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43
votes
5answers
18k views

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 ...
21
votes
6answers
961 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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
15
votes
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?
14
votes
7answers
497 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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
493 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 ...
7
votes
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
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
148 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
votes
2answers
536 views

How general relativity gets to an inverse-square law

I understand that a general interpretation of the $1/r^2$ interactions is that virtual particles are exchanged, and to conserve their flux through spheres of different radii, one must assume the ...
6
votes
1answer
432 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
168 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
votes
2answers
796 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
125 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
votes
2answers
453 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
votes
2answers
188 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
81 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k 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
votes
3answers
292 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
2answers
173 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
445 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
122 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
89 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
votes
1answer
91 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
80 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
92 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
1answer
217 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
247 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
votes
0answers
86 views
+50

Peskin eqn 7.2 contradiction

They state $\langle\Omega|\phi(x)|\lambda_p\rangle=\langle\Omega|e^{iP\cdot x}\phi(0)e^{-iP\cdot x}|\lambda_p\rangle$ where $|\lambda_p\rangle$ is a state of momentum $\textbf{p}$. They then rewrite ...
4
votes
0answers
59 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
69 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
votes
0answers
75 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
votes
2answers
195 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
1answer
704 views

Are fundamental forces conservative?

I wonder whether fundamental forces are conservative. First of all, I'm not sure if we can talk about conservative forces, since to study electromagnetism, weak and strong interactions we need QFT. ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Interacting classical strings?

May classical strings be interacting? I would guess no, I can not see any way to break a classical closed string in two of them (the "pants" diagram); but maybe I'm missing something.
3
votes
2answers
664 views

What is an “Interaction Hamiltonian”

I'm an undergraduate reading up on some quantum physics so that I can help out more in the lab that I'm working in this summer. In the book I'm reading (Shankar's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics") I ...
3
votes
1answer
317 views

Diagonalizing Van der Waals Hamiltonian

In Kittel's Solid State Physics, he attempts to find the energy exchange due to the van der Waals interaction. He starts by writing the hamiltonian: two oscillators with coordinates $x_1$ and $x_2$ ...
3
votes
2answers
427 views

Gell-Mann Low Theorem and Vacuum Energy

I know that the sum of vacuum bubbles can be related to the Vacuum energy, but I'm trying to understand how this follows from the Gell-Mann Low theorem/equation. My question will use equations from ...
3
votes
1answer
315 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

Hamiltonian for a Lagrangian with coupling

I am dealing with the following Lagrangian density $$\mathscr{L}_{em}= -\frac{1}{2}\rho\omega^2 u^2 +\frac{1}{2}\nabla u:\Sigma :\nabla ...
3
votes
1answer
240 views

Interacting system and relaxation times

I got a question I'm not sure how to state precisely or is it even valid. Any help is most welcomed. I stripped the question of all details because I wanted to emphasize my problem, but should ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I explain why the weak nuclear interaction between individual nucleons is 'weak'?

By considering the energy-time uncertainty principle, estimate the range of the weak nuclear interaction at low energies. Compare this range to the size of a typical nucleon (for example, a proton) ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Do hadrons only interact via strong interaction?

According to my revision guide baryon and mesons always interact via the strong interaction. Does this hold for baryon-baryon interactions? meson-meson? Thanks
2
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
259 views

Interaction speed between electric charges and magnetic materials

Einstein said that the speed of a matter in universe cannot exceed the speed of light. Is it correct for electric force transmission speed from one electric charge to other one? What is ...
2
votes
2answers
739 views

Why $\lambda\phi^4$ theory, where $\lambda>0$, is not bounded from below?

Why the following interaction, in QFT, $$\displaystyle{\cal L}_{\rm int} ~=~\frac{\lambda}{4!}\phi^4$$ where $\lambda$ is positive, represents a theory that is unstable (or unbounded from below as it ...
2
votes
1answer
56 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?).