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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Convergence and well-definedness of Lorentzian path integrals

Wick rotation of quantum field theories to Euclidean path integrals with a nonnegative measure everywhere is a wonderful tool. Not so with Lorentzian path integrals. Events far separated in ...
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386 views

False vacuum in axiomatic QFT

There is an elegant way to define the concept of an unstable particle in axiomatic QFT (let's use the Haag-Kastler axioms for definiteness), namely as complex poles in scattering amplitudes. Stable ...
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Phase diagram of simplified QCD

Consider QCD with a single generation of massless quarks (u, d). This is probably the simplest variant of QCD which bears some relation to the real world. The theory has the following exact global ...
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1answer
1k views

Chiral anomaly and decay of the pion

I am told that if all classical symmetries were reflected as quantum symmetries, the decay of the neutral pion $$\pi^0 ~\longrightarrow~ \gamma\gamma$$ would not happen. Why would the conservation of ...
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334 views

Some questions about the spectral function

If you think that this question is likely to get closed then please do not answer and only say that in the comments since this system doesn't let me delete the question once it has answers. ...
9
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1answer
700 views

Quivers in String Theory

Why do a physicist, particularly a string theorist care about Quivers ? Essentially what I'm interested to know is the origin of quivers in string theory and why studying quivers is a natural thing ...
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246 views

WKB approximation to loop diagrams

I'm a bit confused with the terminology here. This paper claimed to use WKB method to calculate the usual loop diagrams. Notice that the vertex is approximated by expanding around the classical ...
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Why Negative Energy States are Bad

The argument is often given that the early attempts of constructing a relativistic theory of quantum mechanics must not have gotten everything right because they led to the necessity of negative ...
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1answer
146 views

Reality constraint

What is the "definition" of a reality constraint and why is it called that way? (I mean how it is used for example in quantum field theory and string theory)
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391 views

Non-renormalizable corrections to GUT unification

While writing these answers: Hypercharge for U(1) in SU(2)xU(1) model and Is there a concise-but-thorough statement of the Standard Model? , it occured to me that the unification prediction for ...
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Is the distinction between the Poincaré group and other internal symmetry groups artificial?

For instance, given a theory and a formulation thereof in terms of a principal bundle with a Lie group $G$ as its fiber and spacetime as its base manifold, would a principle bundle with the Poincaré ...
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7answers
425 views

Is 'now' smeared over time?

Conventional physics as is usually presented in textbooks deals with the evolution of states in phase space parameterized by sharp instances in time, a real parameter. However, quantum fluctuations ...
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2answers
106 views

Infinity of running couplings

A Landau pole - an infinity occurring in the running of coupling constants in QFT is a known phenomena. How does the Landau pole energy scale behave if we increase the order of our calculation, (more ...
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4answers
621 views

On-shell symmetry from a path integral point of view

Normally supersymmetric quantum field theories have Lagrangians which are supersymmetric only on-shell, i.e. with the field equations imposed. In many cases this can be solved by introducing auxilary ...
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Supersymmetric Nonrenormalization Theorems

I'm looking for approaches to nonrenormalization theorems in supersymmetric QFT which are as much as possible mathematical, elegant and involve few heavy straightforward computations
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350 views

What is the significance of the branch cut in renormalization group logarithms?

What is the physical significance of the branch cut in renormalization group logarithms? (Is this just an avatar of the optical theorem, or is there something to be understood about these logarithms ...
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1answer
662 views

Conservation of quantum Noether current

The Noether current for a set of scalar fields $\varphi_a$ can classically be written as: $$j^\mu(x)=\frac{\delta \mathcal L(x)}{\partial(\partial_{\mu}\varphi_a(x))}\delta \varphi_a(x)$$ The ...
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1answer
275 views

Can particle physics be represented as an algebra?

