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Questions tagged [s-matrix-theory]

The S-matrix (scattering matrix) relates the initial state and the final state of a physical system undergoing a scattering process in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. It is the unitary matrix connecting asymptotic particle states in the Hilbert space of physical states (scattering channels).

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145
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2answers
21k views

Why do we not have spin greater than 2?

It is commonly asserted that no consistent, interacting quantum field theory can be constructed with fields that have spin greater than 2 (possibly with some allusion to renormalization). I've also ...
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Why are scattering matrices unitary?

In Griffith's QM book, he introduces scattering matrices as an end-of-the-chapter Problem 2.52. For a Dirac-Delta potential $V(x) = \alpha \delta (x - x_0)$, I've derived the scattering matrix and ...
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Equivalence Theorem of the S-Matrix

as far as I know the equivalence theorem states, that the S-matrix is invariant under reparametrization of the field, so to say if I have an action $S(\phi)$ the canonical change of variable $\phi \to ...
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Scattering, Perturbation and asymptotic states in LSZ reduction formula

I was following Schwarz's book on quantum field theory. There he defines the asymptotic momentum eigenstates $|i\rangle\equiv |k_1 k_2\rangle$ and $|f\rangle\equiv |k_3 k_4\rangle$ in the S-matrix ...
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3answers
869 views

Time-ordered operator in Srednicki

On page 51 Srednicki states, "Note that the operators are in time order...we can insert $T$ without changing anything". This I agree with. But then on the next paragraph he states "The time order ...
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877 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 ...
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2answers
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Why does the action have to be hermitian?

The hermiticity of operators of observables, e.g. the Hamiltonian, in QM is usually justified by saying that the eigenvalues must be real valued. I know that the Lagrangian is just a Legendre ...
16
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1answer
2k views

When we define the S-matrix, what are “in” and “out” states?

I have seen the scattering matrix defined using initial ("in") and final ("out") eigenstates of the free hamiltonian, with $$\left| \vec{p}_1 \cdots \vec{p}_n \; \text{out} \right\rangle = S^{-1} \...
10
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1answer
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Free Vacuum vs Interacting Vacuum and Wick's theorem

I'm studying perturbation theory in QFT and I stumbled on a conceptual problem. My understanding of the interplay between LSZ reduction formula and the Gell-Mann & Low perturbation series is that:...
10
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1answer
857 views

Basic question about the S-Matrix, Unitarity and Effective Field Theory

Consider scattering some particles in a state collectively denoted by $i$ to a final state denote by $f$. The scattering amplitude, S-matrix is then defined by: $S_{fi}\equiv \langle f|e^{-iHt}|i\...
7
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1answer
434 views

Quantum Field Theory without LSZ, how is it possible?

Most modern texts spend some time deriving the LSZ reduction formula that connects S matrix elements to time ordered field correlation functions. It seems essential, and really helps clear up what you ...
4
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2answers
526 views

The contradiction between Gell-mann Low theorem and the identity of Møller operator $H\Omega_{+}=\Omega_{+}H_0$

This question originates from reading the proof of Gell-mann Low thoerem. $H=H_0+H_I$, let $|\psi_0\rangle$ be an eigenstate of $H_0$ with eigenvalue $E_0$, and consider the state vector defined as $$...
3
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1answer
344 views

Contact terms in Dyson-Schwinger equation can be ignored?

According to this text here http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~dermisek/QFT_09/qft-II-4-4p.pdf contact terms do not affect the scattering amplitude. But These contact Terms are there; the question is: ...
4
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1answer
503 views

Regarding a small step in the derivation of the LSZ formula

I'd like to prove the LSZ formula, but there is a specific step that is bugging me a lot. I know there are many subtleties in its derivation, but I'm not worrying about this right now: I'm trying to ...
6
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2answers
423 views

If the S-matrix has symmetry group G, must the fields be representations of G?

If the fields in QFT are representations of the Poincare group (or generally speaking the symmetry group of interest), then I think it's a straight forward consequence that the matrix elements and ...
4
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3answers
449 views

How does a perturbation theory make sense in quantum field theory?

