Tagged Questions

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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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
276 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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2answers
445 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
302 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
771 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
494 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
439 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
350 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
356 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
5k views

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
1k views

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
838 views

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
431 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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0answers
612 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
662 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 ...
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1answer
352 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
442 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
684 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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2answers
1k views

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
243 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 ...
6
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1answer
288 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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5answers
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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
436 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
228 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
710 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
489 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
316 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
420 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
378 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
267 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 ...
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1answer
277 views

Mathematical definition of Bogomol'nyi–Prasad–Sommerfield (BPS) states

What is the mathematical definition of Bogomol'nyi–Prasad–Sommerfield (BPS) states, independent of any specific physical theory.
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3answers
148 views

Paper listing known Seiberg-dual pairs of N=1 gauge theories

Is there a nice list of known Seiberg-dual pairs somewhere? There are so many papers from the middle 1990s but I do not find comprehensive review. Could you suggest a reference? Seiberg's original ...
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6answers
568 views

Is there a theorem that says that QFT reduces to QM in a suitable limit? A theorem similar to Ehrenfest's theorem?

Is there a theorem that says that QFT reduces to QM in a suitable limit? Of course, it should be, as QFT is relativisitc quantum mechanics. But, is there a more manifest one? such as Ehrenfest's ...
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2answers
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When can I use Wick's theorem?

Wick's theorem means that for fermions, a four point correlation function (for example) can be written in terms of two point correlation functions: \begin{equation} \langle b_l^\dagger b_l ...
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1answer
488 views

References for conceptual issues in Quantum Field Theory

I realize this question is very broad but may be I will still get a helpful answers. References and textbooks for the development of the technical and mathematical aspects of QFT abound. However, I ...
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11answers
6k views

Quantum Field Theory from a mathematical point of view

I'm a student of mathematics with not much background in physics. I'm interested in learning Quantum field theory from a mathematical point of view. Are there any good books or other reference ...
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2answers
306 views

Gauge invariance for electromagnetic potential observables in test function form

This is a reference request for a relationship in quantum field theory between the electromagnetic potential and the electromagnetic field when they are presented in test function form. $U(1)$ gauge ...
8
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1answer
97 views

Why isn't there heterotic holographic QCD?

I think the question speaks for itself... Top-down holographic QCD, like Sakai-Sugimoto, always involves the Type II string. There are one or two papers on hQCD using the Type 0 string. But I can't ...
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2answers
881 views

BPS states : Mathematical definition

First of all, let me congratulate the theoretical physics community for this site. I am a mathematics student with very little background in phyiscs. The question I want to ask is: What is the proper ...
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2answers
2k views

To what extent is the “minimal substitution” or “minimal coupling” for the EM vector potential valid?

In all text books (and papers for that matter) about QFT and the classical limit of relativistic equations, one comes across the "minimal substitution" to introduce the magnetic potential into the ...
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2answers
164 views

Calculating correlation functions of exponentials of fields

In their book Condensed Matter Field Theory, Altland and Simons often use the following formula for calculating thermal expectation values of exponentials of a real field $\theta$: $$ \langle ...
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votes
5answers
251 views

Other processes than formal power series expansions in quantum field theory calculations

I am not sure if this question is too naive for this site, but here it goes. In QFT calculations, it seems that everything is rooted in formal power series expansions, i.e. , what dynamical systems ...
11
votes
1answer
327 views

Can the CPT theorem be valid if Lorentz invariance is only spontaneously broken?

Earlier, I asked here whether one can have spontaneous breaking of the Lorentz symmetry and was shown a Lorentz invariant term that can drive the vacuum to not be Lorentz invariant. How relaxed are ...
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0answers
253 views

Systematic approach to deriving equations of collective field theory to any order

The collective field theory (see nLab for a list of main historical references) which came up as a generalization of the Bohm-Pines method in treating plasma oscillations are often used in the study ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do neutrino oscillations imply nonzero neutrino masses?

Neutrinos can pass from one family to another (that is, change in flavor) in a process known as neutrino oscillation. The oscillation between the different families occurs randomly, and the likelihood ...
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2answers
638 views

The derivation of the Belinfante-Rosenfeld tensor

It seems me that there is a "difference" (at least apparently) in how the Belinfante-Rosenfeld tensor is thought of in section 7.4 of Volume 1 of Weinberg's QFT book and in section 2.5.1 of the ...