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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3answers
504 views

Geometric Langlands as a partially defined topological field theory

I have heard from several physicists that the Kapustin-Witten topological twist of $N=4$ 4-dimensional Yang-Mills theory ("the Geometric Langlands twist") is not expected to give rise to fully defined ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Tree level QFT and classical fields/particles

It is well known that scattering cross-sections computed at tree level correspond to cross-sections in the classical theory. For example the tree level cross-section for electron-electron scaterring ...
19
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2answers
3k views

Topological Charge. What is it Physically?

I have seen the term topological charge defined in an abstract mathematical way as a essentially a labeling scheme for particles which follows certain rules. However I am left guessing when trying to ...
19
votes
2answers
133 views

Significance of the hyperfinite $III_1$ factor for axiomatic quantum field theory

Using a form of the Haag-Kastler axioms for quantum field theory (see AQFT on the nLab for more details), it is possible in quite general contexts to prove that all local algebras are isomorphic to ...
19
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1answer
740 views

Sympletic structure of General Relativity

Inspired by physics.SE: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/15571/does-the-dimensionality-of-phase-space-go-up-as-the-universe-expands/15613 It made me wonder about symplectic structures in ...
19
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1answer
102 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
426 views

Asymptoticity of Pertubative Expansion of QFT

It seems to be lore that the perturbative expansion of quantum field theories is generally asymptotic. I have seen two arguments. i)There is the Dyson instability argument as in QED, that is showing ...
19
votes
2answers
683 views

S-Matrix in $\mathcal{N}=4$ Super-Yang Mills

This is a general question, but what is meant when people refer to the S-Matrix of $\mathcal{N}=4$ Super Yang Mills? The way I understood it is the S-Matrix is only well defined for theories with a ...
19
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2answers
422 views

Geometric picture behind quantum expanders

A $(d,\lambda)$-quantum expander is a distribution $\nu$ over the unitary group $\mathcal{U}(d)$ with the property that: a) $|\mathrm{supp} \ \nu| =d$, b) $\Vert \mathbb{E}_{U \sim \nu} U \otimes ...
19
votes
1answer
806 views

What is the current state of research into $v$-representability?

In their proof, Hohenberg and Kohn (Phys Rev 136 (1964) B864) established that the ground state density, $\rho_\text{gs}$, uniquely determines the Hamiltonian. This had the effect of establishing an ...
18
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2answers
2k views

BPS states : Mathematical definition

First of all, let me congratulate the theoretical physics community for this site. I am a mathematics student with very little background in phyiscs. The question I want to ask is: What is the proper ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Kähler potential vs full effective potential

In evaluating the vacuum structure of quantum field theories you need to find the minima of the effective potential including perturbative and nonperturbative corrections where possible. In ...
18
votes
1answer
348 views

What proof techniques have failed for solving the SIC-POVM problem and what new insights have been gleaned from them?

The SIC-POVM problem is remarkably easy to state given that it has not yet been solved. It goes like this. With dim($\mathcal H$) $=d$, find states $|\psi_k\rangle\in\mathcal H$, $k=1,\ldots,d^2$ ...
18
votes
2answers
396 views

Geometric quantization of identical particles

Background: It is well known that the quantum mechanics of $n$ identical particles living on $\mathbb{R}^3$ can be obtained from the geometric quantization of the cotangent bundle of the manifold ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Zero modes ~ zero eigenvalue modes ~ zero energy modes?

There have been several Phys.SE questions on the topic of zero modes. Such as, e.g., zero-modes (What are zero modes?, Can massive fermions have zero modes?), majorana-zero-modes (Majorana zero ...
18
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2answers
198 views

Values of SM parameters at one certain scale

The general question is: What are the values of Standard Model parameters (in the $\bar{MS}$ renormalization scheme) at some scale e.g. $m_{Z}$? As its parametrization in Yukawa matrices is not unique ...
17
votes
6answers
763 views

Classic Literature in Quantum Gravity?

I've seen it said in various places that a major reason people like string theory as a theory of quantum gravity is that it does a good job of matching our prejudices about how a quantum gravity ...
17
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6answers
1k views

Does Kaluza-Klein theory successfully unify GR and EM? Why can't it be extended to the Standard Model gauge group?

As a quick disclaimer, I thought this might be a better place to ask than Physics.SE. I already searched there with "kaluza" and "klein" keywords to find an answer, but without luck. As background, ...
17
votes
2answers
187 views

What Shannon channel capacity bound is associated to two coupled spins?

The question asked is: What is the Shannon channel capacity $C$ that is naturally associated to the two-spin quantum Hamiltonian $H = \boldsymbol{L\cdot S}$? This question arises with a view ...
17
votes
1answer
406 views

Is string theory local?

By locality I mean something like the Atiyah-Segal axioms for Riemannian cobordisms (see e.g. http://ncatlab.org/nlab/show/FQFT). I.e. to any (spacelike) hypersurface in the target we associate a ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there an intuitive description of vacuum entanglement?

People often refer to the fact that the vacuum is an entangled state (It's even described as a maximally entangled state). I was trying to get a feeling for what that really means. The problem is ...
17
votes
3answers
190 views

Paper listing known Seiberg-dual pairs of N=1 gauge theories

Is there a nice list of known Seiberg-dual pairs somewhere? There are so many papers from the middle 1990s but I do not find comprehensive review. Could you suggest a reference? Seiberg's original ...
17
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1answer
361 views

Models of higher Chern-Simons type

It has long been clear that (the action functional of) Chern-Simons theory has various higher analogs and variations of interest. This includes of course traditional higher dimensional Chern-Simons ...
17
votes
2answers
279 views

Relevance of SIC-POVMs to quantum information

What is the real relevance of SIC-POVMs (symmetric informationally complete POVMs) to concrete tasks in quantum information theory? A lot of work has been put into giving explicit constructions, and ...
17
votes
2answers
170 views

Modern avatar of Englert's solution?

