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1

I. QUANTUM MECHANICS

Quantum field theory is based on the same quantum mechanics that was invented by

Heisenberg, Born, Schrödinger, Pauli, and others in 1925-26. Therefore, for completeness

and continuity, we will review first quantization, that is, (ordinary) nonrelativistic quantum

mechanics, before going on to second quantization.

A. The postulates

In any quantum mechanical process, the object of interest to calculate is the probability

amplitude - a complex number. The square of the modulus of the amplitude is proportional

to the probability that the process will occur. The postulates of quantum mechanics are

rules on how to calculate the amplitude for any process.

For a given physical system, there is a complete set of states that describes all of the

possible configurations of the system. A state, denoted by |Ψi, is a vector in some Hilbert

space. c|Ψi, c a constant, represents the same physical state. The inner product of two

states, |Ψ1 i and |Ψ2 i, is written as hΨ2 |Ψ1 i. The amplitude for the process that takes the

system from the state |Ψ1 i to |Ψ2 i is just hΨ2 |Ψ1 i. The probability for this process to occur

is |hΨ2 |Ψ1 i|2 .

With every physical observable A, there is associated a Hermitian operator Â that acts

on the Hilbert space containing the states. If a measurement is made of the observable A,

the result of the measurement must be one of the real eigenvalues of Â - no other values

are possible. The expectation value of the physical quantity A in the state |Ψi is given by

hΨ|Â|Ψi, where the state vector is normalized to hΨ|Ψi = 1.

Last, quantum mechanics provides for time evolution by requiring the states of the system

to satisfy the Schrödinger equation,

d

ih̄ |Ψ(t)i = Ĥ|Ψ(t)i. (1)

dt

Ĥ is called the Hamiltonian operator and generates infinitesimal time translations. Suppose

it is time-independent, the formal solution to the Schrödinger equation is

µ ¶

i

|Ψ(t)i = exp − tĤ |Ψ(0)i ≡ Û (t)|Ψ(0)i. (2)

h̄

2

Û (t) is the time evolution operator. Substituting Eq.(2) into Eq.(1),

d d

ih̄ |Ψ(t)i = ih̄ Û (t)|Ψ(0)i

dt dt

= Ĥ Û (t)|Ψ(0)i

= Ĥ|Ψ(t)i (3)

we obtain " #

d d

Ĥ = ih̄ Û (t) Û † (t) = −ih̄Û (t) Û † (t). (4)

dt dt

If we have a classical Hamiltonian system (say, a particle) to quantize, we may obtain

the Hamiltonian operator Ĥ using its classical Hamiltonian H(x, p) as a guide. Since both

the position x and momentum p of a particle are observable quantities, upon quantization,

they become operators x̂ and p̂. We can turn H(x, p) into Ĥ by replacing x with x̂ and p

with p̂. To complete the quantization, we must specify quantum conditions for x̂ and p̂:

x̂ and p̂ are defined such that their commutators are equal to ih̄ times the corresponding

classical Poisson bracket. Since x̂ and p̂ do not commute, potential operator ordering prob-

lems arise in constructing Ĥ from H(x, p). For example, operator products x̂p̂ and p̂x̂ are

inequivalent while xp and px are the same in the classical system. In general, we choose a

symmetric ordering, xp → (x̂p̂ + p̂x̂)/2.

If the quantum mechanical system we are trying to describe has no classical analog, such

as a system with spin, then we must guess what the Hamiltonian operator is and what the

quantum conditions are.

B. Heisenberg picture

So far we have been describing the Schrödinger picture, where the states of the system

are time dependent while the operators are not. In the Heisenberg picture, the states are

time independent. The operators carry the time dependence. The transformation between

the two pictures is done with the time evolution operator Û (t). We want to obtain the same

results in both representations. In particular, the expectation of any operator Â should be

the same:

hΨ(t)|Â|Ψ(t)i = hΨ(0)|Û † (t)ÂÛ (t)|Ψ(0)i ≡ hΨ(0)|ÂH (t)|Ψ(0)i (6)

3

The time dependent operators in the Heisenberg picture are related to the Schrödinger

picture operators by

ÂH (t) = Û † (t)ÂÛ (t). (7)

Since the states are now time independent, they do not have to satisfy any Schrödinger

equation. The dynamics is locked into the time dependent operators. They must satisfy an

operator equation of motion,

Ã !

d d † d

ÂH = Û ÂÛ + Û † Â Û

dt dt dt

Ã !

d † d

= Û † Û Û ÂÛ + Û † Â Û Û † Û

dt dt

i † i †

= Û Ĥ ÂÛ − Û ÂĤ Û

h̄ h̄

i i

= ĤH ÂH − ÂH ĤH

h̄ h̄

i

= [ĤH , ÂH ] (8)

h̄

Note that if ÂH commutes with ĤH , it is a constant of the motion. If the operator ÂH has

an explicit time dependence, then we must add ∂ ÂH /∂t to the right-hand side of Eq.(8).

Equation (8) may also be obtained from the classical system by replacing ih̄ times the

Poisson bracket with a commutator, just as in the quantum conditions, Eq.(5).

In summary, to quantize a classical system in the Heisenberg picture, we elevate observ-

ables to operators, specify quantum conditions, choose an operator ordering, and specify

a Hilbert space containing the time independent state vectors. To compute the quantum

dynamics, we must solve the operator equation of motion. We note that since x̂H and p̂H

are time dependent, we specify the commutator at equal times,

Ã r !Ã r !

1 1 1 i ω i ω

H = p2 + ω 2 x2 = h̄ω − √ p + x √ p+ x . (10)

2 2 2 h̄ω h̄ h̄ω h̄

4

To quantize this, we make x and p the operators x̂ and p̂, and demand them to satisfy the

commutation relation, [x̂, p̂] = ih̄. It follows that

1 1

Ĥ = p̂2 + ω 2 x̂2 , (11)

2 2

dx̂ i i 2

= [Ĥ, x̂] = [p̂ , x̂] = p̂, (12)

dt h̄ 2h̄

d2 x̂ dp̂ i iω 2 2

= = [Ĥ, p̂] = [x̂ , p̂] = −ω 2 x̂. (13)

dt2 dt h̄ 2h̄

We note that

x̂(t) = Â cos ωt + B̂ sin ωt (14)

p̂(t) = −ω Â sin ωt + ω B̂ cos ωt. (15)

It follows that

√ √ √

ωx̂ = ω Â cos ωt + ω B̂ sin ωt,

1 √ √

√ p̂ = − ω Â sin ωt + ω B̂ cos ωt,

ω

and

√ i √

ωx̂ + √ p̂ = ω(Â + iB̂) exp(−iωt),

ω

√ i √

ωx̂ − √ p̂ = ω(Â − iB̂) exp(iωt).

ω

µ ¶

† 1

Ĥ = h̄ω â â + , (16)

2

where

Ãr !

1 ω i

â = √ x̂ + √ p̂ ,

2 h̄ h̄ω

Ãr !

