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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4
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1answer
984 views

Total derivative in action of the field theory

Consider a classical field theory. When applying the least action I see that a term is considered total derivative. We say that $$\int \partial_\mu \left(\frac {\partial L}{\partial\left(\partial_\...
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1answer
265 views

Creation and annihilation operators

In our lecture today, we introduced two kinds of creation and annihilation operators. I want to restrict myself to the antisymmetric case: The first operator $a_k^{\dagger}$ creates a state $|k\...
3
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2answers
210 views

Scalar operators In Quantum Field Theory

I am trying to learn Quantum Field Theory and I am stuck in a basic point. What is the definition of a scalar operator in QFT? That is, how does it transform under a Poincare transformation? Why do ...
2
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1answer
232 views

Introduction of the vector potential $A_{\mu}$ for the local gauge invariance of the complex scalar field lagrangian [duplicate]

In Ryder, when trying to restore the local $U(1)$ gauge symmetry of the complex scalar field $\phi=\phi_1+i\phi_2$, the final Lagrangian consists of the following four parts: $$L_0=(\partial_{\mu}\phi)...
2
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0answers
75 views

Shouldn't we use a Hamiltonian that doesn't give special treatment to time? [duplicate]

If we have a Lagrangian $\mathcal L$ that depends on some scalar field $\phi$, we define the momentum as $\pi \doteqdot {\partial \mathcal L \over \partial \dot \phi}$. The Hamiltonian then is $\...
1
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1answer
751 views

Complex scalar field

In his book on Quantum Field Theory, Ryder mentioned in p. 91 under the title Complex Scalar Fields and Electromagnetism, the following: He said that under a global phase transformation $$\phi \...
5
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1answer
446 views

Rigorous version of field Lagrangian

In Classical Mechanics the configuration of a system can be characterized by some point $s\in \mathbb{R}^n$ for some $n$. In particular, if it's a system of $k$ particles then $n = 3k$ and if there ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Difference between a “source dipole” and a “force dipole”

I know quite well what a dipole is and in general what multipole moments are (in the context of, for instance, electrodynamics). What I find myself confused by is something called a "force dipole" in ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Is internal symmetry the same as gauge symmetry?

This is more a terminology question. I have seen that some people differentiate between the two types of symmetry: internal symmetry and gauge symmetry (of a field theory). Is there a difference (in ...
1
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0answers
212 views

In SUSY, why do fermions and gauge bosons in the same multiplet both transform in the adjoint representation of the gauge group?

I'm trying to understand a certain point about supersymmetry. We are dealing with a N=1 (i.e, one supersymmetric flavour), massless, four dimensional theory. Then the vector multiplet consists of a ...
1
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0answers
261 views

Mixed two-point vertex in QFT

I am considering a theory with two fields, say $\phi$ and $\psi$. The Lagrangian contains quadratic terms, i.e., propagators for both fields and a quartic interaction term for one of the fields. ...
4
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1answer
555 views

Which transformations *aren't* symmetries of a Lagrangian?

As far as I understand, Noether's theorem for fields works, as explained in David Tong's QFT lecture notes (page 14) for example, by saying that a transformation $\phi(x) \mapsto \phi(x) + \delta \phi ...
1
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1answer
707 views

How to find the Hamiltonian density for electromagnetic field? And, how to solve the stress tensor for electromagnetic field? [closed]

How to find the Hamiltonian density for electromagnetic field? And, how to solve the stress tensor for electromagnetic field?
3
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0answers
145 views

What's the conserved stress energy tensor? [closed]

I've worked on this problem for forever and still don't really see the solution. Any help appreciated. Say we have the Lagrangian for a scalar field that's $U(1)$ charged,$$\mathcal{L} ={1\over4}(F_{\...
15
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0answers
464 views

Electric charges on compact four-manifolds

Textbook wisdom in electromagnetism tells you that there is no total electric charge on a compact manifold. For example, consider space-time of the form $\mathbb{R} \times M_3$ where the first factor ...
4
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0answers
191 views

Axion Model Field Theory Problem

This is a homework problem for a field theory class dealing with an axion model. Originally, we are given that $$S[a]=\int_Md^4x \frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\mu}a(x))^2$$ has a continuous global ...
2
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1answer
114 views

Interpretation of $\vec{x}$ in QFT

I am still at an early stage of studying Quantum Field Theory (I am reading QFT In A Nutshell by A. Zee). In the book I'm reading, it starts from a discrete lattice of material "lumps" labeled by $a$,...
2
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3answers
1k views

