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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

-1
votes
0answers
34 views

Why does the 'many paths' of a photon theory work? [duplicate]

Posted this on reddit a day ago, and I'm still struggling to grasp the concept explained to me in physics class:/ Following the explanation from this link: ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Identity for the product of propagators

Working in 1 spacial dimension, it has been written that $$\begin{align} \int K(x_f,x,t_2)K(x,x_0,t_1)dx &= \int \langle x_f|e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}\hat{H}t_2}|x\rangle \langle ...
3
votes
0answers
25 views

Weinberg's spontaneously broken symmetries

Steven Weinberg in his second volume of QFT's book (in section about spontaneously broken symmetries, in subsection about Goldstone bosons) writes following: if we have linear transformation of ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

How do we arrive on this kernel equation?

In Feynman and Hibbs, we see the following equation: $$K(b,a)~=~\sum_{\text{paths from $a$ to $b$}} \phi [x(t)] \tag{2-14}$$ which is valid always. Now, they write $$\phi[x(t)] ~=~ \text{const} ...
7
votes
3answers
153 views

limit as $x_1 \to x_0$, propagator for the harmonic oscillator

Consider a non-relativistic particle of mass $m$, moving along the $x$-axis in a potential $V(x) = m\omega^2x^2/2$. use path-integral methods to find the probability to find the particle between ...
3
votes
0answers
118 views

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) + ...
4
votes
2answers
421 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Tadpole diagrams in $\phi^3$ theory

In "Quantum Field Theory" by Mark Srednicki, Chapter 9 page 67, after he proves that $\langle 0|\phi(x)|0 \rangle$ vanishes (meaning sum of all connected diagrams with a single source is zero), he ...
5
votes
1answer
223 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) = ...
2
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
345 views

Feynman paths of FTL velocity have imaginary momentum?

In this 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 would ...
3
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

How is the functional integral over momentum performed in the case of the real scalar field?

Let's follow Peskin and Schroeder section 9.2, page 282. The Hamiltonian of a free real scalar field is $$H=\int{}d^3x[\frac{1}{2}\pi^2+\frac{1}{2}(\nabla\phi)^2+V(\phi)]$$ so the expression for ...
5
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Reducing unitary evolution operator of a two-spin system to the evolution operator of one of the spins

Consider a system of two spins $s_1$ and $s_2$, each of which can be in one of two states, represented by 0 or 1. A basis for the Hilbert space of this system would be {|0,0>,|0,1>,|1,0> and |1,1>}, ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Given a QFT Hamiltonian, is there a unique Lagrangian?

Consider a QFT in one spatial dimension specified by the following Hamiltonian density: $\mathcal{H} = -i \phi^\dagger \frac{\partial}{\partial x} \phi + V(\phi^\dagger,\phi)$ where $\phi$ is a ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

“Find the Lagrangian of the theory”

I've heard a few of my professors throw around the term "finding the Lagrangian of a theory". What exactly is this referring to. From what I understand it seems that you determine invariances ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

If path integrals aren't well-defined, how can they have any physical meaning?

I am confused about a particular point about the nature of path integration. According to what I've read, what we really mean when we say functional integration is \begin{equation} ...
32
votes
9answers
4k views

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, ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Feynman diagrams with classical apparatus on the perturbative region

on QFT, one usually simplifies the interaction between fields and classical apparatus (sources, detectors, etc.) by assuming the classical devices only interact with the asymptotic on-shell states ...
2
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Delta functional in path integrals - reference needed

In a few articles dealing with path integral quantization I came across some calculations where apparently identities of the form \begin{equation} \int (\mathcal{D}\Phi)\, ...
4
votes
0answers
37 views

Where can I find a video on Liouville Non-Critical String Path Integral?

Would anybody know of a video lecture course in which Polyakov's non-critical string path integral $$Z = \int D [\psi(\xi)]\, \, \exp \left\{ \frac{D-26}{48 ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Can someone explain how to do a functional integral through an example?

I want to learn how to do path integrals as used in quantum field theory. I understand the specific type of integral used in qft is called a functional integral. I looked at Wikipedia and checked in ...
5
votes
1answer
291 views

How do I solve this Gaussian path integral?

Suppose $$ Z = \int \mathcal D[\phi^*] \mathcal D[\phi] \exp(\phi^*A\phi + \phi B\phi) $$ where $A$ and $B$ are operators. I know how to solve a Gaussian path integral involving only $\phi^* A \phi$ ...
8
votes
5answers
636 views

Plants and Quantum Mechanics!

So, I have been working on quantum biology and found something interesting that I would like to write an equation for: Scientists have wondered how plants have such a high efficiency in ...
6
votes
1answer
126 views

Uses for Action from Lagrangian Mechanics

In my course on Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics I noticed that we dealt with finding the stationary point of the change in action $ \delta S $ and we were never really doing anything with $ S $ ...
6
votes
1answer
367 views

Mathematically, what is the kernel in path integral?

Mathematically, what is the kernel in path integral? At first, I thought that it is the kernel in the integral transform because when we use the (physical) kernel to transform the wave function (Eq ...
21
votes
4answers
506 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

0+0 self interacting QFT - $ e^{-\sin^2 x}$ type integral — Bessel function expansion around infinity

In a physics paper (here) I found this variant of the Bessel function of the first kind. $$ \tag{1} Z(g) ~=~ \frac{1}{\sqrt{g}} \int_{-\frac{\pi}{2}}^{\frac{\pi}{2}} e^{-\frac{1}{2g} \sin^2 x} \, dx ...
16
votes
5answers
10k views

The meaning of imaginary time

What is imaginary (or complex) time? I was reading about Hawking's wave function of the universe and this topic came up. If imaginary mass and similar imaginary quantities do not make sense in ...
-3
votes
1answer
72 views

probability amplitude and path integrals [closed]

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
468 views

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? ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
325 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 $A$ ...
4
votes
0answers
177 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

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, ...
5
votes
3answers
122 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
224 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
85 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
167 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
851 views

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: ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

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 ...