Questions tagged [ghosts]

Ghosts are unphysical states that arise when quantizing gauge theories. Do not use this tag for 'ghosts' in the paranormal sense.

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Accounting for ghosts in calculation of massless closed string emission

I've been trying to do problem 5.8 from String Theory in a Nutshell by Kiritsis, which is think, also related to problem 8.10 in Polchinski. My question is this: how do we account for ghosts in the ...
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80 views

Absence of negative-norm states in old covariant quantization of the bosonic string

This question is about the discussion about the absence of negative-norm states in the old covariant quantization of the bosonic string as presented e.g. in Becker Becker & Schwarz (BBS). Their ...
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Free field realisation for Vertex Operators

I wanted to know if for a generic CFT (in weak coupling limit) there exists free field realisation of the vertex operators. This seems like it should exist but I want to know a generic algorithm to ...
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Why can we not observe Faddeev-Popov ghost fields? [duplicate]

I know that ghost fields de-couple from the gauge fields in abelian QED. But my question is how does decoupling prove that we cannot observe ghost fields?
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Bosonization of $\beta \gamma$ system

I am studying the bosonization of the $\beta \gamma$ ghost system, also called as the symplectic boson (See for example, section 2.3 of this paper. These have OPE, \begin{equation} \beta(z) \gamma(w) \...
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54 views

Do Faddeev-Popov ghost contribute to vacuum polarisation?

I can imagine how one can draw a Feynman diagram for a boson self-energy with a ghost loop. My question is, shouldnt't the amplitude of that process be 0 as the ghosts are merely a mathematical tool?
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Various Definitions of 'Ghosts'

I have seen various different definitions of a ghost field in the literature. For example, one can find many examples where ghosts are simply defined as any field with a negative sign in the kinetic ...
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Standard model lagrangian density, ghosts-Goldstone bosons part

I have a hard time to find the correct expression for the ghosts-Goldstone bosons part of the standard model lagrangian density. From Peskin & Schroeder it comes from the term $\xi \overline{c}^a ...
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Diagonalisation of a ghost Lagrangian

I have a ghost Lagrangian of the form $\mathcal{L}= \bar{c}M_{11}c + \bar{c}M_{12}b + \bar{b}M_{21}c + \bar{b}M_{22}b$ where $c,b$ are the ghosts and $\bar{c}, \bar{b}$ the anti ghost fields, $M_{...
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What's a minisuperspace in quantum cosmology?

I read this paper on Lorentzian Quantum Cosmology. But I couldn't understand the term minisuperspace which is used to define the path integral $$\int\mathcal{D}N \mathcal{D}\pi\mathcal{D}a\mathcal{D}...
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47 views

Amplitude of quark$+$antiquark $\rightarrow$ ghost$+$antighost in QCD

Since the BRST charge operator commutes with the Hamiltonian of QCD, a physical state such as $q+\bar q$ should not be allowed to evolve into an unphysical one like $\chi+\bar\chi$, where these two ...
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67 views

Nilpotency of BRST operator in gravity

I am going through the BRST quantisation in Perturbative quantum gravity and looked at the papers of Nishijima and Ojima. I am confused about the closure of the BRST operator; I.e $s^2=0$, ...
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95 views

BRST as gauge symmetry or global symmetry or the generalization (e.g. in Peskin and Schroeder 16.4)

In Peskin and Schroeder (PS) Chap 16.4, such as after eq.16.45, in p.518, PS said: "local gauge transformation parameter $\alpha$ is proportional to the ghost field and the anti-commuting ...
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Yang-Mills massive ghosts

Is there any procedure to add a mass to Faddeev-Popov Lagrangian density of a pure Yang-Mills theory, other than just add it from nowhere?
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1answer
135 views

Physical States has ghost number 1 in String Theory

We know by no-ghost theorem (Polchinski I, section 4.4) that the physical Hilbert space have no longitudinal excitations ($X^0, X^1, b, c$). This is obvious by light-cone gauge quantization and in ...
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275 views

Questions about BRST formalism and BV formalism

This is from Pierre J. Clavier and Viet Dang Nguyen's paper Batalin-Vilkovisky formalism as a theory of integration for polyvectors. In section 2.3, it states: A symmetry is said to be open when it ...
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Understanding the gauge condition in light-cone gauge

When going over Cambridge String Theory Notes (page 38) I came across the following gauge conditions: $$X^+ (t, \sigma) = x^+(t)\hspace{5mm}, \hspace{5mm} P_−(t, \sigma) = p_−(t) \tag{1} $$ which is ...
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134 views

