nLab parent action functional




physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics

Surveys, textbooks and lecture notes

theory (physics), model (physics)

experiment, measurement, computable physics




In physics one speakes of a parent action functional (Deser-Jackiw 84) when referring to an action functional S parS_{par} which, by solving the equations of motion of two different sets of its “auxiliaryfields, is classically equivalent to two different-looking action functionals S AS_A and S BS_B, thereby exhibiting S AS_A and S BS_B as classically equivalent to each other. Hence a parent action functional constitutes a correspondence between two action functionals

S par clas clas S A S B. \array{ && S_{par} \\ & {}^{\mathllap{\simeq_{clas}}}\swarrow && \searrow^{\mathrlap{\simeq_{clas}}} \\ S_A && && S_B } \,.

The method is used notably to exhibit “duality” between S AS_A and S BS_B of one form or another, in particular electric-magnetic duality. (See e.g. Miao-Ohta 03).

Beware that some authors also speak of master actions instead of parent actions in this context, but there is not relation to “master actions” in the sense of BV-BRST formalism (except, of course, that both are action functionals of some sort).


Last revised on February 8, 2018 at 18:28:12. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.