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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Relationship between the Black-Scholes model and path integrals

This question was inspired by some interesting comments by Rod Vance on this answer. Could you (Rod), or someone else, expand on these comments and give a brief summary of the connection between the ...
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Vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude confusion

I keep seeing this for the vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude: $\langle 0,\infty|0,-\infty\rangle_J\,.$ What is $|0,-\infty\rangle_J?$ Am I to take the Hamiltonian with the source present, ie. ...
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Decoupling of Weyl factor in critical dimension

In his paper called "Quantum geometry of bosonic strings", A.M.Polyakov quantizes a bosonic string using path integrals over the space of all metrics on the worldsheet. A critical dimension renders $D ...
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The definition of the vacuum state of quantum field by path-integral

In the review Entanglement entropy of black holes by Sergey Solodukhin (arXiv:1104.3712, equation 13), I see a definition of vacuum state of quantum field by path integral over half of the total ...
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113 views

How to calculate the functional derivative of the functional integral?

I study by myself with the QFT, in the page 197 of book of Lewis H. Ryder (2nd edition), The author wrote that he take the functional derivative of equation 6.69: $$\frac ...
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Help me calculate the Euclidean action of a gravitating system!

I recently read Gibbons and Hawking's paper Action integrals and partition functions in quantum gravity, Phys. Rev. D 15 (1977) 2752. I am interested in repeating their calculations. It is fairly ...
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1answer
133 views

Can photons travel faster than $c$? (Feynman Lectures)

I apologise for the very non-technical nature of this question. I am new to QED and perhaps am interpreting things in the wrong way, but I'll ask anyway, and hopefully someone can provide a ...
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1answer
291 views

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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1answer
248 views

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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1answer
66 views

Discontinuity of paths in phase space path integrals

Berezin's famous paper "Feynman path integrals in a phase space" discusses the space of paths on which the phase space path integral is concentrated. In particular, these paths are known to be ...
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1answer
223 views

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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1answer
81 views

Textbook on QFT in curved space-time via path integrals

I am looking for an introductory textbook on QFT in curved space-time via the path integral method. I want to understand the following: How to build a generic perturbative QFT in curved space-time ...
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2answers
311 views

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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How to evaluate this odd path integral?

Is there any analytical solution on this path integral? \begin{align} &P(\theta_{N} t_{N}| \theta_{0} ...
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1answer
127 views

Why can't quantum field theory be quaternion instead of complex?

So, the definition of QFT in terms of path integrals is that the partition function is: $$Z[J] \propto \int e^{iS[\phi]+J.\phi} D[\phi]$$ But does it have any meaning if instead of this $U(1)$ ...
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1answer
258 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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1answer
115 views

All of Physics! [duplicate]

In several of Neil Turok's talks, he talks about this equation that encompasses all of physics. Here it is: How much of it is true? If it isn't, then is it possible to put all of our knowledge of ...
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7answers
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Path integral vs. measure on infinite dimensional space

Coming from a mathematical background, I'm trying to get a handle on the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics. According to Feynman, if you want to figure out the probability amplitude for ...
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1answer
64 views

Loopwise expansion of effective action $\Gamma[\phi]$

My question is about the loopwise expansion of the effective action $\Gamma(\varphi)$ up to 1-loop contributions. I've understood well the results for both $Z[J]$ and $W[J]$ functionals loopwise ...
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1answer
78 views

Obtaining quantum Hamiltonian for charged particle from path integral formulation

I was working on Shankar 8.6.4, which is about obtaining in one dimension the Hamiltonian operator of a charged particle from the path integral formulation. First, I get the propagator over a time ...
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505 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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2answers
169 views

What type of non-differentiable continuous paths contribute for the path integral in quantum mechanics

Consider the path integral for a 1D particle subjected to a potential $V(x)$ in imaginary time $$ \int_{x(0)=x_0}^{x(T)=x_T} [dx] \, e^{- \int_0^T d\tau \left[\frac{1}{2}\dot{x}^2 + ...
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How is the path integral for light explained, or how does it arise?

In a Phys.SE question titled How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (Snell's law)? Marek talked about the probability amplitude for photons of a given path. He said that it was ...
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3answers
392 views

Feynman paths of FTL velocity have imaginary momentum?

In this Phys.SE 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 ...
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0answers
80 views

Fermionic path integral on the disk - Recovering the vacuum state

I'm trying to get a better feel for the operator to state map in quantum field theory. There is a general claim for 2d theories that doing the path integral on a disk with no operator insertions gives ...
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1answer
76 views

Path Integral Evaluation

I've seen the path integral formulation now in a couple contexts (propagator in quantum mechanics, and coherent state functional integral in many body physics). I'm now struggling with how to actually ...
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415 views

How does light know which path is fastest?

