The research-level tag applies to questions that arise in graduate and post-secondary work. These questions often require domain-specific knowledge and could not be answered from a general source or may be beyond the level typically covered by Wikipedia and other popular sources. research-level ...

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21
votes
1answer
288 views

Vassiliev Higher Spin Theory and Supersymmetry

Recently there is renewed interest in the ideas of Vassiliev, Fradkin and others on generalizing gravity theories on deSitter or Anti-deSitter spaces to include higher spin fields (utilizing known ...
19
votes
1answer
61 views

What is known about the classification of N=4 SCFTs with central charge 6?

I was talking about K3 surfaces with some physicists, and one of them told me that the N=4 superconformal field theories with central charge 6 are expected to be relatively scarce. In particular, one ...
14
votes
1answer
283 views

Why isn't the Gear predictor-corrector algorithm for integration of the equations of motion symplectic?

Okumura et al., J. Chem. Phys. 2007 states that the Gear predictor-corrector integration scheme, used in particular in some molecular dynamics packages for the dynamics of rigid bodies using ...
25
votes
3answers
374 views

Continuum theory from lattice theory

I am looking for references on how to obtain continuum theories from lattice theories. There are basically a few questions that I am interested in, but any references are welcome. For example, you can ...
69
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the justifying foundations of statistical mechanics without appealing to the ergodic hypothesis?

This question was listed as one of the questions in the proposal (see here), and I didn't know the answer. I don't know the ethics on blatantly stealing such a question, so if it should be deleted or ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Good reading on the Keldysh formalism

I'd like some suggestions for good reading materials on the Keldysh formalism in a condensed matter context. I'm familiar with the imaginary time, coherent state, and path integral formalisms, but ...
56
votes
4answers
4k views

Gauge symmetry is not a symmetry?

I have read before in one of Seiberg's articles something like, that gauge symmetry is not a symmetry but a redundancy in our description, by introducing fake degrees of freedom to facilitate ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

Superpartner for the stress-energy tensor

I would like to understand what is meant when one introduces a generator $G(z)$ as the superpartner of the energy-momentum tensor $T(z)$. How does one decide that this $G(z)$ should have a ...
6
votes
1answer
239 views

Parametrisation of general MSSM/SUSY based on collider experiment observables

The full MSSM contains 120 parameters. In SUSY searches, one usually picks a model like MSUGRA which makes a few assumptions and only has 5 free parameters like $m_0$, $m_{1/2}$, .... Now, I'm ...
59
votes
0answers
3k views

Superfields and the Inconsistency of regularization by dimensional reduction

Question: How can you show the inconsistency of regularization by dimensional reduction in the $\mathcal{N}=1$ superfield approach (without reducing to components)? Background and some references: ...
7
votes
0answers
163 views

Chiral fermions from torsion flux in M-theory?

Witten's 1981 paper "Search for a realistic Kaluza-Klein theory" is frequently cited for its observation that, in a compactification of d=11 supergravity on a manifold with SU(3) x SU(2) x U(1) ...
6
votes
1answer
568 views

Definition and difference between the R-symmetry and the $U(1)_R$ internal symmetry

For a general ${\cal N}$ the R-symmetry group is $U({\cal N})$ but for the ${\cal N}=2$ case why is it $SU(2)$ ? I guess it is again different for ${\cal N}=4$. How does one understand this? One ...
7
votes
3answers
757 views

Group Cohomology and Topological Field Theories

I have a two-part question: First and foremost: I have been going through the paper by Dijkgraaf and Witten "Group Cohomology and Topological Field Theories". Here they give a general definition for ...
12
votes
2answers
947 views

Vasiliev gravity and “holographic” entanglement

It has been proposed that AdS/CFT arises because of the entanglement structure of quantum field theories, e.g. see the discussion which occurred right here. Until now I have been skeptical of the ...
4
votes
1answer
408 views

Katz and Vafa's work on F-theory

I would like to know about the larger picture, current state and future prospects of the sequence of papers that were written by Sheldon Katz and Cumrun Vafa on F-theory. (Freddy Cachazo was also a ...
2
votes
0answers
370 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
535 views

Why are some solitons formed from bosonic fields fermionic?

