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George Jaroszkiewicz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718062

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718062.001.0001

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Imaginary time

Imaginary time

Chapter:
21 Imaginary time
Source:
Images of Time
Author(s):

George Jaroszkiewicz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718062.003.0021

This chapter discusses the role of imaginary time in physics. It emphasizes the difference between imaginary (or complex path) time and complex time. Starting with Minkowski’s famous 1908 lecture, the chapter considers the effect of replacing real time with imaginary time in relativity, Schrodinger wave mechanics, particle propagators, and Green’s functions in quantum field theory. The chapter reviews the use of imaginary time in Feynman path integrals, quantum gravity, quantum thermodynamics, and black hole thermodynamics.

Keywords:   Minkowski, imaginary time, complex time, wave mechanics, propagators, Green’s functions, path integrals, quantum gravity, quantum thermodynamics, black hole thermodynamics

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