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The Conceptual Framework of Quantum Field Theory$
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Anthony Duncan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573264.001.0001

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Dynamics II: Quantum mechanical preliminaries

Dynamics II: Quantum mechanical preliminaries

(p.69) 4 Dynamics II: Quantum mechanical preliminaries
The Conceptual Framework of Quantum Field Theory

Anthony Duncan

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on parts of the basic underlying quantum-mechanical structure which are critical to realizing the relativity and locality constraints discussed in the subsequent chapters. It begins with a review of the basic operator formalism underlying standard quantum mechanics, paying particular attention to dynamics (time evolution) and symmetries. The chapter then turns to the reformulation of quantum dynamics as a sum over histories (the ‘path-integral’ approach) due to Feynman and Dirac, which has enormous conceptual and technical utility in quantum field theory. Finally, the chapter considers those aspects of quantum scattering theory which are central in teasing out the intricate physical content of field theory.

Keywords:   relativity, locality, quantum field theory, operator formalism, quantum dynamics, symmetries, path-integral approach, quantum scattering theory

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