(x) f(x)= \lambda f(x)$$ and we want $V$ to be periodic. Now if we assume that we are on a finite interval and that we have periodic ...
5
votes
2answers
135 views

Akin to gauge field, why GR's lagrangian is not $R_{abcd}R^{abcd}$? What's the mathematical or physical meaning of $R_{abcd}R^{abcd}$?

For gauge field theory, the Lagrangian of the gauge field is $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}\mathrm{tr}(\mathcal{F}_{\mu\nu}\mathcal{F}^{\mu\nu})=-\frac{1}{8}F_{a\ \mu\nu}F^{a \ \mu\nu}$$ The field ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views
+50

Solving Special Function Equations Using Lie Symmetries

The lie group + representation theory approach to special functions & how they solve the ode's arising in physics is absolutely amazing. I've given an example of it's power below on Bessel's ...
16
votes
1answer
797 views

Intuitive meaning of Hilbert Space formalism

I am totally confused about the Hilbert Space formalism of Quantum Mechanics. Can somebody please elaborate on the following points: The observables are given by self-adjoint operators on the ...
5
votes
4answers
241 views

Kähler and complex manifolds

I was wondering if anyone knows any good references concerning Kähler manifolds and complex manifolds? I am studying supergravity theories and for the simplest $\mathcal{N}=1$ supergravity we will get ...
6
votes
2answers
166 views

Infinite dimensional vector spaces vs. the dual space

I just happened across this over on Math Overflow. It references the following theorem from linear algebra: A vector space has the same dimension as its dual if and only if it is finite ...
6
votes
2answers
133 views

Does the Hermitian operator $H=-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$ have imaginary eigenvalues?

In quantum mechanics, Hermitian operators play a very important role because they possess real eigenvalues. Considering $-\frac{d^2}{dx^2}$, it is a Hermitian operator (Actually it's the simplest ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Can Minkowski spacetime be redefined as a non-flat riemannian manifold?

Minkowski space time is defined in terms of a flat pseudo-Riemannian manifold. I have wondered if it can be redefined as Riamannian manifold and in the case what type of curvature would there appear. ...
7
votes
4answers
829 views

Connection between Poisson Brackets and Symplectic Form

Jose and Saletan say the matrix elements of the Poisson Brackets (PB) in the $ {q,p} $ basis are the same as those of the inverse of the symplectic matrix $ \Omega^{-1} $, whereas the matrix elements ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Why we take product of two such quantities which are proportional to a common quantity when formulating? [migrated]

For instance, we say that Area of rectangle is proportional to its height as well as width. Why we take their product equal to the area with taking constant of proportionality '1'? However I know that ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Free groups and their appearance, emergence and applications in physics

While trying to develop my knowledge of group theory in physics from a more formal point of view, I noticed an entity called a free group. I'm aware that it is extremely important in pure mathematical ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

A pedestrian explanation of conformal blocks

I would be very happy if someone could take a stab at conveying what conformal blocks are and how they are used in conformal field theory (CFT). I'm finally getting the glimmerings of understanding ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

What is functional analysis and why is it important in physics? [closed]

What is functional analysis and why is it important in physics? I'm studying mathematics but have interest in perhaps moving into an area of research that overlaps with physics after/while in grad ...
7
votes
1answer
292 views

Reference Request: Classical Mechanics with Symplectic Reduction

I am trying to find a supplement to appendix of Cushman & Bates' book on Global aspects of Classical Integrable Systems, that is less terse and explains mechanics with Lie groups (with dual of Lie ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Contradiction in classical analysis of the hamiltonian $\mathcal{H}=xp$?

I am writing an essay on the Berry Keating article proposing to use the $\mathcal{H}=xp$ hamiltonian to get a correspondence between the nontrivial riemann zeros and the eigenvalues of an Hermitian ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Why is quantum mechancis is not content with symmetric operators, but wants self-adjoint operators?

A symmetric operator has only real eigenvalues and different eigenvectors corresponding to different eigenvalues are orthogonal. These are exactly what we want for a physical observable. I think ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Discrete vs Continuous spectra of operators [duplicate]

Why is it that if an operator $Q$ has a discrete spectra, that the eigenfunctions are all in Hilbert space? Why is it that if the spectrum is continuous we automatically know that the eigenfunctions ...
0
votes
1answer
346 views

Expansion in solid spherical harmonics on the lattice

I'm interested in calculating scattering processes (e.g. Coulomb scattering of an electron beam by a single ion) in the context of lattice quantum field theory, and wonder if there is something like ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Is there any physically relevant example of constructing series solution about infinity of an ordinary differential equation?

I was reading about how to test if a given second order ordinary differential equation has singularity at infinity from Arfken and Weber. I understood the steps mathematically but I could not find its ...
1
vote
2answers
250 views

Hilbert space and Hamiltonians

Assume a system described by a Hamiltonian H, and assume that the eigenstates of H, $φ_i$(r) are integrable in absolute square. We say that these states belong to a Hilbert space (they can even form a ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

A question on the existence of Dirac points in graphene?