† 1 ω i

â = √ x̂ − √ p̂ , (17)

2 h̄ h̄ω

with r r

1 ω i ω i

[â, â† ] = [ x̂ + √ p̂, x̂ − √ p̂] = 1, (18)

2 h̄ h̄ω h̄ h̄ω

5

and

d i

â = [Ĥ, â] = iω[â† â, â] = −iωâ,

dt h̄

d † i

â = [Ĥ, â† ] = iω[â† â, â† ] = iωâ† . (19)

dt h̄

q q

Substituting x̂ = h̄/2ω(â + â† ) and p̂ = −i h̄ω/2(â − â† ) into the Hamiltonian operator,

we find

1 2 1 2 2

Ĥ = p̂ + ω x̂

2 2

1

= h̄ω[−(â − â† )2 + (â + â† )2 ]

4

1

= h̄ω(ââ† + â† â)

2 µ ¶

† 1

= h̄ω â â + (20)

2

Clearly if a state |ni is an eigenvector of Ĥ, then it must be an eigenvector of the number

operator N̂ = â† â and vice versa.

N̂ |ni = n|ni,

µ ¶

1

Ĥ|ni = n+ h̄ω|ni. (21)

2

We will normalize the states |ni such that hn|ni = 1. The ground state has n = 0. It is the

state of lowest energy h̄ω/2 and |0i satisfies

â|0i = 0. (23)

The first excited state has n = 1, the second n = 2, etc. The spectrum of Ĥ is En =

(n + 1/2)h̄ω. The energy levels are evenly spaced with separation h̄ω. To reach the excited

states from the ground state |0i, we observe that

[N̂ , â† ] = [â† â, â† ] = â† [â, â† ] = â† . (24)

Thus,

N̂ â† |ni = (â† N̂ + [N̂ , â† ])|ni = (n + 1)â† |ni = (n + 1)λ|n + 1i. (25)

6

Similarly, we have

[N̂ , â] = [â† â, â] = [â† , â]â = −â, (26)

λ and µ are constants that are fixed by making sure the states generated are properly

normalized.

√

⇒ λ= n+1 (28)

µ|n − 1i = â|ni

⇒ µ2 = hn|â† â|ni = n

√

⇒ µ= n (29)

It follows that all the eigenstates of Ĥ can be generated by applying â† consecutively to |0i.

In general,

1

|ni = √ (â† )n |0i. (30)

n!

The operators â† and â are called the ladder operators, or raising and lowering operators,

because they make states that march up and down the ladder of excitations. As we shall soon

see, free quantum field theories reduce to a collection of independent harmonic oscillators,

one for each energy-momentum. The raising and lowering operators of the collection of

oscillators provide a particle interpretation. To find a particle interpretation of any quantum

field we look for operators similar to â† and â in the quantum field theory.

D. Coordinate representation

The position x of a particle is a physical observable. Let the associated operator be x̂.

The eigenvectors of x̂ satisfy

x̂|xi = x|xi. (31)

7

where δ is the Dirac distribution. They are assumed complete,

Z

dx|xihx| = 1, (33)

and form a basis for the Hilbert space of states. If we expand a state vector |Ψ(t)i in the

position basis |xi, the component of |Ψ(t)i in the |xi direction is hx|Ψ(t)i, which is just a

number Ψ(x, t) - the wave function representing the state |Ψ(t)i.

µZ ¶ Z Z

|Ψ(t)i = dx|xihx| |Ψ(t)i = dx|xihx|Ψ(t)i = dxΨ(x, t)|xi (34)

|xi is the state of the system where the particle is at position x. hx|Ψ(t)i = Ψ(x, t) is the

amplitude for the system in the state |Ψ(t)i to also be in the state |xi. Thus, |Ψ(x, t)|2 dx

is the probability that the particle will be found in (x − dx/2, x + dx/2) when the system is

in state |Ψ(t)i. Since the particle must be found somewhere,

Z Z

2

1= dx|Ψ(x, t)| = dxhΨ(t)|xihx|Ψ(t)i = hΨ(t)|Ψ(t)i. (35)

∂

ih̄ hx|Ψ(t)i = hx|Ĥ|Ψ(t)i,

∂t

Z

∂

ih̄ Ψ(x, t) = dx0 hx|Ĥ|x0 ihx0 |Ψ(t)i

∂t Z

= dx0 hx|Ĥ|x0 iΨ(x0 , t). (36)

hx|Ĥ|x0 i is called the matrix element of the operator Ĥ in the position basis. To compute

hx|Ĥ|x0 i, we must determine the matrix elements hx|x̂|x0 i of x̂ and hx|p̂|x0 i of p̂. Since |xi

is an eigenvector of x̂,

hx|x̂|x0 i = xhx|x0 i = xδ(x − x0 ). (37)

Z

0

hx|p̂|x i = dphx|p̂|pihp|x0 i

Z

= dp phx|pihp|x0 i

Z Ã !

∂

= dp −ih̄ hx|pihp|x0 i

∂x

∂ Z

= −ih̄ dphx|pihp|x0 i

∂x

∂

= −ih̄ hx|x0 i

∂x

∂

= −ih̄ δ(x − x0 ) (38)

∂x

8

If the Hamiltonian is

1

Ĥ = p̂2 + V (x̂), (39)

2

then " #

0 h̄2 ∂ 2

hx|Ĥ|x i = − + V (x) δ(x − x0 ). (40)

2 ∂x2

Substituting Eq.(40) into Eq.(36), we recover the familiar Schrödinger equation for the wave

function.

∂ h̄2 ∂ 2

ih̄ Ψ(x, t) = − Ψ(x, t) + V (x)Ψ(x, t). (41)

∂t 2 ∂x2

We note that

∂ h̄2 ∂2

ih̄Ψ∗ (x, t) Ψ(x, t) = − Ψ∗ (x, t) 2 Ψ(x, t) + V (x)Ψ∗ (x, t)Ψ(x, t),

∂t 2 ∂x

∂ ∗ h̄2 ∂2

−ih̄Ψ(x, t) Ψ (x, t) = − Ψ(x, t) 2 Ψ∗ (x, t) + V (x)Ψ∗ (x, t)Ψ(x, t),

∂t 2 ∂x

from which we derive

Ã !

∂ ∗ ih̄ ∂ ∂Ψ ∂Ψ∗

(Ψ Ψ) − Ψ∗ −Ψ = 0. (42)

∂t 2 ∂x ∂x ∂x

∂ 1 ∂2

i ϕ(x, t) = − ϕ(x, t) + V (x)ϕ(x, t), (43)

∂t 2 ∂x2

we want to make the first quantized wave function ϕ(x, t) an operator ϕ̂(x, t), a time-

dependent field operator (so we will be working in the Heisenberg picture). Equation (43)

will then become an operator equation of motion,

∂ 1 ∂2

i ϕ̂(x, t) = − ϕ̂(x, t) + V (x)ϕ̂(x, t). (44)

∂t 2 ∂x2

The normalized eigenfunctions ϕn (x), with eigenvalue en , of the first quantized Hamilto-

nian,

1 ∂2

− + V (x), (45)

2 ∂x2

9

are assumed to form a complete set, thus any solution ϕ(x, t) to the Schrödinger equation

(43) can be expanded in terms of the ϕn ’s:

X

ϕ(x, t) = an (t)ϕn (x). (46)

n

In the first quantized system, ϕ(x, t) and ϕn (x) are wave functions and an (t) is just a number

times exp(−ien t). After second quantizing, ϕ(x, t) becomes an operator. Making an (t) an

operator and leaving ϕn (x) a function,

X

ϕ̂(x, t) = ân (t)ϕn (x) (47)

n

In quantum mechanics, operator equations of motion take the form of Eq. (8),

∂

ϕ̂(x, t) = i[Ĥ, ϕ̂(x, t)]. (48)

