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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How is perturbation theory applied to the Bunch-Davies state for an interacting quantum field theory?

Feynman diagrams are ordinarily the usual method of perturbative analysis for weakly interacting quantum field theories. However, over a de Sitter background, the total number of particles isn't even ...
4
votes
2answers
284 views

Can the electroweak/strong forces, and/or quantum mechanics be thought of as geometric?

Can the electroweak and strong forces be written as geometric theories? - Why and why not? Can quantum mechanics in general? For example, the Kaluza-Klein theory explains the electromagnetic field ...
9
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1answer
967 views

Questions about the Dyson equation

I'm studying finite temperature many-body perturbation theory, and am trying to understand The Dyson equation. In particular, I'm using Mattuck - A guide to Feynman diagrams in the many body problem. ...
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6answers
1k views

Is there any thing other than time that “triggers” a radioactive atom to decay?

Say you have a vial of tritium and monitor their atomic decay with a geiger counter. How does an atom "know" when it's time to decay? It seems odd that all the tritium atoms are identical except with ...
3
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1answer
237 views

The vacuum as trigger

Do the apperance in the atomic nucleus of virtual matter-antimatter particle pairs play a role in the random nature of radioactive decay?
3
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1answer
301 views

Does kaon decay etc prove “CP violation” or just “CP or CPT violation”

Shlomo Sternberg (math professor at Harvard) wrote a book called "Group theory and physics". On p156 (link) there's a strange offhand comment: "Experiments done in 1964 by Fitch and Cronin seem to ...
8
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2answers
401 views

Quantizing EM field

Why when we quantize EM field, whe quantize the vector potential $A^\mu$ obtaining vectorial particles (photons) like the elastic field (phonons) and we can't quantize directly the EM-field tensor ...
5
votes
3answers
408 views

bound states of massless fields?

Question: are they mathematically possible at all? physically? with finite mass systems, usually the binding energy contributes to the rest-mass of the system. It would seem that even if you could ...
6
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1answer
493 views

Generalization of spin coherent states for an arbitrary group?

My question is inspired by the analogy of the Berry phase in the spin coherent state representation of a rotator and the Aharonov-Bohm phase of a magnetic monopole (see e.g., Section 1.8.3 in ...
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0answers
280 views

1-form formulation of quantized electromagnetism

In a perpetual round of reformulations, I've put quantized electromagnetism into a 1-form notation. I'm looking for references that do anything similar, both to avoid reinventing the wheel and perhaps ...
5
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0answers
244 views

When can the source term of a partition function be put in?

More specifically, in quantum field theory books, we usually have this: \begin{equation} Z = \int D(\bar{\psi}, \psi) e^{-S + \int_0^\beta d\tau \sum_l [\bar{\eta}_l (\tau) \psi_l (\tau) + ...
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1answer
555 views

What is the most natural definition of the weak hypercharge coupling constant if grand unification is wrong?

A tricky question. Here is the famous graph of the running of the three coupling constants in the standard model: http://www-ekp.physik.uni-karlsruhe.de/~deboer/html/Forschung/unification_eng.eps . ...
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1answer
832 views

What is the value of the fine structure constant at Planck energy?

At low energy, 511 keV, the value of the fine structure constant is 1/137.03599... At Planck energy $\sqrt{\frac{\hbar c^5}{G}}$, or 1.956 $\times$ 109 Joule, or 1.22 $\times$ 1028 eV, it has a ...
6
votes
1answer
524 views

Does de Sitter space admit an asymptotic S-matrix?

From the Penrose diagram of de Sitter space, we see it has a future and past conformal boundary, and they are both spacelike. So, does de Sitter space admit an asymptotic S-matrix? Sure, in the usual ...
3
votes
1answer
393 views

Seiberg Witten theory

I'm currently reading the Seiberg-Witten paper on $N=2$ supersymmetric Yang Mills pure gauge theory (i.e. no hypermultiplets). I have the following question: How does one understand that the metric ...
7
votes
2answers
549 views

Why is the spinor field anti-commutator not made gauge invariant?

