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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What are field quanta?

Just assume that I understand that a field in quantum field theory is an operator-valued distribution. For simplicity, forget about the distribution and think about a function $\varphi:M \rightarrow ...
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3k views

What are zero modes?

What are zero modes in quantum field theory, and what are they used for? Or, where can I read about them? I was never able to find a good introduction on the subject. I am particularly interested in ...
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3answers
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are particles “knots” or “kinks” of excitation in a field?

this is my mental picture for how they travel without a medium, how (like water waves) some can't stay still, why they have wave and particle properties, energy/mass equivalence, conservation, etc. ...
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Properties of the photon: Electric and Magnetic field components

Consider an electromagnetic wave of frequency $\nu$ interacting with a stationary charge placed at point $x$. My question concerns the consistency of two equally valid quantum-mechanical descriptions ...
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4answers
748 views

A quantitative explanation of EM coherence domains in liquid with DNA

I've been looking with interest at a recent biology paper claiming that DNA molecules give off electromagnetic signals which can cause the same types of molecules to be reconstructed at a remote ...
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2answers
462 views

Matrix models and condensed matter physics

I am sending a couple of questions which seem a bit more specific than others on this site, partially to probe if there is a point in doing so. Not sure what is the range of expertise here, and no way ...
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337 views

QCD phase diagram in the large N limit

I am sending a couple of questions which seem a bit more specific than others on this site, partially to probe if there is a point in doing so. Not sure what is the range of expertise here, and no way ...
6
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2answers
841 views

Wheeler-Feynman theory, QED without fields, vacuum polarization

Initially Wheeler and Feynman postulated that, the electromagnetic field is just a set of bookkeeping variables required in a Hamiltonian description. This is very neat because makes the point of ...
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What's the exact connection between bosonic Fock space and the quantum harmonic oscillator?

Let's suppose I have a Hilbert space $K = L^2(X)$ equipped with a Hamiltonian $H$ such that the Schrödinger equation with respect to $H$ on $K$ describes some boson I'm interested in, and I want to ...
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2k views

A pedestrian explanation of Renormalization Groups - from QED to classical field theories

shortly after the invention of quantum electrodynamics, one discovered that the theory had some very bad properties. It took twenty years to discover that certain infinities could be overcome by a ...
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741 views

Steps for going from Polyakov action to low-energy effective action (SUGRA?) in String Theory

A lot of string-theory questions have been asked here. This one is, hopefully, different in that this inquiry is specific and the expected answer would be more mathematical than philosophical in ...
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Why the vacuum polarization does not decrease the speed of light?

On one hand, in the classical electrodynamics polarization of transparent media yields in lowering the speed of light by the factor of $n=\sqrt{\epsilon_r \mu_r}$ (refractive index). On the other, in ...
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288 views

Weak contribution to nuclear binding

Does the weak nuclear force play a role (positive or negative) in nuclear binding? Normally you only see discussions about weak decay and flavour changing physics, but is there a contribution to ...
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738 views

What is the difference which leads to attraction in e+e- scattering and repulsion in e-e- scattering in QFT

What is the theoretical difference between the physical elementary interaction that causes an e+ to attract an e− when they exchange a virtual photon? Why is this exchange different from an e-e- ...
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910 views

What does a nucleus look like?

It's a Christmas time and so I hope I'll be pardoned for asking a question which probably doesn't make much sense :-) In standard undergraduate nuclear physics course one learns about models such as ...
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2answers
1k views

Klein–Gordon equation

It is said that Klein-Gordon equation is a relativistic version of the Schrodinger equation. In Schrodinger equation, it is straightforward to include potential energy. But for K-G eqn things seem to ...
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Why are von Neumann Algebras important in quantum physics?

At the moment I am studying operator algebras from a mathematical point of view. Up to now I have read and heard of many remarks and side notes that von Neumann algebras ($W^*$ algebras) are important ...
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Jauch, Piron, Ludwig -> QFT? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a complete book for quantum field theory? At the moment I am studying Piron: Foundations of Quantum Physics, Jauch: Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, and ...
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1k views

What does an atom radiate: a wave packet or a single photon?