∂t

Therefore, we must find a field Hamiltonian Ĥ and quantum conditions (equal-time com-

mutation relations) such that Eq.(48) reproduces Eq.(44). The commutator is the field

equivalent of [x̂(t), p̂(t)] = i for the first quantized system. In this field theory, ϕ̂(x, t) plays

the role of x̂(t). To write down the quantum commutator involving ϕ̂(x, t), we must find

what the momentum field π̂(x, t) conjugate to ϕ̂(x, t) is. Our strategy will be to treat the

first quantized system as a classical field theory, find an action principle that yields the

field equation (43), and use the action as a crutch to find the mometum field π(x, t) and

Hamiltonian H.

the associated velocities, q̇1 , · · · , q̇N , and a Lagrangian L[qi (t), q̇i (t), t]. The dot denotes the

time derivative d/dt. The Lagrangian governs the dynamics and is, at most, a quadratic

function of q̇i . The time integral

Z tb

A[qi (t)] = dt L[qi (t), q̇i (t), t] (49)

ta

10

over the Lagrangian along an arbitrary path qi (t) is called the action of this path. The path

qi (t) that is actually chosen by the system as a function of time is called the classical orbit,

qicl (t). It has the property of extremizing the action in comparison with all neighboring paths

with fixed end points: δqi (ta ) = δqi (tb ) = 0. To express this property formally, we consider

the variation of A[qi (t)],

Z tb

= dt {L[qi (t) + δqi (t), q̇i (t) + δ q̇i (t), t] − L[qi (t), q̇i (t), t]}lin

ta

Z tb " #

∂L ∂L

= dt δqi (t) + δ q̇i (t)

ta ∂qi ∂ q̇i

Z tb " Ã !# ¯t

∂L d ∂L ∂L ¯b

¯

= dt − δqi (t) + δqi (t)¯

ta ∂qi dt ∂ q̇i ∂ q̇i ¯

ta

Z tb " Ã !#

∂L d ∂L

= dt − δqi (t) (51)

ta ∂qi dt ∂ q̇i

Here, repeated indices are understood to be summed - Einstein’s summation convention. For

the classical orbit qicl (t), δA[qi (t)] = 0 (Hamilton’s principle of least action) and we obtain

the Euler-Lagrange equations: Ã !

∂L d ∂L

− = 0. (52)

∂qi dt ∂ q̇i

There is an alternative formulation of classical dynamics which is based on a Legendre

transformed function of the Lagrangian called the Hamiltonian

∂

H[qi (t), pi (t), t] ≡ q˙i (t) L[qi (t), q̇i (t), t] − L[qi (t), q̇i (t), t]. (53)

∂ q̇i

Its value at any time is identified with the energy of the system. The natural variables in H

are no longer qi (t) and q̇i (t), but qi (t) and the canonically conjugate momenta pi (t) defined

by the equations

∂

pi (t) ≡ L[qi (t), q̇i (t), t]. (54)

∂ q̇i

In order to specify the Hamiltonian H[qi (t), pi (t), t] in terms of its proper variables qi (t) and

pi (t), the equations (54) for pi (t) have to be solved for q̇i (t),

11

and inserted into Eq.(53), giving

H[qi (t), pi (t), t] = vi [qi (t), pi (t), t]pi (t) − L[qi (t), vi [qi (t), pi (t), t], t]. (56)

Z tb

A[qi (t), pi (t)] = dt {q̇i (t)pi (t) − H[qi (t), pi (t), t]}. (57)

ta

Z tb " #

∂H ∂H

δA[qi (t), pi (t)] = dt δ q̇i (t)pi (t) + q̇i (t)δpi (t) − δqi (t) − δpi (t)

ta ∂qi ∂pi

Z tb (" # " # )

∂H ∂H

= dt q̇i (t) − δpi (t) − ṗi (t) + δqi (t) (58)

ta ∂pi ∂qi

since δqi (ta ) = δqi (tb ) = 0. For the classical orbit, qicl (t) and pcl

i (t), δA[qi (t), pi (t)] = 0 and

∂H

q̇i (t) = ,

∂pi

∂H

ṗi (t) = − . (59)

∂qi

These agree with the Euler-Lagrange equations (52) via Eq.(54), as can easily be verified.

Ã !

∂L ∂L d ∂L

pi = = ⇒ ṗi = ,

∂ q̇i ∂vi dt ∂ q̇i

∂H ∂vj ∂L ∂L ∂vj

= pj − −

∂qi ∂qi ∂qi ∂vj ∂qi

∂vj ∂L ∂vj

= pj − − pj

∂qi ∂qi ∂qi

∂L

= − .

∂qi

The 2N -dimensional space of all qi and pi is called a phase space. An arbitrary function

F [qi (t), pi (t), t] changes along an arbitrary path as follows

d ∂F ∂F ∂F

F [qi (t), pi (t), t] = q̇i + ṗi + . (60)

dt ∂qi ∂pi ∂t

If the path is a classical orbit, we may insert Eq.(59) and find

d ∂F ∂H ∂F ∂H ∂F

F [qi (t), pi (t), t] = − +

dt ∂qi ∂pi ∂pi ∂qi ∂t

∂F ∂H ∂H ∂F ∂F

= − +

∂qi ∂pi ∂qi ∂pi ∂t

∂F

≡ {F, H} + , (61)

∂t

12

where we have introduced the Poisson bracket,

∂A ∂B ∂B ∂A

{A, B} ≡ − , (62)

∂qi ∂pi ∂qi ∂pi

again with the Einstein summation convention for the repeated index i. From Eq.(61), a

function F [qi (t), pi (t)] which has no explicit dependence on time and which commutes with

H, i.e., {F, H} = 0, is a constant of motion along the classical orbit. In particular, H itself

is often of this type, i.e., H = H[qi (t), pi (t)]. In this case, the energy is a constant of motion.

Obviously, the original Hamilton equations themselves are a special case of Eq.(61).

d ∂qi ∂H ∂H ∂qi ∂H

qi = {qi , H} = − = , (63)

dt ∂qj ∂pj ∂qj ∂pj ∂pi

d ∂pi ∂H ∂H ∂pi ∂H

pi = {pi , H} = − =− . (64)

dt ∂qj ∂pj ∂qj ∂pj ∂qi

We also note that at each time t,

∂qi ∂pj ∂pj ∂qi

{qi , pj } = − = δij ,

∂qk ∂pk ∂qk ∂pk

∂qi ∂qj ∂qj ∂qi

{qi , qj } = − = 0,

∂qk ∂pk ∂qk ∂pk

∂pi ∂pj ∂pj ∂pi

{pi , pj } = − = 0. (65)

∂qk ∂pk ∂qk ∂pk

The methods of Lagrange and Hamilton provide for an elegant and flexible description

of dynamical systems. They can be applied to any chosen set of generalized coordinates qi ,

the only prerequisite being the knowledge of the Lagrangian or Hamiltonian.

B. Canonical quantization

In a quantum mechanical system we may identify a set of coordinate operators {q̂i }, acting

on a Hilbert space whose vectors are identified with states of the system. The eigenvectors

of the coordinate operators satisfy

and are states in which cooridnate i has value qi . Operators p̂i corresponding to classical

conjugate momenta pi = ∂L/∂ q̇i obey canonical commutation relations with the q̂i ,

[q̂i , q̂j ] = 0,

[p̂i , p̂j ] = 0. (67)

13

The commutation relations are closely related to the classical Poission bracket.

