Special Physics Seminar: Tuesday,March 5th: Feynman path integral view of the quantum world

Event Date: 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 5:15pm

Event Date Details: 

Pizza served at the conclusion of event.

Event Location: 

  • Broida 3302
  • Special Physics Seminar

A consistent treatment of special relativity, general relativity, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics is based on the principle of least action.  Specifically, this principle allows one to derive the fundamental equations that govern the dynamics of each of these fields in a uniform and self-consistent way. In this talk, I will introduce the Feynman path integral method that not only generalizes the principle of least action, but also provides a radically different view of the quantum world. In order to present this method, I will review the double-slit experiment and extend it to the most general case of a screen comprised of N slits. I will show that the summation over quantum paths emerges naturally as the number of slits, N, approaches infinity, revealing the Feynman path integral method. I will then apply this method for a non-relativistic particle confined in a potential and derive the Schrödinger equation. I will demonstrate that in the continuous limit, the Feynman path integral turns into a functional of a scalar quantum field theory, and thus provides a framework for Standard Model physics and beyond. Finally, I will show that the minimization of action on a fractional space-time metric with a subsequent evaluation of the Feynman path integral leads to a self-consistent derivation of the fractional Schrödinger equation that governs the rich dynamics exhibited by multi-scale quantum materials.

Gavriil Shchedrin, Colorado School of Mines