Particle interactions are changes in the nature, number, or state of several particles, usually at a specific space-time point, underlying dynamics. They are represented by special "field interaction terms" in quantum field theory and normally entail interchanges of energy, momentum, and sundry ...

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How exactly does gravity work?

The electromagnetic force and strong and weak forces require particles like photons and gluons. But in case of gravity there is no such particle found. Every mass bearing object creates a ...
26
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6answers
9k views

Why is gravitation force always attractive?

Why is the gravitational force always attractive? Is there another way to explain this without the curvature of space time? PS: If the simple answer to this question is that mass makes space-time ...
23
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6answers
1k views

Simple example showing why measurement & interaction are different

Does someone know of a clear (pedagogical) example where one can really see(with the math) where interaction and measurement are not synonymous in quantum mechanics? I know that every measurement ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Interpretation of derivative interaction term in QFT

I am trying to understand what a term like $$ \mathcal{L}_{int} = (\partial^{\mu}A )^2 B^2 $$ with $A$ and $B$ being scalar fields for instance means. I understand how to draw an interaction term in ...
16
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7answers
531 views

Macroscopic laws which haven't been derived from microscopic laws

Can you think of examples where a macroscopic law coexists with a fully known microscopic law, but the former hasn't been derived from the latter (yet)? Or maybe a rule of thumb, which works but hasn'...
16
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1answer
1k views

Do neutrinos refract?

The most benign of interactions is refraction. While neutrinos rarely interact with matter in a sense like the photoelectric effect, does that mean that they don't refract either?
15
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3answers
1k views

Can all fundamental forces be fictitious forces?

After reading many questions, like this and this, I wonder: is it possible to consider also the other fundamental forces, the electroweak interaction and the strong interaction or ultimately the ...
9
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4answers
5k views

How is it possible for objects to travel faster than the speed of sound when particles interact at the speed of sound

First of all, I am sorry if this is a stupid question but: I've heard that atoms interact with each other at the speed of sound (when you for instance push a chair, the atoms collide with each other ...
9
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2answers
271 views

Yukawa interaction between Dirac particles is universally attractive?

Can anyone provide me a specific reference to (or supply themselves) the derivation of the fact that the Yukawa interaction$$\mathcal{L}_{\text{int}} = -g\overline{\psi} \psi \phi$$between Dirac ...
8
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4answers
244 views

Is there some special case where a fermion can mediate a force?

Looking at the comments of this questions Does the gravitino contribute to the gravitational interaction? and even considering that the answers here in this other question Why are all force particles ...
8
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2answers
639 views

Can we fully simulate molecular physics?

Is our knowledge of physics complete enough to achieve fully natural simulations of molecular interactions in a computer simulation? How far off are we? Reason for question: I wonder how far we are ...
8
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1answer
431 views

Källén–Lehmann spectral representation for massless particle?

Is it possible to write down a KL-like formula for massless particles (in particular, the photon)? The usual proof of the theorem assumes (see http://www.thphys.uni-heidelberg.de/~weigand/QFT1-13-14/...
8
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1answer
773 views

Why will two bubbles floating on water surface attract each other?

Two identical bubbles floating on water surface will form clumps, according to the "cheerio effect". But what's the detail about the force? It's necessary to calculate the shape of water surface, in ...
7
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1answer
282 views

Why is there no fundamental force following from the $SU(4)$ symmetry?

I've understood that the three fundamental interactions described by the Standard Model (the electromagnetic, the weak and the strong force) are thought to correspond (roughly) to gauge invariances ...
7
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4answers
250 views

Why don't we call the fermions in the standard model force carriers?

Maybe this is a chicken-and-egg problem, but couldn't we call all the bosons fundamental and treat the fermions as force carriers between them? EDIT: After all we never see the asymptotic states of ...
7
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1answer
2k views

How to measure a solid-solid surface energy?

