Path integral formulation (Due to Feynman) is a major formulation of Quantum Mechanics along with Matrix mechanics (Due to Heisenberg and Pauli), Wave Mechanics (Due to Schrodinger), and Variational Mechanics (Due to Dirac). DO NOT USE THIS TAG for line/contour integrals.

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What type of non-differentiable continuous paths contribute for the path integral in quantum mechanics

Consider the path integral for a 1D particle subjected to a potential $V(x)$ in imaginary time $$ \int_{x(0)=x_0}^{x(T)=x_T} [dx] \, e^{- \int_0^T d\tau \left[\frac{1}{2}\dot{x}^2 + ...
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0answers
58 views

Fermionic path integral on the disk - Recovering the vacuum state

I'm trying to get a better feel for the operator to state map in quantum field theory. There is a general claim for 2d theories that doing the path integral on a disk with no operator insertions gives ...
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1answer
64 views

Path Integral Evaluation

I've seen the path integral formulation now in a couple contexts (propagator in quantum mechanics, and coherent state functional integral in many body physics). I'm now struggling with how to actually ...
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0answers
52 views

Fastest path of light [duplicate]

Fermat's principle of least time says that light always takes the fastest path to any point. So how can light know which is the fastest path without taking all the paths first?
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98 views

Epstein-Glaser causal perturbation theory

Why does causal perturbation theory in the sense of Epstein Glaser fall under algebraic QFT rather than heuristic QFT in renormalization?
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18 views

Three-point functions of currents in the massive Dirac theory [closed]

I'm working on path integrals for fermions and I came across an exercise that ask to compute the three point functions , one of that is the: $$<0|J^{\mu}(x_1)J^{\nu}(x_2)J^{\rho}(x_3)|0> $$ ...
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1answer
30 views

Kraus operators + path integrals = Lindblad equation?

The other day our professor was talking about Kraus representation of density operator and the derivation of Lindblad equation. He told that this was related to the Feynman path integrals and that we ...
2
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1answer
58 views

Can I Weyl-order the following Hamiltonian?

I am trying to perform a path integral but I am having trouble with the Weyl ordering of my Hamiltonian. The Lagrangian of the system in question is $$L~=~\frac{1}{2}f(q)\dot{q}^2,$$ where $f(q)$ ...
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66 views

If you are only interested in deriving Feynman diagrams can you skip path integrals and just compute greens functions?

I've been reading about the path integral approach to quantum field theory and I noticed that at the end you are just computing greens functions that you could have started computing in the beginning. ...
2
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1answer
54 views

Why can we not choose the stress tensor in a CFT to be identically symmetric?

The stress tensor for a conformal field theory (or any quantum field theory) can be derived from the action $S$ by the functional derivative $$T^{\mu \nu} ~=~ -\frac{2}{\sqrt{|g|}}\frac{\delta ...
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1answer
69 views

Can photons travel faster than $c$? (Feynman Lectures)

I apologise for the very non-technical nature of this question. I am new to QED and perhaps am interpreting things in the wrong way, but I'll ask anyway, and hopefully someone can provide a ...
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0answers
61 views

Deriving effective model without integrating out degrees of freedom in path integral formalism?

In path integral formalism of quantum field theory (particle physics or condensed matter), one can in principle integrate out part of the degrees of freedom so as to attain an effective model ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Path integral measure Fourier transformation for case of real field

Let's have $$ Z[J] = \int D \varphi e^{iS[\varphi , J]}, $$ where $\varphi$ denotes real scalar field. Let's make Fourier transform, $$ \varphi (x) = \int e^{iqx}\varphi (q), \quad \varphi^{*} (q) = ...
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1answer
61 views

Does the path integral measure have dimension?

For example, in the field functional integral: $$\int D\phi \ e^{S[\phi]} $$ Does the $D\phi$ here have dimensions?
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53 views

What is the relation between phase space formulation with Wigner quasi-probability distributions and path integral formulation of quantum mechanics?

