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Quantum Field Theory II Lecture 20

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You are on page 1of 12

based on S-57

W

We will discuss the path integral for photons and the photon propagator

more carefully using the Lorentz gauge:

V IE

as in the case of scalar field we Fourier-transform to the momentum space:

R E

we shift integration variables so that mixed terms disappear...

256

To see this, note:

W

where

is a projection matrix

V IE

E

and so the only allowed eigenvalues are 0 and +1

Since

R

it has one 0 and three +1 eigenvalues.

257

W

We can decompose the gauge field into components aligned along a

set of linearly independent four-vectors, one of which is and then this

E

component does not contribute to the quadratic term because

V I

and it doesn’t even contribute to the linear term because

E

and so there is no reason to integrate over it; we define the path integral

R

as integral over the remaining three basis vector; these are given by

which is equivalent to

Lorentz gauge

258

Within the subspace orthogonal to the projection matrix is simply the

identity matrix and the inverse is straightforward; thus we get:

IE W

V

going back to the

E

position space

R

propagator in the Lorentz gauge (Landau gauge)

we can again neglect the term with momenta because the current is

conserved and we obtain the propagator in the Feynman gauge:

259

The path integral for nonabelian gauge theory

based on S-71

Now we want to evaluate the path integral for nonabelian gauge theory:

for U(1) gauge theory, the component of the gauge field parallel to the four-

momentum did not appear in the action and so it should not be integrated over;

since the U(1) gauge transformation is of the form , excluding

the components parallel to removes the gauge redundancy in the path integral.

260

for an infinitesimal transformation:

we have:

or, in components:

(instead of that we have for the U(1) transformation)

we have to remove the gauge redundancy in a different way!

261

Consider an ordinary integral of the form:

we can simply drop it and define:

redundancy in the abelian case

or we can get the same result by inserting a delta function:

the argument of the delta function can for the nonabelian case

be shifted by an arbitrary function of x

262

if is a unique solution of for fixed x, we can write:

then we have:

263

Now we translate this result to path integral over nonabelian gauge fields:

for gauge we use:

x and y

y

fixed, arbitrarily chosen

function of x

264

let’s evaluate the functional derivative:

and we find:

complex Grassmann variables:

where:

Faddeev-Popov ghosts

265

the ghost lagrangian can be further written as:

Comments:

ghost fields interact with the gauge field; however ghosts do not exist and we

will see later (when we discuss the BRST symmetry) that the amplitude to

produce them in any scattering process is zero. The only place they appear is in

loops! Since they are Grassmann fields, a closed loop of ghost lines in a Feynman

diagram comes with a minus sign!

For abelian gauge theory and thus there is no interaction term for

ghost fields; we can absorb its path integral into overall normalization.

266

At this point we have:

The path integral is independent of ! Thus we can multiply it by arbitrary

functional of and perform a path integral over ; the result changes only the

overall normalization of .

we can multiply by:

our final result is:

267

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