d
2
I dJ
2
=
ˆ
∞−∞
x
2
exp(
−
12
ax
2
+
Jx
)
dx
=1
a
exp[
J
2
2
a
]
2
πa
(1 +
J
2
a
)
which is the same as (4) if we set
J
= 0
. Taking
successive
derivatives leads to more complicated expressions, butthey all reduce to (4) when
J
= 0
. The business of setting
J
= 0
after diﬀerentiation is a fundamental technique inquantum ﬁeld theory, as it is used to generate particles from the source term
J
. And again, it always only appliesto even powers in the variable
x
(which becomes the ﬁeld
ϕ
(
x
)
in the path integral).Up to this point we have dealt only with Gaussian integrals having the single variable
x
. But in quantumﬁeld theory there can be an inﬁnite number of variables, and so we need to investigate how the Gaussian integralsbehave when the variable
x
becomes the
n
dimensional vector
x
, where the dimension
n
may be inﬁnite. So tobegin, let’s look at the generalization of (2) in
n
dimensions, which looks like
ˆ
∞−∞
ˆ
∞−∞
...
ˆ
∞−∞
exp(
−
12
x
T
Ax
)
dx
1
dx
2
...dx
n
(7)where
x
T
is a row vector,
x
is a column vector, and
A
is a symmetric, nonsingular
n
×
n
matrix. The situationat ﬁrst glance appears hopeless, but we can simplify things by transforming the vector
x
to some other vector
y
with an orthogonal matrix
S
(
S
T
=
S
−
1
) with a determinant of unity:
x
=
Sy
d
x
=
S
d
y
dx
1
dx
2
...
=

S

dy
1
dy
2
...
with

S

= 1
. The integral now looks like
ˆ
exp(
−
12
y
T
S
−
1
ASy
)
dy
1
dy
2
...dy
n
where I am now using just one integral sign for compactness. We now demand that the matrix
S
be a diagonalizingmatrix, which means that
S
−
1
AS
=
d
1
0 0
···
0
d
2
0
···
0 0
d
3
···
............
and
S
−
1
A
−
1
S
=
1
/d
1
0 0
···
0 1
/d
2
0
···
0 0 1
/d
3
···
............
This changes the integral to
ˆ
∞−∞
exp[
−
12(
d
1
y
21
+
d
2
y
22
+
...d
n
y
2
n
)]
dy
1
dy
2
...dy
n
With the variables thus separated, we can use (2) to write the answer as
ˆ
∞−∞
exp(
−
12
x
T
Ax
)
dx
1
dx
2
...dx
n
=
2
πd
1
·
2
πd
2
···
2
πd
n
=(2
π
)
n/
2

A

1
/
2
(8)which reduces to (2) for the case
n
= 1
(remember that

A

=
d
1
d
2
···
d
n
). In quantum ﬁeld theory the numeratorblows up as
n
→ ∞
, but this term ends up in an overall normalization constant, so we don’t worry about it toomuch.3