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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Speed of light and virtual particles

After becoming extremely bored while studying for an Afrikaans exam, I started thinking about virtual particles. So, can light (photons) interact with virtual particles (even though they only exist ...
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813 views

Energy-time uncertainty and pair creation

Usually, the energy-time analogue of the position-momentum uncertainty relation is quoted as $\Delta E \Delta t \geq \frac{h}{4 \pi}$. This has interpretational issues and such. But, with a suitable ...
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570 views

Why possibility for X-ray to excite inner electrons higher than outer electrons?

It seems X-ray absorption spectroscopy is usually ascribed to the interation between photons and inner electrons. Does it mean inner electrons are much preferred by X-ray photons to outer electrons? ...
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8answers
5k views

Is there a symmetry associated to the conservation of information?

Conservation of information seems to be a deep physical principle. For instance, Unitarity is a key concept in Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory. We may wonder if there is an underlying ...
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2answers
714 views

Path integral and geometric quantization

I was wondering how one obtains geometric quantization from a path integral. It's often assumed that something like this is possible, for example, when working with Chern-Simons theory, but rarely ...
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2answers
575 views

Can auxiliary fields be thought of as Lagrange multipliers?

In the BRST formalism of gauge theories, the Lautrup-Nakanishi field $B^a(x)$ appears as an auxiliary variable $$\mathcal{L}_\text{BRST}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}^a F^{a\,\mu\nu}+\frac{1}{2}\xi B^a B^a + ...
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7answers
2k views

Why do physicists believe that particles are pointlike?

String theory gives physicists reason to believe that particles are 1-dimensional strings because the theory has a purpose - unifying gravity with the gauge theories. So why is it that it's popular ...
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5answers
3k views

Reading list in topological QFT

I'm interested in learning about topological QFT including Chern Simons theory, Jones polynomial, Donaldson theory and Floer homology - basically the kind of things Witten worked on in the 80s. I'm ...
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3answers
867 views

What makes a Feynman diagram real or virtual?

Simple question: as the title says, what makes a real Feynman diagram real, and what makes a virtual diagram virtual? Or in other words, how do I tell whether any given diagram is real or virtual? ...
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641 views

What is the massless limit of massive electromagnetism?

Consider electromagnetism, an abelian gauge theory, with a massive photon. Is the massless limit equal to electromagnetism? What does it happen at the quantum level with the extra degree of freedom? ...
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261 views

constraint on scaling dimension

How can we show that for any scalar operator $\Delta\geq1$ (where $\Delta$ is the scaling dimension)? Where can I find a reference for reading where it comes from?
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1k views

When we define the S-matrix, what are “in” and “out” states?

I have seen the scattering matrix defined using initial ("in") and final ("out") eigenstates of the free hamiltonian, with $$\left| \vec{p}_1 \cdots \vec{p}_n \; \text{out} \right\rangle = S^{-1} ...
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1answer
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What happens to the Lagrangian of the Dirac theory under charge conjugation?

Consider a charge conjugation operator which acts on the Dirac field($\psi$) as $$\psi_{C} \equiv \mathcal{C}\psi\mathcal{C}^{-1} = C\gamma_{0}^{T}\psi^{*}$$ Just as we can operate the parity operator ...
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2answers
165 views

matter anti-matter world

let us suppose the gedanken experiment a man isolated into a room he ask if he is made of matter oder of antimatter could he set some experiments to see if he is made of matter or if he is made of ...
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3answers
399 views

Is it true that an isolated fundamental particle does not decay?

Is it true that an isolated fundamental/elementary particle does not decay? It seems logical to me.
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2answers
287 views

Secondary constraints leads to the value of lagrange multiplier

From Lagrangian I got two primary constraint $\phi_i$ and $\phi$. And my Hamiltonian in presence of the constraints becomes- $$H_p=p\dot q-L+\lambda_i\phi_i+\lambda\phi$$ here the $\lambda_i$ and ...
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1answer
244 views

What's the difference between background field and dynamical gauge field?

