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Functional determinants

based on S-53
We are going to discuss situations where a functional determinant depends on some other
field and so it cannot be absorbed into the overall normalization of the path integral.
Consider a theory of a complex scalar field:

a real scalar background field


(a fixed function of spacetime)
we define the path integral:

we fix
for the gaussian of n complex variables we found:

in the continuum limit the “matrix” in our case is:

we need to calculate the determinant of this “matrix”


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we can write it as a product of two matrices:

where

now we can calculate the determinant:

independent of the background field


(can be absorbed into the overall normalization)
thus:

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the path integral is given by:

using we get:

thus we find:

where

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we found:

where

It represents a connected diagram with n insertions of a vertex:

cyclic symmetry

and the path integral is given by

sum of all connected diagrams


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Consider now a theory of a Dirac field:

a real scalar background field


(a fixed function of spacetime)
we define the path integral:

we fix

for the gaussian of n complex Grassmann variables we found:

in the continuum limit the “matrix” in this case is:

we need to calculate the determinant of this “matrix”

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we can write it as a product of two matrices:

where

now we can calculate the determinant:

independent of the background field


(can be absorbed into the overall normalization)
thus:

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the path integral is given by:

using we get:

thus we find:

where

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N
-1 ote
we found: fo th
rf e
er tr
m ac
io e
where n an
lo d
op
!

It represents a connected diagram with n insertions of a vertex:

cyclic symmetry

and the path integral is given by

sum of all connected diagrams


228