Poincare invariant Lagrangians

The Lagrangian density of a Poincare invariant theory should not depend explicitly on the space-time coordinates. Does this mean $$ \partial_\mu \mathcal{L}=0~? $$ If this is the case doesn't the ...
2
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0answers
2k views

Show: Lorentz-invariance of solution of Klein-Gordon equation [closed]

Assume $\psi$ is a solution of the Klein-Gordon equation (KGE). Let $\Lambda$ be a Lorentz transformation. Show: $\phi = \psi(\Lambda^{-1} \cdot )$ is also a solution of the KGE. I try to ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Mathematical interpretation of Poisson Brackets

Lets say we are working in a classical scalar field theory and we have two functional $ F[\phi, \pi](x)$ and $G[\phi, \pi](x)$. In most of the references, starting with two functional the Poisson ...
9
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1answer
3k views

What is the fundamental representation in field theory?

In field theory we associate to each Gauge theory a continuous group of local transformations (a Gauge group), and then we require\define fermion fields to be irreducible representations belonging to ...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

A Variation on Laplace's equation (context: Yang-Mills N-Instantons, Rajaraman's book)

Statement of the problem I need to solve the equation \begin{align} 0 = \frac{1}{\phi} \partial_{\sigma}\partial_{\sigma} \phi \hspace{20mm} (1) \end{align} where $\phi$ is a scalar field and we'...
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0answers
114 views

Total Vs Partial in Lagrange density? [duplicate]

I have a question regarding the red term below. This is the integration by parts during the derivation of the Euler-Lagrange equation for continuous systems. Why is this not the time derivative $d/dt$....
4
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3answers
1k views

Classical Field Theory - Continuum limit in forming the Lagrangian density and the elasticity modulus

I have been looking at taking the continuum limit for a linear elastic rod of length $l$ modeled by a series of masses each of mass $m$ connected via massless springs of spring constant $k$. The ...
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1answer
84 views

Mass of small fluctuation around vacuum

For a potential $V$, how do we define the mass of a small fluctuation around its vacuum? For example I have the potential $$ V_\mathrm{eff}(\phi) = \frac{1}{2} \left(\frac{\rho}{M^2} - \mu^2\right) \...
3
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0answers
166 views

N=4 SYM from Klebanov-Witten field theory

This is with reference to M. J. Strassler's lectures on "The Duality Cascade" pg. 46. I want to see how $\mathcal{N}=4$ SYM emerges when D3 branes, in the KW setup, are placed at smooth point of the ...
1
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1answer
394 views

Hermiticity of the quantum field

The quantum field resultant from the quantization of a real classical field is hermitian, but why the quantum field corresponding to a complex classical field should be non-hermitian?
2
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2answers
1k views

Two expressions for potential energy in the gravitational field of the earth

Let $M$ be the mass of the earth, considered as a point mass, then the potential energy of a point with distance $r$ away from the center (assume $r > \textrm{radius of earth})$ is $$ U(r) = -\...
5
votes
2answers
979 views

Energy and momentum as partial derivatives of on-shell action in field theory

According to L&L, if we fix the initial position of a particle at a given time and consider the on-shell action as a function of the final coordinates and time, $S(q_1, \ldots, q_n, t)$, then... $...
5
votes
0answers
88 views

Spin-dependence of the directionality of dipole radiation

I am interested in understanding how and whether the transformation properties of a (classical or quantum) field under rotations or boosts relate in a simple way to the directional dependence of the ...
6
votes
2answers
384 views

(Un)countability in QFT

I am a mathematician self-studying physics, and a currently working on QFT with Srednicki's book. One thing that bothers me is that for a scalar field (in the Hamiltonian version) there is a ...
1
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1answer
260 views

Conserved current for a constant translation of a free massless scalar field

In Zinn-Justin's Quantum Field Theory and Critical Phenomena they start with an action for a free massless scalar field: $$S(\varphi) = \frac{1}{2}\int d^{2}x\left[\partial_{\mu}\varphi(x)\right]^{2}$...
7
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2answers
1k views

Showing that Coulomb and Lorenz Gauges are indeed valid Gauge Transformations?

I'm working my way through Griffith's Introduction to Electrodynamics. In Ch. 10, gauge transformations are introduced. The author shows that, given any magnetic potential $\textbf{A}_0$ and electric ...
4
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1answer
312 views

How do we know what type of gauge field to add to a theory?

