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Perturbation theory and total derivatives

  1. May 25, 2010 #1

    I was just reading about that total derivatives in the Lagrangian does not give any contributions in perturbation theory but that they can play role in non perturbative regimes.

    But there was no statement WHY that is so?

    Does any one have an idea and reading advices? I have the most Quantum field theory books and have tried to search for an answer but can't find anything of value :/

  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2010 #2
    I don't know for sure, but I bet the non perturbative relevance of the total derivative has something to do with instantons. Total derivative, differential forms, homotopy classes... there will be some connection there !
  4. May 25, 2010 #3
    that is why I am asking, I am doing work on the axion ;)

    now I wanted to know why we can forget bout total derivatives in pertruation theory
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