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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Can someone give a simple expose on Coleman Mandula theorem and what Mandelstam variables are?

Can someone give a simple expose on Coleman Mandula theorem and what Mandelstam variables are? Coleman-Mandula is often cited as being the key theorem that leads us to consider Supersymmetry for ...
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3answers
871 views

Why is stringless supergravity not considered by many to be a candidate theory of quantum gravity?

This paper seems to show that $d=4, N=8$ supergravity is finite. Yet the paper only has three citations in spires, and I certainly haven't heard talk of a new candidate theory of gravity. Why ...
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The Spectral Function in Many-Body Physics and its Relation to Quasiparticles

recently, I stumbled accross a concept which might be very helpful understanding quasiparticles and effective theories (and might shed light on an the question How to calculate the properties of ...
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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 ...
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555 views

What is Timelike Quantum Entanglement?

I came across a New Study at : http://arxiv.org/pdf/1101.2565 . Which talks about Time like quantum entanglement. What does that mean? Comment added by L.Motl: The same preprint has been discussed ...
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Understanding boundary conditions on slices of AdS5

This is a thing Iïve seen on many papers dealing with Warped Extra Dimensions, specifically on slices of AdS5. But the one where it appears more clearly is a lecture by Tony Gherghetta: ...
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5answers
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Special relativity version of Feynman's “Space-Time Approach to Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics”

I'm looking for an article that sets up the framework described by Feynman in Space-Time Approach to Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, but in Special Relativity.
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What is the difference between complex field and two scalar fields?

Consider a complex scalar field $\phi$ with the Lagrangian: $L = \partial_\mu\phi^\dagger\partial^\mu\phi - m^2 \phi^\dagger\phi$ Consider also two real scalar fields $\phi_1$ and $\phi_2$ with the ...
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How general is the Lagrangian quantization approach to field theory?

It is an usual practice that any quantum field theory starts with a suitable Lagrangian density. It has been proved enormously successful. I understand, it automatically ensures valuable symmetries of ...
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What are the main differences between these three quantum theories: QM, QFT & QG? [closed]

What are the main differences between these three quantum theories? Quantum Mechanics (QM), Quantum Field theory (QFT), Quantum Gravity (QG).
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385 views

What would the electromagnetic field of a massless electron look like

The Standard Model gives non-zero mass to the electron via the coupling to the Higgs field. Issues of renormalizability aside, this is fundamentally unrelated to the fact that the electron couples to ...
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1answer
91 views

Why is $\rho_m$ proportional to the deviation from critical temperature in critical phenomena?

In Peskin and Schroeder's chapter 12 about the renormalization group, it is stated that the parameter $\rho_m=m^2/M^2$, where $m$ is the mass and $M$ is the renormalization scale, is proportional to ...
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896 views

What does second quantization mean in the context of string theory?

String field theory (in which string theory undergoes "second quantization") seems to reside in the backwaters of discussions of string theory. What does second quantization mean in the context of a ...
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215 views

Cooling via the quantum vacuum?

Suppose you had an isolated cloud of gas at a low temperature in a vacuum with no external sources of radiation (e.g. no CMB). The gas would clearly cool via the emission of low-energy photons. But ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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1answer
436 views

Poynting Vectors and Feigel Effects

There is a surprising number of papers seriously discussing the "feigel effect" This has been linked to the Abraham-Minkowski controversy also here. Although there are good discussions picking apart ...
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1answer
360 views

Perturbative solution + Nonperturbative solution = Full solution?

I am having this silly confusion! Suppose I have a system (a Hamiltonian or an action say) and also suppose I have a perturbation parameter present (say only one in sight) in there, using which I can ...
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3answers
430 views

When one thinks of a field of operators in QFT, is it reasonable to think of a matrix being associated with each point in space time?

Is it correct to visualize operators existing as matrices parameterized by spacetime coordinates in the context of QFT?
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732 views

Can decoherence time be shorter than Planck time?

Decoherence times can be estimated and are inverse functions of mass. Since there are no upper bounds on mass, can decoherence time be shorter than Planck time?
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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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2answers
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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
2k views

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
872 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
488 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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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 ...
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2answers
946 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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3answers
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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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3answers
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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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801 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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3answers
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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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331 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 ...
12
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1answer
947 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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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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How can one find the energy eigenfunctions of a particle in a finite square well via the 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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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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645 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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467 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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424 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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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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5answers
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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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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) ...
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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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2answers
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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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3answers
910 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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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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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 ...