Questions tagged [research-level]

The research-level tag applies to questions that arise in graduate and post-secondary work. These questions often require domain-specific knowledge and could not be answered from a general source or may be beyond the level typically covered by Wikipedia and other popular sources. Research-level questions should not require new or groundbreaking research and results to answer.

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163
votes
5answers
19k views

Gauge symmetry is not a symmetry?

I have read before in one of Seiberg's articles something like, that gauge symmetry is not a symmetry but a redundancy in our description, by introducing fake degrees of freedom to facilitate ...
83
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12answers
13k views

What is spontaneous symmetry breaking in quantum systems?

Most descriptions of spontaneous symmetry breaking, even for spontaneous symmetry breaking in quantum systems, actually only give a classical picture. According to the classical picture, spontaneous ...
41
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5answers
12k views

Good reading on the Keldysh formalism

I'd like some suggestions for good reading materials on the Keldysh formalism in the condensed matter physics community. I'm familiar with the imaginary time, coherent state, and path integral ...
26
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1answer
3k views

Diff(M) as a gauge group and local observables in theories with gravity

In a gauge theory like QED a gauge transformation transforms one mathematical representation of a physical system to another mathematical representation of the same system, where the two mathematical ...
36
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2answers
4k views

Large and small gauge transformations?

I've a questions about the difference between small and large gauge transformations (a small gauge transformation tends to the identity at spatial infinity, whereas the large transformations don't). ...
31
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1answer
2k views

Sympletic structure of General Relativity

Inspired by physics.SE: Does the dimensionality of phase space go up as the universe expands? It made me wonder about symplectic structures in GR, specifically, is there something like a Louiville ...
31
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5answers
3k views

Regularization of the Casimir effect

For starters, let me say that although the Casimir effect is standard textbook stuff, the only QFT textbook I have in reach is Weinberg and he doesn't discuss it. So the only source I currently have ...
13
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3answers
3k views

Why can't gauge bosons have mass?

Clearly, a mass term for a vector field would render the Lagrangian not gauge-invariant, but what are the consequences of this? Gauge invariance is supposed to be crucial for the renormalisation of a ...
36
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6answers
3k views

Is there a theorem that says that QFT reduces to QM in a suitable limit? A theorem similar to Ehrenfest's theorem?

Is there a theorem that says that QFT reduces to QM in a suitable limit? Of course, it should be, as QFT is relativisitc quantum mechanics. But, is there a more manifest one? such as Ehrenfest's ...
51
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5answers
17k views

What does it mean for a Hamiltonian or system to be gapped or gapless?

I've read some papers recently that talk about gapped Hamiltonians or gapless systems, but what does it mean? Edit: Is an XX spin chain in a magnetic field gapped? Why or why not?
14
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2answers
3k views

Why is the Fermi surface stable?

As a condensed matter physicist, I take it for granted that a Fermi surface is stable. But it is stable with respect to what? For instance, Cooper pairing is known as an instability of the Fermi ...
42
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1answer
3k views

Why is there no theta-angle (topological term) for the weak interactions?

Why is there no analog for $\Theta_\text{QCD}$ for the weak interaction? Is this topological term generated? If not, why not? Is this related to the fact that $SU(2)_L$ is broken?
11
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1answer
3k views

What is the relationship between string net theory and string / M-theory?

I've just learned from this one of Prof. Wen's answers that there exists a theory called string net theory. Since I've never heard about this before it picks my curiosity, so I`d like to ask some ...
23
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2answers
2k views

Can one force the electric quadrupole moments of a neutral charge distribution to vanish using a suitable translation?

For a system of electric charges $q_i$, at positions $\mathbf{r}_i$, with a nonzero net charge $Q=\sum_i q_i$, one can define a "centre of charge" in the obvious way as $$ \mathbf{r}_c=\frac{1}{Q}\...
35
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2answers
929 views

experimental bounds on spacetime torsion

Did Gravity Probe B provide any bounds on Einstein-Cartan torsion? is a non-zero torsion value at odds with the results regarding frame-dragging and geodetic effects?
24
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1answer
1k views

Asymptoticity of Pertubative Expansion of QFT

It seems to be lore that the perturbative expansion of quantum field theories is generally asymptotic. I have seen two arguments. i)There is the Dyson instability argument as in QED, that is showing ...
43
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8answers
6k views

Negative probabilities in quantum physics

Negative probabilities are naturally found in the Wigner function (both the original and its discrete variants), the Klein paradox (where it is an artifact of using a one-particle theory) and the ...
21
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6answers
2k views

Which QFTs were rigorously constructed?

