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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Fixing time in Feynman phase space path integral

The phase space version of Feynman's path integral expression for the free particle propagator involves a (formal) sum over paths in phase space with fixed $q$ endpoints and (as far as I'm aware) ...
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51 views

Vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude confusion

I keep seeing this for the vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude: $\langle 0,\infty|0,-\infty\rangle_J\,.$ What is $|0,-\infty\rangle_J?$ Am I to take the Hamiltonian with the source present, ie. ...
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Decoupling of Weyl factor in critical dimension

In his paper called "Quantum geometry of bosonic strings", A.M.Polyakov quantizes a bosonic string using path integrals over the space of all metrics on the worldsheet. A critical dimension renders $D ...
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The definition of the vacuum state of quantum field by path-integral

In the review Entanglement entropy of black holes by Sergey Solodukhin (arXiv:1104.3712, equation 13), I see a definition of vacuum state of quantum field by path integral over half of the total ...
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113 views

How to calculate the functional derivative of the functional integral?

I study by myself with the QFT, in the page 197 of book of Lewis H. Ryder (2nd edition), The author wrote that he take the functional derivative of equation 6.69: $$\frac ...
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Help me calculate the Euclidean action of a gravitating system!

I recently read Gibbons and Hawking's paper Action integrals and partition functions in quantum gravity, Phys. Rev. D 15 (1977) 2752. I am interested in repeating their calculations. It is fairly ...
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82 views

Textbook on QFT in curved space-time via path integrals

I am looking for an introductory textbook on QFT in curved space-time via the path integral method. I want to understand the following: How to build a generic perturbative QFT in curved space-time ...
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69 views

Discontinuity of paths in phase space path integrals

Berezin's famous paper "Feynman path integrals in a phase space" discusses the space of paths on which the phase space path integral is concentrated. In particular, these paths are known to be ...
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How to evaluate this odd path integral?

Is there any analytical solution on this path integral? \begin{align} &P(\theta_{N} t_{N}| \theta_{0} ...
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128 views

Why can't quantum field theory be quaternion instead of complex?

So, the definition of QFT in terms of path integrals is that the partition function is: $$Z[J] \propto \int e^{iS[\phi]+J.\phi} D[\phi]$$ But does it have any meaning if instead of this $U(1)$ ...
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116 views

All of Physics! [duplicate]

In several of Neil Turok's talks, he talks about this equation that encompasses all of physics. Here it is: How much of it is true? If it isn't, then is it possible to put all of our knowledge of ...
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66 views

Loopwise expansion of effective action $\Gamma[\phi]$

My question is about the loopwise expansion of the effective action $\Gamma(\varphi)$ up to 1-loop contributions. I've understood well the results for both $Z[J]$ and $W[J]$ functionals loopwise ...
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79 views

Obtaining quantum Hamiltonian for charged particle from path integral formulation

I was working on Shankar 8.6.4, which is about obtaining in one dimension the Hamiltonian operator of a charged particle from the path integral formulation. First, I get the propagator over a time ...
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172 views

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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81 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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76 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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54 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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201 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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55 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 ...
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76 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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73 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. ...
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68 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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138 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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79 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 ...
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83 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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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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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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158 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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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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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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87 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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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) = ...
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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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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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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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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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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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286 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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85 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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56 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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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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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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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>}, ...
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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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“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 ...
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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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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} ...
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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 ...