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Lecture 4.

Scattering theory.

David Kazhdan
4.1 Introduction.
This important branch of functional analysis is not so popular as it should be; one of
the reasons is that the phenomena studied in scattering theory has no nite-dimensional
analog.
The situation is roughly as follows.
Let A0 be a self-adjoint operator in a Hilbert space H (the function space). Let  be a
point in the continuous spectrum of A0 and let f0 be the corresponding \eigenfunction"
(quotation marks are put to remind that f0 lies not in the Hilbert space H , but rather in
an appropriate larger function space, i.e. f is a linear functional on a dense subspace in
H .)
We consider a \small" perturbation A = A0 + B of our self-adjoint operator A0, where
p
B is a self-adjoint operator such that ( 1 + A20 ) 1 B is compact, and we look for a -
eigenfunction f of the operator A.
Remark. This problem makes sense only if  lies in the continuous spectrum of A0 ; in
particular it never makes sense in nite dimensions. Indeed, the spectrum of an operator
moves as we perturb the operator; so an isolated point of the spectrum in general does not
lie in the spectrum of perturbed operator.
We look for an eigenfunction of the form f = f0 + g. We have:

Af = f , (A )g = Bf0 so formally


g = (A ) 1B(f0 ) :
Of course the last equality makes no sense since (A ) is not invertible. Nevertheless in
lim0(A   i") 1 B(f0 ). Then we
some cases one can show existence of the limits g = "!
put f = f0 + g.
Let us consider a concrete example of the above situation.
1
lim0(A   i") 1 B(f0 ).
In this example one can actually show existence of the limits "!
We will present another way to obtain the two eigenfunctions f . We leave it as an exercise
to the reader to check that the two procedures lead to the same answer.
We take H = L2(E ), where E is a d-dimensional Euclidean space. Let A0 =  + m2,
and let B be multiplication by a function b 2 Cc1(E ).
Claim. For f 2 Cc1(E ) we have:
kBeitA f k  jtj
0 d=2 for t ! 1

Corollary. For any f 2 Cc1(E ) the L2-limits t!1


lim eitA eitA f exist provided d > 2. 0

Proof of Corollary. Denote f t = eitA e itA f . Then we have:


0

@f t
@t t = kiAeit Ae
0
0 it0 A0 f
ieit A A0 e it A f k
0 0 0

= keit A Be it A f k = kBe t A f k :
0 0 0 0 0

So by the previous claim f =


R1  @f t  dt converges if d > 2. The proof for f is analogous.
+
0
@t
Obviously: kfkL = kf kL , hence there exist well-de ned operators W: H ! H ,
2 2

such that W (f ) = f . Moreover, we see that:

lim keitA Be
k(AW WA0 )(f )k = t!1 itA0 (f )k = 0 ;

hence AW = WA0 .


If the image of W is equal to the image of W , we de ne the S -matrix by: S = W  W .
+ +

Thus S 2 End(H ), and S commutes with A0 .


4.2 System of n particles (potential scattering). This is a generalization of the last
problem. We take H = L2(E n), A =
Pn P
i + Bij , where Bij is multiplication by a
i=1
function b(vi vj ), for b 2 Cc1(E ), and i is the Laplace operator along the ith copy of
E.
Let  be a partition of f1; : : : ; ng in a union of k disjoint sets 1 ; : : : ; k (\clusters").
2
P
Consider the decomposition E ` ' E E ` , where E ` = f(vi ; : : : ; vij` j ) 2 E ` j vi =
1
P
0g, and the isomorphism is given by (vi ; : : : ; vij` j ) ! (w` = j1`j vi ; (vi w`; vi
1 1 2

w`; : : : vij` j w`)).


k
We have obvious decompositions E = `=1 E ` , and the corresponding decomposition of
the function space:
k k
H = L2(E n) =
L2 (E ` ) =
L2(E )
L2 (E ` )

`=1 `=1
Pk
The operator A0 obviously decomposes as: A0 = A` , where A` acts along E ` ; and
`=1
furthermore A` = A0̀ + A00` , where A0̀ is minus the Laplace operator acting along E , and
A00` acts along E ` . Let H` = H`  L2(E ` ) be the sum of eigenspaces of A00` where 
k
runs over the discrete spectrum of A00` . Put H0() =
(L2(E )
H` )  L2(E n ) = H . Let
`=1
J : H0 () ,! H denote the natural isometric inclusion; thus J (H0 ()) is an A0 -invariant
subspace in H . We denote J = J :  H0() ! H .
Theorem 1. a) There exist strong limits W = t!1
lim eitAJe itA . 0

b) W is an isometric imbedding and we have: A  W = W  A0.