What does an atom radiate: a wave packet or a single photon?
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620 views

Interaction ranges in the Standard Model - Electrodynamics vs QCD

as you might know, the Standard Model of physics can be seen as a $U(1)\times SU(2)\times SU(3)$ gauge theory where each symmetry group accounts for different force fields. The behaviour for the ...
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447 views

What sort of experiment would directly test time reversal invariance?

I guess the title says it all: how could/would you experimentally test whether our universe is truly time reversal invariant, without relying on the CPT theorem? What experiments have been proposed to ...
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2answers
400 views

CPT and heat equation

I haven't understood this thing: Physics is invariant for CPT trasform...But the Heat or diffusive equation $\nabla^2 T=\partial_t T$ is not invariant for time reversal...but it's P invariant..So CPT ...
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8answers
3k views

Is it possible to separate the poles of a magnet?

It might seem common sense that when we split a magnet we get 2 magnets with their own N-S poles. But somehow, I find it hard to accept this fact.(Which I now know is stated by Gauss's Law) I have ...
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4answers
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Scattering of light by light: experimental status

Scattering of light by light does not occur in the solutions of Maxwell's equations (since they are linear and EM waves obey superposition), but it is a prediction of QED (the most significant Feynman ...
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730 views

Is the world $C^\infty$?

While it is quite common to use piecewise constant functions to describe reality, e.g. the optical properties of a layered system, or the Fermi–Dirac statistics at (the impossible to reach exactly) ...
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2k views

What's the difference between helicity and chirality?

When a particle spins in the same direction as its momentum, it has right helicity, and left helicity otherwise. Neutrinos, however, have some kind of inherent helicity called chirality. But they can ...
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Why isn't Higgs coupling considered a fifth fundamental force?

When I first learned about the four fundamental forces of nature, I assumed that they were just the only four kind of interactions there were. But after learning a little field theory, there are many ...
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What does a Field Theory mean?

What exactly is a field theory? How do we classify theories as field theories and non field theories? EDIT: After reading the answers I am under the impression that almost every theory is a ...
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778 views

What are some approaches to discrete space-time used in modern physics?

This thought gave rise to some new questions in my mind. What are the consequences for: How would it affect duality i.e. particle, wave property of photons? How does this statement affect the ...
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363 views

Notation for Sections of Vector Bundles

(Reformulation of part 1 of Electromagnetic Field as a Connection in a Vector Bundle) I am looking for a good notation for sections of vector bundles that is both invariant and references bundle ...
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13answers
3k views

Suggested reading for renormalization (not only in QFT)

What papers/books/reviews can you suggest to learn what Renormalization "really" is? Standard QFT textbooks are usually computation-heavy and provide little physical insight in this regard - after my ...
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3answers
1k views

Electromagnetic Field as a Connection in a Vector Bundle

I would like to know more about Ehresmann connections in vector bundles and how they relate to the electromagnetic field and the electron in quantum mechanics. Background: The Schrödinger equation ...
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7answers
881 views

Evolution in the interpretation of the Dirac equation

As I understand, Dirac equation was first interpreted as a wave equation following the ideas of non relativistic quantum mechanics, but this lead to different problems. The equation was then ...
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9answers
2k views

Is a “third quantization” possible?

Classical mechanics: $t\mapsto \vec x(t)$, the world is described by particle trajectories $\vec x(t)$ or $x^\mu(\lambda)$, i.e. the Hilbert vector is the particle coordinate function $\vec x$ (or ...
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597 views

Quantum Field Theory cross sections integrals

Where can I find some examples of cross sections calculations in QFT done step-by-step? Those integrals are a little horror. For example - a simple scalar+scalar -> scalar+scalar at the tree level in ...
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4k views

What equation describes the wavefunction of a single photon?

The Schrödinger equation describes the quantum mechanics of a single massive non-relativistic particle. The Dirac equation governs a single massive relativistic spin-½ particle. The photon is a ...
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9answers
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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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3answers
585 views

Impressions of Topological field theories in mathematics

There have been recent results in mathematics regarding Conformal field theories and topological field theories. I am curious about the reaction to such results in the physics community. So I guess a ...