Some topological solitons formed from bosonic fields have fermionic statistics. Why?
4
votes
5answers
323 views

Making and keeping a reading list

Seeing this as an academic community, I hope this question is on-topic. Academia is still a long way from beta :( I have a few questions about reading journal ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How Non-abelian anyons arise in solid-state systems?

Recently it has been studied non-abelian anyons in some solid-state systems. These states are being studied for the creation and manipulation of qubits in quantum computing. But, how these ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

What does it mean for a Hamiltonian or system to be gapped or gapless?

I've read some papers recently that talk about gapped Hamiltonians or gapless systems, but what does it mean? Edit: Is an XX spin chain in a magnetic field gapped? Why or why not?
15
votes
1answer
954 views

Why is there a deep mysterious relation between string theory and number theory, elliptic curves, $E_8$ and the Monster group?

Why is there a deep mysterious relation between string theory and number theory (Langlands program), elliptic curves, modular functions, the exceptional group $E_8$, and the Monster group as in ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

What is the name of the principle saying it is meaningless to talk/ask questions that can not be measured/tested?

Watching quantum mechanics lectures and it was mentioned that it is pointless/meaningless to try to talk/question things that can not be tested/measured. Is this a principle? And if so what is it's ...
9
votes
2answers
384 views

Heterotic string as worldvolume theory of two coincident 9-branes in 27 dimensions?

The heterotic string is a combination of right-moving excitations from a D=10 superstring and left-moving excitations from a D=26 bosonic string, with the left-movers behaving as if the extra 16 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Simple models that exhibit topological phase transitions

There are a number of physical systems with phases described by topologically protected invariants (fractional quantum Hall, topological insulators) but what are the simplest mathematical models that ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a T-dual of Witten's twistor topological string theory?

In late 2003, Edward Witten released a paper that revived the interest in Roger Penrose's twistors among particle physicists. The scattering amplitudes of gluons in $N=4$ gauge theory in four ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a resonating valence bond (RVB) state?

There's something known as a "resonating valence bond" (RVB) state, which plays a role in at least some attempts to understand physics of high-$T_c$ superconductors. This, roughly, involves a state ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Wormholes & Time Machines - for *experts* in GR/maths

EDIT: Further clarification in the context of answers/comments received to 20 Jan has been appended EDIT: 21 Jan - Response to the Lubos Expansion appended [in progress, not yet complete] EDIT: 23 ...
9
votes
4answers
987 views

Discussion of the Rovelli's paper on the black hole entropy in Loop Quantum Gravity

In a recent discussion about black holes, space_cadet provided me with the following paper of Rovelli: Black Hole Entropy from Loop Quantum Gravity which claims to derive the Bekenstein-Hawking ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

A pedestrian explanation of conformal blocks

I would be very happy if someone could take a stab at conveying what conformal blocks are and how they are used in conformal field theory (CFT). I'm finally getting the glimmerings of understanding ...
11
votes
2answers
493 views

Is there a method for differentiating fractional quantum Hall states aside from finding Chern numbers?

The ground state for a quantum Hall system on a torus with fractional filling factor can be classified by the Chern number, which is why the Hall conductance is quantized. Is there another method or ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Could gravity be an emergent property of nature?

Sorry if this question is naive. It is just a curiosity that I have. Are there theoretical or experimental reasons why gravity should not be an emergent property of nature? Assume a standard model ...
9
votes
1answer
281 views

Which qubit states are accessible with linear optics operations?

Given a quantum state of $n$ qubits, and being restricted to linear optics (that is, the output annihilation operators are linear combinations of the input annihilation operators): Which states are ...