Possibly the most useful thing anyone could tell me about particle physics: Naively, one could try and make an algebra by enumerating all the types of particles and defining equivalence relationships ...
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440 views

Renormalization in string theory

I'm taking a course in string theory and have encountered renormalization for the first time (and I suspect it isn't the last). Specifically, while quantizing the bosonic and spinning strings, an ...
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2answers
297 views

Holographic Renormalization in non-AdS/non-CFT

In AdS/CFT, the story of renormalization has an elegant gravity dual. Regularizing the theory is done by putting a cutoff near the conformal boundary of AdS space, and renormalization is done by ...
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2answers
768 views

The Energy-Momentum Tensor and the Ward Identity

I have a question regarding a homework problem for my quantum field theory assignment. For the purposes of the question, we can just assume the Lagrangian is that of a real scalar field: ...
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4answers
487 views

Using supersymmetry outside high energy/particle physics

Are there applications of supersymmetry in other branches of physics other than high energy/particle physics?
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1answer
436 views

Gauge invariance and Feynman path-integrals

Let me look at the Hamiltonian of a charged particle in a plane in a constant magnetic field ($\vec{B}$) pointing upwards - then in usual notation it is, $$\hat{H} = \frac{1}{2m}\biggl(\hat{p} + ...
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3answers
1k views

Hypercharge for $U(1)$ in $SU(2)\times U(1)$ model

I understand that the fundamental representation of $U(1)$ amounts to a multiplication by a phase factor, e.g. EM. I thought that when it is extended to higher dimensional representations, it would ...
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0answers
345 views

What is the 2-point correlation function of the electron field in QED?

The Feynman propagator for the free electron field is the Fourier transform w.r.t. $y$ of the time-ordered 2-point VEV $\left<0\right|\mathcal{T}[\hat\psi(x)\hat\psi(x+y)]\left|0\right>$, taking ...
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2answers
354 views

Can I couple a chiral fermion to electrodynamics?

Or, perhaps, the question is in which circumstances can I couple it, and of these, which are the simplest. For instance, I think that you can not have a massive Dirac fermion and just couple the ...
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3answers
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Why you need a graviton when you have the higgs boson?

Since I studied General Relativity I had this question running on my mind. As I see it (just taking lectures of Quantum Field Theory right now) "Why you need a gauge boson for gravity when the higgs ...
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3answers
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What is a antiunitary operator?

In field theory one can define a time reversal operator T such that $T^{-1} \phi (x) T = \phi (\mathcal T x)$. It is then proved that T must be antiunitary: $T^{-1} i T = -i$. How is this equation ...
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4answers
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Is QFT mathematically self-consistent?

After recently going through a short program of self-study in quantum mechanics, I was surprised to find a quote attributed to Feynman essentially saying he was extremely bothered by the computational ...
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1answer
425 views

Canonical quantization of quantum field

The canonical quantization of a quantum field prescribes that given a lagrangian, one can quantize the theory by imposing the commutation relations between the field operators and their conjugated ...
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606 views

Could this model have soliton solutions?

We consider a theory described by the Lagrangian, $$\mathcal{L}=i\bar{\Psi}\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu\Psi-m\bar{\Psi}\Psi+\frac{1}{2}g(\bar{\Psi}\Psi)^2$$ The corresponding field equations are, ...
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1answer
657 views

Hyperfine structure vs Lamb shift in the hydrogen atom

The hyperfine structure of the energy levels of the hydrogen atom refers to the shifts in the evergy levels due to the magnetic moments of the nucleus and of the electron. This is an effect of ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the fundamental probabilistic interpretation of Quantum Fields?

In quantum mechanics, particles are described by wave functions, which describe probability amplitudes. In quantum field theory, particles are described by excitations of quantum fields. What is the ...
8
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1answer
351 views

What makes background gauge field quantization work?

[Again I am unsure as to whether this is appropriate for this site since this is again from standard graduate text-books and not research level. Please do not answer the question if you think that ...
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2answers
433 views

Edge theory of FQHE - Unable to produce Green's function from anticommutation relations and equation of motion?

