chapter  6
18 Pages

Path Integral Formulation Of Quantum Mechanics

WithNelson Bolivar, Gabriel Abellán

To introduce the formalism of the functional integral in quantum mechanics, this chapter starts from the definition of the temporal evolution operator. It is important to emphasize that in the classical limit is not only the classic trajectory that have the grater contribution, but all the paths close to this also contribute. The chapter shows how integral formulation is perfectly consistent with Schrödinger's time-dependent differential equation. It retrieves this equation from definition of transition amplitude as a path integral. The chapter discusses functional derivative generalized to the case of the ordinary functional derivative. A very useful tool to solve problems related to functional integrals is the Wick rotation or Euclidean rotation. In quantum mechanics there are few problems we can solve exactly, and very often, when possible, we use perturbation theory to find an approximate solution. The chapter follows this approach with formalism of functional integration and construct a perturbation theory from which can be obtained a physical interpretation.