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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0answers
600 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 ...
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1answer
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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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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 ...
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1answer
297 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 ...
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1answer
225 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 ...
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1answer
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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
225 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 ...
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1answer
262 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 ...
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1answer
214 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
385 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
341 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
148 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
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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 $...
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1answer
301 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
152 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
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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^{\...
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1answer
238 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 ...
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1answer
212 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
656 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
222 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
174 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 ...
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1answer
364 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
114 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 ...
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2answers
381 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
214 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 ...
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1answer
958 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 ...
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1answer
263 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 $(2+1)$ ...
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1answer
88 views

Lagrangian density with explicit $x_\mu$ dependence

In the Quantum Field Theory book, by Ryder, he says that a Lagrangian density of a field can also be an explicit function of $x_\mu$ if the field interacts with external sources. Can someone give an ...
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1answer
220 views

What is it that Lagrangian density with only bilinear terms always corresponds to free field theory?

Is there an intuitive proof of this fact? (Maybe connected in some way to Central Limit Theorem?).
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1answer
417 views

effect of a simultaneous local and a global $U(1)$ symmetry breaking

EDIT : I am trying to figure out the effect of symmetry breaking in a $U(1)_Y\times U(1)_Z$ invariant lagrangian where $U(1)_Y$ is local symmetry of the Lagrangian and $U(1)_Z$ is a global symmetry of ...
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1answer
2k views

Noether currents in QFT

I am trying to organize my knowledge of Noether's theorem in QFT. There are several questions I would like to have an answer to. In classical field theory, Noether's theorem states that for each ...
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0answers
140 views

Noether current scale transform of EM

I'm trying to solve a question about scale tranform of free EM. I got the next trnaform rules (these two line where EDITed later) $\delta x = -bx$ $\delta A = bA$ the current I got $D^\mu = -{T^\...
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2answers
357 views

Field transformations

I'm reading Maggiore's book "A modern introduction to quantum field theory" and I'm very confused by what he did in chapter 2.6 page 31 eq. (2.80). He basically wants to find the generators of the ...
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1answer
180 views

permanent magnet energy field [duplicate]

Please explain to me this: What is the physical mechanism of the field and atraction force; in which way a force (electro, magnetic or gravity) is transmited between two objects? I will try to ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the quantum state of a static electric field?

This is something that I've been curious about for some time. A coherent, monochromatic electromagnetic wave is well described by a coherent state $|\alpha\rangle$. The quantum treatment of the ...
0
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1answer
259 views

Why are Majorana fields usually used to introduce gravity in the Rarita-Schwinger Lagrangian?

When first introducing the gravitational interaction for a spin-3/2 Rarita-Schwinger field, Majorana fields are usually used (see for example here at chapter 4, or in Ramond, (6.4.112) ). Why is this?...
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2answers
213 views

Does Bell's theorem sort out local field theories?

For example the Maxwell's equations is a local theory. It's a set of differential equations that describe how should the state at a point change based on its neighbourhood. Counter example: Newtonian ...
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1answer
79 views

What does Field theory concern? [duplicate]

I wounder to know what is the basic idea of field theory? Field theory wants to concern what aspects, and formulate what problems in nature?
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1answer
110 views

Why is $\mu_0$ missing in EM formulas in Peskin and Schroeder?

In this post, $\hbar=c=1$ units are used throughout. It is well known that the action of classical electromagnetism is given by $$\mathcal S_{\text{Maxwell}} = \int d^4x\left\{-\frac{1}{4\mu_0}F_{\mu\...
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0answers
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Topological Mass in Maxwell-Chern-Simons theory [closed]

Starting from the Maxwell-Chern-Simons lagrangian (in 2+1 dimensions): $$L_{MCS}=-\frac{1}{4}F^{\mu \nu}F_{\mu\nu}+\frac{g}{2} \epsilon^{\mu \nu \rho}A_\mu\partial_\nu A_\rho$$ I've derived ...
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2answers
2k views

Classical EM : clear link between gauge symmetry and charge conservation

In the case of classical field theory, Noether's theorem ensures that for a given action $$S=\int \mathrm{d}^dx\,\mathcal{L}(\phi_\mu,\partial_\nu\phi_\mu,x^i)$$ that stays invariant under the ...
3
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1answer
1k views

How to derive the conserved current of the Klein Gordon equation?

Similarly to the probability current in non-relativistic quantum mechanics, there is a conserved current for the Klein Gordon equation, however a different one. I'm trying to calculate that. The KG ...
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2answers
167 views

How can I prove that $\langle\Omega\vert \phi(x) \vert\Omega\rangle \langle\Omega\vert\phi(y)\vert\Omega\rangle=0$ for a scalar field?

From Peskin-Schroeder, p.212: The term $$ \langle \Omega | \phi(x) | \Omega \rangle \langle \Omega |\phi(y) | \Omega \rangle$$ is usually zero by symmetry; for higher-spin fields, it is zero by ...
3
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1answer
341 views

Calculation of the Abelian Induced Chern-Simons Term

In Gerald Dunne's paper "Aspects of Chern-Simons Theory" (http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9902115) I'm a little confused as to how equation (225) on page 53 is obtained. Equation (225): \begin{equation}\...
3
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1answer
498 views

Field Lagrangian ↔ Particle Lagrangian

The action-functionals describing the motion $\mathbf{x}:[a,b]\to \mathbb{R}^3$ of a free particle of mass $m$ and the evolution $\varphi:[a,b]\times \Omega\to \mathbb{R}$ of a free scalar field of ...
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1answer
274 views

Obtaining momentum operator $P^\mu$ from Lagrangian and energy-momentum tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$

I am pretty new to quantum field theory. Given the Lagrangian density, $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} ( \partial_\mu \phi ) ( \partial^\mu \phi ) - \frac{1}{2} m^2 \phi^2 $$ and its energy-momentum ...

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