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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Feynman's derivation of the Schrödinger equation

I'm reading the following article: Feynman's derivation of the Schrödinger equation In this article, the autor claims that Feynman derivation of the Schrödinger equation was a key aspect of the ...
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Feynman's path integral formulation and faster-than-light paths

In Brian Greene's book "The elegant Universe", he talks about the double slit experiment and Feynman's interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. According to the book, Feynman said that one vaild ...
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Why are the Nambu-Goto action and Polyakov action equivalent at quantum level?

It's a well known elementary fact that the Nambu-Goto action $$S_{NG} = T \int d \tau d \sigma \sqrt{ (\partial_{\tau} X^{\mu})^2 (\partial_{\sigma} X^{\mu})^2 - (\partial_{\sigma} X^{\mu} \partial_{\...
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What is “localisation” of instantons?

I often encountered the term "localization" in the context of instantons, as for example in the work of Nekrasov on extensions of Seiberg-Witten theory to ${\cal N}=1$ gauge theories. Could someone ...
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Is the Lagrangian density in field theory real?

As the Lagrangian in classical mechanics corresponds to energy, it must be real. But is that the case in quantum field theory? I mean, it should still correspond to some sort of energy, but what about ...
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Hermiticity of the Lagrangian density [duplicate]

In quantum mechanics, the dynamical variables are replaced by hermitian operators. However, the Lagrangian density in quantum field theory is not an observable but we also make sure that it is ...
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Itô or Stratonovich calculus: which one is more relevant from the point of view of physics?

Langevin equation provides an example of a physical model which involves a differential equation with a stochastic term. Now, I wonder, how should one treat this? When I studied stochastic processes, ...
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Srednicki's Path Integrals: Ground-State to Ground-State Transition Amplitude in the Presence of a Perturbation

Srednicki's Quantum Field Theory mentions the following at the end of the unit on path integrals in non-relativistic quantum mechanics: Assume that the total Hamiltonian is of the form, $$ H = ...
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Gaussian path integrals and convergence

The Hamiltonian path integral in quantum mechanics, for a particle with coordinate $q$ and momentum $p$ and Hamiltonian $H=p^2/2m+V(q)$, is $\int \mathcal{D}q(t)\mathcal{D}p(t)e^{i\int_0^T(p\dot{q}-\...
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Feynman path integral interpretation of the Aharonov Bohm effect [closed]

I have recently been reading about the interpretation of the Aharonov-Bohm effect via Feynman's path integral (see viXra:1403.0950). I do not know whether I am missing something, but I do not ...
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Which inverse of $-(\partial^2 + m^2)$ should be used in the path integral?

The partition functional for free scalar field is $$Z=\int D\varphi e^{i\int d^4x[-\frac{1}{2}\varphi (\partial^2+m^2)\varphi+J\varphi]}.\tag{1}$$ To evaluate this functional integral, we usually ...
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Rigor in quantum field theory

Quantum field theory is a broad subject and has the reputation of using methods which are mathematically desiring. For example working with and subtracting infinities or the use of path integrals, ...
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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) = \frac{1}{(p^0)^2-\left(\left(n\pi/...
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51 views

Line(path) integral confusion

Hi , so I was solving this example . I have no problem in calculation . But at the end of it , when they asked about the closed line integral , I wondered how did the line integral on both paths be ...
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Shifting integration variable and taking derivative seemingly giving problem

I am doing loop integral in quantum field theory, and an issue in shifting integration variable is giving me a problem. Let me illustrate with an example. I have an integral that looks approximately ...
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Exchanging a local operator with a path integral

I am reading a paper by J. Polchinski, called "What is string theory", hep-th/9411028. In eq. 1.1.9, and the line before it, the author seems to have used: $$\langle \partial_z \partial_{\bar{z}} X(z,...
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Euler-Lagrange Equation in Quantum Field Theory

The quantum fields are operator valued distributions. In some sloppy books like Peskin and Schroeder the Euler-Lagrange equation are used to get the equations of motion. What does it mean to take a ...
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Why the Hamiltonian and the Lagrangian are used interchangeably in QFT perturbation calculations

Whenever one needs to calculate correlation functions in QFT using perturbations one encounters the following expression: $\langle 0| some\ operators \times \exp(iS_{(t)}) |0\rangle$ where, ...
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Vacuum persistance amplitude

E. Fradkin's Field Theories in Condensed Matter Physics formulas 3.57 and 3.58: I feel really sad about it, but all my tries of getting from formula $$ Z = \operatorname{tr} \hat{T} \prod_{j=1}^{...
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General formula for expanding wave function in terms of orthogonal states?

Given a wave function $\psi(x) = \langle \psi | x \rangle$. It can be expanded in terms of orthogonal states: $$ \langle \psi | x \rangle = \sum_n \langle \psi | n \rangle \langle n |x \rangle $$ ...
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Wilsonian Renormalisation — Peskin & Schroder Sect. 12.1

I'm working my way through Peskin & Schroeder, but some of the details of the calculations done in their introduction to the renormalisation group are slipping past me. For concreteness, the ...
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Casimir forces and its associated Feynman propagator

This is a continuation to my previous question, in which I began an attempt solve the Casimir Force problem using path integrals. As one of the answers there suggest I solve the Feynman propagator ...
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Electron - neutrino scattering effective Lagrangian

The electron and neutrino can interact through an intermediary Z boson, via the Lagrangian: $$ L= \frac{1}{2} \partial_\mu \phi_Z \partial^\mu \phi_Z - \frac{1}{2} m_Z ^2 \phi_Z ^2 -g_{\nu} \phi_Z \...
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Lack of Maslov index in the path integral formalism