As we know, there are two distinct Dirac points for the free electrons in graphene. Which means that the energy spectrum of the 2$\times$2 Hermitian matrix $H(k_x,k_y)$ has two degenerate points $K$ ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Symplectic Structure without predefined Hamiltonian

Here there is a link which has helped me understanding the relationship between symplectic geometry and classical mechanincs. In short, the symplectic form transforms the derivative of the ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Is the metric-induced topology relevant at all in a (psuedo) Riemannian manifold? [duplicate]

A (pseudo) Riemannian manifold is a tuple: $$(M,g)$$ where $M$ is a smooth manifold (in particular, a topological space with an atlas) and $g$ is a (pseudo) Riemannian metric tensor. It is apparent ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Why do some bound states disappear in a discontinuous way?

Generally, we have the picture that as the parameter (say, the depth of a trap) of a system varies, the bound state gets more and more extended and disappears eventually at some critical parameter ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

The index of a Dirac operator and its physical meaning

I recently read Witten's paper from the 1980s and he often uses the notion of the index of a Dirac operator in K-theory. What is the meaning of the index of a Dirac operator? What exactly is the ...
0
votes
2answers
107 views

About the postulates of quantum mechanics and self-adjointness

I am a freshman trying to understand the very basics of quantum mechanics but I met barriers at the beginning. What really matters is the postulates of quantum mechanics and their relationship with ...
1
vote
1answer
155 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.
1
vote
1answer
53 views

What is the relation between renormalization and self-adjoint extension?

What is the relation between renormalization and self-adjoint extension? It seems that a renormalization scheme can be rigorously treated mathematically using the self-adjoint extension theory. Is ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

debates on “infinity” in contemporary physics?

During the seventeenth century many philosopher-scientists, such as Leibniz, were preoccupied with the philosophy and mathematics of infinity. Famous problem were the "labyrinth of the continuum," ...
2
votes
1answer
443 views

Time-ordering in QFT

In Srednicki QFT page 37. In the derivation of LSZ reduction formula, he introduces the time-order operator $T$, so no time-dependent creation/annihilation operators are left in the transition ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

The relationship between the structure of spacetime and the existence of spinor field?

We all know that the existence of spinor fields implies that spacetime must be time-orientable. Thus that spacetime is time-orientable is a necessary condition for existence of spinor fields. Geroch, ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Intuition behind $U(1)$-gauge model of Electrodynamics in a general spacetime

As the article Electrodynamics in general spacetime greatly explains, the $U(1)$-gauge theory is a good base for working in non-simply connected spaces. But I wonder whether there is a deep reason to ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Charge and current density fields

The charge and current density fields in classical electromagnetism are scalar real number fields on space time manifold. But these fields diverge/become infinite in case of point charges, how is this ...
1
vote
1answer
488 views

Proof of equality of the integral and differential form of Maxwell's equation

Just curious, can anyone show how the integral and differential form of Maxwell's equation is equivalent? (While it is conceptually obvious, I am thinking rigorous mathematical proof may be useful in ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

Teach me Wick's theorem the honest way

Generally speaking the average guy marginally acquainted with quantum field theory or advanced combinatorics describes Wick's theorem as some sort of correspondence between higher order differential ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

How can I determine the convergence of self energy in Green's function

I want to solve for the Green's function (in the context of many body theory) but I have a question. After the determination of the retarded Green's function and the lesser Green's function we ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

Do there exist functions $\phi$ and $A$ such that $\vec E$ satisfies the Helmholtz Theorem $\vec E = -\nabla \phi + \nabla \times \vec A$?

Helmholtz Decomposition theorem stats: "Let $\vec F$ be a vector field on a bounded domain $V$ in $\mathbb R^3$, which is twice continuously differentiable, and let $S$ be the surface that encloses ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

How to construct an isomorphism between the Complexified Special Linear Lie Group and the Special Unitary Group?

This may be an unenlightening question, but I'm just not sure about the result and hoping someone can help me varify it. $\\$ This question is related to these three questions. $\\$ I want to ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Separability of a Hilbert space and its implications for the formalism of QM

In the text I'm using for QM, one of the properties listed for Hilbert space that is a mystery to me is the property that it is separable. Quoted from text (N. Zettili: Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

What are the boundary conditions for EM waves normally incident on the interface between two dielectric media?

An EM wave, amplitude $E_0$, frequency $\omega_0$, is incident upon a material with relative permittivity (dielectric function) $$\varepsilon \left( z \right) = \left\{ \begin{gathered}{\varepsilon ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

What are the definition and examples of topological excitation?

I read topological excitation in wiki, while it's too brief. What is the precise definition of topological excitation? And can give me some examples and explain why they are topological excitation? ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Why use a particular regularization for $\int_0^\infty \mathrm{d}x\,e^{i p x}$?

There are many badly defined integrals in physics. I want to discuss one of them which I see very often. $$\int_0^\infty \mathrm{d}x\,e^{i p x}$$ I have seen this integral in many physical problems. ...
9
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Scalar field in a Schwarzschild metric

I have found this article recently published in Classical and Quantum Gravity giving the exact solution of a scalar field in the Kerr-Newman metric. These authors also derived Hawking radiation for ...
3
votes
3answers
100 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

What is the current situation of the Yang-Mills existence problem?

What is the current situation of the Yang-Mills existence and mass gap problem? And who are the physicists and mathematicians working in this nowaday?