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Path integral of Richard Feynman

  1. Jun 24, 2004 #1
    Good morning,
    After Feynman formulation's of quantum mechanics, he expressed the propagator in function of path integral by this formula:

    $G(x,t;x_i,t_i)=\int\int exp{\frac{i}{\hbar}\int_{t_i}^{t}L(x,\dot{x},P)dt'}DxDp$
    the question is how we can define the integral measure Dx and Dp?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2004 #2


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  4. Jun 24, 2004 #3


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    Actually, Kiyosi Ito solved the measure problem for the Feynman integral in 1960 (see Proceedings of the Fourth Berkeley Symposium on Mathematical Statistics and Probability, Volume II, U. Cal Press, 1961. pp 227-238) He solves the problem for a non-relativistic H for a free particle and for a particle in a constant force field. He also solves the measure problem for the Weiner Integral, essentiall the Feynman integral after a Wick rotation ( t-> it), which describes brownian motion/heat flow.

    The idea is to build a sequence of probability densities (measures) for absolutely continuous trajectories, x(t), and take the appropriate limits. Very heavy math.

    Ito also points out that M. Kac, and Gelfand and Yaglom had worked out rigorous approaches the Feynman's path integral. I would suspect that more has been done since that time.

    Reilly Atkinson
  5. Jun 25, 2004 #4
    The most successful effort is detailed in glimm's big book wherein he converts the integrals into Wiener interals (which are properly defined) by means of what a physicist would call a"wick rotation" as mentioned above. My understading is that "cameron's thm" shows that there are no appropriate measures in the general case.

    Streater has the following interesting things to say on the subject:

    http://www.mth.kcl.ac.uk/~streater/lostcauses.html#IX [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
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