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43
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is information indestructable?

I really can't understand what Leonard Susskind means when he says that information is indestructible. Is that information that is lost, through the increase of entropy really recoverable? He ...
16
votes
2answers
419 views

Is general relativity holonomic?

Is it meaningful to ask whether general relativity is holonomic or nonholonomic, and if so, which is it? If not, then does the question become meaningful if, rather than the full dynamics of the ...
11
votes
2answers
708 views

Unitary quantum field theory

What do physicists mean when they refer to a quantum field theory being unitary? Does this mean that all the symmetry groups of the theory act via unitary representations? I would appreciate if one ...
10
votes
1answer
419 views

How does the Ward-Takahashi Identity imply that non-transverse photons are unphysical in QED?

Peskin and Schroeder say that the Ward Identity of QED proves that non-transverse photon polarizations can be consistently ignored, but I'm confused about the details. Setup One starts by ...
10
votes
1answer
251 views

Scale invariance plus unitarity implies conformal invariance?

What has the reaction been towards the recent paper claiming to have a proof that scale invariance plus unitarity implies conformal invariance in 4d?
7
votes
1answer
340 views

Is it possible to derive Schrodinger equation in this way?

Let's have wave-function $\lvert \psi \rangle$. The full probability is equal to one: $$\langle \Psi\lvert\Psi \rangle = 1.\tag{1}$$ We need to introduce time evolution of $\Psi $; we know it in ...
7
votes
3answers
795 views

Relation between unitarity and conservation of probability

In a seminar, I heard that the unitary aspect of representations was important physically, because in quantum mechanics unitarity is closely tied to the conservation of probability. Could someone ...
6
votes
2answers
758 views

Irreducible Representations Of Lorentz Group

In Weinberg's The Theory of Quantum Fields Volume 1, he considers classification one-particle states under inhomogeneous Lorentz group. My question only considers pages 62-64. He define states as ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

Why is $SU(3)$ chosen as the gauge group in QCD?

Why is $SU(3)$ chosen as the gauge group. Why not $U(3)$? Why does it even have to be unitary?
6
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

Why is $R^2$ gravity not unitary?

I have often heard that $R^2$ gravity (as studied by Stelle) is renormalisable but not unitary. My question is: what is it that causes the theory to suffer from problems with unitarity? My naive ...
6
votes
3answers
176 views

why nontrivially space-like connected event horizons do not respect unitarity?

I want to understand the assertion that the gluing between distant event horizons is forbidden by unitarity. What is exactly the argument that unitarity will necessarily forbid topological nontrivial ...
5
votes
3answers
201 views

Does unitarity imply conservation of energy?

Not too long ago, someone began to discuss the thinking and motivation behind the Lagrangian and its formalism for the Newtonian framework and an intuitive understanding of such formalism. Somehow, it ...
5
votes
2answers
342 views

using a unitary matrix to transpose

A unitary matrix U is a matrix such that the conjugate transpose of U, when multiplied on the right with U, yields identity. My question is, is it possible to obtain the transpose of any density ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Sign in front of QFT kinetic terms

I'd like to know if the sign in front of a kinetic term in QFT important. For the scalar field we conventionally write (in the $ + --- $ metric), \begin{equation} {\cal L} _{ kin} = \frac{1}{2} ...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

Information Loss in annihilation

The concept of information loss is usually discussed with respect to a black hole. My understanding is that whatever matter you put into the black hole, it has only 3 "hairs" and so one doesn't know, ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Why is the Yang-Mills Comparator unitary?

In chapter 15.2 of Peskin, the comparator is defined, as some object $U\left(y,\,x\right)$ which transforms as: $$ U\left(y,\,x\right) \mapsto V\left(y\right) U\left(y,\,x\right) ...
4
votes
3answers
646 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
263 views

When can a classical field theory be quantized?

Given a classical field theory can it be always quantized? Put in another way, Does there necessarily need to exist a particle excitation given a generic classical field theory? By generic I mean all ...
4
votes
1answer
497 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
80 views

Why does the action have to be hermitian?

The hermiticity of operators of observables, e.g. the Hamiltonian, in QM is usually justified by saying that the eigenvalues must be real valued. I know that the Lagrangian is just a Legendre ...
4
votes
1answer
214 views

About Boltzmann H-theorem

What is the assumption for Boltzmann H-theorem? One can derive it just from the unitarity of quantum mechanics, so this should be generally true, does it imply a closed system will always thermalize ...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Proof of conservation of information [duplicate]

After listening of some lectures of Leonard Susskind about black holes, he mentioned that conservation of information is one of the foundations of physics. After searching the web I cannot seem to ...
4
votes
1answer
399 views

Holstein-Primakoff and Dyson-Maleev representation

In Holstein-Primakoff and Dyson-Maleev representation, spin operators are represented by bosonic operators. Roughly speaking, a state with $S^z=S-m$ corresponds to a state containing $m$ bosons. In ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Supersymmetry and non-compact $R$-symmetry group?

The $R$-symmetry for $N$ supercharges is $U(N)$. Is it possible to generalize $R$-symmetry [let's take $U(4)$) to be something like $U(2,2)$ (maybe analogous to Wick rotation of $SO(3,1)$ to ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Lorentz transformation implemented by a non-unitary operator.