When we introduce minimal coupling for the Dirac spinor field, we introduce terms into the Lagrangian, by the substitution $i\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\mu}\mapsto i\frac{\partial}{\partial ...
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0answers
441 views

Correlators at large N and large N factorization

I am having this very basic problem. In e.g Maldacena's AdS/CFT review (0309246) (page 5), he has defined operators as $\mathcal{O}=N\,{\rm tr}[f(M)]$ for some matrices $M$ and got the connected ...
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4answers
813 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) ...
4
votes
3answers
603 views

Nomenclature: Yang-Mills theory vs Gauge theory

If you're writing about a theory with Yang-Mills/Gauge fields for an arbitrary reductive gauge group coupled to arbitrary matter fields in some representation, is it best to call it a Yang-Mills ...
3
votes
1answer
447 views

The superconformal algebra

How does one derive the superconformal algebra? Especialy how to argue the existence of the operator $S$ which doesn't exist either in either the supersymmetric algebra or the conformal algebra? ...
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votes
4answers
946 views

Who works professionally on reformulation of QFT?

P. Dirac was worried with the infinities and their discarding in QED. He wanted us to reformulate the theory in order to eliminate infinities and renormalizations from the very beginning. Is there ...
9
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1answer
692 views

CFT and the Coleman-Mandula Theorem

The Coleman-Mandula theorem states that under certain seemingly-mild assumptions on the properties of the S matrix (roughly: one particle states are left invariant and the amplitudes are analytic in ...
4
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1answer
643 views

Why is GR ghost-free?

I wonder how one can show that general relativity is ghost-free? By ghost I mean the negative norm state that breaks the unitarity. I think it is a well-known "fact" but I just couldn't find any ...
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2answers
1k views

What does “soft” in “soft symmetry breaking” mean?

For example it is stated that if supersymmetry breaking is soft then stability of gauge hierarchy can be still maintained.
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1answer
79 views

Experimental limits on anisotropies in the $e/m_{e}$ ratio

Currently the charge-to-mass ratio of the electron is known to 10 orders of magnitude. However, i'm curious if: Are there any experiments trying to bound the anisotropy of this ratio for different ...
8
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1answer
304 views

Weakly gauge a symmetry?

What does it mean to "weakly gauge" a global symmetry in a gauge theory? I have seen this term used in a number of papers, but have not seen it defined.
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3answers
504 views

Particle Lagrangians

As I learned in my string theory course, you can describe the quantum spin-0 particle by quantizing the arclength Lagrangian of a relativistic classical particle. My question is whether you can get a ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

Density/distribution of Eigenvalues

In various articles (I am here talking about specially the ones related to string theory etc.) I have seen the discussion on density and distribution of eigenvalues. I want to know why do we use them ...
7
votes
3answers
477 views

Horizon and Unruh radiation for a finite period of acceleration

It's a well known fact that an observer that accelerates at a constant rate from $-c$ at past infinity to $+c$ at future infinity sees a horizon in flat Minkowski spacetime. This is easy to see from a ...
8
votes
1answer
453 views

Is there a rest frame for the Higgs boson?

If there is a non-zero expectation value for the Higgs boson even in "vacuum", since the Higgs boson has a mass unlike photons, then I would expect it to have a rest frame. So why doesn't a non-zero ...
2
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1answer
285 views

A particular notation about fermions

I am not sure that this notation is specific to supersymmetry theories but I ran into this while studying that. I see people talking of component fields of a chiral superfield as $\phi$ and ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

Constructing the $\cal{N}=2$ supersymmetric non-Abelian Chern-Simon's theory

This is related to this earlier question I had asked. I am using the so called ``Majorana" representation of gamma matrices in $2+1$ dimensions in which everything is real. After doing the ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

running of coupling constant as a function of distance?

