Questions tagged [classical-field-theory]

For questions where the dynamical variables are classical fields, that is, functions of several variables (typically, one time coordinate and several space coordinates). If the question comprises both classical and quantum fields, use the tag [tag:field-theory] instead.

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Klein-Gordon equation propagators: intersection with the support of the source

Let $(M,g)$ be a globally hyperbolic. Let $P = \Box - m^2$ be the Klein-Gordon differential operator. Following Fewster's notes, we may define the retarded/advanced propagators $$E^\pm : C^\infty_0(M)\...
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Global Part of Non-Abelian Gauge Transformation

I have a perhaps stupid question about Noether's theorem. In Abelian gauge theory, say $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}+\bar{\Psi}(iD\!\!\!\!/-m)\Psi, \tag{1.0} $$ where $D_{\mu}=\...
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1answer
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A Question about Yang-Mills Equation

The non-homogeneous part of the Yang-Mills equations is given by $$D\star F=\star J,$$ where $D=d+A$ is the covariant derivative, $\star$ is the Hodge star and $J$ is the source current. Under a ...
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From the general decomposition of electric field to one polarized along $\hat{\textbf{x}}$

In the gauge $A^0=\nabla\cdot\textbf{A}=0$, starting from the Fourier decomposition of $\textbf{A}(\textbf{x},t)$, the electric field $\textbf{E}(\textbf{x},t)$ is obtained as $$\textbf{E}(\textbf{x},...
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1answer
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Doubts in an introduction to classical field theory

I started to study classical field theory using the book "Field Quantization" of Greiner and Reinhardt, and I have some doubts. First, the book write the Lagrangian $L(t)$ as a functional of a field $\...
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Lagrangian in non-inertial frame

Does Lagrangian in non-inertial frame may/may not depend on coordinate but always has to dependent on velocity and time for free particle in contrast to inertial frame where lagrangian is always ...
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37 views

A specific derivation of Yang-Mills equations of motion

I am not happy about the derivation of Yang-Mills equations of motion (YM eom) given here @Prahar https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/312681/42982: @Prahar said: Yang-Mills action is $$ S = \int ...
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Legal values of quantum field can take? $\mathbb{R}$, $\mathbb{C}$, $\mathbb{H}$, ..?

Main issue: What are the legal and possible values of the quantum field can take? Clarify by examples: (1) For example, for the spin-0 Klein Gordon field $\phi$, we may choose it to be: real $\...
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$* d * $ operator — Digest the (differential/geometry) meaning

I like to digest better: the $* d * $ operator in Maxwell differential form equation the $* D * $ operator in Yang-Mills differential form equation We already knew that in Maxwell differential ...
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26 views

Simplify Yang-Mills Equation of Motion in the 1-form gauge field $A$

We know the Yang-Mills theory Equation of Motion (eom) without source $$ * D * F = * (d (* F ) + [A, (* F )])= 0. $$ My question is that what are the most simple form we can boil down this ...
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Classical Yang-Mills equation of motion with both electric and magnetic sources?

We know the classical Maxwell equation of motion (eom) with both electric and magnetic source can be written as: (1) Explicit form or more schematically as: (2) Differential form $$ d * F = * J_e $$...
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What's the origin of the vortex's ansatz $\phi\big(\vec{x}\big)=f\big(r\big)e^{-in\theta}$?

What's the origin of the vortex's ansatz $\phi\big(\vec{x}\big)=f\big(r\big)e^{-in\theta}$ in the de Vega and Schaposnik paper? In their article Classical vortex solution of the Abelian Higgs model,...
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Unique eigenvectors of the EM energy-momentum tensor

This is a two-part question: 1) I understand that every tensor in a Minkowski 4-space has four eigenvectors, of which only one is timelike. Under what circumstances, if any, does an EM energy-...
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4answers
193 views

Confusion in Proof of Noether's theorem

This question is related to this Noether's theorem under arbitrary coordinate transformation and this Transformation of $d^4x$ under translation disregarded? To proof Noether's theorem every ...
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2answers
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Noether's theorem under arbitrary coordinate transformation

Noether's theorem states that every differentiable symmetry of the action of a physical system has a corresponding conservation law. Suppose our action is of the form $S = \int d^4x\, \mathcal{L}(\...
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Help with an specific example of a higher derivative Lagrangian