Which QFTs have mathematically rigorous constructions a la AQFT? I understand there are many such constructions in 2D, in particular 2D CFT has been extensively studied mathematically. But even in 2D ...
14
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1answer
608 views

geometric quantization of the moduli space of abelian Chern-Simons theory

I wish to understand the statement in this paper more precisely: (1). Any 3d Topological quantum field theories(TQFT) associates an inner-product vector space $H_{\Sigma}$ to a Riemann surface $\...
13
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1answer
1k views

Entanglement in time

Quantum entanglement links particles through time, according to this study that received some publicity last year: New Type Of Entanglement Allows 'Teleportation in Time,' Say Physicists at The ...
26
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5answers
5k views

Simple models that exhibit topological phase transitions

There are a number of physical systems with phases described by topologically protected invariants (fractional quantum Hall, topological insulators) but what are the simplest mathematical models that ...
22
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3answers
5k views

How Non-abelian anyons arise in solid-state systems?

Recently it has been studied non-abelian anyons in some solid-state systems. These states are being studied for the creation and manipulation of qubits in quantum computing. But, how these non-...
22
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6answers
3k views

Does Kaluza-Klein theory successfully unify GR and EM? Why can't it be extended to the Standard Model gauge group?

As a quick disclaimer, I thought this might be a better place to ask than Physics.SE. I already searched there with "kaluza" and "klein" keywords to find an answer, but without luck. As background, I'...
5
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1answer
1k views

A physical understanding of fractionalization

all! Is there a physical understanding of fractionalization in condensed matter physics? The textbook approach is theoretical, not physical. I'm thinking of spin-charge separation for electrons, the ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Different kinds of S-matrices?

It seems to me that the notion of an "S-matrix" refers to several different objects One construction you can find in the literature is allowing the coupling constant to adiabatically approach 0 in ...
8
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1answer
741 views

Canonical quantization in supersymmetric quantum mechanics

Suppose you have a theory of maps $\phi: {\cal T} \to M$ with $M$ some Riemannian manifold, Lagrangian $$L~=~ \frac12 g_{ij}\dot\phi^i\dot\phi^j + \frac{i}{2}g_{ij}(\overline{\psi}^i D_t\psi^j-D_t\...
17
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2answers
2k views

Renormalization in string theory

I'm taking a course in string theory and have encountered renormalization for the first time (and I suspect it isn't the last). Specifically, while quantizing the bosonic and spinning strings, an ...
18
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0answers
772 views

Magnetic monopole and electromagnetic field quantization procedure [duplicate]

From the Maxwell's equations point of view, existence of magnetic monopole leads to unsuitability of the introduction of vector potential as $\vec B = \operatorname{rot}\vec A$. As a result, it was ...
0
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2answers
3k views

Time Dilation in Orbits in the Schwarzschild Metric

I am wondering if there exist closed form-expressions for the time dilation experienced by an observer in different orbits around a Schwarzschild black hole, outside the event horizon, relative to ...
11
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1answer
178 views

How many times do solar protons repeatedly fuse and fission before they form deuteron

In the proton-proton chain reaction in the Sun, the first step is $$p + p \rightarrow \; ^2_2{\rm He} .$$ After this, the most likely thing to happen next is that the reverse reaction occurs: the $^...
3
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2answers
514 views

Two puzzles on the Projective Symmetry Group(PSG)?

Recently I'm studying PSG and I felt very puzzled about two statements appeared in Wen's paper. To present the questions clearly, imagine that we use the Shwinger-fermion $\mathbf{S}_i=\frac{1}{2}f_i^\...
40
votes
5answers
11k views

A pedestrian explanation of conformal blocks

I would be very happy if someone could take a stab at conveying what conformal blocks are and how they are used in conformal field theory (CFT). I'm finally getting the glimmerings of understanding ...
28
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2answers
7k views

Topological Charge. What is it Physically?

I have seen the term topological charge defined in an abstract mathematical way as a essentially a labeling scheme for particles which follows certain rules. However I am left guessing when trying to ...
30
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5answers
5k views

Wormholes & Time Machines - for *experts* in GR/maths

EDIT: Further clarification in the context of answers/comments received to 20 Jan has been appended EDIT: 21 Jan - Response to the Lubos Expansion appended [in progress, not yet complete] EDIT: 23 ...
24
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2answers
2k views

Do topological superconductors exhibit symmetry-enriched topological order?