Dynamical gauge fields are assumed to be able to respond to sources. What's the difference in the Lagrangians between a background field and a dynamical field?
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3answers
673 views

Propagators and Probabilities in the Heisenberg Picture

I'm trying to understand why $$\Bigl|\langle0|\phi(x)\phi(y)|0\rangle\Bigr|^2$$ is the probability for a particle created at $y$ to propagate to $x$ where $\phi$ is the Klein-Gordon field. What's ...
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431 views

In quantum field theory with a mass gap, why do states in the asymptotic future/past turn out to have a Fock space structure?

In quantum field theory with a mass gap, why do states in the asymptotic future/past turn out to have a Fock space structure? For a free quantum field theory, that's trivial, but why is that the case ...
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0answers
41 views

What is the physical meaning of the higher order structure functions in the BRST quantization of open algebras?

What is the physical meaning of the higher order structure functions in the BRST quantization of open algebras? As opposed to formal algebraic manipulations. Thanks.
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1answer
165 views

Wilsonian vs 1PI

As a follow up to Difference between 1PI effective action and Wilsonian effective action, where can I find pedagogical material that highlights the similarities and differences between the 1PI and ...
2
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1answer
269 views

't Hooft limit of coupling fundamental fermions to Chern-Simons theory

This question is in reference to this paper: arXiv:1110.4386 [hep-th]. I would like to know what is the derivation or a reference to the proof of their crucial equation 2.3 (page 12). In their ...
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4answers
2k views

The Lagrangian in Scalar Field Theory

This is perhaps a naive question, but why do we write down the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}\eta^{\mu\nu}\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial_{\nu}\phi - \frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2$$ as the simplest ...
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1answer
338 views

Number of Grassmann generators for Dirac field?

How many Grassmann generators are sufficient for the description of a Dirac spinor in 4 dimensions? i.e. The Dirac field is a map to $\Lambda_N$, the space of supernumbers with $N$ real Grassmann ...
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1answer
195 views

Coverage of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) in introductory Quantum Field Theory (QFT) books [closed]

Which QFT books also cover QED? I am not very familiar with QED, so I am looking for QFT books which cover QED too (I know they cover Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).).
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1answer
123 views

What are relativistic and radiative effects (in quantum simulation)?

I'm reading about Quantum Monte Carlo, and I see that some people are trying to calculate hydrogen and helium energies as accurately as possible. QMC with Green's function or Diffusion QMC seem to be ...
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1answer
397 views

Negative probability and spin-0 scalar field in Klein-Gordon equation

Klein-Gordon equation in quantum field theory is known to suffer from the possibility of negative probability. So, the question is, despite this, Klein-Gordon describes spin-zero field. So, how can ...
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Grassmann paradox weirdness

I'm running into an annoying problem I am unable to resolve, although a friend has given me some guidance as to how the resolution might come about. Hopefully someone on here knows the answer. It is ...
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1answer
291 views

How quantum field transforms in case of some particular spin

Except when a particle is spin-0, field of all particles transforms when frame of reference is changed, and this defines what spin is. The question is, specifically how does the quantum field ...
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1answer
412 views

An equation that describes massless spin-1 particle

Proca action/equation describes massive spin-1 particle, but I was unable to find an equation that describes massless spin-1 particle. Can anyone tell me what the name of this equation is?
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1answer
805 views

How does one derive the Lamb shift for the Hydrogen atom?

I've been perusing my copies of Srednicki and Peskin & Schroeder, and I can't seem to find an explanation of how one derives the Lamb shift that I can follow. How does one derive the Lamb shift? ...
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4answers
3k views

Why would Klein-Gordon describe spin-0 scalar field while Dirac describe spin-1/2?

The derivation of both Klein-Gordon equation and Dirac equation is due the need of quantum mechanics (or to say more correctly, quantum field theory) to adhere to special relativity. However, excpet ...
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1answer
416 views

Matrix and exponential term problem

We know the Schrodinger equation for free Hamiltonian is : $$ i\hbar\frac{\partial\psi}{\partial t} = H_f \psi $$ the wave function could be written as $$ \psi(x,t)=\hat{S}(t) \psi(x,0) $$ $$ ...
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Would a spin-2 particle necessarily have to be a graviton?

