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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Polyakov action as broken symmetry effective action

I would like to ask if it is possible to regard the Polyakov action as an effective action that describes the broken symmetric phase of a more general model. Could someone draw an analogy with O(N) ...
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1answer
558 views

QED BRST Symmetry

This is a homework problem that I am confused about because I thought I knew how to solve the problem, but I'm not getting the result I should. I'll simply write the problem verbatim: "Consider QED ...
5
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2answers
313 views

Simple QFT exercise

Consider a particle on the real line with: $L=\frac{1}{2}(\partial_0q)^2 + f(q)\partial_0q$ the equation of motion is that of a free particle $\partial_0^2q=0$. In fact $\delta[f(q)\partial_0q]=0$. ...
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1answer
145 views

Proving the time-evolution of momentum operator

In QFT the evolution of momentum and field operators is given by $∂_0φ=i[H,φ]$ and $∂_0\pi=i[H,\pi]$. Is it possible to derive these equations from the basic operator commutation relations or are ...
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106 views

Does the measure of proximity of two theories in “theory space” run?

From reading this article, I have learned that two effective QFTs can be very close together in the "theory space" appropriate to describe for example physics at the LHC scale, whereas the ...
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1answer
302 views

Electromagnetic current-current correlators

Let the free electromagnetic current $J_\mu(x)$ be = $:\bar{\psi}(x)\gamma_\mu Q \psi(x):$ where $::$ is the normal ordering. In this expression why is $Q$ thought of as a "charge operator" instead ...
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3answers
605 views

Gauge invariance and form of the vacuum polarization tensor

In quantum field theory or condensed matter physics, the fermionic one-loop diagram gives rise to the polarization tensor $$ Π^{µν} = Tr[ γ^µ G γ^ν G ] $$ If we couple the electrons to an ...
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2answers
4k 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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1answer
491 views

Interpretation of the Einstein-Hilbert action

Everyone knows the famous Einstein-Hilbert action $S_{EH} = \int d^4x \sqrt{-g} R$. I'd like to know if, after we first explicit the Ricci scalar in terms of the metric, it could be possible to ...
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1answer
338 views

Conceptual quantum field theory

Often papers and books give some bold(deep physical insight) statements in quantum field theory which are not backed by mathematics, and seldom by citing papers. Being a student I don't grasp the real ...
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1answer
137 views

Classical black holes?

How big should the black hole be so we can consider it to be classical? When they claim that we can not probe shorter distances than the Planck length, can it be true? The argument says that, ...
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1answer
183 views

How do I derive this series for this unitary operator?

I want to derive eq. (2.4.3) in S. Weinberg, The Quantum Theory of fields, Vol. 1. The derivations start from expanding inhomogenous Lorentz transforms near identity $$\Lambda^{\mu}_{\nu} ~=~ ...
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1answer
115 views

Is there a point interaction model of the electron?

Is there a point interaction model of the electron? Is there a point interaction model of the electron? I imagine something like $\propto(\bar \psi\psi)^2$ (edited). Is such a thing in use? Since I ...
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2answers
295 views

If the S-matrix has symmetry group G, must the fields be representations of G?

If the fields in QFT are representations of the Poincare group (or generally speaking the symmetry group of interest), then I think it's a straight forward consequence that the matrix elements and ...
2
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0answers
271 views

Why does this integral come out imaginary?

Im working through Zee and I'm having a little trouble with some integrals. I'm trying to reproduce the analogue of the inverse square law for a 2+1 D universe and I figured I could start with the ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Why are we forced to choose a specific value for $\pi$ field in Nambu-Goldstone phenomenon?

In the sigma-model of spontaneous symmetry breaking, we have degenerate vacuum states. But if we don't pick up a particular value of VEV, we won't have any symmetry breaking. As I read from a book, in ...
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4answers
587 views

What is meant by the phrase “the mass is protected by a symmetry”?