1

{A, B} → [Â, B̂]. (68)

ih̄

In particular, we have

dA ∂A dÂ i ∂ Â

= {A, H} + → = [Ĥ, Â] + . (69)

dt ∂t dt h̄ ∂t

In field theory, the analog of the generalized coordinates qi , is a field ϕ(~x, t), in which

the discrete index i has been replaced by the continuous position vector ~x. The position ~x

is not a coordinate, but rather a parameter that labels the field coordinate ϕ at point ~x at

a particular time t. There may be more than one field at each point in space, in which case

the fields may carry a distinguishing subscript, as in ϕa (~x, t). To qualify as a mechanical

system, the fields must be associated with a Lagrangian

Z

L(t) = d3~xL[ϕa (~x, t), ∂µ ϕa (~x, t)], (70)

In Eq.(70), we employ the conventions

~ = g µν Aν ,

Aµ = (A0 , A)

~ = gµν Aν ,

Aµ = (A0 , −A) (71)

+1 0 0 0

0 −1 0 0

gµν =

.

(72)

0 0 −1 0

0 0 0 −1

For derivatives with respect to the coordinate vector xµ = (x0 , ~x), we use the notation

∂ϕa

∂µ ϕa ≡ ,

∂xµ

∂ϕa

∂ µ ϕa ≡ . (73)

∂xµ

14

Here x0 ≡ ct, where c is the speed of light, so that all the xµ have dimensions of length. From

hereon, we set c = 1. Generally, we shall use lower case Greek letters (α, β, · · · , µ, ν, · · ·) for

space-time vector indices (0, 1, 2, 3), and lower case italic letters (i, j, · · ·) for purely spatial

vector indices (1, 2, 3).

Now, let us demand that the action

Z t2 Z

A[ϕa (~x, t)] = dt d3~xL[ϕa (~x, t), ∂µ ϕa (~x, t)], (74)

t1 R

Z t2 Z

δA[ϕa (~x, t)] = δ dt d3~xL[ϕa (~x, t), ∂µ ϕa (~x, t)]

t1 R

Z t2 Z

= dt d3~xδL[ϕa (~x, t), ∂µ ϕa (~x, t)]

t1 R

Z t2 Z " #

∂L ∂L 3

= dt d ~x δϕa + δ∂µ ϕa

t1 R ∂ϕa ∂(∂µ ϕa )

Z t2 Z ( " #)

3 ∂L ∂L

= dt d ~x − ∂µ δϕa

t1 R ∂ϕa ∂(∂µ ϕa )

Z Z t2 Z ¯t

∂L ¯2 ∂L

+ d ~x 3

δϕa ¯¯ + dt dσi δϕa

R ∂(∂0 ϕa ) ¯ t1 ∂R ∂(∂i ϕa )

t1

= 0, (75)

and obtain the equations of motion at every point inside R for every time between t1 and

t2 , " #

∂L ∂L

− ∂µ = 0. (76)

∂ϕa ∂(∂µ ϕa )

Here, the variation is over all possible fields ϕa (~x, t) inside R,

δϕa (~y , t) = 0 (79)

for all ~y on the surface ∂R of R, but are otherwise arbitrary. But, Eq.(76) must hold at

every point in space-time since t1 , t2 and R were chosen arbitrarily.

15

The field momentum conjugate to ϕa (~x, t) is

∂L

πa (~x, t) = . (80)

∂(∂0 ϕa (~x, t))

The field Hamiltonian is given by the Legendre transform of the Lagrangian,

Z

H= d3~x{πa (~x, t) · ∂0 ϕa (~x, t) − L[ϕa (~x, t), ∂µ ϕa (~x, t)]}. (81)

If we are given a Lagrangian, we may quickly find the field equations from Eq.(76), the

Hamiltonian from Eq.(81), and quantize by making ϕa (~x, t) and its conjugate momentum

πa (~x, t) operators satisfying equal-time commutation relations,

[ϕ̂a (~x, t), π̂b (~x0 , t)] = iδab δ 3 (~x − ~x0 ). (82)

In the absence of difficult operator ordering ambiguities, the field Hamiltonian operator and

quantum conditions, will reproduce the field equations as operator equations of motion.

A. Noether’s theorem

If the action A[ϕa (~x, t)] is unchanged by a re-parametrization of xµ and ϕa , i.e., is in-

variant under some group of transformations on xµ and ϕa , then there exist one or more

conserved quantities, i.e., combinations of fields and their derivatives which are invariant un-

der the transformations. This crucial result is known as Noether’s theorem. It accounts for

conservation of energy, momentum, angular momentum, and any other “quantum” number

which particles happen to carry, like charge, color, isospin, etc.

To prove Noether’s theorem, consider

Z

δA[ϕa (~x, t)] = δ d4 xL[ϕa (~x, t), ∂µ ϕa (~x, t)]

Z R

= d4 xδL[ϕa (~x, t), ∂µ ϕa (~x, t)]

R

Z " #

4∂L ∂L

= dx δϕa + δ∂µ ϕa + ∂µ Lδxµ

R ∂ϕa ∂(∂µ ϕa )

Z ( " #) Z " #

4 ∂L ∂L ∂L µ ν

= dx − ∂µ δϕa + dσµ δϕa + δ ν Lδx

R ∂ϕa ∂(∂µ ϕa ) ∂R ∂(∂µ ϕa )

Z " # Z " #

∂L ∂L ∂L

= dσµ δϕa + ∂ν ϕa δxν − dσµ ∂ν ϕa − δ µν L δxν

∂R ∂(∂µ ϕa ) ∂(∂µ ϕa ) ∂R ∂(∂µ ϕa )

Z " #

∂L µ ν

= dσµ ∆ϕa − θ ν δx ,

∂R ∂(∂µ ϕa )

16

where the total variation

∆ϕa ≡ δϕa + ∂ν ϕa δxν , (83)

∂L

θµν ≡ ∂ν ϕa − δ µν L. (84)

∂(∂µ ϕa )

We will first discuss the isospin symmetry, where the fields ϕa vary according to some

small parameter δ²a .

∂ϕa

ϕa → ϕa + δϕa = ϕa + δ²b (85)

∂²b

That is, ∆ϕa = δϕa = (∂ϕa /∂²b )δ²b . If the action A[ϕa (~x, t)] is invariant under this trans-

formation, then

Z Z

∂L

δA[ϕa ] = dσµ ∆ϕa = dσµ Jaµ δ²a = 0. (86)

∂R ∂(∂µ ϕa ) ∂R

∂L ∂ϕb

Jaµ ≡ . (87)

∂(∂µ ϕb ) ∂²a

It follows from

Z Z

dσµ Jaµ δ²a = d4 xδ²a ∂µ Jaµ = 0 (88)

∂R R

that

∂µ Jaµ = 0. (89)

From this conserved current, we can also establish a conserved charge, given by the integral

over the time-component of the current:

Z

Qa ≡ d3~xJa0 . (90)

Z

0 = d3~x∂µ Jaµ

Z Z

= d3~x∂0 Ja0 + d3~x∂i Jai

d Z 3 0 Z

= d ~xJa + dSi Jai

dt

d

= Qa + surface term (91)

dt

Let us assume that the fields appearing in the surface term vanish sufficiently rapidly at

infinity so that the last term can neglected. Then,

d

∂µ Jaµ = 0 ⇒ Qa = 0 (92)

dt

17

In summary, the symmetry of the action implies the conservation of a current Jaµ , which in

turn implies a conservation principle:

The second case, when the action is invariant under the space-time symmetry of the

Lorentz and Poincaré groups, will be discussed later.