I'm reading often that a possible reason to explain why the Nobel committee is coping out from making the physics Nobel related to the higgs could be among other things the fact that the spin of the ...
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1answer
172 views

Problem in Hamiltonian

I need to elaborate the equation ,and need to know what is the physical significance and how matrices will manipulate in the equation $$ \hat{H} = (\hat{\tau_3}+i\hat{\tau_2})\frac{\hat{p}^2}{2m_0}+ ...
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1answer
93 views

Bogolubov coefficient identities

Along the lines of Birrell and Davies, which contrary to Mukhanov-Winitzki (which is actually my level) gives a quite general but short account on Bogolubov transformations, I tried to follow the ...
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1answer
113 views

Is Hyperbolic Space $H3$ the best representation space for momenta, in momentum-scale invariant theories?

The motivation is the following: For each particle of mass m, we could write : $- (E/m)^2 + (p_x/m)^2 + (p_y/m)^2 + (p_z/m)^2 = -1$, which is nothing than a equation for a point in the ...
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0answers
341 views

Newton's gravitational constant $G$, the reduced Planck constant $\hbar$, the speed of light $c$: the Dream Team of moderators?

The three great constants of Nature are well known: the speed of light $c$ (special relativity), the reduced Planck constant $\hbar$ (quantum mechanics), Newton's ...
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1answer
196 views

Definition of CFT

A standard QFT cannot be defined as a set of Poincare-invariant correlation functions because this does not take into account the possibility of non-perturbative effects (e.g. instantons) Can we ...
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2answers
190 views

Dark matter: degrees of freedom

I'm afraid this question could sound a little too vague. I don't even know if dark matter (DM) can be genuinely described by quantum field theory, or if quantum field theory should be somehow ...
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1answer
303 views

Particle sources and particle detectors in quantum field theory

I am looking for a resource that clearly exposes the concepts of a particle source and a particle detector in the context of Quantum Field theory. I want to understand Irreversibility in this context. ...
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3answers
958 views

Creation of particle anti-particle pairs

I was reading some QFT notes and there is one point that I don't understand, they are justifying why we need QFT saying that the number of particles is not preserved once we consider special ...
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0answers
69 views

Books dealing with Quantum field theory [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a complete book for quantum field theory? I am looking for good books that deal with Quantum Field theory starting from basics. Please suggest something that ...
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3answers
565 views

How can perturbativity survive renormalization?

The most usual way to renormalize quantum field theories is by re-writing the Lagrangian in terms of physical (finite) parameters plus counter-terms. Take $\lambda \phi^4$ theory for instance: $$ ...
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3answers
2k views

Do strong and weak interactions have classical force fields as their limits?

Electromagnetic interaction has classical electromagnetism as its classical limit. Is it possible to similarly describe strong and weak interactions classically?
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2answers
775 views

Gauge fixing and equations of motion

Consider an action that is gauge invariant. Do we obtain the same information from the following: Find the equations of motion, and then fix the gauge? Fix the gauge in the action, and then find the ...
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2answers
302 views

Fermion Field of Standard Model

Why fermion field is treated as anti-commuting and boson field as truly classical in standard model?
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2answers
1k views

How to obtain Dirac equation from Schrodinger equation and special relativity?

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: The Dirac equation is superficially similar to the Schrödinger equation for a free massive particle: A) ...
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1answer
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How to construct the charge conjugation matrix for any given dimension?

Generally, Gamma matrices could be constructed based on the Clifford algebra. \begin{equation} \gamma^{i}\gamma^{j}+\gamma^{j}\gamma^{i}=2h^{ij}, \end{equation} My question is how to generally ...
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Odd number of second class constraints (!)

For my thesis, I have calculated the constraints for a system using Dirac method of constraint analysis. The problem is I got odd number of second class constraints (!), which gives me unusual numbers ...