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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Identity for the product of propagators

Working in 1 spacial dimension, it has been written that $$\begin{align} \int K(x_f,x,t_2)K(x,x_0,t_1)dx &= \int \langle x_f|e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}\hat{H}t_2}|x\rangle \langle ...
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Why does the 'many paths' of a photon theory work? [duplicate]

Posted this on reddit a day ago, and I'm still struggling to grasp the concept explained to me in physics class:/ Following the explanation from this link: ...
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Weinberg's spontaneously 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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48 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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61 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
28 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>}, ...
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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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2answers
345 views

Feynman paths of FTL velocity have imaginary momentum?

In this 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 would ...
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2answers
118 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} ...
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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 ...
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46 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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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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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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291 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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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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126 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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367 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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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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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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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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636 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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47 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 ...
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Are unitarity and locality properties of quantum field theory somewhat capsuled in these propierties of the action?

Feynman path integral weighs all paths by a factor $e^{i\frac{S}{\hbar}}$, where $S=\int \! L \, \mathrm{d^4}x$ Two questions: Is relatedthe fact that the argument of the exponential is imaginary ...
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Klein-Gordon propagator integral in the light-like case

In Kerson Huang's Quantum Field Theory From Operators to Path Integrals (Amazon link), pages 28 and 29, he calculates the propagator in the following case: time-like, space-like and light-like. First ...
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How to work with singular gauge transformations in QFT [closed]

I was recently considering a problem analogous to the Aharonov-Bohm (AB) effect but in the context of quantum field theory. Consider then Dirac electrons minimally coupled to an AB flux and described ...
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1answer
468 views

What is a path integral? [closed]

I was reading about path integrals because someone told me about it in this question. I read some articles about path integrals but couldn't understand it. Can you please explain path integral for me? ...
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1answer
130 views

Least Action Principle (Classical and Quantum Theory)

I) My first question would be "why should classical systems obey the principle of least action ?" When we find out the propagator in quantum physics, we find the amplitude to be equal to the sum over ...
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What makes Lattice Yang-Mills hard?

I've been reading up on non-perturbative Yang-Mills, and have found the following equation: $$Z[\gamma, g^2, G]=\int \! \prod e^{-S}\mathrm{d}U_i$$ Now I don't know much about computational physics, ...
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Why every state evolving infinite time becomes the ground state in QFT?

For any state $|\phi \rangle $ evolving infinite time $$\lim\limits_{t\rightarrow \infty} e^{-iHt}|\phi\rangle=\lim\limits_{t\rightarrow \infty} e^{-iHt}|n\rangle\langle n|\phi\rangle$$ Let ...
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Minimization of a quaradic-like expression when calculating the generating functional for free Dirac field

The generating functional for a free Dirac field is $$Z_0[\eta,\bar{\eta}]=\int D\bar{\psi}D\psi \mathrm{exp}\{i\int [\bar{\psi}(x)S^{-1}\psi(x)+\bar{\eta}(x)\psi(x)+\bar{\psi}(x)\eta(x)]dx\}$$ where ...
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Heterotic Supersymmetric derivation of an integrality theorem for differentiable manifolds [closed]

Please consider the following integrality theorem for differentiable manifolds due to K H Mayer: I am trying to prove this theorem using Heterotic Super-symmetric Quantum Mechanics described by a ...
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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 ...
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masslessness of Goldstone boson, Effective action, and functional-integral measure

I have difficulty in understanding the path-integral formalism of SSB, and that of Effective Action. Let's say a complex scalar field theory has the global $U(1)$ SSB, $$L(\phi)=(\partial^\mu ...
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1answer
177 views

Susy QM and Atiyah-Singer index theorem

Consider maps $t\mapsto x^i(t)$ from circle to some Riemannian (spin) manifold and lagrangian $$ \mathcal L = \frac12 g_{ij}(x) \partial_t x^i \partial_t x^j + \frac12 g_{ij} \psi^j \left(\delta^i_k ...
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What's the importance of background field gauge?

Recently I've read that background field gauge is very convenient for gauge theories, because it fixes the connection between normalization constants of gauge field and gauge coupling constant one. I ...
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Vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude using functional integral

The vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude for a free particle with source $J$ is given by $$Z_0[J]=\int D\phi \mathrm{exp}\{-i\int [\frac{1}{2}\phi(\square +m^2-i\epsilon)\phi-\phi J]d^4x\}$$ Let ...
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104 views

How does path integral formulation explain bound states?

It seems to me that the intuitive explanation of path integrals in quantum mechanics describes scattering processes only. You have a particle going from A to B and you compute the probability ...
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141 views

Renormalization, integrating out high momenta Wilson way

In equation $(12.5)$ in Peskin and Schroeder, they write out the generating function but leave out all quadratic terms of the form $\phi\hat{\phi}$ arguing that they vanish since Fourier ...
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Can anyone tell me what's this equation?

Can anyone tell me what's this equation?
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318 views

Semiclassical limit of Quantum Mechanics

I find myself often puzzled with the different definitions one gives to "semiclassical limits" in the context of quantum mechanics, in other words limits that eventually turn quantum mechanics into ...
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Can the diffraction/interference pattern behind the slit (double slit) be calculated with Feynman path integrals (QED)?

I often see Feynman path integrals explained by a graphic which shows the slit and then the electron goes all possible ways behind the slit. Ok that is nice to understand the Feynman path integral, ...
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37 views

Bound states and extensive field configurations

What are extensive field configurations in QFT (instantons, monopoles etc.)? What is the difference in description of their contribution in path integral value or in $n$-point operator functions ...
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80 views

Question about the foundation of part I in A. Zee's book

Zee says in Section I.3 of QFT in a nutshell: The functional integral $$Z = \int D \varphi e^{i \int d^4 x [\frac{1}{2} (\partial \varphi)^2 - V(\varphi) + J(x) \varphi (x)]} \tag{11} $$ is ...
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Ward identity derived from global symmetry and SDE, different from that derived from gauge symmetry?

In QED, according to Schwinger-Dyson equation $^{[1]}$, $$\left(\eta^{\mu\nu}(\partial ^2)-(1-\frac{1}{\xi})\partial^{\mu}\partial^{\nu}\right)\langle 0|\mathcal{T}A_{\nu}(x)...|0\rangle = e\,\langle ...
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Feynman's $i\epsilon$ prescription in path integrals (Mark Srednicki)

On page 63 in M.S. book , why m^(-1) goes to (1-iε)m^(-1) or m -> (1+iε)m and how can i verify eq.(7.3)? On page 63 writes : Looking at $H(P,Q)= \frac{1}{2m} P^2 +\frac{1}{2}mω^2Q^2$ we see that ...
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Evolution of harmonic oscillator in path integral formulation

The unnormalized ground state of the harmonic oscillator (choosing units such that $m = \hbar = \omega = 1)$ is $$\tag{1}\psi(q,t) = \exp(-q^2/2-it/2).$$ The transition function is ...
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2answers
182 views

Transition amplitudes by functional methods in QFT

I am following section 9.2 in Peskin and Schroeder in which the Feynman rules are derived for scalar fields. They define (in eqn (9.14), page 282) the transition amplitude from $\vert\phi_a\rangle$ ...
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Anomalies in QFT books

Why in most QFT books when author discusses of non-invariance of measure of path integral (massless fermions interact with gauge fields) $$ \int D\bar{\Psi} D\Psi \to |\Psi \to U\Psi , \quad ...