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What should be imported from the theoretical physics FAQ?

+ 4 like - 0 dislike
271 views

I intent to slowly import pieces from my theoretical physics FAQ in the form of questions and answers by myself, thereby updating the FAQ (which is currently plain html or plain text, so it must be enriched by latex) and making it open for discussion.

Since the FAQ currently consists of nearly 250 entries and I want to import only one or two entries a week, there is a lot of room for choice. I started with Action-based quantum field theory and causal perturbation theory since this was related to one of the questions under discussion not long ago. 

It would help me to set priorities in the choice of the next entries to post if you'd state your wishes and preferences (either by topic, or by title of a FAQ entry). 

asked Jul 29, 2014 in Discussion by Arnold Neumaier (12,385 points) [ no revision ]

3 Answers

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

I would be interested in an extended post about  the topic

Projective geometry and quantum mechanics

answered Jul 30, 2014 by Dilaton (4,295 points) [ no revision ]

This is just about how states are only defined up to a multiplicative constant, the name "projective geometry" is just added to give context.

+ 0 like - 0 dislike

I think that the chapters B8, B5, B4, B3, and B7 may be very good to have first on PhysicsOverflow. Specifically, B5 and some of B7 may be a bit useful to overshadow the "anti-QFT" stuff going on in some threads.

In fact, if everyone is fine with it, it may be a good idea to tag all the posts from your FAQ with "tp-faq-1" or something. The "1" is supposed to encourage other users to also post such "serial posts".

answered Jul 30, 2014 by dimension10 (1,950 points) [ no revision ]
+ 0 like - 2 dislike

I don't see the point of importing most of the stuff, as 90% of it is inflammatory philosophical positions concerning every controversial thing in physics, and to put it bluntly, many people don't agree with the positions. I suppose if it's here, it can be discussed, but a lot of the discussions are hackneyed.

I am in favor of importing the discussion of the Lindblatt equation for dissipative systems, but this requires a discussion of how to actually compute the dissipative coefficients. For a Feynman-Vernon (Caldera Legett) bath, you get interactions in the bath-removed description which are not local at all, unless you make some truncation. This is not discussed in the FAQ anyway, which just mentions the equation.

Sorry for being a dick, but I don't like the FAQ, as I don't agree with the philosophy most of the time, and even when I do, it doesn't strike me as non-controversial stuff, as a FAQ should be. I suppose one could write alternative answers, but it's demoralizing, because this stuff is very old issues, which are discussed ad nauseum in the literature, and everyone has already made up their mind about what language they like best.

answered Jul 29, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,535 points) [ revision history ]

As I understand it, these posts would not serve as any kind of  "official FAQ" here, but as "ordinary questions" with a self-answer. They can be disagreed with, and discussed/questioned  as needed ...

Ok, some of them are probably rather philosophical (my favorite QM interpretation is the shut up and calculate ;-),,, ), but there are also ones that look quite interesting to me.

Yes, I think posts can be discussed when imported. I am interested in bare/physical particles and their interactions.

The FAQ questions I saw were very elementary, except for the ones relating to the Lindblatt equations. In the case that they touch on graduate topics, the answers given were philosophically grating, because they emphasized one particular point of view, and clobbered other points of view.

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