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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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547 views

### What are anomalous threshold singularities

In the papers of the 1950s and 1960s, I see reference to anomalous threshold singularities. What are these? Is there a good reference that discusses this subject?
89 views

### Do unoriented strings possess asymptotic states?

In QFT based particle theory, SU(N)-colored particles are not really present as asymptotic states, then raising some problems to build a S-matrix or other more axiomatic approaches to the theory. ...
4k views

### What is the physical interpretation of the S-matrix in QFT?

A few closely related questions regarding the physical interpretation of the S-matrix in QFT: I am interested in both heuristic and mathematically precise answers. Given a quantum field theory when ...
1k views

### Does the exact string theory $S$-matrix describe all physics there is?

Suppose someone manages to evaluate the string theory $S$-matrix to all orders for any and all vertex operator insertions including non-perturbative contributions from world-sheet instantons and re-...
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### 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} \...
584 views

### Validity of Cutkosky cutting rules for fermions

It is rather obvious for me that the generalized optical theorem (see e.g. Peskin&Schroeder) must hold for S-matrix elements for fermions as it is directly related to the unitarity of the S-matrix....
349 views

### Are the only observables in string theory the S-matrix?

Is the S-matrix the only observable in string theory? What about time varying spacetime backgrounds, or thermal states then?
360 views

### Dual Resonance Model: Fermions

I am going through Ramond's 1971 paper Dual Theory for Free Fermions Phys Rev D3 10, 2415 where he first attempts to introduce fermions into the conventional dual resonance model. I get the 'gist' of ...
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 ...
5k views

### 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 ...
2k views

### Unitarity of S-matrix in QFT

I am a beginner in QFT, and my question is probably very basic. As far as I understand, usually in QFT, in particular in QED, one postulates existence of IN and OUT states. Unitarity of the S-matrix ...
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 ...
4k views

### 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 ...
2k views

### Help with Cutkosky cutting rules for fermions

I know that a cut boson propagator is replaced with the mass shell delta function. But what happens when you cut a fermion propagator? Do you just replace the denominator with a mass shell delta ...
189 views

### Why is there no double counting of $s$- and $t$-channels in string theory?

In string theory for the four particle tree diagram exchange, why is there some mysterious crossing duality between the $s$- and $t$- and $u$-channels? Why isn't there a double counting in the Feynman ...
732 views

### Is string theory local?

By locality I mean something like the Atiyah-Segal axioms for Riemannian cobordisms (see e.g. http://ncatlab.org/nlab/show/FQFT). I.e. to any (spacelike) hypersurface in the target we associate a ...
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 ...