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Questions tagged [functional-derivatives]

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5
votes
3answers
3k views

Does a four-divergence extra term in a Lagrangian density matter to the field equations?

Greiner in his book "Field Quantization" page 173, eq.(7.11) did this calculation: ${\mathcal L}^\prime=-\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu A_\nu\partial^\mu A^\nu+\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu A_\nu\partial^\nu A^\...
28
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2answers
2k views

Symbols of derivatives

What is the exact use of the symbols $\partial$, $\delta$ and $\mathrm{d}$ in derivatives in physics? How are they different and when are they used? It would be nice to get that settled once and for ...
7
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2answers
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Functional Derivative in the Linear Sigma Model

In the linear sigma model, the Lagrangian is given by $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2}\sum_{i=1}^{N} \left(\partial_\mu\phi^i\right)\left(\partial^\mu\phi^i\right) +\frac{1}{2}\mu^2\sum_{i=1}^{N}\left(\...
9
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4answers
993 views

Is the Lagrangian of a quantum field really a 'functional'?

Weinberg says, page 299, The quantum theory of fields, Vol 1, that The Lagrangian is, in general, a functional $L[\Psi(t),\dot{\Psi}(t)$], of a set of generic fields $\Psi[x,t]$ and their time ...
14
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2answers
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Functional derivative in Lagrangian field theory

The following functional derivative holds: \begin{align} \frac{\delta q(t)}{\delta q(t')} ~=~ \delta(t-t') \end{align} and \begin{align} \frac{\delta \dot{q}(t)}{\delta q(t')} ~=~ \delta'(t-t') \end{...
17
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3answers
4k views

Why is the functional integral of a functional derivative zero?

I'm reading Quantum Field Theory and Critical Phenomena, 4th ed., by Zinn-Justin and on page 154 I came across the statement that the functional integral of a functional derivative is zero, i.e. $$\...
1
vote
2answers
192 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 ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Use partial or covariant derivatives when deriving equations of a field theory?

I feel like this question has been asked before but I can't find it. would the Euler Lagrange equation for, say, the standard model Lagrangian be $$\frac{\partial L}{\partial \phi}=\partial_\mu \frac{\...
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 ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Does the variation of the Lagrangian satisfy the product rule and chain rule of the derivative?

I have seen wikipedia use the product rule and maybe the chain rule for the variation of the Langragin as follows: \begin{align} \dfrac{\delta [f(g(x,\dot{x}))h(x,\dot{x})] } {\delta x} = \left( \...
2
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3answers
174 views

Why are there two definitions for the functional derivative?

I have seen two definitions for the functional derivative. Why are there two definitions? In Goldstein's Classical mechanics 3rd edition page 574 eq. (13.63), and also in a Student's Guide to ...
10
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2answers
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Introductory texts for functionals and calculus of variation

I am going to learn some math about functionALs (like functional derivative, functional integration, functional Fourier transform) and calculus of variation. Just looking forward to any good ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Derive Schwinger-Dyson equations in Srednicki

In eq. (22.20) on p. 135 in Srednicki he defines the functional integral $$Z(J) = \int\mathcal{D}\phi\,\exp\Big[\mathrm{i}\big(S+\int\mathrm{d^4}y \,J_a\phi_a\big)\Big], \tag{A}$$ where $S$ and $...
4
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1answer
382 views

Srednicki's Path Integrals: Ground-State to Ground-State Transition Amplitude in the Presence of a Perturbation

Srednicki's Quantum Field Theory mentions the following at the end of the unit on path integrals in non-relativistic quantum mechanics: Assume that the total Hamiltonian is of the form, $$ H = ...
5
votes
1answer
525 views

Vary action with respect to velocity

Variation of the action $S$ corresponding to a Lagrangian e.g. $L(x(t),\dot{x}(t))$ gives the Euler-Lagrange equations: $$ \frac{\delta S}{\delta x(t)} = 0 \\ \int du \left ( \frac{\delta L}{\delta x(...
2
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1answer
90 views

Why does the integral symbol disappear when applying a functional derivative?

it is known that variation is defined by following: but could anyone tell me why the integral symbol disappears after following functional derivative?
6
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3answers
777 views

Is there a natural (suitable) definition for functional derivative in Curved space time

If $$\delta S = \int \sqrt g F[\phi] \delta \phi\tag{1}$$ Then is it natural to define the functional derivative as follows, $$\frac{\delta S}{\delta \phi} = F[\phi].\tag{2}$$ In particular does ...
7
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1answer
121 views

Functional derivative and variation of action $S$ vs Lagrangian $L$ vs Lagrangian density $\mathcal{L}$ vs Lagrangian 4-form $\mathbf{L}$

I have seen many potential abuse of notation that prevents me from clearly understanding variational methods in QFT and GR that I want to get this settled once and for all. This may be a bit long but ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Accounting for metric tensor derivatives in Einstein-Hilbert action

I'm puzzling over the canonical derivation of GR from the Einstein-Hilbert action; getting the derivation to gel with an explicit treatment of the functional derivative isn't working out. So the ...
3
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1answer
527 views

Einstein action and the second derivatives

I have naive question about Einstein action for field-free case: $$ S = -\frac{1}{16 \pi G}\int \sqrt{-g} d^{4}x g^{\mu \nu}R_{\mu \nu}. $$ It contains the second derivatives of metric. When we want ...
2
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2answers
550 views

Is $\frac{\partial}{\partial \Phi(y)} \Phi (x) = \delta(x-y)$ correct?

As stated in the heading: Is $\frac{\partial}{\partial \Phi(y)} \Phi (x) = \delta(x-y)$ correct? Here denotes $\Phi(x)$ denotes a scalar field. And if yes, why? Any reference where I can read about ...
2
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3answers
448 views

Correct derivation of Einstein's equations from the Hilbert action

I have been trying to understand general relativity from a first-principles perspective in my spare time, and I have been unable to find a convincing derivation of the Einstein equations. The most ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Functional derivative and units

The both sides of below equation don't give the same units, e.g. $$ \frac{\delta}{\delta \phi (\tau)}\int_a^b \phi (\tau') d\tau'=1\;. $$ where $a<\tau<b$. To show this assume that the field $\...
2
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1answer
573 views

Variational proof of the Hellmann-Feynman theorem

I use the following notation and definition for the (first) variation of some functional $E[\psi]$: \begin{equation} \delta E[\psi][\delta\psi] := \lim_{\varepsilon \rightarrow 0} \frac{E[\psi + \...
0
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1answer
141 views

Inverse Green's Function identity in derivation of Hedin's equations

I'm trying to work through a derivation of Hedin's Equations in Effect of Interaction on One-Electron States by Hedin and Lundqvist (1969) and I've come across an identity that is given without much ...
0
votes
1answer
235 views

Euler-Lagrange equation with torsion, question on derivatives

Consider a mechanical system, the Lagrangian of which is: $$-L(u,\dot u)=\int\left(\dfrac{\partial^2 u}{\partial x^2}\right)^2\mathrm{d}x$$ This would correspond to a system in torsion, for example. ...
2
votes
2answers
466 views

General form for functional derivatives

Working on the hamiltonian formalism applied to canonical field theory, how do I deduce the general form for the functional derivatives $\frac{\delta}{\delta \pi}$ and $\frac{\delta}{\delta \phi}$ (...