Many techniques exist to measure the surface energy between a liquid and a liquid or a liquid and a gas (see e.g. the wiki page). Methods to measure the surface energy between a solid and a fluid are ...
7
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2answers
169 views

Expectation values of interacting fields

I was motivated to ask this question by the equality claimed in equation 10.3.3 of Weinberg's volume 1 of QFT books. My interpretation of that, If $O_s$ is a quantum field of spin $s$, $\psi_s$ is ...
7
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1answer
250 views

Lorentz invariance, energy-momentum conservation & the locality of interactions

I have been reading these notes ("Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years Later", by Vesselin Petkov) 1, in which the author states (in the middle of the text on page 137) that "The only Lorentz ...
6
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2answers
320 views

Peskin eqn 7.2 contradiction

They state $$\langle\Omega|\phi(x)|\lambda_{\bf p}\rangle=\langle\Omega|e^{iP\cdot x}\phi(0)e^{-iP\cdot x}|\lambda_{\bf p}\rangle \tag{7.4}$$ where $|\lambda_{\bf p}\rangle$ is a state of momentum ${\...
6
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2answers
208 views

In QFT how do you write down the most general interactions?

This past year I took a QFT class and I now feel comfortable solving scattering problems, but I am still a bit perplexed by how physicists write down a Lagrangian in the first place. In particular, ...
6
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2answers
290 views

Why are the “coupling constants” constant?

The coupling constants (in the gauge theory) fix an inner product on the lie algebra of the gauge group and we use it to define strength of the fields. we are using ad-invariant inner products which ...
6
votes
2answers
260 views

What are fundamental dimensions used to describe the physical universe? [closed]

I have heard that the universe can be explained in terms of the four fundamental forces. I have also heard it can be explained in terms such as space, time, energy, mass or even motion. To further ...
6
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2answers
811 views

How do Leptons arise from Lambda decay?

I have a question for an assignment: Use your understanding of the quark model of hadrons and the boson model of the weak nuclear interaction to explain how leptons can arise from lambda decay, ...
6
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0answers
100 views

How do proteins perform their function? [closed]

Let's, for example, take a ribosome. It is an enzyme that is in turn just a molecule that must follow the laws of physics. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it can be looked upon as a molecular machine ...
5
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1answer
129 views

Fifth force in string theory [closed]

I can't seem to get a clear description of what the "fifth force" in string theory is. What is the fifth force in string theory? What does it do? What mediates it?
5
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2answers
143 views

Does String Theory Predict more than Four Forces?

String theory literature tells us that ST predicts the four forces: weak, strong, EM, and gravity. What it fails to tell us is if that's all the forces it predicts. Might there be a fifth force that ...
5
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2answers
544 views

Lorentz transformation in light cone coordinates in string theory

What is the explicit form of the Lorentz transformation changing the light cone coordinates in the light cone gauge in string theory? The extended nature of the strings complicate matters, especially ...
5
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1answer
100 views

Five-component field

Recently I was reading about 5-component field $(\varphi , \psi_{\mu})$, for which $$ \hat {p}^{\mu} \varphi = mc\psi^{\mu}, \quad \hat {p}_{\mu}\psi^{\mu} = mc\varphi . $$ This field refers to the ...
5
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1answer
143 views

Why can interactions be neglected for the Integer Quantum Hall effect?

Though the statement is made often, I've not seen any justification for neglecting electron-electron (Coulomb) interactions in the fully filled $\nu =1$ IQH state. I would highly appreciate if someone ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does heat lose its energy as we get further away?

Why does heat lose its energy dramatically as I move back? Say I have a fire around 0.5 meters in front of me, I can clearly feel the heat, however, as I move even very slightly back, say 1 meter ...
4
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3answers
312 views

Could Dark Matter particles that don't couple to quarks or leptons have been produced?

With what we know about physics, is it possible that when the universe 'began', around when quarks and leptons were produced, another particle, which doesn't couple to either quarks, leptons or ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Long/short-range interaction

A potential of the form $r^{-n}$ is often considered long-range, while one that decays exponentially is considered short-range. Is this characterization simply relative/conventional, or is there a ...
4
votes
2answers
201 views

Interpretation of an “interaction” term

In QFT a polynomial (of degree >2) in the fields is said to be an interaction term, Ex.: $\lambda\phi^4$. Question Is it possible to give an interpretation to terms like $\frac{1}{\phi^n}$? (for $n\...
4
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3answers
118 views

If neutrons aren't affected by electromagnetic force, what causes it to bounce off matter?

Say a neutron is heading for a mountain, what would cause it to bounce off said amalgamation of matter? Electromagnetism is ruled out, gravity is too weak, (if I'm not mistaken) nuclear strong force ...
4
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1answer
609 views

How are forces related to decays?