Introduction Consider Feynman's famous path integral formula \begin{equation} K(x_a,x_b) = \int \mathcal{D}[x(t)] \exp \left[ \frac{i}{\hbar} \int_{t_a}^{t_b} dt \, \mathcal{L}(x(t),\dot{x}(t),t) \...
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Partition function and coherent state path integral

I have been working through the derivation of the partition function expressed as a path integral in terms of coherent states, following the many-body condensed-matter field theory books of Altland &...
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Feynman propagator for photons and the actual propagation of photons

Reading some books of quantum field theory (c.f. LH Ryder. 'Quantum Field Theory') it seems that the concept of path integrals in quantum mechanics may be extended to the field theory using the ...
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Stratonovich integral in quantum field theory

I'm reading a paper on Wick renormalization and there are a couple of things that are not that clear to me. The paper ends with the following sentence: In Euclidean quantum field theory, the ...
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69 views

Propagator from Path integral

In class we have proved something like: $$ \frac{\partial^2 Z(J,\bar{J})}{\partial J(x) \partial \bar{J}(x')}\frac{1}{Z}|_{J=\bar{J}=0}=\Delta(x-x').$$ That by introducing source terms to path ...
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Analyzing the free-particle kernel [closed]

I recently began studying the theory of path integrals from the book by Feynman and Hibbs. The Problem $3.6$ asks to give an argument to show that $F(t_b,t_a)$ depends only on $t_b-t_a$. ...
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Determinants in path integrals in gauge theories and geometry

I know that in the formalism of path integral it is easy to show how determinants, corresponding to gauge fixing condition and FP ghosts, appear. But there is strict explanation of these determinants ...
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How to deal with boundary conditions for path integrals?

For non-relativistic quantum mechanics, the boundary conditions are rather simple to deal with, they are just \begin{equation} \langle x_1, t_1 \vert x_2, t_2\rangle = \int_{x_1(t_1)}^{x_2(t_2)} \...
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Feynman's Path Integral Approach: The Complex Exponentiated Action [duplicate]

I'm working on a project covering Feynman's Path Integral Approach. I'm having trouble intuitively grasping what motivates the introduction of the expression $e^\frac{iS}{\hbar}$, where S is the ...
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Where is the BRST symmetry?

When quantizing YM we start from the gauge fixed path integral (to remove redundancy of integrating over Gauge symmetric configurations) $$\int \mathcal{D}A \delta(G(A)) \text{det} \Delta_{FP}e^{i\int ...
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What's the Propagator in the Free Particle Case? (Path Integrals with Source Term)

If I take the Lagrangian to be, $$L(t)=\frac{1}{2}m \dot q(t)^2$$ The Euclidean Path Integral is supposed to be, $$K=\int D[q(t)] \ e^{-\int L(\dot q) d \tau}$$ If I add a source term $J(\tau)$ we ...
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In path integral of multiply connected manifold, how to prove the partial amplitudes are linear independent? [closed]

In path integral of multiply connected manifold $X$, $$K(b,t_b;a,t_a)=\sum_{\alpha\in \pi_{1}}\chi(\alpha)K^{\alpha}(b,t_b;a,t_a)$$ where $K^\alpha$ is called partial amplitude, $\alpha$ denotes the ...
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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 S}{\...
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Why use coherent state path integral? What is its motivation or goal?

In almost all textbooks of quantum field theory for high energy, they insert the position and momentum eigenstate to formulate the path integral. While in condensed matter field theory, they insert ...
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Path integral (sum over paths where $v>c$) [closed]

The path integral formalism is used to get for example the propagator of particles. In this formalism we integrate over all mathematically possible paths (and weight them with the non-relativistic ...
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Are the path integral formalism and the operator formalism inequivalent?

Abstract The definition of the propagator $\Delta(x)$ in the path integral formalism (PI) is different from the definition in the operator formalism (OF). In general the definitions agree, but it is ...
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Path integral quantization of bosonic string theory

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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Equivalence of canonical quantization and path integral quantization

Consider the real scalar field $\phi(x,t)$ on 1+1 dimensional space-time with some action, for instance $$ S[\phi] = \frac{1}{4\pi\nu} \int dx\,dt\, (v(\partial_x \phi)^2 - \partial_x\phi\partial_t \...
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Is it possible to do a path integral between two boundaries analytically on a quantum lattice?

I have been trying to perform some path integral between two boundaries for a massless scalar field $$\int_{\varphi(t_a, \vec{x})}^{\varphi(t_b, \vec{x})} \mathcal{D}\varphi(x)e^{iS[\varphi(x)]}$$ ...
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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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Linear Response And path integral

I'm following Wen's book on Quantum field theory, and I'm struggling with section 2.2.1 on linear response and response functions. Specifically I'm unable to reproduce equation 2.2.7 in which the ...
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Classical limit of the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics

It is well-known that if $S \gg \hbar$, then the classical path dominates the Feynman path integral. But is there some to show that if $S\gg\hbar$, then the particle's trajectory will approach the ...
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Physical meaning of partition function in QFT

When we have the generating functional $Z$ for a scalar field \begin{equation} Z(J,J^{\dagger}) = \int{D\phi^{\dagger}D\phi \; \exp\Big[{\int L+\phi^{\dagger}J(x)+J^{\dagger}(x)}\phi\Big]}, \end{...
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Estimation of an Entropic Path Integral

I'm trying to reproduce some results from a paper (http://www.alexwg.org/publications/PhysRevLett_110-168702.pdf for reference) and basically I need a way of estimating a particular path integral (...
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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\} \exp\left[{\frac{i}{\hslash}...
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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} \mathrm dt \langle \Phi(t) | i \...
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Path Integral Quantization in General Relativity

In Ref. 1 I have seen that the action must contain only the first derivative of the metric as required by the path integral approach. I don't understand why. I mean why the path integral approach of ...