Topics in quantum field theory
Kibble, T. W. B.
The subject matter of this thesis falls into two distinct parts. Chapters II to IV are devoted to a discussion of Schwinger's action principle, and chapters V and VI are concerned with the proof of dispersion relations for inelastic meson-nucleon scattering. The material of chapter II is based on some work done in collaboration with Dr. J.C. Polkinghorne, which has been published (Kibble and Polkinghorne 1957). This work was concerned with the clarification of certain points connected with the class of permissible variations in Schwinger's principle. There are, however, substantial changes in the present treatment, principally deriving from the introduction, in section II-5, of the concept of relative phases. This chapter is restricted to the case of non-relativistic quantum theory, and the discussion is extended to relativistic quantum field theory in chapter III. These chapters are devoted to a reformulation of Schwinger's action principle, and an investigation of the consequences of the new form of the action principle. Some of this material is necessarily contained in the work of Schwinger (1951, 1953a), but the treatment differs from his in several important respects. These are discussed in greater detail in section 2. Chapter IV is devoted to a discussion of higher order spinor Lagrangians, with particular reference to the use of a two-component field satisfying a second-order equation rather than a four-component spinor satisfying a first-order equation. This procedure has been suggested by Feynman and Gell-Mann (1958) in connection with their universal Fermi interaction. The work presented in this chapter was done jointly with Dr. J.C. Polkinghorne, and has been published (Kibble and Polkinghorne 1958). Chapters V and VI are devoted to a proof of the dispersion relations for the process in which a single meson is scattered on a nucleon into a state with several mesons. The proof follows the general lines of that by Bogolyubov, Medvedev and Polivanov (1956) for the case of elastic meson-nucleon scattering, This work has also been published (Kibble 1958). The notation employed in the thesis is summarized in appendix A. Appendix B is devoted to a discussion of consistency conditions on the Lagrangian function. The chapter number is omitted in references to sections or equations, except in the case of cross references between chapters.