In a particle physics context I've heard this phrase used. I guess it means that the mass of a particle is less than you'd naively expect from $E=mc^2$ after computing the momentum uncertainty ...
2
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2answers
696 views

Free particle propagation amplitude calculation

I have a quick calculational question. In Peskin and Schroeder, Chapter 2, they want to look at the amplitude for a particle to propagate between two arbitrary points, $x$ and $x_0$, in an arbitrary ...
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3answers
5k views

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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2answers
3k views

What is a non linear $\sigma$ model?

What exactly is a non linear $\sigma$ model? In many books one can view many different types of non linear $\sigma$ models but I don't understand what is the link between all of them and why it is ...
5
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1answer
382 views

How do we measure $i[\hat\phi(x),\hat\phi(y)]$ in QFT?

What operational procedure is required to measure $i[\hat\phi(x),\hat\phi(y)]$ in an interacting (or non-interacting) QFT? [assume smearing by test-functions, or give an answer in Fourier space, for ...
2
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1answer
217 views

Phase space suppression in loop integrals

Often (if not always) when calculating loop integrals in QFT one encounters extra 2 $\pi$'s that serve to suppress higher order corrections more so than the most naive guess would give. This happens ...
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3answers
830 views

Simple (but wrong) argument for the generality of positive beta-functions

In the introduction (page 5) of Supersymmetry and String Theory: Beyond the Standard Model by Michael Dine (Amazon, Google), he says (Traditionally it was known that) the interactions of ...
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1answer
176 views

Quantum tunneling in Field theory with Time dependent potential

What should be the limits of integration for euclidean action $S(\phi)$ in 3d and 4d? This action is negatively exponentiated to calculate the decay rate. I suspect that it is variable limit problem. ...
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2answers
343 views

What is the interaction with Higgs field(s) that give the quarks so much different masses?

The masses of quarks are: mu 2∼3 MeV md 4∼6 MeV mc 1.3 GeV ms 80∼130 MeV mt 173 GeV mb 4∼5 GeV
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1answer
193 views

Any case of a particle seemingly decaying into copies of itself?

Is there any case reported that seems to resemble the following: there is a particle and at some moment, the particle seems to break down into two or more particles that are all identical to the ...
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0answers
152 views

Does it make sense to speak of amplitudes of finite closed boundaries in QFT?

A example of amplitude in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics or specifically in QFT is the amplitude of a field configuration on a space-like hyper-surface of space-time to "lead" to another field ...
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2answers
342 views

A question from Weinberg QFT text

In page 71 Weinberg's QFT, $$A\Psi^{\theta }_{a,b} ~=~(a\cos{(\theta )}-b\sin{(\theta )})\Psi^{\theta }_{a,b}.$$ He says that massless particles represented by $\Psi ^{\theta }_{a,b}$ are not ...
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1answer
175 views

Electron shell bombardment

If you bombard an electron shell with a photon below the critical level to promote the electron to a higher state, will the shell absorb nothing and the photon get deflected with the same amount of ...
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3answers
3k views

Electron Positron annihilation Feynman Diagram

I am having some trouble understanding this fenyman diagram, it seems to indicate that the electron produces the positron, as the arrow of the positron is pointing from the electron. Additionally ...
3
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1answer
338 views

Spinor integration

I am learning on-shell methods for one loop integrals from this paper: Loop amplitudes in gauge theory: modern analytic approaches by Britto. Starting with formula (18) spinor integration is ...
15
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3answers
910 views

Does renormalization make quantum fields into (slightly) nonlinear functionals of test functions?

Quantum fields are presented as operator-valued distributions, so that the operators in the theory are linear functionals of some test function space. This works well for free fields, giving us a ...
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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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2answers
234 views

Is the form of the Lagrangian relevant before the renormalization procedure?