Gapped Hamiltonians with a ground-state having long-range entanglement (LRE), are said to have topological order (TO), while if the ground state is short-range entangled (SRE) they are in the trivial ...
17
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2answers
6k views

What is a resonating valence bond (RVB) state?

There's something known as a "resonating valence bond" (RVB) state, which plays a role in at least some attempts to understand physics of high-$T_c$ superconductors. This, roughly, involves a state ...
18
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1answer
1k views

Relation between cohomology and the BRST operator

Given a manifold $M$, we may define the $p$th de Rham cohomology group $H^p(M)$ as the quotient, $$C^p(M) \, / \, Z^p(M)$$ where $C^p$ and $Z^p$ are the groups of closed and exact $p$-forms ...
35
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6answers
4k views

Could gravity be an emergent property of nature?

Sorry if this question is naive. It is just a curiosity that I have. Are there theoretical or experimental reasons why gravity should not be an emergent property of nature? Assume a standard model ...
22
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5answers
1k views

direct sum of anyons?

In the topological phase of a fractional quantum Hall fluid, the excitations of the ground state (quasiparticles) are anyons, at least conjecturally. There is then supposed to be a braided fusion ...
19
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5answers
3k views

Rigorous proof of Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization

Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization provides an approximate recipe for recovering the spectrum of a quantum integrable system. Is there a mathematically rigorous explanation why this recipe works? In ...
22
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2answers
1k views

Which CFTs have AdS/CFT duals?

The AdS/CFT correspondence states that string theory in an asymptotically anti-De Sitter spacetime can be exactly described as a CFT on the boundary of this spacetime. Is the converse true? Does any ...
18
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3answers
3k views

Equivalence of definitions of ADM Mass

ADM Mass is a useful measure of a system. It is often defined (Wald 293) $$M_{ADM}=\frac{1}{16\pi} \lim_{r \to \infty} \oint_{s_r} (h_{\mu\nu,\mu}-h_{\mu\mu,\nu})N^{\nu} dA$$ Where $s_r$ is two ...
18
votes
2answers
890 views

Normalization of the Chern-Simons level in $SO(N)$ gauge theory

In a 3d SU(N) gauge theory with action $\frac{k}{4\pi} \int \mathrm{Tr} (A \wedge dA + \frac{2}{3} A \wedge A \wedge A)$, where the generators are normalized to $\mathrm{Tr}(T^a T^b)=\frac{1}{2}\delta^...
6
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2answers
1k views

Does recent paper show Bohmian mechanics is correct?

The following paper was recently featured in a German science magazine (Spektrum der Wissenschaft): "Experimental nonlocal and surreal Bohmian trajectories" (DOI:10.1126/science.1501466) The abstract ...
10
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1answer
525 views

Quantum mechanical gravitational bound states

The quantum mechanics of Coloumb-force bound states of atomic nuclei and electrons lead to the extremely rich theory of molecules. In particular, I think the richness of the theory is related to the ...
19
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1answer
3k views

Topological insulators: why K-theory classification rather than homotopy classification?

I am reading a 2009 paper by Kitaev on K-theory classification of topological insulators. In the 4th page, 1st paragraph in the section "Classification principles", he says, Continuous deformation, ...
107
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0answers
5k views

Experimental test of the non-statisticality theorem?

Context: The paper On the reality of the quantum state (Nature Physics 8, 475–478 (2012) or arXiv:1111.3328) shows under suitable assumptions that the quantum state cannot be interpreted as a ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

Zero modes ~ zero eigenvalue modes ~ zero energy modes?

There have been several Phys.SE questions on the topic of zero modes. Such as, e.g., zero-modes (What are zero modes?, Can massive fermions have zero modes?), majorana-zero-modes (Majorana zero ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Definition of short range entanglement

When studying Symmetry Protected Topological phases, one needs to define what a short range entangled (SRE) states means. But there appears to be different definitions that are not equivalent to each ...
28
votes
1answer
6k views

How Fundamental is Spin-Orbit Coupling to Topological Insulators?

I'm well aware this is a very active area of research so the best answer one can give to this question may be incomplete. Topological states in condensed matter are well-known, even if not always ...