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Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics$
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Jean Zinn-Justin

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198566748

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566748.001.0001

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Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics

Jean Zinn-Justin

Oxford University Press

The methods that have been described in previous chapters can be used to study general quantum Bose systems. They are based in a direct way on the introduction of a generating function of symmetric wave functions of bosons. In the case of fermion systems, however, one faces the problem that fermion wave functions, or fermion correlation functions (or Green functions) are antisymmetric with respect to the exchange of a fermion pair. Thus, the construction of generating functions requires the introduction of an antisymmetric or Grassmann algebra of ‘classical functions’. It is then possible to generalize to Grassmann algebras the notions of derivatives and integrals, yielding quite parallel formalisms for bosons and fermions, in particular, to define a path integral for fermion systems, analogous to the holomorphic path integral for bosons. This chapter discusses differentiation and integration in Grassmann algebras, Gaussian integrals and perturbative expansion, partition function, and quantum Fermi gas.

Keywords:   fermions, path integrals, Grassmann algebras, differentiation, integration, Gaussian integrals, perturbative expansion, partition function, Fermi gas

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