In the renormalization procedure, is writing things like $$\varphi=\sqrt{Z_{\varphi}}\ \varphi_R\ ,\ \ m_0^2=Z_m\ m_R^2\ ,\ \ g_0=Z_g \mu^{\epsilon}\ g_R$$ and $$Z_i=1+\sum_{\nu=1}^\infty ...
4
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1answer
210 views

What does the appearance of a classical particle fundamentally reduce to?

I've been reading an article that describes what seems to be a classical particle as a regularity in the global wavefunction over a quantum configuration space: When you actually see an electron ...
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2answers
587 views

Essential background for QFT study

The preface to Mark Srednicki's "Quantum Field Theory" says that to be prepared for the book, one must recognize and understand the following equations: $$\frac{d\sigma}{d\Omega} = ...
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2answers
414 views

Why do string theory and Hopf algebra renormalization seem to have no intersection?

Hopf algebra appears in recent papers that systematize renormalization of quantum field theory (QFT). For example see Connes' work and citing papers or a paper referenced here on PSE: R. E. ...
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3answers
713 views

Quantum harmonic oscillator

I read somewhere that a quantum field can be thought of as a tiny bowl at every point in space with a ball doing SHM (quantum harmonic oscillator). It was given that the amplitude of this SHM is ...
3
votes
1answer
455 views

Current formula and form factor

I am currently struggling with the formula for an exact current in QFT, a fermion with an upcoming momentum $p$ and an outgoing momentum $p'$. My problem is to show whether or not a term of the ...
5
votes
1answer
719 views

The nature of time, according to quantum field theory

I will try my best to ask the question that best fits something I have been pondering on for a few days. Are virtual particles really constantly popping in and out of existence? Or are they ...
3
votes
3answers
682 views

Snell's law starting from qft? [duplicate]

Can one "interpret" Snell's law in terms of QED and the photon picture? How would one justifiy this interpretation with some degree of mathematical rigour? At the end I would like to have a direct ...
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vote
3answers
311 views

EM field quantization

I'm trying to quantize the electromagnetic field by solving the vector potential wave equation, that is: $$\nabla^{2} \mathbf{A} = \dfrac{1}{c^{2}} \dfrac{\partial ^{2} \mathbf{A}}{\partial t^{2}}, ...
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0answers
83 views

Factorization of fermionic scattering integral in 2d momentum rep

the scattering integrals for fermions involves both momentum ($k$) and energy ($k^2$) conservation and a nonlinear phase space factor of a distribution function $f(k)$. $$\begin{multline}I(k) = ...
2
votes
1answer
730 views

How are fundamental forces transmitted?

How are the fundamental forces transmitted? In particular I wonder, are all "processes" local, i.e. without superluminal distant interactions? But if they are local, then particles would have to ...
5
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1answer
193 views

Hawking radiation: direct matter -> energy conversion?

When a black hole evaporates, does it turn all the matter that has fallen in directly to energy, or will it somehow throw back out the same kind of matter (normal or anti) that went in?
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1answer
384 views

Is there orbital angular momentum for all particles?

Light as an electromagnetic wave can be polarized in different ways, e.g. linear or circular. As far as I understand it currently this can be compared to the spin direction of a propagation electron ...
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2answers
423 views

Anomalous magnetic moment of electron

It is known that the value of 2 of the electron g-factor arises from the Dirac equation. As far as I can see from the various sources, this value is obtained in non-relativistic limit, in particular ...
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3answers
468 views

Calculating lagrangian density from first principle

In most of the field theory text they will start with lagrangian density for spin 1 and spin 1/2 particles. But i could find any text where this lagrangian density is derived from first principle.
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1answer
116 views

Charge of a field under the action of a group

What does it mean for a field (say, $\phi$) to have a charge (say, $Q$) under the action of a group (say, $U(1)$)?
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2answers
1k views

quantum optics of a polarizing beam splitter

I would like to use the Heisenberg picture in quantum field theory to model a polarizing beam splitter. Is there an easy way for someone to show me how the field operators ($a^\dagger_{input1}$, ...