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Questions tagged [field-theory]

For questions where the dynamical variables are fields, that is, functions of several variables (typically, one time coordinate and several space coordinates). Comprises both classical field theory and quantum field theory. Use this tag when the question applies to both classical and quantum phenomena. Otherwise, use the specific tag instead.

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1answer
350 views

Should the (On-shell) (2+1)d $N=2$ Chiral Multiplet Contain Two Scalars and Two Majorana Spinors?

In supermultiplets, the bosonic degrees of freedom and the fermionic degrees of freedom need to match in number. The number of degrees of freedom of a field corresponds to the number of independent ...
3
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1answer
222 views

Doubts with basic renormalization

When we renormalize to obtain the physical mass, the $\Lambda$ dependence of the physical mass is removed by introducing the counterterms in the Lagrangian. So whether we put $\Lambda\rightarrow\infty$...
4
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2answers
508 views

Why is the introduction of a quantization volume necessary for quantization of the EM field

I have been working through the quantization of the electromagnetic field, and every source I find introduces a quantization volume with periodic boundary conditions in the process, in which we fit ...
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1answer
177 views

How do you take the derivative with respect to a rank two tensor?

I am learning classical field theory and am trying to find the momentum density of the electromagnetic lagrangian as part of an example of Noether's Theorem. The derivative I am encountering is: $$ \...
2
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1answer
171 views

What is the difference between the momentum in the Fourier transform of a scalar field and the conjugate momentum of the field?

What is the difference between the momentum $p$ in $e^{i\mathbf{p}\cdot{\mathbf{x}}}$ in the Fourier transform of a scalar field and the corresponding conjugate momenta $\pi(x)$ of the scalar field?
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1answer
130 views

As the magnetic field propagates does it have a momentum that can be felt by another magnetic field of the same charge?

If I have a solenoid and a permanent magnet, and I placed the magnet an inch away from the solenoid, oriented in a position where the magnet would be repelled as the solenoid is turned on. Is it a ...
2
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2answers
305 views

Field theory for a finite temperature normal fluid

Can normal-fluid (not superfluid) hydrodynamics be derived from some classical field theory? Here I mean conservation (continuity) equations for mass (density), momentum, and energy (entropy, ...
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0answers
141 views

Noether Current and Feynman Diagrams

My question is simple. Assume that there is no anomaly and we have found from the lagrangian that there is a conserved current. I want to know what this means in terms of feynman diagrams, not in ...
2
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1answer
103 views

If time-like paths are geodesics, what physical principle applies to space-like intervals?

If I have a number of particles interacting with one another locally, then the center of mass of the system moves along a geodesic. Taking this further with the particles interacting via an EM field, ...
4
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0answers
163 views

Renormalization of Auxiliary Fields

I have the following non-linear sigma model (the base space $\mathcal{M}$ is Euclidean): $$ \mathcal{L}=\dfrac{1}{2\alpha}\int_{\mathcal{M}}\mathrm{d}^2\sigma\ \partial^2X^{\mu}\partial^2X_{\mu} $$ ...
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1answer
58 views

Meaning of these terms for stress fields?

I'm from a math & comp sci background and I'm currently looking at facture theory which deals with stress fields. Can someone explain to me what the following terms represent in the context of a ...
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3answers
3k views

Counting Degrees of Freedom in Field Theories

I'm somewhat unsure about how we go about counting degrees of freedom in classical field theory (CFT), and in QFT. Often people talk about field theories as having 'infinite degrees of freedom'. My ...
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2answers
124 views

Why don't we take this term $D_{\mu}D_{\nu}F^{\mu\nu}$ in Lagrangians?

Why don't we take $$D_{\mu}D_{\nu}F^{\mu\nu}$$ in Lagrangians?
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1answer
186 views

quantum fluctuations and the virtual particles

In the introduction of chapter-12 of “An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory” by Peskin and Schroeder I encountered this line: “The quantum fluctuatuations at arbitrarily short distances appear in ...
2
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1answer
137 views

Poincare non-invariance in real world and field theory

This may be a very blunt question but I wonder why we always use Poincare invariant Lagrangians in field theory. After all, the entire world around us is by no means homogeneous, isotropic and so on. ...
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1answer
237 views

Equivalence principle for test fields

My question is very simple. We all know that, for a test particle(classical) in a gravitational field, the motion is only determined by the geodesic lines(let's forget about the initial conditions for ...
2
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2answers
251 views

Why is the solution of the $\phi^6$ potential not a soliton?

