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17
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
806 views

Does the exact string theory $S$-matrix describe all physics there is?

Suppose someone manages to evaluate the string theory $S$-matrix to all orders for any and all vertex operator insertions including non-perturbative contributions from world-sheet instantons and ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the physical interpretation of the S-matrix in QFT?

A few closely related questions regarding the physical interpretation of the S-matrix in QFT: I am interested in both heuristic and mathematically precise answers. Given a quantum field theory when ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What are bootstraps?

I've heard occasional mentions of the term "bootstraps" in connection with the S Matrix. I believe it applies to an old approach that was tried in the 1960s, whereby - well I'm not sure - but it ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Equivalence Theorem of the S-Matrix

as far as I know the equivalence theorem states, that the S-matrix is invariant under reparametrization of the field, so to say if I have an action $S(\phi)$ the canonical change of variable $\phi \to ...
11
votes
1answer
955 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} ...
11
votes
1answer
376 views

Witten's constrained S-matrix and Coleman-Mandula Theorem

I remember reading somewhere that Witten argued that if the Poincaré symmetry of spacetime were nontrivially combined with internal symmetries, then the S-matrix would be so constrained that the ...
10
votes
1answer
962 views

Green's function in path integral approach (QFT)

After having studied canonical quantization and feeling (relatively) comfortable with it, I have now been studying the path integral approach. But I don't feel entirely comfortable with. I have the ...
10
votes
1answer
252 views

Probability conservation in WKB tunneling

Suppose we have quantum mechanical plane waves of energy $E$ incident upon a one-dimensional potential barrier $V(x)$ with sloping sides. One can compare the WKB solutions in the three relevant ...
8
votes
1answer
319 views

There are two definitions of S operator (or S matrix) in quantum field theory. Are they equivalent?

I read several textbooks of QFT and found that there are two kinds of definition of $S$ operator (or S matrix). First kind: Define $\hat{S}$ is map from out space to in space ...
8
votes
1answer
596 views

Does de Sitter space admit an asymptotic S-matrix?

From the Penrose diagram of de Sitter space, we see it has a future and past conformal boundary, and they are both spacelike. So, does de Sitter space admit an asymptotic S-matrix? Sure, in the usual ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

How to replace $T$-product with retarded commutator in LSZ formula?

I am reading Itzykson and Zuber's Quantum Field Theory book, and am unable to understand a step that is made on page 246: Here, they consider the elastic scattering of particle $A$ off particle $B$: ...
7
votes
3answers
960 views

Applications of analytic continuation to physics

I posted this on math.SE, but didn't get much response. It might fit better on this site. Holomorphic functions have the property that they can be uniquely analytically continued to (almost) the ...
7
votes
4answers
474 views

Different kinds of S-matrices?

It seems to me that the notion of an "S-matrix" refers to several different objects One construction you can find in the literature is allowing the coupling constant to adiabatically approach 0 in ...
7
votes
1answer
431 views

Basic question about the S-Matrix, Unitarity and Effective Field Theory

Consider scattering some particles in a state collectively denoted by $i$ to a final state denote by $f$. The scattering amplitude, S-matrix is then defined by: $S_{fi}\equiv \langle ...
7
votes
0answers
210 views

Are there any serious alternatives to QCD nowadays?

I've read several posts here where people talk about the history of the developement of the theory of strong interactions. And they mention Regge theory, pomerons, S-matrix and so on. I'm confused ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Why is there no double counting of $s$- and $t$-channels in string theory?

In string theory for the four particle tree diagram exchange, why is there some mysterious crossing duality between the $s$- and $t$- and $u$-channels? Why isn't there a double counting in the Feynman ...
6
votes
2answers
360 views

S-Matrix Elements in Path Integral Formalism

I have a question related to the connection between the S-Matrix elements and the path integral formalism. In order to formulate the question, I will just work with a scalar field theory for ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

Flat Space Limit of AdS/CFT is S-Matrix Theory

In an answer to this question, Ron Maimon said: The flat-space limit of AdS/CFT boundary theory is the S-matrix theory of a flat space theory, so the result was the same--- the "boundary" ...
6
votes
0answers
102 views

What is the physical interpretation of the automorphism on bounded operators induced by an S matrix?