One often come across in QFT sentences like the following, for instance: ...under a Lorentz transformation $\Lambda$ implemented by the unitary operator $U(\Lambda)$, a Dirac field transforms ...
3
votes
1answer
636 views

What is known on violations of unitarity or locality?

Recently the amplituhedron become a hot topic. I realized that two of the central pillars that QFT is based on, unitarity and locality, are no longer playing an important part (due to gravitational ...
3
votes
0answers
75 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
231 views

Validity of Cutkosky cutting rules for fermions

It is rather obvious for me that the generalized optical theorem (see e.g. Peskin&Schroeder) must hold for S-matrix elements for fermions as it is directly related to the unitarity of the ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Unit determinant for relevant symmetry groups in QFT

When treating QFT we want our theory to be invariant under different symmetry groups, for example, the Standard Model is a non-abelian gauge theory with the symmetry group $U(1)×SU(2)×SU(3)$. ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

Unitarity in QFT and measuring unitarity

I am trying to make sense of statements about unitarity in this popular science article about Nima and Jaroslav's new idea. My first query is that it is claimed that unitarity is a pillar of quantum ...
2
votes
2answers
552 views

Constructing the exponential form of a unitary operator

I think I've got this figured out but wanted to make sure I'm doing this right. Working with operators that satisfy bosonic commutation relations $[b,b^\dagger] = 1$, I define a very general unitary ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

Shankar's Active/Passive Change of Basis

I'm working my way through Shankar's Quantum Mechanics (7th printing, and I'm doing it alone, so I apologize if I have core concepts completely wrong). He has a section on Active and Passive ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Does unitarity apply in between measurements?

Sorry if this is a silly question (engineer here), but I was wondering if the math in particle physics assumes that unitarity applies even between measurements. In other words, I take it that the ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Feynman's $i \epsilon$ prescription in loop expansion

I have some questions about the $i\epsilon$ factor in Feynman diagrams. First, what is the physical meaning of $i\epsilon$ in loop amplitudes. Second, how does it ensures unitarity? And third, Dyson ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

Generalized Unitarity cut of Scalar One-loop Box integral

How does one perform the integrals in four particle cuts in generalized unitarity? It would be helpful how one finds solutions to the simplest case, the fully determined box integral given by: ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Krauss operators for random unitary

Suppose I have a density matrix $\rho$ and I act on it with a unitary matrix that is chosen randomly, and with even probability, from $S = \{ H_1, H_2 \ldots H_N \}$. I want to write the operation on ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

How to see timelike excitation has a negative norm from the “old covariant quantization”

I have a question in reading Polchinski's string theory vol I p 123, about the "old covariant quantization". It is said ... $\langle 0;k | 0; k' \rangle = ( 2\pi)^D \delta^D (k-k') \tag{4.1.15}$ ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Simularity transformation of Heisenberg XXZ Hamiltonian

I am considering the Heisenberg XXZ Hamiltonian: $$ H(\Delta, J) = J\sum_{i=1}^L\left(\sigma^x_i\sigma^x_{i+1} + \sigma^y_i\sigma^y_{i+1} + \Delta \sigma^z_i\sigma^z_{i+1} \right) $$ Apparently, one ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Information loss

First time poster! I just burnt a piece of paper containing a 5 digit number I made up randomly and as far as I am concerned no one else will ever be able to retrieve the information contained on ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Trace operation on dynamic equation: physical meaning?

Suppose we have Heisenberg equation of motion for some observable $A$, $$ i\hbar\frac{dA}{dt}= -[H,A] $$ since the trace of any finite dimensional commutator structure vanish(not something like ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Ghosts in theories of gravity and holographic theories

I want to understand when a theory leads to ghosts in gravity. Is there any relation between ghosts and non-linear higher order theories? Ghost is a clasical or quantum field concept?
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Admixtures of longitudinal and timelike photons!

In the quantization of electromagnetic field the physical states $|\psi\rangle$ are found to obey the following relation: $[a^{(0)}(k)-a^{(3)}(k)]|\psi\rangle=0$ It is explained as the physical ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

How to show that higher derivative theories (mostly) breaks unitarity

How to show that higher derivative theories (mostly) breaks unitarity? Spinor field $\psi_{a_{1}...a_{n}\dot {b}_{1}..\dot {b}_{m}} $, which refer to the $\left( \frac{n}{2}, \frac{m}{2} \right)$ ...
1
vote
0answers
110 views

Why is particle number conserved, and what are the bounds on non-conservation?

Think of a modified Mott experiment: You place a single particle in the center of an empty perfect detector. The particle is described by a wave function, which will spread outwards and interact at ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

What is unitarily similar matrices?

In one of tasks I met the concept of unitarily similar matrices: in particular, I need to prove that sets $\gamma_{\mu}, -\gamma_{\mu}$ (Dirac gamma matrices) are unitarily similar. I don't know what ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

When should one apply the unitary time evolution operator?

When is it appropriate to use $\hat U$, the unitary time evolution operator? For example, say I had a system in a certain potential that is changed to a different one at time $t = 0$. Would it be ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Would superluminal signalling imply the violation of the No Cloning Theorem and unitarity?

The no-cloning theorem implies that we cannot use entanglement to send signals faster-than-light. Has anyone proved the contrapositive? That is, if we are given a system for superluminal signalling ...