"Mathematical physics consists of the application of mathematics to problems in physics and the development of mathematical methods suitable for such applications and for the formulation of physical theories." (from Journal of Mathematical Physics) This tag is intended for questions on methods used ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
2answers
266 views

What are BesselJ functions?

I solved an integration on mathematica which gives BesselJ functions and some other terms. I explored mathematica help and google but could not understand the difference between different types of ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do zeta regularization and path integrals agree on functional determinants?

When looking up the functional determinant on Wikipedia, a reader is treated to two possible definitions of the functional determinant, and their agreement is trivial in finite dimensions. The first ...
-2
votes
4answers
400 views

Is $\nabla$ a vector?

The following passage has been extracted from the book "Mathematical methods for Physicists": A key idea of the present chapter is that a quantity that is properly called a vector must have the ...
5
votes
2answers
291 views

Regularity of an infinite series arising with the heat equation

Let $(t,y)\in(0,\infty)\times\mathbf{R}$, and $\displaystyle f(t,y) \equiv \sum_{k=-\infty}^{\infty}\frac{\exp(-(y-2\pi k)^2/2t)}{\sqrt{2\pi t}}$. This infinite series arises if one attempts to solve ...
2
votes
0answers
137 views

Is this equal ? (I found it on this website)

I found this equation on this website! I would like to know it its true or not? And how can proof or disprove it?! Euler-Mascheroni constant expression, further simplification $$\ln(n)=\lim_{M\...
23
votes
3answers
812 views

Making some standard theoretical physics argument rigorous

In theoretical physics one often encounters the following rationale: if $f$ and $g$ are functions on $\mathbf{R}^n$, satisfying some technical conditions, and $\displaystyle\int_\Omega f=\int_\Omega g$...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Definition of a tensor for a manifold

While reading Nakahara's geometry, topology and physics. I came across the following definition of a tensor. A tensor $T$ of type $(p, q)$ is a multilinear map that maps $p$ dual vectors and $q$ ...
4
votes
3answers
154 views

Minimizing a functional with a free boundary condition

Find the extremals of the functional $$\text{J}(y)= y^2(1) + \int_0^1 y'^2(x)dx , \ \ y(0)=1.$$ Answer: $y(x)=1-\frac{1}{2}x$ My solution: $ F (x,y,y')=y'^2(x)$ After solving the Euler ...
1
vote
4answers
744 views

Proportional to 2 Separate Variables vs. Proportional to Product of 2 Variables

I've always seen the following in physics and math textbooks but never understood the process by which it was mathematically deducted: $A \propto B$ $\space$ and $\space$ $A \propto C \space\space\...
2
votes
2answers
970 views

Physical interpretation of L1 Norm and L2 Norm

In signal analysis, students have no qualms about associating the L2 norm of a square integrable function f(t) as the energy associated with that signal. A good understanding of whether a function f(...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

$k$-space tensor integral in statistical physics

$$Q=\int_{\text{all space}} \frac{\hbar \nu_g \mathbf{k}\mathbf{k}}{\exp[(\hbar \nu_g |\mathbf{k}|-\mathbf{k}\cdot\mathbf{u})/k_B T]-1}d\mathbf{k} $$ Please help me to integrate the above tensor ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

Trouble in proving that $\|x\|_p = \max|x_j|$

We define p-norm in this way: $\|x\|_p = \{\sum ^N_j=_1|x_j|^p\}^ {1\over p}$ We know that It change to $\|x\|_p = \max|x_j| $ when $ p \to \infty $ How can I prove this ?
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Choice of the First Term in Legendre Polynomials

The two solutions of the Legendre's Differential Equation obtained by series solution method are : and Now according to my textbook, for the useful polynomial for n equal to a positive integer, ...
0
votes
1answer
330 views

Center of mass in a straight rod

I got an assignment to prove that in a straight homogeneous rod, you can always choose a coordinate system in such a way that $$\int_S x_1 \, dx_1 \, dx_2=0 $$ $$\int_S x_2 \, dx_1 \, dx_2=0 $$ $$\...
0
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the “taxonomy” or “hierarchy” (partial ordering) of algebraic objects used to attempt to capture geometric intuition?

What follows is a list of terms all of whose relationships to one another I have never fully succeeded in establishing, despite having spent much of 6-8 years trying to so. Feel no need to give ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the Clifford algebra?