In a QFT, the S-matrix $S$ is a unitary operator, that fixes the vacuum and commutes with the unitary operators implementing the action of the Poincare group on an appropriate Hilbert space $H$. ...
5
votes
3answers
918 views

Unitarity of S-matrix in QFT

I am a beginner in QFT, and my question is probably very basic. As far as I understand, usually in QFT, in particular in QED, one postulates existence of IN and OUT states. Unitarity of the S-matrix ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are scattering matrices unitary?

In Griffith's QM book, he introduces scattering matrices as an end-of-the-chapter problem. For a Dirac-Delta potential $V(x) = \alpha \delta (x - x_0)$, I've derived the scattering matrix and ...
5
votes
1answer
630 views

Connected and strongly connected Feynman diagrams

Recently I read, that only connected Feynman diagrams give contribution of nonzero values into the scattering amplitude. Why it is so and what is the physical sense of connected diagrams (due to ...
5
votes
2answers
268 views

What is the sense of introducing generating functional to the summands of expansion of S-matrix?

Let's have generating functional $Z(J)$: $$ Z(J) = \langle 0|\hat {T}e^{i \int d^{4}x (L_{Int}(\varphi (x)) + J(x) \varphi (x))}|0 \rangle , \qquad (1) $$ where $J(x)$ is the functional argument ...
5
votes
1answer
983 views

Help with Cutkosky cutting rules for fermions

I know that a cut boson propagator is replaced with the mass shell delta function. But what happens when you cut a fermion propagator? Do you just replace the denominator with a mass shell delta ...
5
votes
1answer
798 views

Why do disconnected diagrams not contribute to the S matrix?

I've read somewhere that disconnected diagrams do not contribute to the S-matrix. I don't see why this is the case. I do know why vacuum bubbles do not contribute: given a generating functional for a ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

Does the LSZ reduction method prove gauge-independence in massless gauge theories?

I've been working my way through L. Baulieu's excellent paper [Perturbative gauge theories, Physics Reports, Volume 129, Issue 1, December 1985, Pages 1-74]. Towards the end, he goes on to prove that ...
5
votes
1answer
230 views

A question about the energy of turning on and off interaction adiabatically in QFT

I read a saying as follows: In a theory with no particles which decay and no bound states, the turning on and off of the interactions merely serves to limit the effective range of forces. In this ...
5
votes
1answer
405 views

Time-ordered operator in Srednicki

On page 51 Srednicki states, "Note that the operators are in time order...we can insert $T$ without changing anything". This I agree with. But then on the next paragraph he states "The time order ...
5
votes
1answer
220 views

S-Matrix and normalization of states

I'm trying to understand what is the S-matrix in QFT. People say that it has to be a unitary matrix, but that I guess will change with a different normalization of the incoming and outgoing states. My ...
5
votes
2answers
301 views

If the S-matrix has symmetry group G, must the fields be representations of G?

If the fields in QFT are representations of the Poincare group (or generally speaking the symmetry group of interest), then I think it's a straight forward consequence that the matrix elements and ...
5
votes
2answers
431 views

Can scattering amplitudes be simplified with 1PI diagrams?

I have been teaching myself quantum field theory, and need a little help connecting different pieces together. Specifically, I'm rather unsure how to tie in renormalization, functional methods, and ...
5
votes
0answers
260 views

Dual Resonance Model: Fermions

I am going through Ramond's 1971 paper Dual Theory for Free Fermions Phys Rev D3 10, 2415 where he first attempts to introduce fermions into the conventional dual resonance model. I get the 'gist' of ...
4
votes
1answer
233 views

Quantum Field Theory without LSZ, how is it possible?

