Quantum Field Theory (QFT) is the theoretical framework describing the quantisation of classical fields which allows a Lorentz-invariant formulation of quantum mechanics. QFT is used both in high energy physics as well as condensed matter physics and closely related to statistical field theory. Use ...

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Noether currents in QFT

I am trying to organize my knowledge of Noether's theorem in QFT. There are several questions I would like to have an answer to. In classical field theory, Noether's theorem states that for each ...
8
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0answers
328 views

Penrose's Zig-Zag Model and Conservation of Momentum

I was reading through Penrose's Road to Reality when I saw his interesting description of the Dirac electron (Chapter 25, Section 2). He points out that in the two-spinor formalism, Dirac's one ...
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51 views

Propagator for massless spin 2 particle

In my quantum field theory class, we saw ad derived the propagator for both spin-0 and spin-1 particles, massless and massive. I am curious to know what the propagator looks like for a spin-2 ...
36
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7answers
22k views

Is anti-matter matter going backwards in time?

Or: can it be proved that anti-matter definitely is nót matter going backwards in time? From wikipedia: There is considerable speculation as to why the observable universe is apparently almost ...
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0answers
48 views

How do quantum fields really couple?

The term "coupling" between quantum fields refers to certain terms in the Lagrangian (density) $\mathcal{L}$ where the respective field operators appear together, e.g. $g\phi^\dagger\psi $ with ...
5
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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 ...
9
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1answer
363 views

What is the physical meaning of anti-commutator in quantum mechanics?

I gained a lot of physical intuition about commutators by reading this topic. What is the physical meaning of commutators in quantum mechanics? I have similar questions about the anti-commutators. ...
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4answers
5k views

Are W & Z bosons virtual or not?

W and Z bosons are observed/discovered. But as force carrying bosons they should be virtual particles, unobservable? And also they require to have mass, but if they are virtual they may be off-shell, ...
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0answers
26 views

What does it mean to have a degenerate $S$-matrix?

The Coleman-Mandula theorem $D>2$ assumes that the quantum field theory may not have a degenerate $S$-matrix. But what does it mean to have a degenerate $S$-matrix? The $S$-matrix if I got it ...
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2answers
101 views

Wess-Zumino Gauge in non-Abelian supersymmetric theory

I've got a question concerning non-Abelian supersymmetric gauge theories. Consider supersymmetric non-Abelian theory realized on chiral superfields $\Phi_i$ in a representation $R$ with matrix ...
4
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1answer
101 views

Does the Lorentz invariance of equation of motion guarantee the Lorentz invariance of the solutions?

If I have a Lorentz invariant equation of motion, like Klein-Gordon equation, is the solution automatically guaranteed to be Lorentz invariant? I ask this question because of the discussion from Mark ...
5
votes
2answers
369 views

Deriving Feynman rules from a Lagrangian for vertex factors for “more complicated” interactions

I am trying to derive Feynman rules from a given Lagrangian and I got stuck on some vertex factors. What for example is the vertex factor that corresponds to the four-scalar interaction that is ...
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1answer
2k views

Lagrangian of Schrodinger field

The usual Schrodinger Lagrangian is $$ \tag 1 i(\psi^{*}\partial_{t}\psi ) + \frac{1}{2m} \psi^{*}(\nabla^2)\psi, $$ which gives the correct equations of motion, with conjugate momentum for $\psi^{*}$ ...
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96 views

How can gauge invariance be unphysical?

Gauge symmetry is said to be "unphysical" because the transformations - unlike changes of reference frame - do not correspond to real physical operations. But the consequences of gauge symmetries are ...
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1answer
62 views

In what sense are photons emergent?

Recently I read in an essay by Wilczek: "Photons are mixtures of weak B3 and hypercharge C mesons. It is those objects, not the emergent photon, whose properties are ideally simple." Until now I ...
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0answers
64 views

Where do pions go in the spontaneous symmetry breaking of the linear sigma model?

