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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The correspondence between Grassmann number and 4-spinor

In canonical quantization, we view the Dirac field $\psi$ as a $4\times1$ matrix of complex number. While in path integral quantization, we view the Dirac field $\psi$ as a Grassmann number. For two ...
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When can I use semiclassical approximation?

I know that I can use semiclassical approximation for path integral approach (in quantum mechanics) $\int d[q]e^{iA}$ when action $A >>1 $. But how shall I use such condition? For example, ...
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170 views

Can nowadays spin be described using path integrals?

In Feynmans book, "Quantum mechanics and Path Integrals" he writes in the conclusions (chapter 12-10) With regards to quantum mechanics, path integrals suffer most grievously from a serious ...
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Functional integral aproach for Feynman rules

I am familiar with the basic ideas of quantum field theory but I feel uncomfortable when I have to derive Feynman rules by myself for a given action (for example in non-linear sigma models or ...
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154 views

Connection between QFT and statistical physics of phase transitions

I have heard that there is a deep connection between QFT (emphasized by its path-integral formulation) and statistical physics of critical systems and phase transitions. I have only a basic course in ...
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125 views

Paths in the path integral

In the path integral approach one defines in some heuristic way the functional path integral \begin{equation} Z=\int{\cal{D}}\phi e^{iS(\phi)} \end{equation} and the one claims that one must ...
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From Minkowski to Euclidean Time in Path Integrals

I'm trying to prove the following equality: $$ <x_{f},\, it_{f}|x_{i},\, it_{i}>=\mathcal{N}\int_{\left\{ x\in\mathbb{R}^{\mathbb{R}}:\, x\left(t_{f}\right)=x_{f}\wedge ...
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95 views

Free particle propagator - Evaluating Integral

In path integral formalism, when evaluating the free particle propagator, we obtain the functional integral of the form, $$ K_0 = \lim_{n\rightarrow\infty} \bigg( \frac{m}{2\pi ...
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55 views

Good introduction to many-body Green's function via path integral formulation?

Can anyone kindly provide any information on valuable references or books on this topic? It appears to be prevalent in 90s papers on High-Tc superconductivity or quantum Hall effect, especially in a ...
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How simplify functional derivatives (in path integrals) with mathematica?

Are there any packages that can simplify functional derivatives in path integrals? For instance the expression (integrate over, $x,y,z,u,v,r,s$): ...
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99 views

Integrating the gauge covariant derivative by parts

I was watching a set of lectures on effective field theory and the lecturer said that you can always integrate the covariant derivative by parts due to gauge symmetry. For example, if I understand ...
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Path Integral back in time

For the non relativistic path integral we have to consider all contributions of all paths that connect two space-time coordinates, form $(\mathbf{x}_0,t_0)$ to $(\mathbf{x}_1,t_1)$. Are there also the ...
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107 views

Path integral as a functional determinant

In Peskin and Schroeder on pg. 304, the authors call the fermionic path integral: \begin{equation} \int {\cal D} \bar{\psi} {\cal D} \psi \exp \left[ i \int \,d^4x \bar{\psi} ( i \gamma_\mu D^\mu - m ...
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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 ...
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Adding stuff to the path integral (Faddeev-Popov method)

I'm wondering about the Faddeev-Popov method described in Peskin Schroeder and also on page 7 in this link. What gives them the right to simply add the Gaussian $\omega$ and thus introduce the $\xi$ ...
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What is the constraint on the Gauge Potential in the Covariant Gauges?

One of the most common gauges in QED computations are the $R_{\xi}$ gauges obtained by adding a term \begin{equation} -\frac{(\partial_\mu A^{\mu})^2}{2\xi} \end{equation} to the Lagrangian. ...
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Sign in the photon propagator

The Klein Gordon propagator is given (I use Peskin and Schroeder's conventions, if it matters...), \begin{equation} \frac{ i }{ p ^2 - m ^2 + i \epsilon } \end{equation} The photon propagator ...
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Global anomaly for discrete groups

We know that: a global anomaly is a type of anomaly: in this particular case, it is a quantum effect that invalidates a large gauge transformations that would otherwise be preserved in the ...
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92 views

Quick-and-dirty way to integrate out heavy fields

I understand the roughly understand the process of integrating out heavy degrees of freedom of a Lagrangian, namely, taking the action and performing the path integral over the high momentum modes. ...
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230 views

Green's function in path integral approach (QFT)

After having studied canonical quantization and feeling (relatively) comfortable with it, I have now been studying the path integral approach. But I don't feel entirely comfortable with. I have the ...
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Looking for solutions to problems in Feynman and Hibbs path integral and QM text [closed]

I've just started reading Feynman and Hibbs path integrals and Quantum mechanics after a decade hiatus from my undergraduate math degree (including a few semesters of physics for engineers). It would ...
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What is the point of path integral for boson and fermion?

I am a beginner to study QFT and confused about path integral for boson or fermion. I have read about the path integral for single particle, and finished some problems. But I cannot understand the ...
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Quantum mechanics formulations [closed]

There are about 9 different formulations of quantum mechanics. What are the merits and setbacks of each formulation? In the path integral formulation, is the sum over all possible paths idea purely ...
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Does the success of canonical quantization guarantee the path integral works too?