Most modern texts spend some time deriving the LSZ reduction formula that connects S matrix elements to time ordered field correlation functions. It seems essential, and really helps clear up what you ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

Why does S-matrix unitarity imply the cross section $\sigma$ $\propto$ $\frac {1}{s}$?

I'm currently learning for an oral exam in theoretical physics and as a learning aid protocols of older exams exist. In one protocol the question was asked: Why is the scattering cross section ...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

String total cross sections at asymptotically high energy

I only have a vague understanding of string theory, but a solid understanding of particle physics. At asymptotically high energy (Regge limit), the string cross section is dominated by the exchange ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Free Vacuum vs Interacting Vacuum and Wick's theorem

I'm studying perturbation theory in QFT and I stumbled on a conceptual problem. My understanding of the interplay between LSZ reduction formula and the Gell-Mann & Low perturbation series is ...
4
votes
0answers
87 views

Unitarity of the S-matrix and Feynman Diagrams

There are several questions on the unitarity of the S matrix, but unfortunately non of them answers directly the following question. The S matrix is unitary and that can be proven by the fact that ...
4
votes
0answers
156 views

Scattering, Perturbation and asymptotic states in LSZ reduction formula

I was following Schwarz's book on quantum field theory. There he defines the asymptotic momentum eigenstates $|i\rangle\equiv |k_1 k_2\rangle$ and $|f\rangle\equiv |k_3 k_4\rangle$ in the S-matrix ...
4
votes
0answers
61 views

Reality of the action in QFT

Following Ramond, 1.5 Field Theory, it is mentioned that the classical Lagrangian density in (workable for HEP) QFT theories has to be Real, otherwise total probability is not conserved. Can someone ...
3
votes
3answers
334 views

Naive question about the S-matrix

In quantum field theory, the elements of the S-matrix are defined as the amplitude describing the transition from an initial $n$-particle state (the "in" state) to an final $m$-particle state: ...
3
votes
2answers
396 views

Lippmann-Schwinger Equation with Outgoing Solutions

I'm reading about Green's functions and how the Lippmann-Schwinger equation eventually leads to the textbook expression for the form of wavefunctions in the far radiation zone after scattering by a ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

Regarding a small step in the derivation of the LSZ formula

I'd like to prove the LSZ formula, but there is a specific step that is bugging me a lot. I know there are many subtleties in its derivation, but I'm not worrying about this right now: I'm trying to ...
3
votes
2answers
202 views

What are anomalous threshold singularities

In the papers of the 1950s and 1960s, I see reference to anomalous threshold singularities. What are these? Is there a good reference that discusses this subject?
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Gauge symmetry for p-forms

It is well known that the Lorentz invariance of the S-matrix implies gauge redundancy for 1-forms or 'photons'. Does this argument go through to $p$-forms? That is, does Lorentz invariance of the ...
3
votes
1answer
243 views

S-operator lorentz invariance

How to show that $\hat {S}$-operator must be lorentz-invariant operator? $$ |\Psi (t)\rangle = \hat {S} | \Psi (0) \rangle , \quad \hat {S} = \hat {T}e^{-i\int \hat {H}_{I}d^{4}x}. $$ I have read ...
3
votes
0answers
84 views

How exactly analyticity of S-matrix comes from causality principle?

Recently I've read that analyticity of S-matrix ($S(k)$, where $k$ corresponds to momentum, may be analytically extended into complex values of momentum) comes from causality principle. How to prove ...
3
votes
0answers
93 views

Polology in Functional Integration

Completeness of Hilbert space (on-shell states) is a very powerful concept in canonical quantization, for example, to study the nonperturbative characteristics of the S-matrix, like polology (pole and ...
3
votes
0answers
161 views

Møller scattering: twisted?

I am studying the Møller scattering, but I don't know how to get the twisted diagram from the S-matrix. Has anybody a good explanation?
3
votes
0answers
100 views

How to check the unitarity of the theory by having field equation?

Let's have some field equation of some field corresponding to particles with mass $m$ and spin $s$. How to check the unitarity of the theory? May I do it without getting $S$-matrix? May the scalar ...