The idea of a perturbation series in powers of a coupling $\alpha\ll1$ (for example, the fine structure constant in QED) make sense if the contribution of $(n+1)^{th}$ term in the series is smaller ...
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1answer
101 views

Information that can be extracted from the time-ordered correlation function

The time-ordered correlation function can be very complicated and encodes a tremendous amount of information. For example, the LSZ formula can be used to extract S-matrix elements from the time-...
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2answers
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What are bootstraps?

I've heard occasional mentions of the term "bootstraps" in connection with the S Matrix. I believe it applies to an old approach that was tried in the 1960s, whereby - well I'm not sure - but it ...
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3answers
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Applications of analytic continuation to physics

I posted this on math.SE, but didn't get much response. It might fit better on this site. Holomorphic functions have the property that they can be uniquely analytically continued to (almost) the ...
13
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2answers
270 views

Why do we need to embed particles into fields?

In QFT we have the so-called embeding of particles into fields. This is discussed at full generality in Weinberg's book, chapter 5. In summary what one does is: From Wigner's classification, for each ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Scattering amplitude and LSZ formula

I'm arriving at a contradiction. To calculate the scattering amplitude, one usually follows the prescription given by the Feynman rules that you only consider fully connected diagrams with the ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Why do disconnected diagrams not contribute to the S matrix?

I've read somewhere that disconnected diagrams do not contribute to the S-matrix. I don't see why this is the case. I do know why vacuum bubbles do not contribute: given a generating functional for a ...
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2answers
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Quantum Field Theory in position space instead of momentum space?

What are the reasons why we usually treat Quantum Field Theory in momentum space instead of position space? Are the computations (e.g. of Feynman diagrams) generally easier and are there other ...
13
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1answer
763 views

Probability conservation in WKB tunneling

Suppose we have quantum mechanical plane waves of energy $E$ incident upon a one-dimensional potential barrier $V(x)$ with sloping sides. One can compare the WKB solutions in the three relevant ...
6
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1answer
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Green's Functions from Gell-Mann and Low Theorem

What I want to do: $\newcommand{\ket}[1]{\left|#1\right\rangle}$ $\newcommand{\bra}[1]{\left\langle#1\right|}$ $\newcommand{\braket}[1]{\left\langle#1\right\rangle}$ The Gell-Mann Low Theorem tells ...
6
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1answer
609 views

Positivity of residues and unitarity in scattering amplitudes

I am reading "Superstring Theory" by Green, Schwarz, Witten. In the introduction, about the Veneziano amplitude (below eq. 1.1.16/17), they say that The residues of poles must be positive in a ...
14
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1answer
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Does de Sitter space admit an asymptotic S-matrix?

From the Penrose diagram of de Sitter space, we see it has a future and past conformal boundary, and they are both spacelike. So, does de Sitter space admit an asymptotic S-matrix? Sure, in the usual ...
6
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1answer
396 views

Flat Space Limit of AdS/CFT is S-Matrix Theory

In an answer to this question, Ron Maimon said: The flat-space limit of AdS/CFT boundary theory is the S-matrix theory of a flat space theory, so the result was the same--- the "boundary" ...
6
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1answer
225 views

Mass of the asymptotic fields: physical or bare?

If I understand it correct, then the physical mass $m$ of a particle, is the mass in presence of the interaction (i.e., the mass of the dressed particle) where as the bare mass $m_0$ is the mass in ...
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Weinberg's S-matrix and split into free and interacting Hamiltonian

TL;DR: How can states of an interacting QFT asymptotically follow the trajectories governed by the free Hamiltonian, when, say, the free and interacting groundstates are different, and the states look ...
3
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1answer
493 views

Why are Green Functions/(Correlation Functions) not on the mass shell?

The difference between Green Functions and the S-matrix in Quantum Field Theory is whether the momentum is on the mass shell. Why are the Green Functions/(Correlation Functions) not on the mass shell? ...
3
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1answer
238 views

Confusion over assumptions made in the LSZ reduction formula

I've been reading through a derivation of the LSZ reduction formula (http://www2.ph.ed.ac.uk/~egardi/MQFT_2013/, lecture 2, pages 2-3) and I'm slightly confused about the arguments made about the ...
9
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1answer
832 views

There are two definitions of S operator (or S matrix) in quantum field theory. Are they equivalent?