c) W is an isomorphism.
We omit the proof. Just remark that the proof of a) and b) is routine, while c) is a
dicult theorem, the full proof of which was obtained only recently.
4.3 Haag-Ruelle theory. We now apply the method of scattering theory to QFT.
Claims and methods of scattering theory discussed below apply only to Minkowski, not
to the Euclidean picture.
We will describe the following construction.
Let (U; H  D 3
i) be a scalar QFT. Suppose that:
a) HV = C
(uniqueness of vacuum).
b) There exists a P -invariant Hilbert subspace H  H with a P -equivariant isomor-
phism H ' L2(Om ), m > 0.
+

c) Mass spectrum of H=H  C


does not contain 0 and m.
3
d) The span of h(f )
i, f 2 S is not contained in H ?.
Let (U0 ; H0  D0; 0 ) be the free eld theory of mass m. Then one can construct two
P -equivariant isometric imbeddings W  : H0 ,! H.
Remark. We cannot hope that W  is an isomorphism, because  H can have discrete
spectrum outside of f0; m2g while for free theory it does not. An ideal theorem would
assert that a free theory constructed on discrete part of the spectral decomposition of  on
H maps isomorphically to H (compare with potential scattering described in the previous
section). Unfortunately there is no known way to formulate a precise theorem of this sort.
Remark. The construction can be carried out under weaker assumptions. Namely one can
omit condition d), and replace condition c) by requirement that the theory has positive
mass, and m2 is an isolated point of the discrete spectrum of .
However the assumption that 0 is an isolated point of Spec(U V ) is essential. Applica-
tion of scattering to a massless QFT confronts much more serious diculties than in the
massive case.
Remark. The construction does not work for small d. Consider the case d = 1. Then
QFT reduces to quantum mechanics. The spectrum of Hamiltonian of the free theory
Spec H0 = mZ is totally discrete, thus scattering theory is not applicable. One can prove
+

a slightly weaker statement in the case d = 2. Our argument will work for d  4.
We now turn to construction of imbeddings W . We try to imitate the construction of
the previous section (potential scattering).
Let   V be a G-invariant neighborhood of Om , such that  \ Spec U H ? = ;. For
+ +

any function f on V such that supp F(f )   and t 2 R let f t 2 S(V ) be the function
such that:  p 
F(f )(p0 ; ~p) = e
t it p m
0 p
~ F(f )(p0 ; ~p ) :
2 2

Note that f t = f provided supp(F(f ))  Om . +

In the rest of the lecture we prove the following


Theorem 2. a) If d  4 then for any f1 ; : : : ; fn 2 S(V ) such that supp(F(fi))   the
limits limt!  1 (f1t ) : : : (fnt )
exist.
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b) There exists a unique isometric imbedding W  : H0 ,! H, such that for any
f1 ; : : : ; fn 2 S(V ) with supp(F(f ))   we have:

W  (0 (f1 ) : : : 0(fn )


) = t!lim
1
(f1t ) : : : (fnt )

The imbeddings W are P -equivariant.


Remark. For a free eld theory the vector 0(f1t ) : : : 0(fnt )
does not depend on t. Indeed,
the eld operator 0(f ) for a free eld theory depends on (f ) Om only, and F(f t ) Om does
+ +

not depend on t.
Remark. Let L be the space of functions satisfying the conditions of Lemma 1. Fourier
transform identi es L with the space of Schwartz functions on Om . Let  be a Schwartz
+

function of one variable such that F() is supported in a small neighborhood of 0. For
f 2 L let us put f (x) = (x0 )  f (x) where x = (x0 ; ~x ). Then f 2 S(V ), and the Fourier
transform of f is concentrated in a neighborhood of Om being the convolution of the
+

function F(f ) concentrated on O+m and a function concentrated in a small neighborhood


of 0 on the time-axis.
This way we can x an initial imbedding j of (a dense subspace of) H0 to H such that
j (0(f1 )    0(fk )
) = (f1 )    (fk )
for any functions f1; ::; fk 2 L. Then one checks
directly that:

t )
= U (t; ~0 )
  
(f1t )    (fk j (U0 ( t; ~0 ) 0(f1 )    0(fk )
):

Thus the situation is quite analogous to the potential scattering considered in the pre-
vious section.
Proof of the Theorem. We start with two auxiliary estimates needed in the proof. The
rst is a standard fact from analysis.
Lemma 1 (locality for free elds). Let f 2 C 1(V ) be a solution of the Klein-Gordon
@f (x ; ~x)
equation, i.e. supp F(f )  Om . Assume that f (0; ~x ) and @x 0 x =0 are Schwartz
+
0 0

functions on Rd 1. Then for some constant C we have:


