Skeletonizations of Phase Space Paths

Abstract

Construction of skeletonized path integrals for a particle moving on a curved spatial manifold is considered. As shown by DeWitt, Kuchar and others, while the skeletonized configuration space action can be written unambiguously as a sum of Hamilton principal functions, different choices of the measure will lead to different Schrodinger equations. On the other hand, the Liouville measure provides a unique measure for a skeletonized phase space path integral, but there is a corresponding ambiguity in the skeletonization of a path through phase space. A family of skeletonization rules described by Kuchar and referred to here as geodesic interpolation is discussed, and shown to behave poorly under the involution process, wherein intermediate points are removed by extremization of the skeletonized action. A new skeletonization rule, tangent interpolation, is defined and shown to possess the desired involution properties

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