I have a few questions to figure out Peskin 4.3 problem which is Linear sigma model about the interactions of pions at low energy. This model consist of N scalar fields governed by the Hamiltonian ($ ...
2
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1answer
81 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 ...
3
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2answers
165 views

Normal Ordering the $\phi^4$ interaction

I am trying to quantize the quartic potential $(\lambda/4!)\phi^{4}$ in a box of side length $L$, with periodic boundary conditions. I have expanded the field $$\phi = \sum \limits_{\vec{n}} \exp(i ...
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1answer
12 views

2-body differential cross section in CM frame discrepancy

The standard equation for the 2-body differential cross section in the CM frame (from several references) seems to be: $$\frac{d\sigma}{d\Omega} = \frac{1}{64\pi^2s}\frac{q}{k}|\mathcal{M}|^2,$$ where ...
2
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2answers
209 views

The concept of particle in QFT

I never learnt QFT and I apologize for my (probably) elementary question. Somebody told me that in QFT a particle is viewed as an irregularity in the field. On the other hand, in an article in ...
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0answers
44 views

Is it possible to generalize quantum gauge theories? [closed]

I know that there are nonabelian gauge theories and their supersymmetric extensions. Mathematically, gauge theories basing on the fact that one can introduce a fiber bundle with a Connection. From ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

How are the field operator and quantum state after a beam splitter and a polarizing beam splitter individually?

How are the field operator $\hat{a}$, $\hat{a}^\dagger$ and the quantum state (like coherent state $|\alpha>$, Fock state $|n>$) changed after a beam splitter and a polarizing beam splitter ...
5
votes
2answers
80 views

SU(3) antiquark triplet transformation

I'm reading a rather elementary particle physics text, Modern Particle Physics by Thomson. He is staying away from the heavy group theoretic stuff. He derives the transformation law for an SU(2) ...
1
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1answer
70 views

Why would it transform like this under chiral symmetry?

Why would a $2 \times 2$ matrix of spinless fields $\Sigma$ transform as follows under the chiral symmetries? $$\delta \Sigma = i \epsilon_{L} T_a \Sigma - i\Sigma \epsilon_RT_a$$ Primary written on ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

Peskin's book page 334 proof of $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory

Peskin in his QFT page 334 argued that $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory, but I couldn't understand his argument: ... With a generalization of the argument given there (section ...
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1answer
33 views

Volume factor in Faddeev-Popov quantisation

In Faddeev-Popov quantisation, why does the integral over gauge parameter cancel the volume factor of the gauge group that's in the denominator? In fact, I don't understand where the volume factor ...
2
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1answer
165 views

Vacuum stability in quantum field theory

What exactly do people mean when they talk about the scale dependence of the effective potential ($V$)? I explain the motivation for my question (and hence my confusion) below. Please correct me as ...
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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 ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

Can the photoelectric effect be explained without photons?

Lamb 1969 states, A misconception which most physicists acquire in their formative years is that the photoelectric effect requires the quantization of the electromagnetic field for its ...
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0answers
38 views

Where does the $\gamma_5$ here come from?

If we have that $$\delta \psi_L = i \epsilon_L^aT_a\psi_L$$ and $$\delta \psi_R = i \epsilon_R^aT_a\psi_R$$ And then we say that the above can be written in terms of $\epsilon^a$ and $\epsilon^a_5$ ...
0
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1answer
73 views

Can we measure the electron spin independently of its magnetic moment?

What experimental evidence do we have for the intrinsic angular momentum of the electron (its spin)? I am specifically interested in whether we have a value for this that is independent of the ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Apparent spacetime dependence of creation and annihilation operators

I'm currently going through An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Hartmut Wittig I've stumbled upon. Having trouble with equation (2.29), I'm asking the question: Do creation and annihilation ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

What is “momentum density” and why it important to QFT?