Consider a theory with a $\phi^6$-scalar potential: $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi)^2-\phi^2(\phi^2-1)^2. $$ I solved its equation of motion but found that the general form of its ...
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0answers
290 views

What's the shape of electric field line in a rectangular metal under varying magnetic field

We know that,the shape of electric field line in a cylinder under varying magnetic field is circle,and I wonder,what's the situation if it is a piece of metal with rectangular cross section? I think ...
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3answers
738 views

The Higgs field vs the Higgs boson

As I see it the Higgs boson is the mediating particle of the Higgs field and get its own mass from the Higgs field. Isn´t this circular? I mean, for instance, an electron creates a radial electric ...
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0answers
574 views

What is the reason for chiral anomalies in condensed matter systems?

If you consider a massless relativistic fermion theory and you perform a chiral transformation, then you realize that while the classical action remains invariant under this transformation the ...
2
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1answer
237 views

Invariance of Fermionic action under Lorentz transformations

Suppose I have an Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2}g_{ab} \bar{\psi}^a \Gamma^k \partial_k \psi^b $$ and I want to show it's invariance under the infinitesimal Lorentz transformations $$\delta \...
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2answers
1k views

what is the result of change in gravitational flux?

As a change in magnetic flux results in induced EMF (electromotive force) likewise what is the result of a change in gravitational flux? UPDATE: Gravitational flux according to me has only ...
4
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1answer
265 views

Why should Ward identities only be used with the effective action (as opposed to the generating functional for connected diagrams)?

My question is about the derivation of Ward identities. I will sketch it here in the case of an O(N) symmetric model and point out what it bothering me when I am done. I am being very sloppy with the ...
1
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1answer
218 views

Sign of matter Lagrangian term in curved space

In field theory the (matter) Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_m$ is uncertain upto an overall constant multiplying factor (i.e. $\mathcal{L}_m$ and $a\mathcal{L}_m$ yield the same field equation(s) on ...
3
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1answer
391 views

How can one prove that there cannot exist a conformal primary, in the case of free field theory, that doesn't saturate the unitarity bound?

In free field theory, the full list of conformal primaries, is given by the Twist-2 operators. These have $\Delta = l+2$, which is also the saturation condition for the unitarity bound for $l \neq 0$. ...
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1answer
211 views

What gauge field can be constructed from Lorentz symmetry?

You can take a global symmetry and promote it to a local gauge symmetry by introducing an appropriate gauge field and upgrading the partial derivative to a covariant derivative. The photon field ...
2
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1answer
240 views

Hamiltonian field equations constraints

Let's consider the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}~=~-\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi^\nu)^2+\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi^\mu)^2+\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi_\mu \phi^\mu,$$ with Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}={\rm ...
3
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1answer
199 views

Noether's theorem in field theory: Jacobian factor

Following my earlier question in this Phys.SE post I have another question regarding the derivation I am struggling through! Considering the variation in the Lagrange density for $x'=x+\delta x$ and ...
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0answers
367 views

Index notation for a Lagrangian with second derivatives

I'm finding the field equations for a hypothetical Lagrangian with dependence on the second derivative of a scalar field, $L\left(\phi,\phi_{,\mu},\phi_{,\mu\nu}\right)$, and in the analogue to the ...
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2answers
316 views

Noether's theorem in classical field theory

I am trying to understand the continuum version of Noethers theorem from this source (p 15- 17) however I am stuck on a couple of points. I will go through what I have so far and then ask my questions ...
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1answer
138 views

Entanglement entropy in (1+1)d field theory with dynamical critical exponent $z>1$

It was well known that for (1+1)d CFT(z=1) case, we can use the tool of conformal map to derive the formula of entanglement entropy for a finite interval: S ~ $c \log L$. L is the length of the ...
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1answer
140 views

A question on the functional dependence of the Lagrangian density

I understand that in classical mechanics the state of a particle at a given instant in time is given by its position $q$ and its velocity at that point $\dot{q}$, and given that, for any given point $...
3
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1answer
277 views

In general, can a Lagrangian density depend on space-time explicitly?

In an exercise on classical field theories, I'm trying to derive the general formula of the Energy-momentum tensor. According to the formula in the lecture notes, this tensor includes a term of minus ...
3
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2answers
342 views

How to count the number of modes/polarizations of a Gaussian field theory?

A Gaussian (free) field theory is described by a quadratic action of the field, e.g. $S=\int\psi^\dagger K\psi$ (or $S=\frac{1}{2}\int\phi^\intercal K\phi$ for real fields). Usually one just need to ...
3
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0answers
296 views

Precisely speaking, does photon become massive or the phonon become massive, due to Higgs mechanism in superconductor?

