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Questions tagged [wick-rotation]

Wick rotation substitutes an imaginary-number variable for a real-number time variable to map an expression or a problem in Minkowski space to one in Euclidean space which are easier to evaluate or solve. Use for all types of rigid analytic continuation maps.

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13
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9answers
6k views

Minkowski Metric Signature

When I learned about the Minkowski Space and it's coordinates, it was explained such that the metric turns out to be $$ ds^{2} = -(c^{2}dx^{0})^{2} +(dx^{1})^{2} + (dx^{2})^{2} + (dx^{3})^{2} $$ ...
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4answers
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The meaning of imaginary time

What is imaginary (or complex) time? I was reading about Hawking's wave function of the universe and this topic came up. If imaginary mass and similar imaginary quantities do not make sense in physics,...
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2answers
2k views

Wick rotation and spinors

I am quite familiar with use of Wick rotations in QFT, but one thing annoys me: let's say we perform it for treating more conveniently (ie. making converge) a functional integral containing spinors; ...
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1answer
992 views

How can I understand the tunneling problem by Euclidean path integral where the quadratic fluctuation has a negative eigenvalue?

I came across the S. Coleman's seminal papers 'Fate of the false vacuum' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.15.2929, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.16.1762) where he describes the tunneling ...
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3answers
2k views

Special relativity and imaginary coefficient of the time coordinate

I read somewhere that part of Minkowski's inspiration for his formulation of Minkowski space was Poincare's observation that time could be understood as a fourth spatial dimension with an imaginary ...
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2answers
7k views

Wick rotation in field theory - rigorous justification?

What is the rigorous justification of Wick rotation in QFT? I'm aware that it is very useful when calculating loop integrals and one can very easily justify it there. However, I haven't seen a ...
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4answers
3k views

Minkowski spacetime: Is there a signature (+,+,+,+)?

In history there was an attempt to reach (+, +, +, +) by replacing "ct" with "ict", still employed today in form of the "Wick rotation". Wick rotation supposes that time is imaginary. I wonder if ...
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6answers
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Schrödinger equation derivation and Diffusion equation

I am aware of the debate on whether Schrödinger equation was derived or motivated. However, I have not seen this one that I describe below. Wonder if it could be relevant. If not historically but for ...
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2answers
5k views

What is imaginary time? [duplicate]

I am not professional physicist; but I am curious about Stephen Hawking's "imaginary time". It would be better to elaborate exactly what it is. I am not confused because of the word "imaginary" but I ...
22
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2answers
5k views

Euclidean derivation of the black hole temperature; conical singularities

I am studying the derivation of the black hole temperature by means of the Euclidean approach, i.e. by Wick rotating, compactifying the Euclidean time and identifying the period with the inverse ...
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2answers
2k views

Problems while Wick rotating the path integral

I am trying to begin from the path integral of QM and write the Euclidean version of it performing the Wick rotation but it seems that I am missing a few things. For simplicity I work on 1 dimension ...
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2answers
4k views

Gaussian integral with imaginary coefficients and Wick rotation

Although this question is going to seem completely trivial to anyone with any exposure to path integrals, I'm looking to answer this precisely and haven't been able to find any materials after looking ...
13
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1answer
3k views

How to Perform Wick Rotation in the Lagrangian of a Gauge Theory (like QCD)?

I'm studying Lattice QCD and got stuck in understanding the process of going from a Minkowski space-time to an Euclidean space-time. My procedure is the following: I considered the Wick rotation in ...
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4answers
4k views

How exact is the analogy between statistical mechanics and quantum field theory?

Famously, the path integral of quantum field theory is related to the partition function of statistical mechanics via a Wick rotation and there is therefore a formal analogy between the two. I have a ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Does Wick rotation work for quantum gravity?

Does Wick rotation work for quantum gravity? The Euclidean Einstein-Hilbert action isn't bounded from below.
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3answers
936 views

Performing Wick Rotation to get Euclidean action of a scalar field $\Psi$

I'm working with the signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and with a Minkowski space-time Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}_M ~=~ \Psi^\dagger\left(i\partial_0 + \frac{\nabla^2}{2m}\right)\Psi. $$ The Minkowski action is $$...
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4answers
3k views

What is a simple intuitive way to see the relation between imaginary time (periodic) and temperature relation?

