Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It is known that the value of 2 of the electron g-factor arises from the Dirac equation. As far as I can see from the various sources, this value is obtained in non-relativistic limit, in particular by reducing Dirac equation to Pauli equation.

The anomalous magnetic moment of electron is further explained to arise from the electron's interaction with the surrounding electromagnetic field.

Is it possible that the anomalous magnetic moment is due to additional terms (such as an electric moment) omitted in the non-relativistic limit?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

g=2 comes from the Dirac equation, and is a relativistic effect. In the Pauli equation, it would have to be added by hand.

Radiation corrections give additional terms to the Dirac equation and modify the value by a little bit.

The corrections are in fact corrections of the form factors. There are an electric and a magnetic form factor. The magnetic form factor (and only that) determines g, while the electric form factor determines the Lamb shift.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks @Arnold. Does it mean that Dirac theory does NOT give a complete picture? Aren't radiation corrections the consequences of Dirac theory? –  Murod Abdukhakimov Mar 5 '12 at 13:51
    
The Dirac theory gives the bulk of g; but the complete picture is given by QED, which modifies the Dirac equation a little, to approx. 2.0023. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… - Radiative corrections come from interaction with the electromagnetic field, hence needs QED, which couples the Dirac equation and the Maxwell equations, and is a multiparticle theory, whereas the Dirac equation describes only a single particle. –  Arnold Neumaier Mar 5 '12 at 16:06

No, the correction is a strictly quantum effect. If you were to keep track of $\hbar$ while doing this computation, you'd find the correction is $O(\hbar)$. Generically, this corresponds to one-loop corrections in quantum field theory.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.