I am trying to conceptually connect the two formulations of quantum mechanics. The phase space formulation deals with Wigner quasi-probability distributions on the phase space and the path integral ...
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1answer
149 views

Path integral in quantum mechanics

I am confused by the derivation in Srednicki QFT's chapter 6 from (6.8) to (6.9). In (6.8), we have $$<q'',t''|q',t'>~=~\int DqDp \exp[i\int_{t'}^{t''}dt(p\dot{q}-H(p,q))],\tag{6.8}$$ and ...
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41 views

Anomaly and Weyl spinors

I try to better understand anomalies in QFT and I've got a question concerning derivation of axial anomaly in Terning's lectures (page 12) Consider a theory of Weyl fermions coupled to a gauge field ...
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0answers
67 views

Path integrals and Weyl ordering in Peskin and Schroeder [duplicate]

On pages 280-281 of "An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory" by Peskin and Schroeder, the authors discuss the path integral formulation for a general quantum system and briefly mention Weyl ordering. ...
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59 views

How to calculate the expectation value of position/momentum using path integrals?

We have the formula: \begin{equation} \langle F \rangle = \frac{\int Dx \times F[\phi] exp\{i/\hbar S[\phi]\}}{\int Dx \times exp\{i/\hbar S[\phi]\}} \end{equation} Now, I am wondering how a change ...
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38 views

Integration measure

Consider the field being decomposed into a orthogonal and completed basis: $\Phi(x) = \sum_n c_n \phi_n(x)$ (or $\Phi(x) = \int dk c_k \phi_k (x)$, if continuous) The notation: $\phi_n(x) = ...
3
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54 views

Polology in Functional Integration

Completeness of Hilbert space (on-shell states) is a very powerful concept in canonical quantization, for example, to study the nonperturbative characteristics of the S-matrix, like polology (pole and ...
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1answer
64 views

Length path integral

Let's consider a 2-dimensional Euclidean plane. The length between two points $a$ and $b$ can be defined in the following way: $$ (ab) := \inf_{\gamma} \,\int_0^1 d\tau \,\sqrt{\delta_{ab} ...
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1answer
85 views

Issues with the Operator to State map using Path Integral

Suppose your QFT has a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$, and let $\text{End}(\mathcal{H})$ be the set of operators on $\mathcal{H}$. It is often stated that in QFT there is a map $$\mathcal{F}: ...
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1answer
111 views

Perspectives of QFT [closed]

From the answer to this question Computing $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$, I have discovered that there is two perspectives to QFT. I am doing a course which is unfortunately a summary of QFT and ...
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0answers
64 views

Feynman Path integrals in space with holes in it [closed]

Feynman Path Integrals are a way of calculating the wave function of quantum mechanics. It usually integrates every possible path through all of space. I wonder if there is any study of Feynman path ...
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2answers
232 views

Why isn't the path integral rigorous?

I've recently been reading Path Integrals and Quantum Processes by Mark Swanson; it's an excellent and pedagogical introduction to the Path Integral formulation. He derives the path integral and shows ...
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1answer
81 views

Writing down many particle Hamiltonian

We are given that \begin{align}\mathrm{tr} e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}\hat{H}t}&= \int D[a_1,\dots,a_n]\times\\&\qquad\exp\left[\int_0^t dt' \left(\frac{1}{2}\sum_j ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Computing $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$

Given Hamiltonian $H=\frac{P^2}{2}+\frac{\omega^2}{2}Q^2$, compute $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$, where $T$ is the time-ordering of the product, $|0\rangle$ is the ground state. Now set ...
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37 views

Weinberg's spontaneous broken symmetries

Steven Weinberg in his second volume of QFT's book (in section about spontaneously broken symmetries, in subsection about Goldstone bosons) writes following: if we have linear transformation of ...
2
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1answer
55 views

How do we arrive on this kernel equation?

In Feynman and Hibbs, we see the following equation: $$K(b,a)~=~\sum_{\text{paths from $a$ to $b$}} \phi [x(t)] \tag{2-14}$$ which is valid always. Now, they write $$\phi[x(t)] ~=~ \text{const} ...
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1answer
126 views

Tadpole diagrams in $\phi^3$ theory

In "Quantum Field Theory" by Mark Srednicki, Chapter 9 page 67, after he proves that $\langle 0|\phi(x)|0 \rangle$ vanishes (meaning sum of all connected diagrams with a single source is zero), he ...
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1answer
83 views

How is the functional integral over momentum performed in the case of the real scalar field?

Let's follow Peskin and Schroeder section 9.2, page 282. The Hamiltonian of a free real scalar field is $$H=\int{}d^3x[\frac{1}{2}\pi^2+\frac{1}{2}(\nabla\phi)^2+V(\phi)]$$ so the expression for ...
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1answer
36 views

Reducing unitary evolution operator of a two-spin system to the evolution operator of one of the spins

Consider a system of two spins $s_1$ and $s_2$, each of which can be in one of two states, represented by 0 or 1. A basis for the Hilbert space of this system would be {|0,0>,|0,1>,|1,0> and |1,1>}, ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Given a QFT Hamiltonian, is there a unique Lagrangian?