We know from Fermat's principle of least time that light follows the fastest path. But how does light know which path is the fastest?
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197 views

Epstein-Glaser causal perturbation theory

Why does causal perturbation theory in the sense of Epstein Glaser fall under algebraic QFT rather than heuristic QFT in renormalization?
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53 views

Fastest path of light [duplicate]

Fermat's principle of least time says that light always takes the fastest path to any point. So how can light know which is the fastest path without taking all the paths first?
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1answer
53 views

Kraus operators + path integrals = Lindblad equation?

The other day our professor was talking about Kraus representation of density operator and the derivation of Lindblad equation. He told that this was related to the Feynman path integrals and that we ...
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1answer
76 views

Can I Weyl-order the following Hamiltonian?

I am trying to perform a path integral but I am having trouble with the Weyl ordering of my Hamiltonian. The Lagrangian of the system in question is $$L~=~\frac{1}{2}f(q)\dot{q}^2,$$ where $f(q)$ ...
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1answer
67 views

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 ...
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73 views

If you are only interested in deriving Feynman diagrams can you skip path integrals and just compute greens functions?

I've been reading about the path integral approach to quantum field theory and I noticed that at the end you are just computing greens functions that you could have started computing in the beginning. ...
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1answer
262 views

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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158 views

Path integral in quantum mechanics

I am confused by the derivation in Srednicki QFT's chapter 6 from (6.8) to (6.9). In (6.8), we have $$<q'',t''|q',t'>~=~\int DqDp \exp[i\int_{t'}^{t''}dt(p\dot{q}-H(p,q))],\tag{6.8}$$ and ...
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1answer
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Path integral measure Fourier transformation for case of real field

Let's have $$ Z[J] = \int D \varphi e^{iS[\varphi , J]}, $$ where $\varphi$ denotes real scalar field. Let's make Fourier transform, $$ \varphi (x) = \int e^{iqx}\varphi (q), \quad \varphi^{*} (q) = ...
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Deriving effective model without integrating out degrees of freedom in path integral formalism?

In path integral formalism of quantum field theory (particle physics or condensed matter), one can in principle integrate out part of the degrees of freedom so as to attain an effective model ...
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72 views

Does the path integral measure have dimension?

For example, in the field functional integral: $$\int D\phi \ e^{S[\phi]} $$ Does the $D\phi$ here have dimensions?
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What is the relation between phase space formulation with Wigner quasi-probability distributions and path integral formulation of quantum mechanics?

I am trying to conceptually connect the two formulations of quantum mechanics. The phase space formulation deals with Wigner quasi-probability distributions on the phase space and the path integral ...
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315 views

Quantum symmetries that are not classical symmetries

An anomaly is a symmetry of the classical action that fails to be a symmetry of the path integral, due to non-invariance of the path integral measure. Does it ever occur that the opposite thing ...
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Anomaly and Weyl spinors

I try to better understand anomalies in QFT and I've got a question concerning derivation of axial anomaly in Terning's lectures (page 12) Consider a theory of Weyl fermions coupled to a gauge field ...
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70 views

Path integrals and Weyl ordering in Peskin and Schroeder [duplicate]

On pages 280-281 of "An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory" by Peskin and Schroeder, the authors discuss the path integral formulation for a general quantum system and briefly mention Weyl ordering. ...
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86 views

How to calculate the expectation value of position/momentum using path integrals?

We have the formula: \begin{equation} \langle F \rangle = \frac{\int Dx \times F[\phi] exp\{i/\hbar S[\phi]\}}{\int Dx \times exp\{i/\hbar S[\phi]\}} \end{equation} Now, I am wondering how a change ...
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Integration measure

Consider the field being decomposed into a orthogonal and completed basis: $\Phi(x) = \sum_n c_n \phi_n(x)$ (or $\Phi(x) = \int dk c_k \phi_k (x)$, if continuous) The notation: $\phi_n(x) = ...
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Polology in Functional Integration

Completeness of Hilbert space (on-shell states) is a very powerful concept in canonical quantization, for example, to study the nonperturbative characteristics of the S-matrix, like polology (pole and ...
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1answer
91 views

Issues with the Operator to State map using Path Integral

Suppose your QFT has a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$, and let $\text{End}(\mathcal{H})$ be the set of operators on $\mathcal{H}$. It is often stated that in QFT there is a map $$\mathcal{F}: ...
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Length path integral

Let's consider a 2-dimensional Euclidean plane. The length between two points $a$ and $b$ can be defined in the following way: $$ (ab) := \inf_{\gamma} \,\int_0^1 d\tau \,\sqrt{\delta_{ab} ...
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Writing down many particle Hamiltonian

We are given that \begin{align}\mathrm{tr} e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}\hat{H}t}&= \int D[a_1,\dots,a_n]\times\\&\qquad\exp\left[\int_0^t dt' \left(\frac{1}{2}\sum_j ...
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Perspectives of QFT [closed]

From the answer to this question Computing $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$, I have discovered that there is two perspectives to QFT. I am doing a course which is unfortunately a summary of QFT and ...
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Feynman Path integrals in space with holes in it [closed]

Feynman Path Integrals are a way of calculating the wave function of quantum mechanics. It usually integrates every possible path through all of space. I wonder if there is any study of Feynman path ...