B. Schrödinger field

1

L = iϕ∗ ∂t ϕ − ∂x ϕ∗ ∂x ϕ − V (x)ϕ∗ ϕ. (94)

2

Here, ∂t ≡ ∂/∂t and ∂x ≡ ∂/∂x. We can determine the equations of motion by treating ϕ

and ϕ∗ as independent objects, so that for instance

∂L

= 0,

∂(∂t ϕ∗ )

∂L 1

∗

= − ∂x ϕ,

∂(∂x ϕ ) 2

∂L

= i∂t ϕ − V (x)ϕ,

∂ϕ∗

give us the Schrödinger equation (43). On the other hand,

∂L

= iϕ∗ ,

∂(∂t ϕ)

∂L 1

= − ∂x ϕ ∗ ,

∂(∂x ϕ) 2

∂L

= −V (x)ϕ∗ ,

∂ϕ

give us the complex-conjugate of Eq.(43).

From Eq.(94), we find that the conjugate momentum field is

∂L

π(x, t) = = iϕ∗ (x, t). (95)

∂(∂t ϕ)

Since the field conjugate to ϕ∗ is found to vanish, there are only two independent fields,

ϕ(x, t) and π(x, t).

18

The Hamiltonian is easily computed to be

Z

H = dx[π(x, t)∂t ϕ(x, t) − L]

Z

1

= dx ∂x ϕ∗ ∂x ϕ + V (x)ϕ∗ ϕ

2 " #

Z 2

1 ∂

= dxϕ∗ − + V (x) ϕ (96)

2 ∂x2

∂L ∂ϕ ∂L ∂ϕ∗

J0 = +

∂(∂0 ϕ) ∂² ∂(∂0 ϕ∗ ) ∂²

∂ϕ

= iϕ∗

∂²

∗

= ϕ ϕ. (97)

It follows that

ϕ(²) = ϕ(0) exp(−i²). (98)

And,

∂L ∂ϕ ∂L ∂ϕ∗

J1 = +

∂(∂1 ϕ) ∂² ∂(∂1 ϕ∗ ) ∂²

1 1

= ∂x ϕ∗ (iϕ) − ∂x ϕ(iϕ∗ )

2 2

i ∗

= − (ϕ ∂x ϕ − ϕ∂x ϕ∗ ). (99)

2

In canonical field quantization, the classical fields ϕ(x, t) and π(x, t) are replaced by

operators ϕ̂(x, t) and

π̂(x, t) = iϕ̂† (x, t), (100)

where ϕ∗ (x, t) is replaced by the Hermitian conjugate field operator ϕ̂† (x, t). We impose on

these operators the equal-time commutation relations:

19

Using the Hamiltonian

Z

1

Ĥ(t) = dx[ ∂x ϕ̂† ∂x ϕ̂ + V (x)ϕ̂† ϕ̂], (104)

2

Z

1

[Ĥ(t), ϕ̂(x, t)] = dy[ ∂y ϕ̂† (y, t)∂y ϕ̂(y, t) + V (y)ϕ̂† (y, t)ϕ̂(y, t), ϕ̂(x, t)]

Z

2

½ ¾

1 † †

= dy ∂y [ϕ̂ (y, t), ϕ̂(x, t)]∂y ϕ̂(y, t) + V (y)[ϕ̂ (y, t), ϕ̂(x, t)]ϕ̂(y, t)

2

Z ½ ¾

1

= − dy [∂y δ(y − x)]∂y ϕ̂(y, t) + δ(y − x)V (y)ϕ̂(y, t)

2

1

= ∂x2 ϕ̂(x, t) − V (x)ϕ̂(x, t) (105)

2

Z µ ¶

1

[Ĥ(t), ϕ̂(x, t)] = dy[ϕ̂† (y, t) − ∂y2 − V (y) ϕ̂(y, t), ϕ̂(x, t)]

2

Z µ ¶

† 1 2

= dy[ϕ̂ (y, t), ϕ̂(x, t)] − ∂y − V (y) ϕ̂(y, t)

2

Z µ ¶

1 2

= − dyδ(y − x) − ∂y − V (y) ϕ̂(y, t)

2

1 2

= ∂x ϕ̂(x, t) − V (x)ϕ̂(x, t)

2

Therefore,

∂

ϕ̂(x, t) = i[Ĥ, ϕ̂(x, t)]

∂t

implies

∂ 1

i ϕ̂(x, t) = − ∂x2 ϕ̂(x, t) + V (x)ϕ̂(x, t).

∂t 2

We note that we have picked a particular ordering for the operators in Eq.(104), called

normal ordering, to avoid the vacuum energy divergence.

A. Particle interpretation

X

ϕ̂(x, t) = âi (t)ϕi (x).

i

It follows that

X †

ϕ̂† (x, t) = âi (t)ϕ∗i (x). (106)

i

20

Substitute Eq.(47) into the above equal-time commutation relations (101),

X X

= [ ϕi (x)âi (t), ϕ∗j (x0 )â†j (t)]

i j

X

= ϕi (x)ϕ∗j (x0 )[âi (t), â†j (t)] (107)

i,j

only if

[âi (t), â†j (t)] = δij . (108)

This is because the first quantized energy eigenfunctions are assumed to be complete,

X X

ϕi (x)ϕ∗i (x0 ) = hx|ϕi ihϕi |x0 i

i i

Ã !

X

= hx| |ϕi ihϕi | |x0 i

i

0

= hx|x i

= δ(x − x0 ) (109)

Alternatively, we could express âi (t) and â†i (t) in terms of ϕ̂(x, t) and ϕ̂† (x, t) respectively.

Z

âi (t) = dxϕ∗i (x)ϕ̂(x, t),

Z

â†i (t) = dxϕi (x)ϕ̂† (x, t). (110)

It follows that

Z Z

[âi (t), â†j (t)] = dx dyϕ∗i (x)ϕj (y)[ϕ̂(x, t), ϕ̂† (y, t)]

Z Z

= dx dyϕ∗i (x)ϕj (y)δ(x − y)

Z

= dxϕ∗i (x)ϕj (x)

Z

= dxhϕi |xihx|ϕj i

= hϕi |ϕj i

= δij (111)

Similarly,

Z Z

[âi (t), âj (t)] = dx dyϕ∗i (x)ϕ∗j (y)[ϕ̂(x, t), ϕ̂(y, t)] = 0,

Z Z

[â†i (t), â†j (t)] = dx dyϕi (x)ϕj (y)[ϕ̂† (x, t), ϕ̂† (y, t)] = 0. (112)

21

Next, substitute the expansion (47) into the Hamiltonian operator.

Z " #

1 ∂2 †

Ĥ(t) = dxϕ̂ − + V (x) ϕ̂

2 ∂x2

Z " #

X

∗ † 1 ∂2 X

= dx ϕi (x)âi (t) − + V (x) ϕj (x)âj (t)

i 2 ∂x2 j

X Z

= ej â†i (t)âj (t) dxϕ∗i (x)ϕj (x)

i,j

X

= ei â†i (t)âi (t) (113)

i

d X

âi (t) = i[Ĥ(t), âi (t)] = iej [â†j (t)âj (t), âi (t)] = −iei âi (t), (114)

dt j

which is solved by

âi (t) = exp(−iei t)âi (0) ≡ exp(−iei t)âi . (115)

It follows that

â†i (t) = exp(iei t)â†i , (116)

P †

and Ĥ = i ei âi âi . We note that the use of the eigenfunction basis {ϕi (x)} has the effect

that the time dependence of the operators âi (t) becomes trivial, being characterized by a

simple phase factor.

