Statistical Field Theory

A statistical field theory is any model in statistical mechanics where the degrees of freedom comprise a field or fields. In other words, the microstates of the system are expressed through field configurations. It is closely related to quantum field theory, which describes the quantum mechanics of fields, and shares with it many phenomena, such as renormalization. If the system involves polymers, it is also known as polymer field theory.

In fact, by performing a Wick rotation from Minkowski space to Euclidean space, many results of statistical field theory can be applied directly to its quantum equivalent. The correlation functions of a statistical field theory are called Schwinger functions, and their properties are described by the Osterwalder–Schrader axioms.

Statistical field theories are widely used to describe systems in polymer physics or biophysics, such as polymer films, nanostructured block copolymers or polyelectrolytes.

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