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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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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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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Calculating $\mathrm{Tr}[\log \Delta_F]$

I am stuck with this problem for quite sometime. I have a propagator in the momentum representation (from this question), which looks like $$ \widetilde\Delta_F(p) = ...
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probability amplitude and path integrals [on hold]

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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Time-dependent Schrodinger equation from variational principle

In the paper, "Density-functional theory for time-dependent systems" Physical Review Letters 52 (12): 997 the authors mentioned that the action $$ A= \int_{t_0}^{t_1} dt \langle \Phi(t) | i ...
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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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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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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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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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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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283 views

Does path integral and loop integral in a Feynman diagram violate special relativity?

Consider a correlation function between two points $A(x_1,t_1)$ and $B(x_2,t_2)$, we need to integrate over paths which could be infinite long. But the time length $(t_1-t_2)$ is finite, so if $A$ ...
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Why do we use functional integration in QFT?

Recently I learned functional integral's formalism in quantum field theory. I have realized that I don't understand why exactly do we introduce it. We have the expression for $S$-matrix, then we may ...
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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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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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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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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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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 is the meaning of the Fourier transform of Feynman propagator?

I know $K(a,b,t)$ is the probability amplitude that a particle that starts at point $a$ is found at point $b$ at a time $t$ later. There is also an expression that sometimes is called green function: ...
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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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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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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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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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Several stationary points of the action functional

In QFT the principle of stationary action states that we choose fields that will make the action stationary but what if the action has many stationary points (for a fixed choice of boundary ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Intuition for Path Integrals and How to Evaluate Them

I'm just starting to come across path integrals in quantum field theory, and want to get the right intuition for the them from the start. The amplitude for propagation from $x_a$ to $x_b$ is typically ...
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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 ...
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Who developed the phase space path integral?

The original path integral introducted by Feynman is $$ \lim_{N\to +\infty} \int \left\{\prod_{n=1}^{N-1} \frac{\mathrm{d}q_n}{\sqrt{2 \pi i \hslash \varepsilon}} \right\} ...
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Dirac's remark that inspired Feynman when formulating path integral

When Feynman was trying to formulate path integral of quantum mechanics, he was inspired by Dirac's remark which roughly states that $e^{i\frac{S}{\hbar}}$corresponds to the transition amplitude, ...
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Matsubara Frequencies

I have to evaluate the following Matsubara sum: $$\frac1\beta \sum \left(\omega^2 +a^2\right)^{-1}$$ for Bosonic-Matsubara frequencies. I know contour integration it the way to go. Therefore, I ...
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Propagators, path Integrals, transition amplitudes, Green's functions etc

I'm trying to make a simple conceptual map regarding some of the things in the title as they pertain to quantum mechanics and or quantum field theory, and I'm finding that I'm a little perplexed about ...
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Variational derivatives of strongly connected diagrams functional in gauge theory

Background In Jorge C. Romao's "Advanced Quantum Field Theory", at the end of page 218, Eq (6.266) reads: $$\tag{1} \left.\frac{\delta^{2}}{\delta \omega^{b}(y)\delta A_{\mu}^{c}(z)}\left[ ...
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Equations of motion with replacing the Lagrangian by irrep diagrams generating functional

I have read that equations of motion of ghosts is equal to $$ \tag 1 \frac{\delta \Gamma}{\delta \bar{c}^{a}(x)} = -\partial^{\mu}_{x}\frac{\delta \Gamma}{\delta K^{\mu , a}(x)}, $$ where $\Gamma = W ...
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Getting Slavnov-Taylor identity

Let's have generating functional in path integral form for gauge $SU(n)$ theory with interaction: $$ \tag 1 Z[J] = \int DB D\bar{\Psi}D\Psi D\bar{c}Dc e^{iS}. $$ Here $$ S = S_{YM}(B, \partial B) + ...
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Is there a method which quantizes non-abelian gauge theories without path integrals formalism?

In the most QFT books there is a method of quantization of non-abelian theories through path integral methods. But I want to learn also the other methods without using of this formalism. Does anyone ...
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Gaussian integral of a function with nonzero mean (generalizing Wick theorem)

From the wikipedia article, for a Gaussian integral of an analytic function we have that This is equivalent to the Wick theorem when f(x) is a polynomial. Now I'm trying to obtain a similar ...
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S-Matrix Elements in Path Integral Formalism

I have a question related to the connection between the S-Matrix elements and the path integral formalism. In order to formulate the question, I will just work with a scalar field theory for ...
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Expansion in Quantum Fluctuations of the Path Integral

In this post: Dimensionless Constants in Physics there is a discussion about dimensionful vs. dimensionless constants in physics. In the context of this discussion, I'm wondering about the ...
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Faddeev-Popov Ghosts

When quantizing Yang-Mills theory, we introduce the ghosts as a way to gauge-fix the path integral and make sure that we "count" only one contribution from each gauge-orbit of the gauge field ...