For fixed i, we note that â†i and âi look identical to the raising and lowering operators of

the harmonic oscillator. The field Hamiltonian is just an infinite sum of harmonic oscillator

Hamiltonians. The expansion (47) has reduced the quantum field theory to an infinite set

of harmonic oscillators. Following the discussion given on the harmonic oscillator, we can

now develop a particle interpretation. In the following we will construct the state vectors,

making use of the time-independent operators âi . This is possible within the Heisenberg

picture where the operators are time dependent while the state vectors are constant.

The lowest energy state of Ĥ, the ground state or bare vacuum, is the one that is empty,

The destruction operator for any i, âi , finds no particle (excitation) to annihilate in the

empty vacuum |0i, so the result is the null vector.

â†i |0i is a state of energy ei . It describes one particle of energy ei , created by â†i , the

creation operator for mode i. â†j |0i is also a one-particle state except that the energy of the

22

particle is ej . We have only one field in this theory, so there is only one type of particle.

The difference in energy between the two one-particle states must be due to a difference in

momentum between the two.

â†i â†j |0i is a two-particle state with energy ei + ej . The collection of all the states spanned

by the states formed by operating on |0i with any number of creation operators for any

mode i is called a Fock space. In general,

1

√ (a†1 )n1 (a†2 )n2 · · · |0i ≡ |n1 , n2 , · · ·i. (118)

n1 !n2 ! · · ·

X X †

N̂ ≡ n̂i = âi âi , (119)

i i

Ã !

X

N̂ |n1 , n2 , · · · , ni , · · ·i = ni |n1 , n2 , · · · , ni , · · ·i = N |n1 , n2 , · · · , ni , · · ·i,

i

Last, we note that ϕ̂(x, t) is expanded in terms of âi (t) only, while ϕ̂† (x, t) is expanded in

terms of â†i (t) only. Thus, ϕ̂(x, t) is a destruction operator and ϕ̂† (x, t) is a creation operator.

ϕ̂† (x, t)|0i is a one-particle state where the particle is located at position x at time t.

X

h0|ϕ̂(x, t)ϕ̂† (x0 , t)|0i = ϕi (x)ϕ∗j (x0 )h0|âi (t)â†j (t)|0i

i,j

X

= ϕi (x)ϕ∗j (x0 )h0|{[âi (t), â†j (t)] + â†j (t)âi (t)}|0i

i,j

X

= ϕi (x)ϕ∗j (x0 )δij

i,j

X

= ϕi (x)ϕ∗i (x0 )

i

= δ(x − x0 ) (120)

So,

|x; ti ≡ ϕ̂† (x, t)|0i. (121)

23

B. Particles in a box

µ ¶

1 2nπx

ϕn (x) = √ exp i , (122)

L L

are plane waves or momentum eigenfunctions. The expansions (47) and (106) turn into

Fourier series,

µ ¶

1 X 2nπx

ϕ̂(x, t) = √ exp i ân (t),

L n L

µ ¶

† 1 X 2nπx †

ϕ̂ (x, t) = √ exp −i ân (t), (123)

L n L

µ ¶

1 Z 2nπx

ân (t) = √ dx exp −i ϕ̂(x, t),

L L

µ ¶

† 1 Z 2nπx

ân (t) = √ dx exp i ϕ̂† (x, t). (124)

L L

µ ¶

1 Z 2nπx

â†n (t)|0i = √ dx exp i ϕ̂† (x, t)|0i. (125)

L L

Since we are integrating over x, â†n (t) creates a particle via ϕ̂† (x, t) at every point x with

√

amplitude exp(i2nπx/L)/ L. In other words, the state â†n (t)|0i is a one-particle state with

√

position probability amplitude at each point given by exp(i2nπx/L)/ L. That is, â†n (t)

√

creates a particle with wave function exp(i2nπx/L)/ L. The square of this wave function is

independent of x, so â†n (t) creates a one-particle state and we do not know where the particle

is. It has equal probability of being anywhere. The particle has a definite momentum and

we have no idea what its position is, in accordance with the uncertainty principle.

Likewise, ϕ̂† (x, t) creates a particle at x, a definite position. Since we know its position,

we have no idea what its momentum and energy are. To create a particle definitely located

at x, we need to use â†n (t) for every n. The particle has equal probability of having any

momentum and hence n.

24

C. First quantized one-particle system

Now consider the general case where V (x) 6= 0. From above, a state containing one

particle described by wave function f1 (x1 , t) is given by

Z

dx1 f1 (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i. (126)

Suppose this state has a definite energy, then it must be an eigenstate of Ĥ.

Z

Ĥ dx1 f1 (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

Z Z " #

1 ∂2

†

= dx dx1 f1 (x1 , t)ϕ̂ (x, t) − + V (x) ϕ̂(x, t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

2 ∂x2

Z Z " #

† 1 ∂2

= dx dx1 f (x1 , t)ϕ̂ (x, t) − + V (x) δ(x − x1 )|0i

2 ∂x2

Z Z " #

† 1 ∂2

= dxϕ̂ (x, t) dx1 f (x1 , t) − + V (x) δ(x − x1 )|0i

2 ∂x2

Z " #

1 ∂2

= dx1 − 2

+ V (x1 ) f (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

2 ∂x1

Z

= dx1 E1 f (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

Z

= E1 dx1 f (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

" #

1 ∂2

− + V (x1 ) f1 (x1 , t) = E1 f1 (x1 , t). (127)

2 ∂x21

So, we see how the first quantized one-particle system emerges from the quantum field theory.

A two-particle state with one particle at x1 and another at x2 is ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i. If

the two particles have wave function f2 (x1 , x2 , t), then the state is

Z

dx1 dx2 f2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i. (128)

Z Z Z " #

† 1 ∂2

dx dx1 dx2 f2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂ (x, t) − + V (x) ϕ̂(x, t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

2 ∂x2

25

Z Z Z " #

† 1 ∂2

= dx dx1 dx2 f2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂ (x, t) − + V (x) δ(x − x1 )ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

2 ∂x2

Z Z Z " #

† 1 ∂2

+ dx dx1 dx2 f2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂ (x, t) − 2

+ V (x) ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂(x, t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

2 ∂x

Z Z Z " #

† 1 ∂2

= dx ϕ̂ (x, t) dx2 dx1 f2 (x1 , x2 , t) − + V (x) δ(x − x1 )ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

2 ∂x2

Z Z Z " #

† 1 ∂2

+ dx ϕ̂ (x, t) dx1 dx2 f2 (x1 , x2 , t) − + V (x) δ(x − x2 )ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

2 ∂x2

Z " #

1 ∂2

= dx1 dx2 − + V (x1 ) f2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

2 ∂x21

Z " #

1 ∂2

+ dx1 dx2 − + V (x2 ) f2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

2 ∂x22

" #

1 ∂2 1 ∂2

− − + V (x1 ) + V (x2 ) f2 (x1 , x2 , t) = E2 f2 (x1 , x2 , t). (129)

2 ∂x21 2 ∂x22

Z

dx1 · · · dxN fN (x1 , · · · , xN , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t) · · · ϕ̂† (xN , t)|0i, (130)

" N N

#

1X ∂2 X

− + V (xi ) fN (x1 , · · · , xN , t) = EN fN (x1 , · · · , xN , t). (131)

2 i=1 ∂x2i i=1

In this way, all of the N -body first quantized systems are contained in the corresponding

quantum field theory. The operators ϕ̂(x, t) and ϕ̂† (x, t) change the number of particles

present so we can treat physical processes where the particle number is changing in a unified

manner. One way to exactly solve a quantum field theory is to solve the N -body Schrödinger

equation (131) for general N . Then any amplitude for any process will amount to a multi-

dimensional integral over the initial and final state wave functions.