There are many papers about the running of coupling strength as a function of momentum/energy scale, but are there any experimental papers about coupling strength as function of distance? Also, are ...
7
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3answers
982 views

Covariant Quantisation and the Time Operator in String Theory

Covariant quantisation in string theory is accomplished by giving the commutator relations $[X^\mu(\sigma,\tau),P^\nu(\sigma',\tau)] = i \eta^{\mu\nu} \delta(\sigma - \sigma')$. Although ...
6
votes
1answer
516 views

Viscosity/Entropy ratio and unitary evolution in quantum gravity

Calculations of the shear viscosity of the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), observed in heavy ions collisions, are performed via the AdS/CFT correspondence [ref1]. One finds that the shear viscosity of the ...
5
votes
1answer
330 views

Construction of the $\cal{N}=3$ supersymmetric Yang-Mills Chern-Simons theory in $2+1$ dimensions

I am stuck with understanding the following construction. I am breaking it up into segments which I think can be separately answered. This is related to an earlier question of mine. Note that this ...
4
votes
1answer
754 views

Dimensional reduction from $3+1$ to $2+1$ for $\cal{N}=2$ vector superfield

Let the supersymmetry transformations for the chiral multiplet $(z_k,\psi_{kL},f_k)$ be, $\delta z_k = 2i \bar{\alpha} \psi_{kL}$ $\delta \psi_{kL} = D_\mu z_k \gamma ^\mu \alpha_R + f_k \alpha_L$ ...
2
votes
0answers
384 views

An alternative, algebraic way to introduce interactions. Are there other ways out there?

An opening paragraph: The usual approach to introducing interactions in quantum field theory is to make the constraint on the amplitude of the field towards smaller values more forceful than ...
3
votes
3answers
427 views

What is the density of virtual photons around a unit charge?

It seems that virtual photons also exist in vacuum. So the precise question is: What is the additional virtual photon density due to the electric field of a unit charge? Or: How many virtual photons ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Virtual photon description of B and E fields

I continue to find it amazing that something as “bulky” and macroscopic as a static magnetic or electric field is actually a manifestation of virtual photons. So putting on your QFT spectacles, look ...
2
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1answer
291 views

Axion related questions

I have several question regarding axion. Could anyone give me some brief introduction to what is a axion string, axion field and how is this related to fermion zero mode and chiral zero mode?
8
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1answer
2k views

How does one prove Fierz identities?

Fierz identities are discussed in the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fierz_identity but the article doesn't give any derivation. The article implies that they arise from the blade ...
9
votes
2answers
514 views

Some Majorana fermion identities

I have been struggling with these Majorana fermion identities for quite sometime now. I would be grateful if someone can help me with them. Let $\lambda$,$\theta$ and $\psi$ be $4$-component ...
9
votes
1answer
354 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
270 views

Polarization of the gluon

I think that, by now, it's understood that the gluon propagator in QCD has a dynamically generated mass. Ok, so my question is the following: where does the extra polarization degree of freedom come ...
10
votes
2answers
800 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
229 views

Is there a meaning to the E,B analogues of other gauge fields?

From the gauge field $A_\mu$ and the QED lagrangian we can derive maxwell's equations in terms of electric and magnetic fields. Are there any situations where similar derivations using the other gauge ...
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1answer
386 views

What is the spectral energy density of virtual photons around a unit charge at rest?

Given that my previous question, namely "What is the number density of virtual photons around a unit charge?" has no precise answer, here is a more precise wording: What is the virtual photon ...
7
votes
1answer
335 views

How do ideas of leading singularities and Grassmanian help in curing infrared divergences when calculating N=4 scattering amplitudes?

Broadly speaking how do ideas of leading singularities and Grassmanian help in curing infrared divergences when calculating N=4 scattering amplitudes? My understanding is that one gets infra red ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Is the color gauge group spontaneously broken in QCD by the Savvidy vacuum?

One model for confinement in quantum chromodynamics is the Savvidy vacuum. This is a spontaneous symmetry breaking of color gauge symmetry by the gauge fields. The vacuum is divided into Savvidy ...