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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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 ...
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562 views

Order Parameters for the Higgs Phase

Phase transitions are often detected by an order parameter - some quantity which is zero in the "disordered" phase, but becomes non-zero when order is established. For example, if the phase transition ...
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A particular supersymmetry transformation

While reading a paper I ran into this particular way of writing a $\cal{N}=3$ fields (in a theory with $N_f$ hypermultiplets) that I couldn't relate to anything I had seen before in the text-books ...
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606 views

Why are some solitons formed from bosonic fields fermionic?

Some topological solitons formed from bosonic fields have fermionic statistics. Why?
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578 views

There seems to be no definition of “stability” in axiomatic QFT. Is there? And, if not, is this a problem?

"stability" is invoked as the justification for the axiomatic requirement that the spectrum of the generators of the translation group must be confined to the forward light-cone. The spectrum ...
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607 views

The difference between free energy and perpetual motion [closed]

What is the difference between free energy (over unity) and perpetual motion? Please provide some examples, both real world and theoretical.
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579 views

Supersymmetry algebra

Let the $i=x,y,z$ components of the angular momentum have the commutation relations with the supersymmetry generators (also called supercharges?) $Q_a$ ($a = \pm \frac{1}{2}$) as, $[J_i , Q_a] = ...
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Spinning Tachyons

In all examples that I know, tachyons are described by scalar fields. I was wondering why you can't have a tachyon with spin 1. If this spinning tachyon were to condense to a vacuum, the vacuum ...
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550 views

What is the medium that allows magnetic fields *or any forcefield* to exist?

Magnetic fields are obvious distortions.. of.. something, but what exactly are they distortions of? Massive objects produce curvatures/gradients in space-time resulting in what we observe as ...
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705 views

Quantization of Gravitational Field: Quantization conditions

I'm begining to study Quantization of field with the second quantization formalism. I've studied phononic field, electromagnetic field in the vacuum and a generic relativistical scalar field. I ...
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409 views

If : V(Phi) : is nonlocal in space, does that mean interacting quantum field theory is nonlocal?

Free field theories are definitely local in . In the interaction picture, we can decompose the fields into creation operator modes and annihilation operator modes. The product of operators can be ...
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808 views

Dual conformal symmetry and spin networks in ABJM

In this question, I would love to hear some independent opinions on an issue I asked Juan Maldacena, Nathan Berkovits, Dan Jafferis, and others, but all the physicists may be missing something. The ...
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554 views

Supersymmetry breaking and Goldstino

I would be glad if someone can explain to me the argument as to why supersymmetry breaking is necessarily accompanied by appearance of a massless fermion, namely the goldstino. (and also why this is a ...
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818 views

What does the fine structure constant describe?

Feynman says in his book "QED" that the square root of the fine structure constant is the probability for a charged particle to emit a photon. But for which wavelength? Or is it an average over all ...
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519 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 ...
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229 views

Is the exponential of the distribution $i\Delta^+(x)$, the 2-point function of a free quantized Klein-Gordon field theory, a distribution?

From answers to a previous question, a finite degree polynomial in the distribution $i\Delta^+(x)$, with Fourier transform $2\pi\delta(k^2-m^2)\theta(k_0)$, is a distribution, even though a product of ...
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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 ...
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622 views

What is “localisation” of instantons?

I often encountered the term "localization" in the context of instantons, as for example in the work of Nekrasov on extensions of Seiberg-Witten theory to N=1 gauge theories. Could someone give a ...
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773 views

What is the status of applying numerical analysis to QM/QFT problems

This is something I don't ever seem to hear about, except regarding QCD ("lattice QCD"). What about QED? Is numerical integration always inferior to hand-calculating Feynman diagrams in perturbation ...
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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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What are the alternatives to the Higgs mechanism?

Can someone summarize, with references if possible, all of the alternatives to the simplest model (that requires only a single scalar Higgs field with the Mexican Hat potential) of spontaneous ...
6
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722 views

CFTs and formalizing quantum field theory

Moshe's recent questions on formalizing quantum field theory and lattices as a definition of field theory remind me of something I occasionally idly wonder about, and maybe this site can tell me the ...
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5answers
737 views

Is quantum field theory defined by its lattice regularization?

One statement I've heard many times is that QFT is "defined" by the lattice, or that the "only" definition of QFT is on the lattice (when such definition exists, e.g in pure Yang-Mills theory). I've ...
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What is the need for the Higgs mechanism and electroweak unification?

The Higgs mechanism allows massless fields to acquire mass through their coupling to a scalar field. But if the masses cannot be predicted because the couplings have to be fixed, what really is the ...
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622 views

Why do Faddeev-Popov ghosts decouple in BRST?

Why do Faddeev-Popov ghosts decouple in BRST? What is the physical reason behind it? Not just the mathematical reason. If BRST quantization is specifically engineered to make the ghosts decouple, how ...
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297 views

What is wall crossing?

I know that it must have something to do with (gauge?) theories with N=2 supersymmetry, BPS states and even black holes, but most papers on the subject are too technical for me. So what is wall ...
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636 views

Does particle indistinguishability and quantised enery levels (in bound states) violate the Pauli Exclusion Principle?