26

F. Bosons and fermions

The quantum conditions we have chosen specify that ϕ̂† (x, t) commutes with itself. It

follows that

Z

dx1 dx2 f2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

Z

= dx2 dx1 f2 (x2 , x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

Z

= dx1 dx2 f2 (x2 , x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

Therefore,

f2 (x1 , x2 , t) = f2 (x2 , x1 , t). (132)

f2 (x2 , x1 , t) is symmetric under the exchange of x1 and x2 . The symmetric exchange is due

to the use of commutators in the quantum conditions. By the Pauli principle, this exchange

symmetry implies that we are dealing with bosons.

The wave function for two identical fermions must be antisymmetric under the exchange

of coordinates:

ψ2 (x1 , x2 , t) = −ψ2 (x2 , x1 , t). (133)

It follows that

Z

dx1 dx2 ψ2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i

Z

= dx2 dx1 ψ2 (x2 , x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

Z

= − dx1 dx2 ψ2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)|0i

Z

dx1 dx2 ψ2 (x1 , x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t)|0i = 0.

or

ϕ̂† (x1 , t)ϕ̂† (x2 , t) + ϕ̂† (x2 , t)ϕ̂† (x1 , t) ≡ {ϕ̂† (x1 , t), ϕ̂† (x2 , t)} = 0. (134)

27

From hereon, we will use braces, {}, to denote an anticommutator. Therefore, to quantize

the field ϕ̂(x, t) satisfying Eq.(44) and obtain fermions, we must use anticommutators for

the quantum conditions,

A. Lorentz transformations

It follows that

= gµν Λµρ Λνσ xρ xσ

= gρσ xρ xσ

= x2

If we take the determinant of Eq.(138), we get (det Λ)2 = 1, which implies that det Λ = ±1.

Transformations with det Λ = +1 are proper, and transformations with det Λ = −1 are

improper. Equation (138) implies

28

= Λ00 Λ00 − Λi 0 Λi 0

= g00

= 1

This means that (Λ00 )2 − Λi 0 Λi 0 = 1; thus, either Λ00 ≥ +1 or Λ00 ≤ −1. Transformations

with Λ00 ≥ +1 are orthochronous, while those with Λ00 ≤ −1 are non-orthochronous.

B. Lorentz group

The set of all Lorentz transformations forms a group. The product of any two Lorentz

transformations is another Lorentz transformation. The product is associative. There is an

identity transformation,

Λµν = δ µν .

⇒ Λνρ Λνσ = δ ρσ

It follows that

(Λ−1 )ρν = Λνρ = gνµ Λµα g αρ , (139)

Λµν = δ µν + δω µν . (140)

≈ gµν (δ µρ δ νσ + δ µρ δω νσ + δ νσ δω µρ )

29

= gρσ + δωρσ + δωσρ

= gρσ

It follows that

δωρσ = −δωσρ . (141)

Thus there are six independent infinitesimal Lorentz transformations (in four spacetime

dimensions). These can be divided into three rotations and three boosts:

cos θ − sin θ 0

Rz (θ) =

sin θ cos θ 0

0 0 1

and

1 −δθ 0

Rz (δθ) =

δθ 1 0

0 0 1

And,

cosh η 0 0 − sinh η

0 1 0 0

Bz (η) =

,

0 0 1 0

− sinh η 0 0 cosh η

q

where cosh η = γ ≡ 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 , sinh η = γv/c, and rapidity η = tanh−1 (v/c). So,

1 0 0 −δη

0 1 0 0

Bz (δη) =

.

0 0 1 0

−δη 0 0 1

30

We observe that

1 −δθ 0

Rz (δθ) =

δθ 1 0

0 0 1

1 0 0 0 −i 0

=

0 1 0 − iδθ i 0 0

0 0 1 0 0 0

= 1 − iδθ(ζ1 |ζ1 ihζ1 | + ζ0 |ζ0 ihζ0 | + ζ−1 |ζ−1 ihζ−1 |)

where |ζ1 i, |ζ0 i, and |ζ−1 i are eigenvectors of the Hermitian matrix with eigenvalues ζ1 = 1,

ζ0 = 0, and ζ−1 = −1 respectively. It follows that

lim [Rz (δθ)]n = lim (1 − iζ1 δθ)n |ζ1 ihζ1 | + |ζ0 ihζ0 | + lim (1 − iζ−1 δθ)n |ζ−1 ihζ−1 |

n→∞ n→∞ n→∞

= Rz (θ)

Not all Lorentz transformations can be reached by compounding infinitesimal ones. In-

finitesimal transformations of the form Λ = 1 + δω are clearly proper and orthochronous:

= ²κλµν (δ κ0 + δω κ0 )(δ λ1 + δω λ1 )(δ µ2 + δω µ2 )(δ ν3 + δω ν3 )

≈ ²κλµν (δ κ0 δ λ1 δ µ2 δ ν3 + δω κ0 δ λ1 δ µ2 δ ν3 + δ κ0 δω λ1 δ µ2 δ ν3 + δ κ0 δ λ1 δω µ2 δ ν3 + δ κ0 δ λ1 δ µ2 δω ν3

= 1,

Λ00 = δ 00 + δω 00 = 1.

Since the product of any two proper orthochronous Lorentz transformations is proper or-

thochronous:

det Λ = 1, det Λ0 = 1 ⇒ det(ΛΛ0 ) = det Λ det Λ0 = 1,

Λ00 ≥ 1, Λ000 ≥ 1 ⇒ (ΛΛ0 )00 = Λ0µ Λ0µ0 = Λ00 Λ000 + Λ0i Λ0i0 ≥ 1,

any transformation that can be reached by compounding infinitesimal ones is proper or-

thochronous. Thus, the Lorentz transformations that can be reached by compounding in-

finitesimal ones are both proper and orthochronous, and they form a subgroup. Generally,

31

when a theory is said to be Lorentz invariant, this means under the proper orthochronous

subgroup only.

Two discrete transformations that take one out of the proper orthochronous subgroup

are parity and time reversal. The parity transformation is

+1 0 0 0

0 −1 0 0

P µν =

= (P −1 )µ .

ν (144)

0 0 −1 0

0 0 0 −1

−1 0 0 0

0 +1 0 0

T µν =

= (T −1 )µ .

ν (145)

0 0 +1 0

0 0 0 +1

It is nonorthochronous and improper. From hereon, in this chapter, we will treat the proper

orthochronous subgroup only. Parity and time reversal will be treated separately in later

chapters.

This means that we associate a unitary operator U (Λ) to each proper, orthochronous Lorentz

transformation Λ. These operators must obey the composition rule

i

Û (1 + δω) = Iˆ + δωµν M̂ µν , (147)

2

where M̂ µν = −M̂ νµ is a set of Hermitian operators called the generators of the Lorentz

group.