I'm studying the edge theory of the fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE) and I've stumbled on a peculiar contradiction concerning the bosonization procedure which I am unable to resolve. Help! In ...
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2answers
673 views

Kähler potential vs full effective potential

In evaluating the vacuum structure of quantum field theories you need to find the minima of the effective potential including perturbative and nonperturbative corrections where possible. In ...
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Recommendations for time-line and road map in graduate school towards specializing in Maldacena's conjecture

This question was asked on Theoretical Physics Stackexchange and was grossly misread and closed. I am again posting the question here hoping to get some valuable insights. Also some people were ...
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1answer
242 views

Do Killing spinors know global information?

The conformal Killing spinor equations on $R\times S^3$ in Minkowski signature are \begin{equation} \nabla_\mu \epsilon=\pm \frac{i}{2}\gamma_\mu\gamma^0\gamma^5\epsilon \end{equation} whose solution ...
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1answer
285 views

Integers powers of fields in a QFT Lagrangian

Why can we not have non-integer powers of fields in a QFT Lagrangian, eg. $\phi^{5/2}$? Or if we wanted a charged $\phi^3$ theory, could we not have a $(\phi^*\phi)^{3/2}$ term?
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Graduate School for Theoretical Physics

First off, let me just say that I am unsure if this question is appropriate for this site, and if the community deems it necessary, the question should be closed. So right now I am a fourth year ...
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4answers
432 views

What is a simple intuitive way to see the relation between imaginary time (periodic) and temperature relation?

I guess I never had a proper physical intuition on, for example, the "KMS condition". I have an undergraduate student who studies calculation of Hawking temperature using the Euclidean path integral ...
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2answers
226 views

Are there rigorous constructions of the path integral for lattice QFT on an infinite lattice?

Lattice QFT on a finite lattice* is a completely well defined mathematical object. This is because the path integral is an ordinary finite-dimensional integral. However, if the lattice is infinite, ...
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0answers
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What methods are there to deal with quantum spatiotemporal chaos?

By now, there has been enough grasp on quantum chaos for systems with a small number of degrees of freedom. The major tool used is periodic orbit theory to approximate the spectral distribution. Is ...
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1answer
702 views

Adjoint representations and bosons

Is there a deep mathematical reason why bosons should be in the adjoint representation of the gauge group rather than any other representation?
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6answers
487 views

Which QFTs were rigorously constructed?

Which QFTs have mathematically rigorous constructions a la AQFT? I understand there are many such constructions in 2D, in particular 2D CFT has been extensively studied mathematically. But even in 2D ...
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1answer
308 views

Chern-Simons theory

In Witten's paper on QFT and the Jones polynomial, he quantizes the Chern-Simons Lagrangian on $\Sigma\times \mathbb{R}^1$ for two case: (1) $\Sigma$ has no marked points (i.e., no Wilson loops) and ...
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2answers
418 views

Boundary terms involving fields at infinity

In trying to prove that $[P^\mu,P^\nu]=0$ for a real quantized scalar field, where $P^\mu$ is the 4-momentum operator obtained from $T^{\mu\nu}$, I had to have my fields and/or their derivatives ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What's the relation between virtual photons and electromagnetic potentials?

Given that: 1) virtual photons mediate the electric and magnetic force fields 2) the magnetic field is the curl of the magnetic vector potential 3) the electric field is the negative gradient of ...
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3answers
373 views

Geometric Langlands as a partially defined topological field theory

I have heard from several physicists that the Kapustin-Witten topological twist of $N=4$ 4-dimensional Yang-Mills theory ("the Geometric Langlands twist") is not expected to give rise to fully defined ...
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2answers
265 views

Is ghost-number a physical reality/observable?

One perspective is to say that one introduced the ghost fields into the Lagrangian to be able to write the gauge transformation determinant as a path-integral. Hence I was tempted to think of them as ...