First, I should point out that this question was raised by a particle physics Professor whose lessons I attended last year. I don't recall exactly how the question was phrased so if anyone would like ...
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410 views

Is there a fully quantum-field theoretic treatise of Planck's Law for black-body radiation?

I recall from my undergraduate statistical mechanics and QM classes that Planck's Law may be derived fairly straight-forwardly by considering the density of states of EM radiation in thermal ...
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616 views

Superconformal algebra

I had earlier also asked a question about super conformal theories and I am continuing with that, now with more specific examples. I am quite puzzled with it given that I see no book explaining even ...
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1k views

Do traversable wormholes exist as solutions to string theory?

There has been some heated debate as to whether the laws of physics allow for traversable wormholes. Some physicists claim we require exotic matter to construct wormholes, but then others counter the ...
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$N=4$ supersymmetric yang-mills theory and S-duality

[Question suggested by @Lawrence B. Crowell's answer to the question on T-duality] There are three parts to my question: A. What is the action for $N=4$ SUSY Yang-Mills and what is the physics of ...
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1answer
245 views

Strings with negative pressure

This question is inspired by the following comment: the strings in string theory are relativistic and on a large enough piece of world sheet, the internal SO(1,1) Lorentz symmetry is preserved. ...
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1answer
438 views

Single trace partition function

I would be glad if someone can help me understand the argument in appendix B.1 and B.2 (page 76 to 80) of this paper. The argument in B.1 supposedly helps understand how the authors in that paper ...
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Diff(M) as a gauge group and local observables in theories with gravity

In a gauge theory like QED a gauge transformation transforms one mathematical representation of a physical system to another mathematical representation of the same system, where the two mathematical ...
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Are W & Z bosons virtual or not?

W and Z bosons are observed/discovered. But as force carrying bosons they should be virtual particles, unobservable? And also they require to have mass, but if they are virtual they may be off-shell, ...
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Is the S-Matrix the only quantum field observable?

If the S-Matrix is the only observable, that rules out both generalized free fields and Wick-ordered polynomials of generalized free fields as interesting Physical models, because both result in a ...
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623 views

Modes of a QFT and irreducible representation of the gauge group

This is in reference to the calculation in section 3.3 starting page 20 of this paper. I came across an argument which seems to say that the "constraint of Gauss's law" enforces gauge theory on ...
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217 views

Does boundedness of observables in the Haag-Kastler axiomatization rule out interactions?

In an interacting theory I expect there to be caustics, resonances, and other situations in which some observables would give an infinite experimental result. Of course, these are idealized states and ...
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272 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 ...
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6answers
2k views

How is the double slit experiment modeled in contemporary physical theories?

Suppose I have the following double split experiment set up: a monochromatic electron source of low intensity, which we can model as emitting a single electron at a time with energy $T$. a ...
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5answers
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Why should the Standard Model be renormalizable?

Effective theories like Little Higgs models or Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model are non-renormalizable and there is no problem with it, since an effective theory does not need to be renormalizable. These ...
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Are Classical Field Theory and Quantum Mechanics of a single particle (nonrelativistic or “classical”) limits of Quantum Field Theory?

Recently I talked about QFT with another physicist and mentioned that the Quantum Field Theory of a fermion is a quantisation of its one-particle quantum mechanical theory. He denied this and ...
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405 views

Witten Index and letter partition function

I haven't seen any reference which explains these things and I am not sure of all the steps of the argument or the equations. I am trying to reproduce here a sequence of arguments that I have mostly ...
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6answers
3k views

Formalizing Quantum Field Theory

I'm wondering about current efforts to provide mathematical foundations and more solid definition for quantum field theories. I am aware of such efforts in the context of the simpler topological or ...
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2answers
832 views

Superconformal theories

Can anyone tell me where can I read about the notion of "short" and "long" representations? Like what they are etc. From where can I learn the arguments which show that the bosonic subalgebra of ...
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Haag's theorem and practical QFT computations

There exists this famous Haag's theorem which basically states that the interaction picture in QFT cannot exist. Yet, everyone uses it to calculate almost everything in QFT and it works beautifully. ...
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951 views

The energy spectrum in quantum field theory

One of the key elements of any quantum mechanical system is the spectrum of the Hamiltonian. But what about in quantum field theory? It seems as if nobody ever discusses the spectrum of a system at ...
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2answers
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Why is lagrangian density correct?

The textbooks I have available explain that due to the infinite degrees of freedom of a field, the relevant object in QFT is the lagrangian density. A lagrangian is then obtained for the field by ...
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358 views

Is a normal-ordered product of free fields at a point a Wightman field?

$:\!\!\hat\phi(x)^2\!\!:$, for example, constructed from the real Klein-Gordon quantum field. For a Wightman field, the Wightman function $\left<0\right|\hat\phi(x)\hat\phi(y)\left|0\right>$ is ...
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$t\bar{t}$ asymmetry

Some weeks ago, there was lots of talk about this CDF paper: Evidence for a Mass Dependent Forward-Backward Asymmetry in Top Quark Pair Production where they measured a much higher asymmetry than ...