Ghost Theory energy-momentum tensor CFT

Given the action $$ \mathcal{S_g}=\frac{1}{2\pi}\int{d^2x\left(b\bar{\partial}c+\bar{b}{\partial}\bar{c}\right)} $$ where $b$ and $c$ are ghosts. How can I calculate the energy-momentum tensor$$ T=...
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Picture Number Operator in String Theory

My question concerns the ghost picture charge/picture number operator in the RNS formalism of Superstring theory. In particular I refer to page 403 of "Basic Concepts of String Theory" by R. ...
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3answers
106 views

Gauge ghosts & unphysical states in gauge theory

I have a general question about a statement from Wikipedia about ghost states as occuring in gauge theory: "In the terminology of quantum field theory, a ghost, ghost field, or gauge ghost is an ...
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1answer
125 views

Finding ghost terms for super Yang-Mills theory in background field gauge

I want to find the ghost terms (2.16) for the action in this paper. The gauge field action is given by $$ \begin{align}S_{A} =& i \int d\tau \Big(\frac{1}{2}A_{1}(\partial_{\tau}^2 - r^2)A_{1} + \...
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4th polarization in the massive vector boson field propagator

We can build propagators (in this case, for massive vector fields) with at least two approaches: (1) from canonical quantization (or exact solutions, if you like) $$\left[[(i\partial)^2-m^2]\delta_{...
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1answer
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Ghost exorcisms of fields?

In Mack's paper "D-independent representation of Conformal Field Theories in D dimensions via transformation to auxiliary Dual Resonance Models. Scalar amplitudes", he makes the following statement ...
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Critical dimension from the symmetries of the string action

(Related: This post and this post.) In this thesis it is said (on page 13) that just by assuming that we have some general action with the same symmetries as the Polyakov action (Poincare invariance, ...
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Time reversal symmetry of the Faddeev-Popov determinant

I am studying the Faddeev-Popov procedure to quantize a non-Abelian gauge theory, and I got confused by the status of the time reversal symmetry. People have different definitions of the time reversal ...
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139 views

$bc$-system energy momentum tensor

I have a (maybe silly) question regarding the expression of the energy momentum tensor of the $bc$-system in equations $(2.5.11a)$ and $(2.5.11b)$ in Polchinski's String Theory, page 50. I know that ...
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102 views

Supercurrent of the $bc$-$\beta\gamma$ SCFT

In Polchinksi's Sec. 10.1, the $bc$-$\beta\gamma$ SCFT is introduced with action $$S_{BC} = \frac{1}{2\pi} \int d^2z (b \bar \partial c + \beta \bar \partial \gamma)$$ and supercurrent $$T_F = -\...
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1answer
116 views

Longitudinal polarization of gluons in loop

I have a short question about the possible gluon polarization in loop diagrams. For external gluons, we only want the 2 transverse polarizations. In Peskin-Schroeder it is explained that in Feynman-...
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1answer
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Quantum field theory with only 3-point vertexes

Given an arbitrary quantum field theory, can I always write it in terms of another (different) quantum field theory containing only operators with 3 fields? (i.e. vertexes with 3 legs) I guess that ...
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Ghosts use in the calculus of the scattering matrix

When you perform the calculus of $S$ matrix in, for instance, QCD maybe you need to add ghosts in external legs or internal loops. E.g.: $q\bar{q} \rightarrow gg$ needs 2 ghosts diagrams with ghosts ...
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1answer
123 views

Fermionic ghost path integral results in $\delta$ function?

This is related to a statement in pg 20 of hep-th/9408074 formula (2.39). Suppose $$\mathcal{L}\sim\frac{i}{\lambda^{\prime}}\bar{\eta}^xg_{ij}U_x{}^i\psi^j+\cdots \tag{2.35}$$where $\bar{\eta}$ to ...
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1answer
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Gauge fixing while preserving supersymmetry

In supersymmetric gauge theories, the vector potential is a part of a vector supermultiplet which is represented by a real superfield $V$. Expanded out in components, the Lagrangian for such a field ...
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Do longitudinal and scalar have anything to do with Faddeev-Popov ghosts?

In his this book, Hatfield calls ghosts the negative states appearing in the covariant (Gupta-Bleuler) quantization prescription of the electromagnetic field (page 89). When discussing Yang-Mills ...
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One-loop correction to triple gluon vertex in QCD

I'm trying to calculate a one loop correction to the 3 gluon vertex, which is given by a circular correction, and another that's due to the 4 gluon vertex. However I'm unsure how the ghost fields ...
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1answer
110 views

How to integrate by parts ghost fields in electrodynamics?