I read several textbooks of QFT and found that there are two kinds of definition of $S$ operator (or S matrix). First kind: Define $\hat{S}$ is map from out space to in space $$\hat{S}\left|\beta,\...
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1answer
470 views

A question about the energy of turning on and off interaction adiabatically in QFT

I read a saying as follows: In a theory with no particles which decay and no bound states, the turning on and off of the interactions merely serves to limit the effective range of forces. In this ...
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3answers
2k views

Renormalization condition: why must be the residue of the propagator be 1

In on-shell (OS) scheme, one of the renormalization conditions is that the propagator, say, a scalar theory $$\frac{1}{p^2+m^2-\Sigma(p^2)-i\epsilon}$$ must have a unit residue at the pole of ...
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2answers
835 views

Lippmann-Schwinger Equation with Outgoing Solutions

I'm reading about Green's functions and how the Lippmann-Schwinger equation eventually leads to the textbook expression for the form of wavefunctions in the far radiation zone after scattering by a ...
3
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1answer
344 views

Why is the S-Matrix element essentially the residue of the Green function (LSZ formula)?

On Wikipedia, quite similar to the script I am following the LSZ formula is given as $$ _{out}\left<p_1,...,p_n| q_1,...,q_m \right>_{in} =\\ \int \prod_i^m \left(\textrm{d}x^4\, i e^{-q_ix_i}(\...
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1answer
220 views

How to prove the equivalence of two different definitions of $S$-operator?

I read there are two definitions about $S$-operator: The first one (e.g (8.49) in Greiner's Field Quantization) is: $$S_{fi}\equiv \langle \Psi_p^{-}| \Psi_k^{+}\rangle$$ where $|\Psi_p^{-}\rangle$ ...
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0answers
75 views

Spin matrix for various spacetime fields

Let $V^{\mu}$ be a vector field defined in a Minkowski spacetime and suppose it transforms under a Lorentz transformation $V'^{\mu} = \Lambda^{\mu}_{\,\,\,\nu}V^{\nu}$. We can write this like $V'^{\...
9
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2answers
338 views

Relation between Borchers class and the LSZ formula on S-matrix equivalence

It seems well known that different quantum fields can give rise to the same $S$-matrix. I know of two ways this is described. The first is through the Borchers class of relatively local fields, i.e. ...
3
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1answer
442 views

Materials about S-matrix and S-matrix theory

What is the best book or paper to learn about analytical structures of S-matrix and S-matrix theory? I already know books as The Analytic S-matrix by RJ Eden, PV Landshoff, DI Olive, JC P and Quantum ...
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1answer
61 views

What justifies the use of asymptotic momentum state?

The LSZ scattering approach starts with initial and final asymptotic momentum states. But we know that $\langle k' | k\rangle = \delta^3(k'-k)$, which means that it is not a properly normalizable ...
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1answer
106 views

Clarification of Path Integral formulation

I am reading from Schwarz book on QFT the Path Integral chapter and I am confused about something. I attached a SS of that part. So we have $$<\Phi_{j+1}|e^{-i\delta H(t_j)}|\Phi_{j}>=N \exp(i\...
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1answer
72 views

Condition for finitely many bound states in one dimension

This came up in the context of the inverse scattering transform for the KdV equation. My primary reference, a set of lecture notes on integrable systems by Maciej Dunajski, makes the claim that the ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Do Reggeons-Pomerons-Odderons offer an Universal picture of hadron interactions?

As far as I know, the total cross-sections of the following hadron interactions are well described by a single Reggeon trajectory and a single Pomeron (soft Pomeron) trajectory. It seems to work for ...
2
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1answer
156 views

How is scattering possible?

Bjorken and Drell's book shows that the 'in' and 'out' states are eigenstates of the full interacting theory. If this is true, then how is scattering possible if both in and out states are eigenstates ...
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1answer
292 views

Green functions in QFT

What is the sense of Green function $$ \langle | \hat {T}(u_{1}(x_{1})...u_{n}(x_{n})\hat {S})|\rangle , \quad \hat {S} = \hat{T}e^{i\int \hat {L}(x)d^{4}x} ? $$ How is it connected with scattering ...
0
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1answer
323 views

Conservation of probablities with non-unitary matrices?

In quantum mechanics, in the context of symmetry transformations, it is often said that for a transformation $T$ to conserve probabilities it must be unitary. But by performing any (even non-unitary)...