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Title: Charge transfer in algebraic quantum field theory
Author: Wright, Jill Dianne
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1981
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We discuss aspects of the algebraic structure of quantum field theory. We take the view that the superselection structure of a theory should be determinable from the vacuum representation of the observable algebra, and physical properties of the charge. Hence one determines the nature of the charge transfer operations: the automorphisms of the observable algebra corresponding to the movement of charge along space-time paths. New superselection sectors are obtained from the vacuum sector by an automorphism which is a limit of charge transfer operations along paths with an endpoint tending to spacelike infinity. Roberts has shown that for a gauge theory of the first kind, the charge transfer operations for a given charge form a certain kind of 1-cocycle over Minkowski space. The local 1-cohomology group of their equivalence classes corresponds to the superselection structure. The exact definition of the cohomology group depends on the properties of the charge. Using displaced Fock representations of free fields, we develop model field theories which illustrate this structure. The cohomological classification of displaced Fock representations has been elucidated by Araki. For more general representations, explicit determination of the cohomology group is a hard problem. Using our models, we can illustrate ways in which fields with reasonable physical properties depart fromthe abovementioned structure. In 1+1 dimensions, we use the Streater-Wilde model to illustrate explicitly the representation-dependence of the cohomology structure, and the direction-dependence of the limiting charge transfer operation. The cohomology structure may also be representation-dependent in higher-dimensional theories without strict localization of charge, for example the electromagnetic field. The algebraic structure of the electromagnetic field has many other special features, which we discuss in relation to the concept of charge transfer. We also give some indication of the modifications needed to account for gauge theories of the second kind.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Theoretical Physics