I want to find the equation of motion that comes from the following Lagrangian density $$\mathscr{L}=\mathbf{E}\cdot\left(\nabla^{2}\mathbf{E}\right)$$ where $E_{i}=\partial_{i}\phi\;(i=x,y,z)$ . In ...
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2answers
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Does it make sense to speak in a total derivative of a functional? Part III

In this third part of the series, I will continue the deduction of Noether's theorem initiated in the previous post - Does it make sense to speak in a total derivative of a functional? Part II. ...
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Energy momentum tensor of EM field written in symmetric form

I'm reading A. Zee's book, Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell. In problem 7 of chapter IV.2, it is said that the energy momentum tensor of the electromagnetic field \begin{align} T^{\mu\nu}=\eta_{\lambda\...
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3answers
85 views

Non-existence of double time-derivative of fields in the Lagrangian and violation of equal footing of space and time

In classical field theory, we consider the Lagrangians with single time-derivative of fields whereas double derivative of the field w.r.t. space is allowed sometimes. I understand that the reason of ...
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1answer
100 views

Non-relativistic E&M Lagrangian: number of dynamical variables greater than 6

There is an argument I do not understand given in "Introduction to quantum electrodynamics" by Cohen-Tannoudji (page 111 for the French version of the book). We are dealing with the non-relativistic ...
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Space translation of coordinates, classical field theory

Consider the Lagrangian density $L = -\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu \nu}$ with $F_{\mu \nu} = \partial_{\mu}A_{\nu} - \partial_{\nu}A_{\mu} $. After deriving the Euler-Lagrange equations for this ...
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Hamiltonian directly expressed in $(q,\dot{q})$ : how to find what is $p$?

I am reading a book about non relativistic quantization of E.M field. But first we do classical field theory. We directly wrote the Hamiltonian of our study, and a part of our Hamiltonian is the ...
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1answer
146 views

Simplest model in field theory which leads to a pseudo-Goldstone boson

What can be a simple (if not simplest) continuum field theory model that gives rise to a pseudo Goldstone boson (doesn't matter if it is a toy model)? For example, I would be very happy if one can ...
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3answers
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Why a field theory containing only fermions does not show spontaneous symmetry breaking?

For a real scalar field $\phi$, a theory as simple as the $\phi^4$ theory, can exhibit the phenomenon of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (SSB). For a complex scalar field $\phi$, a theory as simple as ...
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1answer
45 views

Classical field theory with fields on different base spaces

Keeping things at a "basic level", a field is a function from a base manifold (of dimension D) to some other space. Usually the base manifold is the spacetime but may be something different (a lattice,...
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Questions about Euler-Lagrange derivation in Classical Field Theory

I'm new to classical field theory, so I have a few basic questions: From the derivation of the Euler-Lagrange equations, we have the following: \begin{align} \delta S[\phi]&=\int d^4x\delta L(...
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1answer
132 views

Problems of Klein Gordon equation

Consider the Klein-Gordon equation $$(\square+m^2)\varphi=0.$$ People usually claim that $\varphi^* \varphi$ cannot be interpreted as a probability density because $\int d^3\vec{x}\varphi(t,\vec{x})^*...
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60 views

Positive frequency definition in general spacetime for general fields

In Quantum Field Theory the positive frequency solutions to the classical field equations are quite important since they are the basis of the definition of particles. In Minkowski spacetime we have a ...
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1answer
139 views

Is every classical field theory with dimensionless couplings conformally invariant?

I'm trying to learn conformal field theory and getting rather frustrated, because I can't find any source that gives decent examples or straightforward logic. In most sources I have found, conformal ...
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21 views

Field equations for Yukawa force

I am curious if classical field equations, in the vein of Maxwell's equations and the Lorentz force law for electromagnetism, or Einstein's equations and the geodesic equation for general relativity, ...
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Intuitive/Physical reason why fields are distributions

I read in Urs Schreiber's notes on mathematical QFT that the infinities in the standard approach to QFT appear because the product between operator-valued field distributions is not always well ...
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Intuition behind the use of the Principle of Stationary Action in Classical Field Theory [duplicate]

Whilst studying Field Theory and after checking numerous sources it appears that people always just state the action without providing some sort of motivation/intuition as to why we should/can use the ...
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Magnetic field $\vec{A}$ as momentum potential

I was reviewing some topics on electromagnetic field theory and I came across the following interesting assertion: the electromagnetic moment $P_{EM}$, which is defined in vacuum as: $$P_{EM}=\frac{1}...
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3answers
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Unification of gravity and electromagnetism

Have there been any attempts at unifying gravity and electromagnetism at least at classical level since Hermann Weyl's idea of gauge principle (1918)? We now have Standard Model which is very ...
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1answer
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Gauge-invariance of Lagrangians

I am rereading David Bleecker's Gauge Theory and Variational Principles, and I have realized I don't understand something. The offending part is in 3.3 (page 50-52), however I am reproducing the ...
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277 views

How does canonical quantization work with Grassmann variables?