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a) sup
d
jf (x0 ; x~ )j  C (1 + jx0 j) (d 1)=2
~x2RR 1

b) jf (x0 ; x~ )jd~x  C (1 + jx0 j)(d 1)=2


Rd 1

We omit the proof; it is an exercise in stationary phase method (see lecture 1, x1.6,
Claim 1b) for a similar argument).
The second ingredient is the following estimate on truncated Wightman functions (see
lecture 3, x3.5 for the de nition).
Proposition 1. There exist a di erential operator with constant coecients D, a C 0
function of tempered growth F , and a polynomial function P on Vn such that Wtrn = D(F )
and the following estimate holds.
Let [1::n] = I [ J be a partition of [1::n] into union of 2 disjoint subsets; let a1 ; : : : ; an 2
Rd 1  V be such that ai 6= aj for i 2 I; j 2 J . Then for all t1 ; :::; tn 2 R  V we have:

m mini2I;j2J (
p ai aj )2 jti tj j) :
jF (t1 + a1 ; : : : ; tn + an)j < jP (t1 + a1 ; : : : ; tn + an)je (

Remark. The particular case n = 2 of the Proposition is implied by lecture 1, x1.6, Claim
1b). Also part a) of the same Claim guarantees that at least Wtrn (v1 ; ::; vi ; vi+1 + a; ::; vn +
a) ! 0 for any v1 ; : : : ; vn provided a2 < 0, which obviously follows from the Proposition.
The statement we will actually need is the following immediate
Corollary. Let it denote the embedding of (Rd 1)n to Vn, Q ~vi ! Q(t;~vi ), and let  :
(Rd 1)n ! (Rd 1)n 1 = (Rd 1)n = be the projection to quotient modulo diagonal. For a
Schwartz function h on Vn the restriction it (h  Wtrn ) is a smooth function invariant under
diagonal translations, hence it (h  Wtrn ) =  (Fth ) for some function Fht on (Rd 1)n 1 .

Then Fht 2 L1 (Rd 1)n 1 for any t, and Fth L is bounded by a constant independent of
1

t.
Proof of the Proposition. We start with an auxiliary result. Recall from the rst lecture
that the Fourier transform of Wightman functions has the property: F(Wn(p1 ; : : : ; pn)) = 0
if p1 +    + pk 2= V for some k. One can easily show:
+

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Lemma 2. Let V (m) be fp 2 V jp2 > mg. Then we have F(Wtrn (p1 ; : : : ; pn )) = 0
+ +

provided p1 +    + pk 2= V (m) for some k where m is the mass of the theory. Also
F(Wtrn (p1 ; : : : ; pn )) is concentrated on the hyperplane P pi = 0.
+
n
i=1
We are ready to prove the Proposition.
Let us denote: W0 (v1 ; : : : ; vn) = Wtr(vi ; : : : ; vik ; vj ; vj ; : : : ; vjn k )
1 1 2

and W00 (v1 ; : : : ; vn) = Wtr(vj ; : : : ; vjn k ; vi ; : : : ; vik ) where i1 < i2 < : : : < ik are the
1 1

elements of I , and j1 < : : : < jn k are the elements of J . From the Lemma it follows that
F(W0)(p1 ; : : : ; pn) = 0 if pi +    + pik 2= V (m);
1 +

F(W00 )(p1 ; : : : ; pn) = 0 if (pi +    + pik ) 2= V (m)


1 +

Let e be a smooth function of one variable, such that e(x) = 1 for x > m, e(x) = 1
for x < m, and its Fourier transform has asymptotics 'e = F(e(t))  e mjtj as t ! 1.
[It is a standard fact from calculus that such a function exists].
Let us put (p1 ; : : : ; pn) = e(p(0) (0) (0) (0)
i    pik ), where pi = (pi ; ~pi ) for pi 2 R; p~i 2 R
1
+ +
d 1
is the usual decomposition. Then we see that F(W0 ) = F(W0), F(W00 ) = F(W00 ). Let
' be Fourier transform of ; so ' is concentrated on a 1-dimensional subspace. Then we
have '  W0 = W0 , '  W00 = W00 , where  stands for convolution.
Since Wn is a tempered distribution it can be represented as Wn = D(F ) where F is a
continuous function of polynomial growth and D is a di erential operator with constant
coecients. We can assume that D is invariant under the action of symmetric group n+1.
Then the functions F 0 = F (vi ; ::; vik ; vj ; ::; vjn k ) and F 00 = F (vj ; ::; vjn k ; vi ; ::; vik )
1 1 1 1