Consider a QFT in one spatial dimension specified by the following Hamiltonian density: $\mathcal{H} = -i \phi^\dagger \frac{\partial}{\partial x} \phi + V(\phi^\dagger,\phi)$ where $\phi$ is a ...
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2answers
75 views

“Find the Lagrangian of the theory”

I've heard a few of my professors throw around the term "finding the Lagrangian of a theory". What exactly is this referring to. From what I understand it seems that you determine invariances ...
3
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3answers
381 views

Feynman paths of FTL velocity have imaginary momentum?

In this Phys.SE answer it is discussed that Feynman path integrals sums amplitudes for all possible paths, including those that are not time-like. If you take the momentum-space path integrals, I ...
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2answers
143 views

If path integrals aren't well-defined, how can they have any physical meaning?

I am confused about a particular point about the nature of path integration. According to what I've read, what we really mean when we say functional integration is \begin{equation} ...
2
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0answers
57 views

Feynman diagrams with classical apparatus on the perturbative region

on QFT, one usually simplifies the interaction between fields and classical apparatus (sources, detectors, etc.) by assuming the classical devices only interact with the asymptotic on-shell states ...
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1answer
53 views

Delta functional in path integrals - reference needed

In a few articles dealing with path integral quantization I came across some calculations where apparently identities of the form \begin{equation} \int (\mathcal{D}\Phi)\, ...
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38 views

Where can I find a video on Liouville Non-Critical String Path Integral?

Would anybody know of a video lecture course in which Polyakov's non-critical string path integral $$Z = \int D [\psi(\xi)]\, \, \exp \left\{ \frac{D-26}{48 ...
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33 views

Can someone explain how to do a functional integral through an example?

I want to learn how to do path integrals as used in quantum field theory. I understand the specific type of integral used in qft is called a functional integral. I looked at Wikipedia and checked in ...
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1answer
337 views

How do I solve this Gaussian path integral?

Suppose $$ Z = \int \mathcal D[\phi^*] \mathcal D[\phi] \exp(\phi^*A\phi + \phi B\phi) $$ where $A$ and $B$ are operators. I know how to solve a Gaussian path integral involving only $\phi^* A \phi$ ...
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3answers
169 views

limit as $x_1 \to x_0$, propagator for the harmonic oscillator

Consider a non-relativistic particle of mass $m$, moving along the $x$-axis in a potential $V(x) = m\omega^2x^2/2$. use path-integral methods to find the probability to find the particle between ...
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1answer
137 views

Uses for Action from Lagrangian Mechanics

In my course on Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics I noticed that we dealt with finding the stationary point of the change in action $ \delta S $ and we were never really doing anything with $ S $ ...
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1answer
439 views

Mathematically, what is the kernel in path integral?

Mathematically, what is the kernel in path integral? At first, I thought that it is the kernel in the integral transform because when we use the (physical) kernel to transform the wave function (Eq ...
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1answer
76 views

0+0 self interacting QFT - $ e^{-\sin^2 x}$ type integral — Bessel function expansion around infinity

In a physics paper (here) I found this variant of the Bessel function of the first kind. $$ \tag{1} Z(g) ~=~ \frac{1}{\sqrt{g}} \int_{-\frac{\pi}{2}}^{\frac{\pi}{2}} e^{-\frac{1}{2g} \sin^2 x} \, dx ...
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1answer
252 views

Amplitude $\langle0|e^{-iHT}|0\rangle$ in A. Zee's QFT In A Nutshell

In his Quantum Field Theory In a Nutshell, in page 12, (Second Ed), A Zee says that conventionally, the amplitude $\langle0|e^{-iHT}|0\rangle$ is denoted by $Z$. In the next paragraph, he considers ...
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1answer
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probability amplitude and path integrals [closed]

Recently, I have been learning about path integrals and I was wondering, can the probability of a certain path be weighted more in a path integral? Said in another way, can certain paths have more ...
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5answers
700 views

Plants and Quantum Mechanics!

So, I have been working on quantum biology and found something interesting that I would like to write an equation for: Scientists have wondered how plants have such a high efficiency in ...
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0answers
51 views

Path integral formulation for an optimization quantum mechanics problem

I have been working on a quantum mechanics problem I asked here and someone recommended to use path integrals. I learned about path integrals but I couldn't find out how to finding the most optimized ...