I guess I never had a proper physical intuition on, for example, the "KMS condition". I have an undergraduate student who studies calculation of Hawking temperature using the Euclidean path integral ...
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3answers
1k views

Solving Quantum Tunnelling Without Wick Rotation

Edit It seems that I haven't written my question clearly enough, so I will try to develop more using the example of quantum tunnelling. As a disclaimer, I want to state that my question is not about ...
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2answers
183 views

Metric tensor and imaginary time

I just started a re-reading of the Conformal Field Theory yellow book by Di Francesco et al. In chapter two, after defining imaginary time $\tau$ as $t=-i\tau$, the authors state that the metric ...
4
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1answer
234 views

Feynman $i\varepsilon$-prescription in path integral by adding an imaginary part to time

It is known that the well-definiteness of the path integral leads to the Feynman's $i\varepsilon$-prescription for the field propagator. I've found many ways of showing this in the literature, but it ...
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1answer
514 views

The computation of the propagator in two dimensions

I did the computation of the propagator in two dimensions at (19.26) in Peskin & Shroeder as follows. First I performed a Wick rotation. \begin{alignat}{2} \int\frac{d^2 k}{(2\pi)^2}e^{-ik\cdot (...
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2answers
220 views

Using Wick Rotation to calculate Generating Function in Minkowski Space

The question arises when I'm reading over the section "3.3.1 Minkowski Space" in page 16-17 in the following link: https://www-thphys.physics.ox.ac.uk/people/JohnCardy/qft/qftcomplete.pdf It is ...
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0answers
374 views

Why is imaginary time “outdated”? [closed]

I was looking at reviews for Sakurai's Quantum Mechanics textbook, and some mentioned it being outdated, specifically mentioning his use of imaginary time. Is this idea deliberately avoided in modern ...
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2answers
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Finding classical action in tunneling problem

In QM: I am trying to show that the minimum action for a classical path going between two potential wells (centered at $\pm L$) in a dbl-well potential is $$S_{classical} = \int_{-L}^{L} dx' \sqrt{...
2
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1answer
355 views

Wick rotation - time and what else changes?

For aid of example consider two quantities the four-momentum $\tilde P$ and a time-independent four potential $\tilde A$. Now if a wick's rotation was carried out by simply replacing $it$ with $\tau$ ...
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2answers
534 views

Minkowski's complex Euclidean space vs. the real pseudo-Euclidean version

The SR invariance formula makes space-like intervals imaginary (e.g., the distance $x$ in a given frame has interval $ix$). Yet modern physicists consider it bad form to define the distance itself as $...
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1answer
2k views

Subtlety of analytic continuation - Euclidean / Minkowski path integral

I subconsciously feel not fully comfortable about Wick rotating or analytic continuation from Euclidean to Minkowski space. I simply wonder whether there is any subtlety here, and when we need to be ...
18
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1answer
685 views

LSZ reduction vs adiabatic hypothesis in perburbative calculation of interacting fields

As far as I know, there are two ways of constructing the computational rules in perturbative field theory. The first one (in Mandl and Shaw's QFT book) is to pretend in and out states as free states,...
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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 ...
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2answers
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The poles of Feynman propagator in position space

This question maybe related to Feynman Propagator in Position Space through Schwinger Parameter. The Feynman propagator is defined as: $$ G_F(x,y) = \lim_{\epsilon \to 0} \frac{1}{(2 \pi)^4} \int d^4p ...
7
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1answer
688 views

From Minkowski to Euclidean Time in Path Integrals

I'm trying to prove the following equality: $$ <x_{f},\, it_{f}|x_{i},\, it_{i}>=\mathcal{N}\int_{\left\{ x\in\mathbb{R}^{\mathbb{R}}:\, x\left(t_{f}\right)=x_{f}\wedge x\left(t_{i}\right)=x_{i}\...
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1answer
707 views

Wick Rotation in Curved space

So over time I have learned to do exhaustive searches before asking things here. Wick rotations are cool if you are trying to work in qft and make statements about the thermodynamics of some physical ...
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1answer
2k views

Connection between Schrödinger equation and heat equation [duplicate]

If we do the wick rotation such that τ = it, then Schrödinger equation, say of a free particle, does have the same form of heat equation. However, it is clear that it admits the wave solution so it is ...
6
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1answer
522 views

About the gauge formalism in statistical quantum field theory

I would like to understand a bit more the aspects of the gauge theory in statistical field theory. In particular, I would like to understand how the replacement $\tau \rightarrow it/\hbar$ is ...
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1answer
272 views

Is a Wick rotation a change of coordinates?

My understanding is that a Wick rotation is a change of coordinates from $(t,x) \rightarrow (\tau , x)$ where $\tau = i t$. In the $(t,x)$ coordinate system, the Minkowski metric has components $ \...
4
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1answer
166 views

Can we obtain non-Lorentzian metric from Lorentzian metric, through renormalization methods?

