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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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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334 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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90 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
304 views

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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284 views

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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322 views

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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382 views

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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1answer
248 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 ...
6
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1answer
163 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
158 views

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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93 views

Normal ordering and path integrals

What is the manifestation of normal ordering for creation/annihilation operators in the path-integral formalism?
3
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1answer
302 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 ...
6
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1answer
200 views

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 + ...
2
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1answer
112 views

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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0answers
38 views

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.
4
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2answers
425 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 ...
3
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1answer
175 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 ...
6
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2answers
328 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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73 views

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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1answer
264 views

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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87 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
572 views

Why the functional integral of a functional derivative is zero?

I'm reading Quantum Field Theory and Critical Phenomena, 4th ed., by Zinn-Justin and on page 154 I came across the statement that the functional integral of a functional derivative is zero, i.e. ...
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1answer
93 views

Surface integral of a line

Suppose I am calculating the (homogenous) electric flux through a straight line. How do I calculate the surface integral of a straight line? Is it simply a line integral, or is it more complex (I ...
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1k views

Time ordering and time derivative in path integral formalism and operator formalism

In operator formalism, for example a 2-point time-ordered Green's function is defined as ...
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94 views

Path integral measure and symmetry

For a generic field theory the path integral measure is defined as, \begin{equation} \mathcal{D}\Phi = \prod_i d\Phi(x_i), \end{equation} where $\Phi$ is a generic field (i.e. it may be scalar, ...
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452 views

The problem of a relativistic path integral

Many books have described the path integral for non-relativistic quantum. For example, how to get the Schrödinger equation from the path integral. But no one told us the relativistic version. In fact, ...
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572 views

Equivalence Theorem of the S-Matrix

as far as I know the equivalence theorem states, that the S-matrix is invariant under reparametrization of the field, so to say if I have an action $S(\phi)$ the canonical change of variable $\phi \to ...
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267 views

Quantum to classical mapping: quantum criticality and path integral Monte Carlo

I'm trying to understand the connections between quantum models in d dimensions and classical models in (d+1) dimensions within two, possibly related, contexts: (i) in path integral monte carlo, the ...
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1answer
247 views

Potentials in Feynman path integral

I am trying to understand the Feynman path integral by reading the book from Leon Takhtajan. In one of the examples, there is a full explanation of the calculation of the propagator ...
4
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1answer
278 views

Forbidden trajectories in path integrals

In Feynman's path integral formulation we add all the possible trajectories of a particle to get the probability amplitude. What are forbidden trajectories? Not differentiable? Is this related to ...
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2answers
141 views

Uncertainty in path integral formulation

In Feynman's path integral formulation, in order to calculate the probability amplitude, we sum up all the possible trajectories of the particle between the points $A$ and $B$. Since we know ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Path integral formulation understanding [duplicate]

I have done basic quantum mechanics and now I want to do the path integral formulation. I find Feynman's book Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics difficult. Is there an easier alternative?
2
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1answer
119 views

Path integral representation of $\langle q_f t_f|p(t_1)|q_i t_i\rangle $

How do I calculate path integral representation of $\langle q_f t_f|p(t_1)|q_i t_i\rangle $ where $t_i<t_1<t_f$? I am doing this by discretizing, the time intervals and adding a complete set of ...
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1answer
269 views

Calculation of the spherical harmonic sum in the propagator of the particle on a sphere

I am calculating the propagator of the free particle on a sphere : $K(\theta_f \phi_f t_f; \theta_i \phi_i t_i)$. The wavefunctions in this case are the spherical harmonics $Y_{lm}(\theta, ...
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1answer
172 views

Diagonalizing/eigenvalues of the infinite dimensional matrix of N harmonic oscillators on a ring

I have trying to show that the continuum limit of N quantum harmonic oscillators gives rise the the klein-gordon field. However, instead of a usual finite string, I want to do it on a ring. Hence, my ...
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353 views

Path Integral Quantization

I was reading through my notes on the path integral quantization of bosonic string theory when a general question about path integral quantization arised to me. The widely used intuitive explanation ...
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1answer
253 views

Differential equation (Greens function) satisfied by the kernel using path integrals

I'm reading Feynman and Hibbs, Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals. How do I show that the kernel $$\tag{2-25} K(x_2 t_2;x_1 t_1)=\int e^{\frac{i}{\hbar}S[2,1]}\mathcal{D}x$$ satisfies the ...
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Calculating the the kernel using path integrals for quadratic lagrangians

I am reading Feynman and Hibbs on Path Integrals. In section 3.5, they show that the kernel for a lagrangian of the form $L=a(t)\dot{x}^2+b(t)\dot{x}x+c(t)x^2+d(t)\dot{x}+e(t)x+f(t)$ is ...
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448 views

Is every quantum measurement reducible to measurements of position and time?

I am currently studying Path Integrals and was unable to resolve the following problem. In the famous book Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, written by Feynman and Hibbs, it says (at the beginning ...
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146 views

$\langle B|A \rangle$ expressed in terms of the Partition Function

Say you have an electron departing from point A and reaching poing B after a time t. According to some helping friend, the Partition Function for that electron going from point A to B can be written ...
2
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1answer
276 views

Which is this formula Feynman talks about in the QED book?

I am reading the fantastic QED Feynman book. He talks in chapter 3 about a formula he considers too complicated to be written in the book. I would like to know which formula he talks about, although I ...
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1answer
186 views

Discretization of action in path integral

I am reading Peskin and Schroeder (path integrals) and it states that discretising the classical action gives: $$S~=~\int \left(\frac{m}{2}\dot{x}^{2}-V(x)\right) dt ~\rightarrow~ \sum ...
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1answer
177 views

Path Integrals Page Peskin

Hi this problem relates directly to path integrals but I imagine it is a maths trick that I am missing. One has an expression such as $$\int dx \exp\left[i\frac{(p)^{2}}{2}-iV(\frac{f}{4})\right] $$ ...
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543 views

Physical Interpretation of the Integrand of the Feynman Path Integral

In quantum mechanics, we think of the Feynman Path Integral $\int{D[x] e^{\frac{i}{\hbar}S}}$ (where $S$ is the classical action) as a probability amplitude (propagator) for getting from $x_1$ to ...
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1answer
73 views

Path integral with boundary and bulk terms

I was wondering if their is a general strategy for computing path integrals with a mix of boundary and bulk integral actions. Do people use divergence theorem to convert the action into bulk ...
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5answers
550 views

What is the path integral exactly?

I asked a question here about path integrals and QFT. I just want to confirm something. Is the path integral in quantum field theory a mathematical tool only? I thought the path integral meant that ...
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3answers
508 views

Quantum field theory, particle interpretations and path integrals?

I am trying to find some names or models of a particle interpretation of quantum field theory which isn't a literal path integral approach? Are there any particle interpretations of quantum field ...
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515 views

When does $\hbar \rightarrow 0$ provide a valid transition from quantum to classcial mechanics? When and why does it fail?

Lets look at the transition amplitude $U(x_{b},x_{a})$ for a free particle between two points $x_{a}$ and $x_{b}$ in the Feynman path integral formulation $U(x_{b},x_{a}) = \int_{x_{a}}^{x_{b}} ...
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1answer
596 views

Why path integral approach may suffer from operator ordering problem?

In Assa Auerbach's book (Ref. 1), he gave an argument saying that in the normal process of path integral, we lose information about ordering of operators by ignoring the discontinuous path. What did ...
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612 views

How would a Lagrangian be used to recover the Schrodinger equation?

I heard that the Lagrangian is defined in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics. How would the Lagrangian in this formulation be used to recover the Schrodinger equation that we normally ...