satisfy: D(F 0 ) = W0 and D(F 00 ) = W00 . Then obviously: '  F 0 = F 0 and '  F 00 = F 00
The space-locality property implies that: F 0 (v1 ; : : : ; vn) = F 00 (v1 ; : : : ; vn) = F (v1 ; : : : ; vn )
provided (vi vj )2 < 0 for i 2 I , j 2 J .
So for j(ai aj )2j > (ti tj )2 we have:
F (t1 + a1 ; : : : ; tn + an) = 21 (F 0 (t1 + a1; : : : ; tn + an) + F 00 (t1 + a1; : : : ; tn + an))
Z1
= 12 '  (F 0 F 00 ) = 21 (F 0 F 00 )((t1 + a1 )t; (t2 + a2 )t ; : : : ; (tn + an)t )'e(t)dt
1
7
where we used the notation: (ti + ai)t = ti + ai t if i 2 I , and (tj + ai )t = tj + aj for
p
j 2 J . The expression in the integral vanishes if t < min( (ai aj )2 jti tj j). So
since F is of polynomial growth we get the desired upper bound for the integral.

The crucial step of the proof is the following


Lemma 3.
jWtrn (g1t ; : : : ; gnt )j  C (1 + jtj)(1 d)(n 2)=2
t
for some C and all t, where gjt = fjt or gjt = @f@tj or complex conjugate for each j .
Proof of the Lemma. Let us work in Fourier coordinates; let pr be the projection pr : Vn !
(Rd 1)n.
R R
Of course Wtrn (g1t ; : : : ; gnt ) = F(Wtrn )( p)F(g1t      gnt ) = pr (F(Wntr)( p)  F(g1t 
    gnt )). Let us look more closely at the last integral.
For this purpose it is convenient to write F(fi) (respectively F(f i)) in the form ~i  ~i
where ~i is a Schwartz function with support in  (respectively in ), and ~i is the
pull-back of a Schwartz function under the projection on Rd 1.
Let i be given by F(i) = Om  ~i (respectively F(i) = Om  ~i).
+

Using the projection formula we can rewrite:


 Y   Y~   Y 
pr F(Wn)( p)  F( git) = pr [Tt F(Wn)( p)  hi ]  pr [T t F( i) ]
Here Tt (f )(p) = exp(it  p0)f (p) and ~hi = ~i if git = fit or complex conjugate, and
pm2 ~p2) if gt = @fit
h~ i = ~i  i(p0 i @t or complex conjugate.
Q
Let h denote F( h~ i ). Then the integral we need to estimate equals to
Z h  Y ~ i   Y  Z Y 
pr Tt F(Wn)( p)  F hi  pr Tt F i = it (F  h)  i t i
(R d 1 )n (R d 1 )n

By Corollary to the Proposition it (Wn h) =  (Fth ), for some function Fth 2 L1 ((Rd 1)n 1),
and jFht jL < C where C does not depend on t.
1

8
Thus we have:
Z Z
jpr it (Wn  h)  pr1 i t(1 )j  C  jjt(1 )j  C  (1 + jtj)(d 1)=2
(R d 1 )n Rd 1

by Lemma 1b), where jt is the imbedding Rd 1 ,! V , ~v ! (t;~v )), and pri : (Rd 1)n !
Rd 1 is the projection to the i-th component. Hence
Z Y 
i (Wn  h)i
t t i  C (1 + jtj)(d 1)=2
(R d 1 )n
Yn
 (Rmax
d )n
1
prk j  t(j )  C (1 + jtj) (n 2)(d 1)=2
k=2
where the last inequality follows from Lemma 1a). Lemma 3 is proved.
We are now ready to prove the Theorem. Denote vt = (f 1t ) : : : (fnt )
. To show that
t exists it suces to check that the integral R @vt dt converges. We have:
1
the limit tlim
!1 v @t 0
 @vt 2 X X 
@t = (f1t ) : : : (f_it ) : : : (fn )
; (f1t ) : : : (f_jt ) : : : (fn)

i j
X t t 
= W2n f n; f n 1; : : : ; f_ti; : : : ; f t1; f1t ; f_jt ; : : : ; fn
i;j
Let us decompose W2n as sum of products of truncated Wightman functions, and con-
sider the corresponding decomposition of each summand in the last sum.
Each factor containing Wtr1 obviously vanishes. By the previous lemma each factor
containing Wtri is bounded by const(1+jtj)(i 2)(1 d)=2; in particular each factor is bounded.
Let us look at a factor of the form Wtrk (g1t ; :::; gkt ) where at least one of git is a time
derivative of f`t (or complex conjugate). If k =D 2 then such a Efactor vanishes. Indeed,
if say g1t = fit and g2t = f_jt then Wtr2(g1t ; g2t ) = (fit )
; (f_jt )
= 0 since (fjt )
does
not depend on t. (Here we use that supp F(fj ) \ supp U V = Om .) The other cases are +