How are decays related to forces, what is meant by particle X decays through the, say, strong force? The way I understand forces is by how they change the acceleration of particles with the right ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Intuitive picture for spin-fluctuations contribution to specific heat of He3

Usually when discussing Fermi liquid theory, it is stated that due to the quasiparticles effectively behaving like a free electron gas with effective mass, the specific heat is linear in $T$ at small ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Question about the foundation of part I in A. Zee's book

Zee says in Section I.3 of QFT in a nutshell: The functional integral $$Z = \int D \varphi e^{i \int d^4 x [\frac{1}{2} (\partial \varphi)^2 - V(\varphi) + J(x) \varphi (x)]} \tag{11} $$ is ...
4
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1answer
113 views

Range Of An Interaction

Why is the Compton wavelength $\lambda_c=\frac{\hbar}{mc}$ used as a sensible measure for the range of an interaction, where $m$ is the mass of the corresponding mediator?
4
votes
1answer
279 views

Feynman rule for deriative interaction: an example

Consider a theory for a finite number of real scalar fields $\phi _i$ with interaction terms of the form $$ -\lambda _{ijk}\phi _i\partial _\mu \phi _j\partial ^\mu \phi _k, $$ with the sum over $i,j,...
4
votes
1answer
377 views

Deriving Feynman Rules (with the presence of a gluon field strength tensor)

If I have a Lagrangian of the form: $$ \mathcal{L} = k \bar{\psi} \varepsilon^{\mu \nu} \lambda^a \phi G^a_{\mu \nu} + h.c. $$ [where $\phi, \psi$ are fermions, $\lambda^a$ are Gellmann matrices, $\...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

In the context of quantum field theory, what does it mean to “couple” something?

Suppose I have the following Lagrangian density \begin{equation} \mathcal{L} = - \frac{1}{4} F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu} \end{equation} The lecture notes I an reading suggest if I want to "couple to matter",...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Are fundamental forces always attractive/repulsive, i.e. parallel to the separation?

If magnetic monopoles existed it would not be the case - the forces on an electron and a magnetic monopole passing by each other would be at right angles to the vector connecting the two particles! ...
4
votes
2answers
267 views

Non-local Lagrangian contact interaction

Conside a contact interaction given by a delta function on their worldlines. Use a gauge fixed Lagrangian for two point particles in terms of their proper times $t$ and $t^{\prime}$. Is it possible to ...
4
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0answers
95 views

Is the phrase “coupling constant” interchangable with “ strength of interactions”?

Can I use the terms coupling constant and strength of interactions, interchangeably, or are there more subtleties to the term coupling constant that I am not aware of? Coupling Constants from ...
4
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0answers
127 views

Coincidence of spacetime events & Lorentz invariance

Am I correct in thinking that if two spacetime events are coincident in one frame of reference, then they are coincident in all frames of reference, i.e. coincidence of spacetime events is a Lorentz ...
4
votes
0answers
73 views

Why are interactions always mediated via bosons (as opposed to fermions)? [duplicate]

Weak, Strong and electromagnetic force are mediated via bosons. I've come across the Walecka-model where the exchange particles are $\sigma$ and $\omega$ mesons; bosons again. why are interactions ...
4
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0answers
90 views

How to prove that identical particles are attracted or repelled in a given spin-s interaction theory?

Let's assume that we have integer spin interaction theory (EM field, linearized gravity, arbitrary gauge spin s theory). How to prove the consequence that in interaction theory with spin $s = 2n$ two ...
3
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2answers
544 views

Is there a quark conservation law?

The section on particle interactions in my revision guide says that only the weak interaction can change quark types, e.g. when a neutron changes to a proton the down quarks in the neutron are changed ...
3
votes
2answers
169 views

Feynman diagram for attractive forces

I’m looking at Feynman diagrams for attractive forces and I'm thoroughly confused. Below are three diagrams from HyperPhysics: These all illustrate instances where the forces are attractive. ...
3
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1answer
76 views

What is it that Lagrangian density with only bilinear terms always corresponds to free field theory?

Is there an intuitive proof of this fact? (Maybe connected in some way to Central Limit Theorem?).