I've been watching Leonard Susskind's particle physics lectures and in one lecture, he discusses a very simple gauge theory. We have a complex scalar field $\phi(x)$ with Lagrangian $$\mathscr{L} = \...
3
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0answers
2k views

Suggested reading for classical field theory [duplicate]

I am reading a marvelous book Classical Field Theory by E Soper, but it is mathematically too compact and sometimes I am unable to follow the equations. Can anyone suggest a side book for solution of ...
11
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3answers
439 views

Why is fundamental physics taught in terms of particles?

According to this paper, there can be no relativistic quantum theory of localizeable particles ("relativity plus quantum mechanics exclusively requires a field ontology"). Sean Caroll has also argued ...
4
votes
3answers
502 views

Complex Dirac field in antiparticle description

I understand that the Dirac equation has negative and positive sets of solutions and this contributes to its quantization by a superposition of two Fourier modes represented as creation and ...
1
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1answer
220 views

A Spin up particle in QFT

This appears like a question that is rarely addressed in field theory pedagogy (perhaps because the answer is obvious): how does one describe a particle of definite spin in quantum field theory? For ...
3
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1answer
385 views

Lagrangian description of Brownian motion?

I'm interested in the existence of a Lagrangian field theory description of Bronwnian motion, does such a thing exist? Given a particle of some spin $\sigma$, which has a Lagrangian associated with ...
0
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1answer
95 views

Action of the Poincare Group on a Scalar Function

Let $F(x^\mu)$ is a scalar function; i.e. $F(x^\mu): \mathbb{R}^{1,3} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$. How the Poincare Group $P(1,3)$ will act on it; i.e., by which formula I can calculate it for a specific ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Energy Tensor, covariant derivate, variation respect to the metric [duplicate]

I'm doing the variation of a Lagrangian respect to the metric, but I am having problem with a particular terminus. My action is: $$ S=\int d^4x \sqrt{-g}[ (\nabla_\mu A^\mu)^2]$$ My lagrangian is: $...
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0answers
141 views

Difference between Gravitational and Matter Scalar Fields

In the context of Scalar-Tensor theories of gravity (for example in Brans-Dicke) what is the difference between gravitational and matter scalar Fields? My doubt comes from "The scalar-tensor Theory ...
2
votes
2answers
942 views

Sign of Feynman rules with derivative couplings

Feynman rules for derivative couplings always make me confused. For example, the derivative in $gV^\mu\phi^+\partial_\mu\phi^-$ will give you $\pm ip_{-\mu}$, where $\pm$ depends on whether the ...
5
votes
3answers
407 views

About constraints of the first class and electrodynamics

Consider a theory in the Hamiltonian formalism and assume that it has constraints between canonical variables $Q, \pi$. By the Dirac terminology, the set of constraints $F_{a}(Q, \pi) \approx 0$ of ...
4
votes
0answers
139 views

What decides the signs and coefficients of terms in superfield?

I'm working on a problem in 3d field theory and I'm confused about how to write the superfields. Specifically, I'm not sure if the signs and coefficients of terms are purely a matter of convention or ...
4
votes
1answer
334 views

Conceptual question about field transformation

(c.f Conformal Field Theory by Di Francesco et al, p39) From another source, I understand the mathematical derivation that leads to eqn (2.126) in Di Francesco et al, however conceptually I do not ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Noether Current when the Lagrangian depends on second derivative of the fields

Let a Lagrangian density for a field theory of $N$ fields $\left\{\phi_i\right\}_{i=1}^N$ be given. Assume that the Lagrangian density depends on the fields, their spacetime derivatives, and their ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Global vs. local gauge group in mathematical sense - physics examples?

Upon reading about the principal bundle picture of (quantum) field theory I encountered two different definitions of the gauge group: Local gauge group $G$. Corresponds to the fibers of the $G$-...
3
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0answers
58 views

Scalar product of torsional forms - how are the standard identities modified?

It is known that for any smooth, orientable, compact manifold $X$ without boundary and $\alpha \in \Omega^{r}(X), \beta \in \Omega^{r-1}(X)$ it holds \begin{equation} (d\beta,\alpha)= (\beta, d^{\...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Local versus non-local functionals

I'm new to field theory and I don't understand the difference between a "local" functional and a "non-local" functional. Explanations that I find resort to ambiguous definitions of locality and then ...