Let Λ0 = 1 + δω 0 , then to linear order in δω 0 ,

32

µ ¶

i 0

⇒ Û (Λ) −1

Iˆ + δωµν M̂ µν Û (Λ) = Û ((Λ−1 )µρ (δ ρσ + δω 0ρσ )Λσν )

2

i 0

⇒ Iˆ + δωµν Û (Λ)−1 M̂ µν Û (Λ) = Û (δ µν + (Λ−1 )µρ δω 0ρσ Λσν )

2

= Û (1 + Λ−1 δω 0 Λ)

Therefore,

i 0 i

Iˆ + δωµν Û (Λ)−1 M̂ µν Û (Λ) = Iˆ + (Λ−1 δω 0 Λ)ρσ M̂ ρσ

2 2

where

0

δωµν Û (Λ)−1 M̂ µν Û (Λ) = (Λ−1 )ρµ δω 0µν Λνσ M̂ ρσ

= gµα Λαρ δω 0µν Λαρ M̂ ρσ

0

= δωµν Λµρ Λνσ M̂ ρσ

0

Since δωµν is arbitrary, we have

We observe that each vector index on M̂ µν undergoes its own Lorentz transformation. This

is a general result: any operator carrying one or more vector indices should behave similarly.

For example, for the energy-momentum four-vector P̂ µ , where P̂ 0 is the Hamiltonian Ĥ and

P̂ i are the components of the total three-momentum operator,

µ ¶ µ ¶

i i

Iˆ − δωρσ M̂ ρσ M̂ µν Iˆ + δωρσ M̂ ρσ = (δ µρ + δω µρ )(δ νσ + δω νσ )M̂ ρσ

2 2

i i

M̂ µν − δωρσ M̂ ρσ M̂ µν + δωρσ M̂ µν M̂ ρσ = M̂ µν + δω µρ δ νσ M̂ ρσ + δ µρ δω νσ M̂ ρσ

2 2

i

− δωρσ [M̂ ρσ , M̂ µν ] = g µα δωαρ M̂ ρν + g να δωασ M̂ µσ

2

i

δωρσ [M̂ µν , M̂ ρσ ] = g µρ δωρσ M̂ σν + g νσ δωσρ M̂ µρ

2

1

= (g µρ δωρσ M̂ σν + g µσ δωσρ M̂ ρν + g νσ δωσρ M̂ µρ + g νρ δωρσ M̂ µσ )

2

1

= δωρσ (g µρ M̂ σν − g µσ M̂ ρν − g νσ M̂ µρ + g νρ M̂ µσ )

2

1

= δωρσ (−g µρ M̂ νσ + g µσ M̂ νρ − g νσ M̂ µρ + g νρ M̂ µσ )

2

1

= − δωρσ (g µρ M̂ νσ − g νρ M̂ µσ − g µσ M̂ νρ + g νσ M̂ µρ )

2

33

Therefore,

[M̂ µν , M̂ ρσ ] = i(g µρ M̂ νσ − g νρ M̂ µσ − g µσ M̂ νρ + g νσ M̂ µρ ). (150)

These commutation relations specify the Lie algebra of the Lorentz group. We can identify

the components of the angular momentum operator as Jˆi ≡ −1/2²ijk M̂ jk , and the compo-

nents of the boost operator K̂i ≡ M̂ i0 .

1

[Jˆi , Jˆj ] = ²imn ²jpq [M̂ mn , M̂ pq ]

4

i

= ²imn ²jpq (g mp M̂ nq − g np M̂ mq − g mq M̂ np + g nq M̂ mp )

4

i

= − (²imn ²jmq M̂ nq − ²imn ²jnq M̂ mq − ²imn ²jpm M̂ np + ²imn ²jpn M̂ mp )

4

i

= − (²min ²mjq M̂ nq + ²imn ²jqn M̂ mq + ²inm ²jpm M̂ np + ²imn ²jpn M̂ mp )

4

= −iM̂ ij

= i²ijk Jˆk (151)

since

1 1

²ijk Jˆk = − ²kij ²klm M̂ lm = − (δil δjm − δim δjl )M̂ lm = −M̂ ij .

2 2

1

[Jˆi , K̂j ] = − ²imn [M̂ mn , M̂ j0 ]

2

i

= − ²imn (g mj M̂ n0 − g nj M̂ m0 − g m0 M̂ nj + g n0 M̂ mj )

2

i

= (²ijn M̂ n0 − ²imj M̂ m0 )

2

= i²ijk M̂ k0

= i(g ij M̂ 00 − g 0j M̂ i0 − g i0 M̂ 0j + g 00 M̂ ij )

= iM̂ ij

µ ¶ µ ¶

i i

Iˆ − δωρσ M̂ ρσ P̂ µ Iˆ + δωρσ M̂ ρσ = (δ µν + δω µν )P̂ ν

2 2

34

i

P̂ µ − δωρσ [M̂ ρσ , P̂ µ ] = P̂ µ + g µα δωαν P̂ ν

2

i

δωρσ [P̂ µ , M̂ ρσ ] = g µρ δωρσ P̂ σ

2

1

= (g µρ δωρσ P̂ σ + g µσ δωσρ P̂ ρ )

2

1

= δωρσ (g µρ P̂ σ − g µσ P̂ ρ )

2

Therefore,

[P̂ µ , M̂ ρσ ] = i(g µσ P̂ ρ − g µρ P̂ σ ). (154)

It follows that

1

[Ĥ, Jˆi ] = − ²ijk [P̂ 0 , M̂ jk ]

2

i

= − ²ijk (g 0k P̂ j − g 0j P̂ k )

2

= 0, (155)

1

[P̂i , Jˆj ] = ²jmn [P̂ i , M̂ mn ]

2

i

= ²jmn (g in P̂ m − g im P̂ n )

2

i

= (−²jmi P̂ m + ²jin P̂ n )

2

= i²ijk P̂k , (156)

= i(g 00 P̂ i − g 0i P̂ 0 )

= −iP̂i (157)

= −i(g i0 P̂ j − g ij P̂ 0 )

= −iδij Ĥ (158)

[P̂ i , P̂ j ] = 0,

35

[P̂ i , Ĥ] = 0. (159)

In summary,

[Ĥ, P̂ i ] = 0,

[P̂ i , P̂ j ] = 0,

[Ĥ, Jˆi ] = 0,

Now let us investigate the case when the action is invariant under the space-time sym-

metry of the Lorentz and Poincaré groups. First, consider the translation

xµ → x0µ = xµ + aµ , (160)

ments. From Eq.(84),

∂L

θµν ≡ ∂ν ϕa − δ µν L

∂(∂µ ϕa )

is the energy-momentum tensor. By integrating the energy-momentum tensor, we can gen-

erate conserved quantities. Define

Z

Pν ≡ d3~xθ0ν . (161)

Then

∂µ θµν = 0

⇒ ∂0 θ0ν + ∂i θi ν = 0

d

⇒ Pν = 0. (162)

dt

36

We observe that

Z Z

∂L

P0 = d3~xθ00 = d3~x ∂0 ϕa − L = H. (163)

∂(∂0 ϕa )

Therefore, displacement in time (space) leads to the conservation of energy (momentum).

Here,

Z Z

3 ∂L

Pi = d ~xθ0i = d3~x ∂i ϕa . (164)

∂(∂0 ϕa )

Next, consider the Lorentz transformation

xµ → x0µ = xµ + δω µν xν . (165)

It follows that

∂µ (θµν δω να xα ) = 0

⇒ ∂µ (θµν δωνα xα ) = 0

⇒ δωνα ∂µ (θµν xα − θµα xν ) = 0

⇒ ∂ρ (θρµ xν − θρν xµ ) = 0 (166)

Define

Z

M µν ≡ d3~x(θ0µ xν − θ0ν xµ ). (167)

Then

d µν

⇒ M =0 (168)

dt

37

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