I'm reading a book on Clifford algebra for physicists. I don't quite understand it conceptually even if I can do most algebraic manipulations. Can some-one teach me what the Clifford algebra really is?...
18
votes
5answers
401 views

Area enclosed by an equipotential curve for an electric dipole on the plane

I am currently teaching Physics in an Italian junior high school. Today, while talking about the electric dipole generated by two equal charges in the plane, I was wondering about the following ...
10
votes
2answers
481 views

Arnold's theorem on action-angles.

I changed the question slightly in its form to make it more readable. I have a question about the action-angle theorem on p. 283 in Arnold's textbook on classical mechanics.(I added the link to this ...
15
votes
5answers
984 views

In what ways has physics spurred the invention of new mathematical tools?

I came across this comment: Mathematical rigor is not a criterion that physicists have for evaluating their theories. From a mathematical perspective, the non-rigorous theories are far more ...
10
votes
4answers
784 views

Is there any abstract theory of electrical networks?

Designing electrical networks is among the highly mathematical engineering disciplines, which uses a vast scope of techniques from Fourier analysis and complex function theory, to logic, combinatorics ...
15
votes
4answers
532 views

Correct spaces for quantum mechanics

The general formulation of quantum mechanics is done by describing quantum mechanical states by vectors $|\psi_t(x)\rangle$ in some Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ and describes their time evolution by ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Gentle introduction to fibre bundles and gauge connections

To better understand papers like this for example, which makes heavy use of fibre bundles and gauge connections to represent gauge fields, I am looking for a nice introduction to this topic. The only ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Mathematically rigorous text on classical electrodynamics.

Is there any textbook (preferably not written by a physicist) on classical electrodynamics which gives a rigorous (by the standards of pure mathematics) treatment of (a part of) the topics found in ...
8
votes
3answers
348 views

Gathering books on Lorentzian Geometry

I find it very hard to find books on Lorentzian Geometry, more focused on the geometry behind it, instead of books that go for the physics and General Relativity approach. More specifically, I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
662 views

Evaluate the Integral using Contour Integration (Theorem of Residues)

$$ J(a,b)=\int_{0}^{\infty }\frac{\sin(b x)}{\sinh(a x)} dx $$ This integral is difficult because contour integrals normally cannot be solved with a sin(x) term in the numerator because of ...
11
votes
3answers
456 views

Meaning of $\int\mathop{}\!\mathrm{d}^4x$

What the following formula mean? $$\int\mathop{}\!\mathrm{d}^4x$$ I know that this $\int f(x)\mathop{}\!\mathrm{d}x$ is the integral of the function $f$ over the $x$ variable, but the following $\...
7
votes
1answer
335 views

Mathematical background for TQFT

I am physicist. I`ve started studying Topological QFT. What would you recommend to read in mathematical field for understanding Witten’s old articles of 80s-90s? What books/articles could help form ...
5
votes
2answers
160 views

How does curl relate to rotation?

The operation mathematically means $$(\nabla \times \vec A)\cdot\hat n = \lim_{\Delta S\to\ 0} \frac{\oint\vec A\cdot\ d\vec l }{\left | \Delta S \right |}$$ and the proof of this is quite logical. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What is Octave Equivalence?

This is an updated copy of a question I asked on Physics Stack Exchange not too long ago. Since I work primarily in mathematics, I thought it would be a good idea to ask it here as well (especially ...
10
votes
2answers
334 views

Applications of Algebra in Physics

Often I have heard about the link between Algebra (in particular Representations of Groups and Algebras) and some "indefinite" field of Physics. I have a good preparation in Algebra and ...
10
votes
1answer
532 views

Is the Structure Group of a Fibre Bundle Well-Defined?

Am I right in thinking that the structure group of a fibre bundle is any group $G$ of homeomorphisms of the fibre $F$ such that all transition functions map into $G$? Or is $G$ somehow the minimal ...
7
votes
1answer
167 views

Positivity of the Coulomb energy in 2d

Let $$D(f,g):=\int_{\mathbb{R}^3\times\mathbb{R}^3}\frac{1}{|x-y|}\overline{f(x)}g(y)~dxdy$$ with $f,g$ real valued and sufficiently integrable be the usual Coulomb energy. Under the assumption $D(|f|,...
5
votes
1answer
581 views

Guide to mathematical physics?