absolutely parallel.
We now see that each non-zero summand contains a factor of the form
Wtrk (g1t ; : : : ; gkt ) with k  3. Furthermore, it either contains at least 2 factors Wtrk with
9
k  3 or at least one factor Wk with k  4, because the term has the form Wtrk : : : Wtrk` 1

with k1 +    + k` = 2n being even, and each ki  2. In any case it is bounded by


P
const  (1 + jtj)(1 d)=2 (ki 2)  const  (1 + jtj)1 d. Thus jv_ t j  const  (1 + jtj)(1 d)=2
R1
and v_ t dt converges absolutely if d  4.
1
Proof of b). Let us check that if vt = (f1t ) : : : (fkt )
, wt = (g1t ) : : : (g`t )
for fi , gj
as above then t!lim
1
(vt ; wt ) = (0(f1 ) : : : 0(fk )
; 0 (g1) : : : 0(g`)
). Let us again de-
compose (vt ; wt ) = W`+k (f tk ; f tk 1 ; : : : ; f t1 ; g1t ; : : : ; g`t ) into sum of products of truncated
Wightman functions. From the above arguments we see that every term containing Wtr1
vanishes, and every term containing Wtrk for k  3 tends to 0 as t !  1. Besides,
Wtr2(f; g) = ((f )
; (g)
) = (0(f )
; 0 (g)
). Thus we have
lim ((f1t ) : : : (fkt )
; (g1t ) : : : (g`t)
) = t!lim
t!  1
( (f t ) : : : 0(fkt )
;
1 0 1
0(g1t ) : : : 0(g`t)
) = (0(f1 ) : : : 0(fk )
; 0 (g1) : : : 0(g`)
)
We can now nish the proof. For free eld theory the space D is generated by the vectors
0(f1 ) : : : 0(fn )
for fi as above, because 0(f )x depends only on F(f ) Om for f 2 S, +

x 2 H.
P
For x 2 H let us choose functions fi such that x = 0(fi ) : : : 0(fis )
, and consider
the limit t!lim
P (f t ) : : : (f t )
. We proved already that for any y 2 H, and functions
1

1 P i 1 is
gj such that y = 0(gj ) : : : 0(gjr )
we have
1

 X X t 
lim
t!  1
(fit1 ) : : : (fits )
; t!lim
1
(gj1 ) : : : (gjtr )
= (x; y):
Hence the limits do not depend on the choice of fi , gj , and give correctly de ned isometric
imbedding. The Theorem is proved.
4.4 Scattering matrix.
Proposition 2. We have: Im(W ) = Im(W ). +

Thus we can de ne the S -matrix S = W  W 2 End(H0). It is interesting that S can


+

be described in terms of the Wightman functions of the theory.


10
The precise formulation is as follows. Let f~ denote the partial Fourier transform of f
p
in space variables. Vector ~v 2 Rd 1 is called a velocity of f if we have ~v = ~p= ~p2 + m2
for p~ such that (p0 ; p~) 2 supp(f~) for some real number p0.
Theorem. (Lehmann-Symanzik-Zimmerman)
a) The residue F(WTn ) (Om)n is a well-de ned distribution on Vn supported on (Om )n ,
+
+

where WTn is the time-ordered Wightman function (see lecture 2, x2.4 for the de nition).
b) Assume fi 2 S and the set of velocities of fi and fj does not intersect for i =
6 j.
Then:
* ! 0 1+
X Y Y
( 1)jI j W 0(fi )
; W @ 0(fj )
A =
+

I (1;:::;n) i 2I j 2= I


= Res(F(WT )); F(f )  : : :  F(f ) :
n 1 n

It is an elementary combinatorial problem to deduce an expression for matrix coecients


Q Q
of the S -matrix: hW 0(f1 )
; W 0(fj )
i in terms of F(WT ) from the last formula.
+

References
M. Reed, B. Simon,spaceMethods of Modern Mathematical Physics, vol. 4. Analysis of
operators; xXI.16,spaceAcademic Press,space1978.
J. Glimm, A. Ja e,spaceQuantum Physics. (A functional integral point of view); xx13.5{
14.2,spaceSpringer-Verlag,space1987.

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