Since low-energy, non-relativistic thermal field theories are defined in Euclidean spacetime, while high-energy relativistic theories are define in Minkowski spacetime, I was wondering if there are ...
3
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1answer
265 views

Why can we simply absorb the positive coefficient of $i\epsilon$ in a propagator?

As far as I know, absorbing of the positive coefficient of $i\epsilon$ in a propagator seems to be a trivial operation without even the need of justification. In Peskin page 286, he did this: $$k^0\...
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0answers
1k views

Feynman Propagator in Position Space through Schwinger Parameter

So I am aware of a thread at Propagator of a scalar in position space but it does not answer my question, which is more about poles in position space. Starting from $$D_F(x_1-x_2) = \int \frac{d^4 ...
3
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0answers
712 views

Moments of a Distribution via Laplace Transforms and Wick Rotations [closed]

On a mathematical level, the statistical mechanical partition function is just a Laplace transform of the microcanonical probability distribution, i.e. it's moment generating function. Understanding ...
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1answer
724 views

Wick rotation and the arrow of time

It is well known that we can switch from a statistical system to a quantum mechanical system by a Wick rotation. Has this rotation some implication on the way the time flow? namely, this is an ...
3
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2answers
332 views

Does Schrödinger equation have dual-property with Heat equation?

I have experimental data that Schödinger equation maintains high frequencies, while heat equation low. Does Schrödinger equation have some duality property with heat equation?
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0answers
820 views

Time Reversal, CPT, spin-statistics, mass gap and chirality of Euclidean fermion field theory

In Minkowski space even-dim (say $d+1$ D) spacetime dimension, we can write fermion-field theory as the Lagrangian: $$ \mathcal{L}=\bar{\psi} (i\not \partial-m)\psi+ \bar{\psi} \phi_1 \psi+\bar{\psi} ...
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1answer
400 views

Lack of Maslov index in the path integral formalism

Introduction Consider Feynman's famous path integral formula \begin{equation} K(x_a,x_b) = \int \mathcal{D}[x(t)] \exp \left[ \frac{i}{\hbar} \int_{t_a}^{t_b} dt \, \mathcal{L}(x(t),\dot{x}(t),t) \...
6
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1answer
461 views

Problem understanding sign of volume integral in Minkowski space

My professor told me that a 4-dimensional Minkowski - Space Integral I was working on can be written as the product of a metric tensor and a scalar: $\int d^4 k \frac{k^\mu k^\nu}{(k^2-m_1^2)(k^2-...
4
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1answer
778 views

Is it okay to Wick rotate to give the negative of the Euclidean metric? Also, could we make the space-like coordinates imaginary instead?

There are 2 parts to my question: 1) Say we choose the metric signature to be (-+++), as in the Wikipedia page. Then the invariant interval in Minkowski space is written: $ds^{2} = -(dt^{2}) + dx^{2}...
6
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1answer
437 views

Boundary conditions on the Euclidean Schwarzschild black hole

This question is based on page 71 of Thomas Hartman's notes on Quantum Gravity and Black Holes. The Euclidean Schwarzschild black hole $$ds^{2} = \left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)d\tau^{2} + \frac{dr^{2}}{...
5
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1answer
374 views

Two math methods apply the same loop integral lead different results! Why?

I tried to adopt the cut-off regulator to calculate a simple one-loop Feynman diagram in $\phi^4$-theory with two different math tricks. But in the end, I got two different results and was wondering ...
2
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1answer
231 views

Showing $I=\int d^3k\int dk^0\frac{1}{k^4}$ to be logarithmically divergent

Consider a momentum integral of the form $$I=\int d^3k\int dk^0\frac{1}{k^4}$$ where $k^2=(k^0)^2-(\vec{k})^2$ and the integral over $k^0$ runs from $-\infty$ to $+\infty$. This integral is common in ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Wick rotation convergence. Functions in the integrand

Performing a Wick rotation over an integral is not equivalent to just a change of variable $t \to \mathrm{i}t = \tau$, after that we rotate the complex plane so that $$\mathrm{i} \int_{-\infty}^{\...
5
votes
1answer
215 views

Wick rotation vs. Feynman $i\varepsilon$-prescription

The generating functional $Z[J]$ of some scalar field theory is \begin{equation} Z[J(t,\vec{x})]=\int \mathcal{D}\phi e^{i\int (\mathcal{L}+J\phi)d^4x} \end{equation} This integral is not well ...