I am currently a math phd student specializing in algebraic geometry aspiring to work at the boundaries of the the fields of mathematics and physics and so, was looking into the field of mathematical ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Decomposite a vector field into two parts

Let A be a region in $\mathbb R^3$, and suppose $ \vec {\mathbf F}$ is a smooth vector field on A. I was asked to show that I can write $\vec {\mathbf F}=\vec {\mathbf F_1}+\vec {\mathbf F_2}$, s.t. $\...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

Power series expression for $\exp(-\Delta)$

I know it should be true, but for some reason I can't get the calculations to work out in order to show that if $f$ is smooth and compactly supported, the power series $\sum_{j=0}^\infty \frac{(\...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

When is the Lagrangian a constant of motion?

It is known that when the hamiltonian is time independent, it also does not vary with time. That is, $\frac{\partial \mathcal{H}}{\partial {t}}=0$ implies $\frac{\mathrm{d} \mathcal{H}}{\mathrm{d} {...
12
votes
2answers
838 views

How to introduce stress tensor on manifolds?

I want to understand the type of stress tensor $\mathbf{P}$ in classical physics. Usually in physics it is said that the force $\text d \boldsymbol F$ (vector) acting on an infinitesimal area $\text ...
10
votes
2answers
485 views

Existence and uniqueness of Stokes flow

What are the solution existence and uniqueness conditions for Stokes' flow? $$\begin{gathered} \nabla p = \mu \Delta \vec{u} + \vec{f} \\ \nabla \cdot \vec{u} = 0 \end{gathered}$$ Maybe you could ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What are defining & fundamental representations?

In physics terminology, one hears of the fundamental & defining representations of lie algebras or groups - are these the same as irreducible representations?
7
votes
1answer
460 views

What are spinors mathematically?

In the wikipedia article on spinors a number of mathematical definitions are given of spinors which I find slightly confusing. There are essentially two frameworks for viewing the notion of a ...
6
votes
2answers
136 views

How to get the asymptotic form of this oscilatting integral?

So the integral is like this: $$\int_1^\infty \frac{\cos xt}{(x^2-1)\left[\left(\ln\left|\frac{1-x}{1+x}\right|\right)^2+\pi^2\right]}\mathrm{d}x$$ The question is how to get the asymptotic form of ...
4
votes
0answers
115 views

Green's function in a moving frame for a constant heat source

I am looking for the Green's function of the problem in two dimensions $r =(x,z)$, \begin{equation} \nabla^2g + \frac{v}{D}\frac{\partial g}{\partial z} = -\delta (r-r_0) \end{equation} Which ...
10
votes
5answers
377 views

What went wrong? [One-dimensional-inverse-square-law]

Intrigued by this question, one-dimensional inverse square laws, I started to try to find an answer and came up with what follows. However, I calculated the derivatives to double check myself, and ...
6
votes
2answers
470 views

Universal Covering Group of $SO(1,3)^{\uparrow}$

I'm trying to prove that $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ is the universal covering group for the proper orthochronous Lorentz group $SO(1,3)^{\uparrow}$. The standard way goes as follows. (1) Exhibit a real ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Spinor Mapping is Surjective

I'm (still) trying to prove that $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ is the universal covering group the the proper orthochronous Lorentz group $L$. I have completed the following steps. (1) Prove that the vector ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Momentum a cotangent vector?

Imagine we have a particle described by $x \in M$, where $M$ is some manifold, then it is very intuitive I think that a velocity is an element of the tangent space at $x$, so $x' \in T_{x}M.$ Thus, by ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What are elements in $SU(1, 1)$?

I am reading some papers in physics. I don't know some notations in those papers. For example, $SU(1, 1)$, $U(1)$. I think these are Lie groups which consist of matrices. But I don't know what kind of ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Principal value of 1/x- equivalence of two definitions

As far as I know, the principal value of a non-summable function like $1/x$, denoted $\mathcal{P}(1/x)$, is a distribution that that acts on some smooth function $f$ in some test-function space and ...
2
votes
0answers
61 views

How can we describe the diffusion of “things” injected into a fluid?

Let $d\in\left\{2,3\right\}$ and $\Omega_t$ be the bounded set occupied by a fluid at time $t\ge 0$. Let $c\in\Omega_0$ be a particle and $$[0,\infty)\to\mathbb R^d\;,\;\;\;t\mapsto X_t(c)\in\Omega_t\...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Are the physics and math definitions of a complex representation equivalent?

I was astonished to read at Wikipedia that The term complex representation has slightly different meanings in mathematics and physics. In mathematics, a complex representation is a group ...