I am reading Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur. On page 98, they provide a summary of a basic canonical quantization procedure: Step I: Write down a classical Lagrangian density in ...
2
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0answers
50 views

Relation between representations/classifications

Generally a quantum system can be characterized in the following way: its states form a representation space for every symmetry group of that system. The representation has to be unitary (or ...
4
votes
2answers
531 views

How do I derive the transformation law of a Weyl spinor under a Lorentz transformation?

Let $\xi$ be a spinor. If $(\theta ,\phi)$ are the parameters of a rotation and pure Lorentz transformation, then how can we prove that the transformation rule for $\xi$ can be written as $$\xi ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Materials on charged black brane

everybody! Does anyone know some good materials on charged black branes in AdS/CFT and the role of chemical potential in theses cases?
12
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4answers
285 views

What is the meaning of a state in QFT?

I guess this may be more of a mathematical than a physics question, but it comes down to physical interpretations, so I'm posting it here. In classical Quantum Mechanics, we can define a state ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

what does Peskin's square root of a matric mean?

Peskin (Intro to QFT) is using the next symbols when discussing dirac fields - $\sqrt{p\sigma}$ with $\sigma = (1,\sigma^1,\sigma^2,\sigma^3)$ (unit & Pauli). For example he represents the dirac ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Off-shell legs in Feynman diagrams

I have a tree-level diagram with one leg being off-shell (its momentum beeing $\mathcal{O}(m_B)$). How do I treat this leg when computing the amplitude? Do I put in the propagator and ignore the ...
10
votes
1answer
287 views

The problem in Sredniki's textbook: How do I calculate loop corrections for $\phi\phi\to\phi\phi$ with this Lagrangian?

The problem in Sredniki's textbook 10.5 : For a free scalar field $\psi$, the Lagrangian is $$\cal{L}= -\frac{1}{2}\partial^\mu\psi\partial_\mu\psi-\frac{1}{2}m^2\psi^2$$ Here we use the metric ...
2
votes
1answer
486 views

Dirac field and stress-energy tensor density

I read somewhere that stress-energy tensor density is a symmetric tensor. But if I take the Dirac Field tensor: $$T^{\mu \nu}=i \psi^\dagger \gamma^0 \gamma^\mu \partial^\nu \psi $$ How could I ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views
1
vote
2answers
236 views

Does the fact that we cannot exactly solve the Standard Model undermine the validity of QFT?

I have seen discusstions of this types before: there is a question about photons or virtual particles or vaccuum, etc. And there is usually a good and clear explanation from the point of view of ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

What does Weinberg–Witten theorem want to express?

Weinberg-Witten theorem states that massless particles (either composite or elementary) with spin $j > 1/2$ cannot carry a Lorentz-covariant current, while massless particles with spin $j > 1$ ...
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0answers
18 views

Represent a square-root of determinant by Grassmann numbers [migrated]

I am thinking about the representation of $ \sqrt{\det A}$ for a Matrix $A$ . Since it is known that for the Grassmann numbers $ \eta, \eta ' $ the following relation holds: $$ \int \int d \eta d ...
5
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0answers
122 views

Do “typical” QFT's lack a lagrangian description?

Sometimes as a result of learning new things you realize that you are incredibly confused about something you thought you understood very well, and that perhaps your intuition needs to be revised. ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

What assumptions about the action do we make or give up in transitioning from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics to quantum field theory?

I am reading Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur and I feel I don't have a good grasp as to how the Lagrangian and the action are used differently in (1) classical mechanics (2) quantum ...
3
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3answers
992 views

what causes virtual particle pair production to not occur in the space occupied by matter?

Are virtual particles only popping in and out of existence where the local energy density is below a certain point? What I wonder is, does any kind of matter prevent the pairs from appearing? Is ...
6
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1answer
154 views

What is the difference between quantum fluctuations and thermal fluctuations?

Start with a simple scalar field Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}(\phi)$ at zero temperature $T = 0$, which has a hidden symmetry and spontaneously break it. By the standard procedure a field $\phi$ is ...
2
votes
2answers
117 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} ...