Consider the low-energy field theories of superfluids and superconductors. In superfluids, the spontaneous breaking of the order parameter's phase creates phonons as the massless Goldstone bosons.(...
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1answer
1k views

Euclidean classical action

This is the Euclidean classical action $S_{cl}[\phi]=\int d^{4}x\ (\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\mu}\phi)^{2}+U(\phi))$. It would be nice if somebody could explain the structure of the potential. I don't ...
0
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1answer
144 views

How to prove that the nonlinear completion of free massless spin-2 action must be Einstein-Hilbert action?

There is a saying that the nonlinear completion of free massless spin-2 action in Minkovski spacetime (that is Fierz-Pauli action) must be Einstein-Hilbert action up to Lovelock invariants. I find a ...
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6answers
1k views

Is electromagnetic vector field a sum of E and B?

I have a hard time to fully understand (classical) electromagnetic field theory with respect to Helmholtz's decomposition. Let me start from Helmholtz's theorem: Any vector field of class $C^{\...
0
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1answer
220 views

Does the flatness of a gauge field has anything to do with whether it's dynamical?

One common way in studying Symmetry Protected Topological(SPT) phases with a global symmetry G is to promote G to a gauge symmetry and couple the system to a flat gauge field A for G. Then one can ...
0
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1answer
180 views

Does invariance under infinite small transformation imply invariance to the finite one?

Let's say that I have finite chiral transform and I would like to show invariance of Dirac's Lagrangian when $m=0$ under it. The chiral transform is defined as: $$\psi(x) \rightarrow \psi'(x) =e^{i \...
3
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1answer
610 views

2D square lattice, nearest neighbor and next-nearest connected by springs

For my field theory class I am trying to build the Lagrangian for the following system. Consider a 2D square lattice where the nearest and next-nearest neighbor interactions are modeled by springs ...
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3answers
214 views

Suppose $\phi(x)$ is a field, how should I interpret $\partial^\mu\phi$ and $\partial_\mu\phi$?

I am really confused by the sub and upperscript notation sometimes. It might be really trivial but I have a difficult time interpreting the following things in for example this Lagrangian $$\mathscr{...
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2answers
160 views

How to define conserved charges in Euclidean field theory?

In a field theory with signature (1,d), conserved charges are obtained by integrating the time component of a conserved current over a spatial region. What are the corresponding equations and ...
2
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1answer
294 views

Conserved current in a complex relativistic scalar field

For my field theory class I have the following Lagrangian density $$\mathscr{L}=\frac{1}{2}\eta^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu\phi^*\partial_\nu\phi-\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^*\phi$$ Where $\eta^{\mu\nu}$ is the ...
3
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2answers
6k views

Proving the Lorentz invariance of the Lorentz invariant phase space element

I have been looking around for a satisfactory answer to prove that $$\frac{d^3\vec{p}}{2E_{\vec{p}}}$$ where $E_{\vec{p}}=+\sqrt{(|\vec{p}|c)^2+(mc^2)^2}$, is Lorentz invariant. The standard answer ...
0
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1answer
110 views

Notion of distance in a Conformal Field Theory

I'm confused about the how the notion of distance is used in Conformal Field Theory. Let's take for example the Operator Product Expansion (OPE). In a conformal field theory, due to the scale ...
2
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2answers
355 views

Connection between the vanishing of the conjugate momentum $\pi^0$ and non-existence of propagator for the free EM field

If we try to quantize the free electromagnetic field without a gauge fixing term added to the Lagrangian density $\mathscr{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}$, (i)zeroth component of the conjugate ...
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2answers
200 views

Variation of a term in the Lagrangian

I don't understand why $$\frac{\delta}{\delta\phi}\left(\frac12\partial^\mu\phi\partial_\mu\phi\right)~=~\partial^\mu\partial_\mu\phi.\tag{1}$$ If we use integration by parts, there should be a minus ...
0
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1answer
907 views

Hamiltonian density of classical Klein-Gordon field

I am working my way through Peskin and Schroeder section 2.2 and trying to show that $T^{00}$ is equivalent to the expression $\frac{1}{2}\pi^2-\frac{1}{2}(\nabla \phi)^2-\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2$ in ...
0
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1answer
261 views

How to obtain the asymptotic behavior of Green's function?

This question arose from Eq.(9.135) and Eq.(9.136) in Fradkin's Field theories of condensed matter physics (2nd Ed.). The author mapped quantum-dimer models to an action of monopole gas in $(2+1)$ ...