Every quantum field theory textbook I've encountered seems to have the same logical oversight, because of the particular order they cover topics. First, the books introduce the Dirac Lagrangian, $$\...
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1answer
104 views

Poynting theorem in Landau and Lifshitz’ field theory book

In Landau & Lifshitz’s The Classical Theory of Fields, in section 31, they have proved the Poynting theorem (equation 31.6) in its integral form. In the footnote on page 76, they mention We ...
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40 views

Isometries and coordinate transformations in the context of Noether's Theorem

If I have a theory defined on some manifold, my understanding is that the dynamical objects in the theory should carry a representation of the isometry group of that manifold. Moreover, the action $S$...
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55 views

Hamilton equations of motion for matter fields coupled to general relativity in ADM formalism

Do you know what are the Hamiltonian formalism analogs of the Klein-Gordon equation and/or the Maxwell equations in general relativity? Showing how these equations of motion for matter in the ...
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1answer
105 views

Confusion about conservation of angular momentum tensor in classical field theory?

In my lectures, we considered the conserved stress energy tensor $T^{\mu \nu}$ and noted that we could always add a conserved tensor to it such that $T^{\mu \nu}$ is symmetric. As a consequence, a ...
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2answers
154 views

Global $U(1)$ transformation properties of gauge fields

What are the Global gauge transformations of gauge bosons in Standard Model? To elaborate: Initially, we consider the global $U(1)$ transformations of scalars ($\phi$) and fermions ($\psi$) as $$\...
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1answer
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States of classical general relativity

In Classical Mechanics a state of a system is either a pair $(q,p)$ or $(q,\dot{q})$ depending if we formulate the theory on the tangent or cotangent bundle of the configuration space. The evolution ...
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Proof of the existence of the energy-momentum tensor [duplicate]

I have a problem providing or finding a general proof for this statement i found in Mussardo's statistical field theory book, section $10.3.2$: Due to the locality of the theory there exists a local ...
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2answers
57 views

Does classical physics allow a flow of electrons in vacuum to form a current?

My physics teacher today proposed this question as a homework. My view is that it does allow the current to flow classically.
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Question about the concepts of Noether charge and Noether current

I read that a noether current occurs when the lagrangian assume vector values. Well, what are noether current and noether charge in comparison to elementary classical mechanics notions of Noether's ...
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Parity Transformation on Classical Fields

I've been confused by this parity transformation in classical field theory for a long time. Let $\phi(t,\vec{x})$ be a scalar field. Then, up to some constant phase factor, it transforms to $\phi^{\...
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153 views

Noether's Theorem in Classical Field theory Confusion

Consider $N$ independent scalar fields $φ_i (x)$ in 4D space. Also consider a lagrangian density $$\mathcal{L} = \mathcal{L}(φ_i, \partial_μφ_i).$$ Suppose we perform the following infinitesimal ...
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1answer
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Is it enough to assume $F_{\mu\nu}\to 0$ at infinity but not $A_\mu$ to derive the equation of motion?

Suppose the the Lagrangian $\mathscr{L}$ of the free electromagnetic field is augmented with the term $$F_{\mu\nu}\tilde{F}^{\mu\nu}=\partial_{\mu}(\epsilon^{\nu\nu\lambda\rho}A_\nu F_{\lambda\rho}).$$...
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2answers
244 views

Solution to the Klein-Gordon Equation

Most textbooks solve the Klein-Gordon equation with the ansatz $$\varphi(\mathbf{x},t) = \int \frac{\mathrm{d}^3\mathbf{k}}{f(k)}\left(a(\mathbf{k})\, \mathrm{e}^{i k x} + b(\mathbf{k})\,\mathrm{e}^{-...
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1answer
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Why don't we “see” the classical Dirac field?

The electromagnetic field describes photons. If there are many photons then things become classical and we can use classical electromagnetism to describe the EM field. We can also measure the EM field ...