If the canonical quantization approach to a field theory is successful, is it a good indicator that the path integral will work as well? Furthermore, can the success of a particular quantization ...
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101 views

Ghost fields in particle physics

In my particle physics lecture, ghost fields were briefly mentioned. As far as I understand, these come up when computing cross sections by the path integral method, to compensate for equivalent ...
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Can path integral paths go backwards in time?

The paths can cross any coordinate at any time in the whole space (e.g. Universe space). Integration goes over all could-you-imagine paths. But time goes strictly forward. Can time variable resemble ...
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Interpretation: probability form probability amplitude (free particle)

If you compute the probability amplitude of a free 1D non-relativistic particle with mass $m$, located at position $x_0$ at time $t_0$, for beeing detected at some other point $x_N$ at time $t_N$ you ...
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How exact is the analogy between statistical mechanics and quantum field theory?

Famously, the path integral of quantum field theory is related to the partition function of statistical mechanics via a Wick rotation and there is therefore a formal analogy between the two. I have a ...
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Product of Grassmann numbers

Let $\bar\theta$,$\theta$ be two Grassmann numbers. Then their product is a commuting number. If you were to integrate a function of the two $f(\bar\theta \theta)$ over $\bar\theta$,$\theta$ would it ...
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Srednicki's book on QFT

I am reading Srednicki's book on QFT and there's a thing I don't quite see in chapter 6 (Path integrals in QM) equation (6.7) is ...
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260 views

Subtlety of analytic continuation - Euclidean / Minkowski path integral

I subconsciously feel not fully comfortable about Wick rotating or analytic continuation from Euclidean to Minkowski space. I simply wonder whether there is any subtlety here, and when we need to be ...
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Can I really take the classical field equations at face value in QFT?

To be concrete, let's say I have a relativistic $\phi^4$ theory [with Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$] $$ \tag{1} \mathcal{L} ~=~ \frac{1}{2} \left ( \partial_{\mu} \phi \partial^{\mu} \phi - m^2 ...
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The Origins of Instantons from Path Integrals

I know that you can come across non-perturbative effects in QFT, particular when the coupling constant lies outside the radius of convergence of the asympototic perturbation series. From the ...
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In Path Integrals, lagrangian or hamiltonian are fundamental?

When studying path-integrals one question arose to my mind... Which presentation is more fundamental to calculate the propagator? The one based on the Hamiltonian (phase space)? $$K(B|A) = \int ...
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Normalizing Propagators (Path Integrals)

In the context of quantum mechanics via path integrals the normalization of the propagator as $\left | \int d x K(x,t;x_0,t_0) \right |^2 = 1$ is incorrect. But why? It gives the correct ...
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Solving Quantum Tunnelling Without Wick Rotation

Edit It seems that I haven't written my question clearly enough, so I will try to develop more using the example of quantum tunnelling. As a disclaimer, I want to state that my question is not about ...
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232 views

Classical mechanics from Quantum mechanics

I'm looking at a way to prove that one recovers, under ad hoc assumptions, classical mechanics from quantum theory. Usually, we can find in textbooks that the propagator $K(x,x_0;t)=\langle x|e^{-i ...
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Is it always possible to express an operator in terms of creation/annihilation operators?

I'm referring to "Path integral approach to birth-death processes on a lattice", L. Peliti, J. Physique 46, 1469-1483 (1985), available at: http://people.na.infn.it/~peliti/path.pdf The article is ...
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What happens when you apply the path integral to the Einstein-Hilbert action?

The Einstein Field Equations emerge when applying the principle of least action to the Einstein-Hilbert action, and from what I understand the path integral formulation generalizes the principle of ...
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Normal ordering and path integrals

What is the manifestation of normal ordering for creation/annihilation operators in the path-integral formalism?
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267 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 ...
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The double-trace deformation effect in AdS/CFT

Let me use this paper as the reference for this. I want to understand better the argument at the bottom of page 6. If the bulk $AdS$ metric is written as $\frac{1}{r^2}(dr^2 + ...
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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 ...
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Density operator time evolution in the path integral approach

I want to know how the density operator of a system evovles when we use path integral approach.
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382 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 ...
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145 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 ...
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249 views

In what sense is the path integral an independent formulation of Quantum Mechanics/Field Theory?

We are all familiar with the version of Quantum Mechanics based on state space, operators, Schrodinger equation etc. This allows us to successfully compute relevant physical quantities such as ...
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Is time ordering defined for a single operator depending of two time variables?

The time ordering for the purpose of quantum mechanics is e.g. given by $${\mathcal T} \left[A(x) B(y)\right] := \begin{matrix} A(x) B(y) & \textrm{ if } & x_0 > y_0 \\ \pm B(y)A(x) & ...
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Path integral & Gaussian integration

The following is from Ref. 1. Given the (Euclidean) action for a particle ($q$) coupled to a bath of harmonic oscillators $q_\alpha$. Goal is to find an effective action for the particle, e.g ...
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Path Integral on Einstein Cartan Manifold

In condensed matter, crystal with disclination and dislocation has both curvature and torsion. I am looking for a reference in which path integral quantization of Dirac equation on manifold with ...