When applying Faddeev-Popov method to electrodynamics in the Lorenz gauge we obtain the ghost action $$S=\int d^4xd^4y\bar\eta(x)\left(\partial^2\delta(x-y)\right)\eta(y),\tag{0}$$ where $\partial^2$ ...
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Ghost in quantum many body systems

Since we know the gauge theory can be emergent from local tensor product Hilbert space of quantum many body systems, such as solid state or condensed matter, etc. How do we understand the ghosts in ...
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1answer
382 views

Why can't Faddeev-Popov ghosts be replaced with bosons?

Faddeev-Popov ghosts are introduced in the quantization of Yang-Mills theory to absorb the Faddeev-Popov determinant into the action, $$\det \Delta_{\text{FP}} = \int \mathcal{D} \bar{c} \mathcal{D} c ...
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1answer
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Equivalence between ghosts?

Ok. I'm trying to get the terminology right about the term ghost in physics. Is there any equivalence between these terms? Faddeev-Popov ghosts Paul-Villars ghosts Landau ghost The vanishing ...
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1answer
110 views

Stuckelberg Formalism for Spin-2 - Metric Signature and Ghost Fields

Caution: This question may be trivial to experts, since I am looking at the consequence of metric conventions on the nature of fields in the calculation. My aim is to spot an error in either my ...
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Why don't high-energy experimentalists ever include Faddeev-Popov ghosts in their Feynman diagrams?

To correctly calculate scattering amplitudes in nonabelian gauge theory, one must include Feynman diagrams with internal Faddeev-Popov ghosts (fictitious fermionic scalars that only appear internally ...
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3answers
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How to prove that Faddeev-Popov ghosts are unnecessary for Yang-Mills theory with axial gauge?

In the book it says that in Yang-Mills theory with axial gauge: $n_{\mu}A^{\mu}=0$ using Faddeev-Popov ghosts are needless. Does anyone know how to prove this?
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Calculating $S$-matrix in string theory

To calculate string $S$-matrix, we mainly use Faddeev-Popov gauge fixing method, as in chapter 6 of Polchinsky's book 《string theory》. But in section 6.2, 'tree level amplitude', I didn't find ...
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214 views

Anti-ghost translation invariance$.$

The Faddeev-Popov gauge-fixed Yang-Mills Lagrangian is invariant under $$ \bar c\to\bar c+\chi $$ for any odd constant $\chi$. What is the physical interpretation of this invariance? What does this ...
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How do we know that renormalization doesn't change the form of the ghost action in Yang-Mills theory?

In field theory, we typically construct a Lagrangian by only specifying its (global or gauge) symmetries, then writing down all renormalizable terms that respect those symmetries with arbitrary ...
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257 views

How does Faddeev-Popov work for higher-spin fields? (or does it?)

Take for example a spin $2$ field $h_{\mu\nu}$ and some gauge-invariant Lagrangian. Does the Faddeev-Popov trick work here? by work I mean: does it lead to a consistent and unitary theory? is the ...
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367 views

Ghost Fields in Abelian and Non-Abelian gauge theories

I have some questions about ghost fields in QED and in a non Abelian gauge theory: Does the fact that ghosts and photons are decoupled depend on the choice of the gauge-fixing function? In the Lorenz ...
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1answer
352 views

BRST Quantization of the Bosonic String: Nilpotence of BRST transformation (Polchinski)

Currently I am studying string theory and I encountered a bunch of interrelated problems in the context of BRST quantization which I can't solve for myself although I tried hard for some days. My ...
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2answers
304 views

BRST Quantization of the Point Particle: Sign of Structure Functions (Polchinski)

Currently I am studying string theory and I encountered a bunch of interrelated problems in the context of BRST quantization which I can't solve for myself although I tried hard for some days. The ...
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2answers
877 views

Why Faddeev-Popov ghost cannot exist in external line?

I was studying the path integral quantization of non-abelian gauge field. After the path integral quantization, the action becomes $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F^a_{\mu\nu}F^{a\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2\zeta}(\...
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Beginner question on ghost system

I have read about $bc$ ant $\beta\gamma$ system. These are the fermionic and bosonic ghost system respectively. My question is Why these systems are called ghost system? What is the spin for these ...