Bosonic solutions of eleven-dimensional supergravity were studied in the 1980s in the context of Kaluza-Klein supergravity. The topic received renewed attention in the mid-to-late 1990s as a result ...
17
votes
1answer
385 views

Soliton Moduli Spaces and Homotopy Theory

The four-dimensional $SU(N)$ Yang-Mills Lagrangian is given by $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2e^2}\mathrm{Tr}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}$$ and gives rise to the Euclidean equations of motion $\mathcal{D}_\mu ...
16
votes
6answers
753 views

Which QFTs were rigorously constructed?

Which QFTs have mathematically rigorous constructions a la AQFT? I understand there are many such constructions in 2D, in particular 2D CFT has been extensively studied mathematically. But even in 2D ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Applications of delay differential equations

Being interested in the mathematical theory, I was wondering if there are up-to-date, nontrivial models/theories where delay differential equations play a role (PDE-s, or more general functional ...
16
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
338 views

Quantum computing and quantum control

In 2009, Bernard Chazelle published a famous algorithms paper, "Natural Algorithms," in which he applied computational complexity techniques to a control theory model of bird flocking. Control theory ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Applications of Geometric Topology to Theoretical Physics

Geometric topology is the study of manifolds, maps between manifolds, and embeddings of manifolds in one another. Included in this sub-branch of Pure Mathematics; knot theory, homotopy, manifold ...
16
votes
6answers
189 views

Multiqubit state tomography by performing measurement in the same basis

For a $n$-qubit state $\rho$ we perform all projective measurement consisting of one-particle measurements in the same basis, that is, $$p_{i_1i_2\ldots i_n}(\theta,\varphi) = \text{Tr}\left \{ \rho ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
545 views

How to evaluate this sum of coupling coefficients?

I would like to evaluate the following summation of Clebsch-Gordan and Wigner 6-j symbols in closed form: $$\sum_{l,m} C_{l_2,m_2,l_1,m_1}^{l,m} C_{\lambda_2,\mu_2,\lambda_1,\mu_1}^{l,m} \left\{ ...
15
votes
4answers
233 views

Information Retrieval

This question is motivated by the issue of information retrieval from black holes, but it is essentially a question about quantum information. It is widely believed (in certain circles) that the ...
15
votes
3answers
708 views

about the Atiyah-Segal axioms on topological quantum field theory

Trying to go through the page on Topological quantum field theory - The original Atiyah-Segal axioms - "Let $\Lambda$ be a commutative ring with 1, Atiyah originally proposed the axioms of a ...
15
votes
4answers
208 views

Is there a Majorana-like representation for singlet states?

I mean the Majorana representation of symmetric states, i.e., states of $n$ qubits invariant under a permutation of the qudits. See, for example, D. Markham, "Entanglement and symmetry in permutation ...
15
votes
2answers
815 views

Renormalization in string theory

I'm taking a course in string theory and have encountered renormalization for the first time (and I suspect it isn't the last). Specifically, while quantizing the bosonic and spinning strings, an ...
15
votes
2answers
540 views

Which CFTs have AdS/CFT duals?

The AdS/CFT correspondence states that string theory in an asymptotically anti-De Sitter spacetime can be exactly described as a CFT on the boundary of this spacetime. Is the converse true? Does any ...
15
votes
2answers
590 views

Generalized Complex Geometry and Theoretical Physics

I have been wondering about some of the different uses of Generalized Complex Geometry (GCG) in Physics. Without going into mathematical detail (see Gualtieri's thesis for reference), a Generalized ...
15
votes
4answers
94 views

Why can't noncontextual ontological theories have stronger correlations than commutative theories?

EDIT: I found both answers to my question to be unsatisfactory. But I think this is because the question itself is unsatisfactory, so I reworded it in order to allow a good answer. One take on ...
15
votes
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
589 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Quantum memories: What are they?

Searching the literature for the term "quantum memory" seems to bring up results from two different communities. On the one hand there are quantum opticians, who see a quantum memory as something ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Onsager's Regression Hypothesis, Explained and Demonstrated

Onsager's 1931 regression hypothesis asserts that “…the average regression of fluctuations will obey the same laws as the corresponding macroscopic irreversible process". (Here is the links to ...
15
votes
1answer
141 views

Instanton Moduli Space with a Surface Operator

I would like to understand the mathematical language which is relevant to instanton moduli space with a surface operator. Alday and Tachikawa stated in 1005.4469 that the following moduli spaces are ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Boundary conditions / uniqueness of the propagators / Green's functions

My question(s) concern the interpretation and uniqueness of the propagators / Green's functions for both classical and quantum fields. It is well known that the Green's function for the Laplace ...
15
votes
1answer
234 views

Miura transform for W-algebras of exceptional type

Miura transform for W-algebras of classical types can be found in e.g. Sec. 6.3.3 of Bouwknegt-Schoutens. Is there a similar explicit Miura transform for W-algebras of exceptional types, say, E6? It's ...
15
votes
1answer
490 views

Self-dual Maxwell equations, the second homology group, and topological invariants of a four manifold

In Witten's paper Quantum Field Theory and the Jones Polynomial, he mentioned that: Geometers have long known that (via de Rham theory) the self-dual and anti-self-dual Maxwell equations are ...
15
votes
2answers
75 views

Sampling typical clusters between distant points in subcritical percolation

I have on several occasions wondered how one might proceed in order to sample large subcritical Bernoulli bond-percolation clusters, say on the square lattice. More precisely, let's consider the ...