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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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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108 views

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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94 views

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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215 views

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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55 views

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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102 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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393 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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283 views

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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75 views

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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69 views

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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122 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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160 views

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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76 views

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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140 views

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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361 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 ...
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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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253 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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309 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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205 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 + ...
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1answer
117 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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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.
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438 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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188 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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353 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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275 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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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 ...
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Why is the functional integral of a functional derivative 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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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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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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102 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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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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586 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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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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252 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 ...
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287 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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143 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 ...
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1answer
114 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?
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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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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, ...