Quantum-ElectroDynamics (QED) is the quantum field theory believed to describe the electromagnetic interaction (and with some extension the weak nuclear force).

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Feynman's path integral formulation and faster-than-light paths

In Brian Greene's book "The elegant Universe", he talks about the double slit experiment and Feynman's interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. According to the book, Feynman said that one vaild ...
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How Light interacts with Atoms? [on hold]

I think I have confused myself about how light interacts with matter, would somebody be able to clear these questions up for me? How does an atom reflect light? Can an electron just essentially '...
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How many photons are needed to make a light wave?

What is the smallest number of photons needed to make a "light wave"? In other words, how many (coherent?) photons start to exhibit classical behavior? For example, how many photons are needed to get ...
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Atom-photon interaction

When we describe interaction of atom with EM field, we consider the interaction term in Hamiltonian as follows $$ W(t) = -\frac{e}{2\mu c} (\hat{A} \hat{p} + \hat{p} \hat{A}) + \frac{e^2}{2\mu c^2} \...
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Running of $\alpha$ and scattering amplitudes

Consider a QED scattering process $e^-+e^-\rightarrow e^-+e^-$. The scattering crosssection at the tree-level depends on the square of the fine-structure constant $\alpha$ (apart from the electron ...
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Electron-positron annihilation: Feynman diagram

Maybe my question is just a blunder. Consider Compton interaction: $e^{-}+\gamma \rightarrow e^{-}+\gamma$. There are two Feynman diagrams related to this process to the lowest order of $\alpha$. Now ...
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Can someone please give some references on scattering in Proca theory?

Can someone please give some references on scattering in Proca theory? I am looking for scattering calculations with massive photons.
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1answer
68 views

Electric charge conservation in a superconductor

In a superconductor, $U(1)$ gauge symmetry is spontaneously broken. But $U(1)$ gauge symmetry is responsible for conservation of electric charge. Then it appears to me that the electric charge ...
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2answers
47 views

How do Rabi oscillations act on the relative phase of state kets

Suppose we have a system with a lower state $\left|{\downarrow}\right\rangle$ and and upper state $\left|{\uparrow}\right\rangle$, coupled by a pulsed electromagnetic field. I thought that from an ...
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1answer
33 views

Why is there a band gap in semiconductors but no band gap in conductors?

At this point, I understand that at least one fundamental difference between conductors and semiconductors is that in conductors, there is typically no band gap because the valence band and ...
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Helicity of photon as a symmetry group

I have troubles understanding how to derive E(2) representation of a photon symmetry group from the fundamental principles of Eelectrodynamics. I know that it has to do with the symmetries of ...
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4answers
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How can fields interaction give rise to particles?

We say light a matter-wave, meaning along with its wave property it shows particle nature. But how can fields interaction (electric and magnetic) give rise to particles (photon)? I wish someone could ...
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56 views

Thus, what mediates the electric interaction between two electrons? [duplicate]

We are all learning since kindergarten that the electric interaction is mediated by photons. then you learn this photons are not real, there are real photons, true, but these do not mediate the ...
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30 views

Energy loss of photons crossing a dielectric medium

How much energy do photons lose when crossing an "isotropic" dielectric medium? What would be possible mechanisms. I assume the straight forward answer would be that the photon loses zero energy and ...
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1answer
26 views

Derivation of photon propagator from EM Lagrangian

I am following Ryder's Quantum Field Theory. In chapter 7, in order to derive the photon propagator, he first derives eq. 7.4 $$\mathcal{L}=\dfrac{1}{2}A^\mu[g_{\mu\nu}\partial^2-\partial_\mu\partial_\...
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43 views

Does QED have engineering applications?

QED is certainly important for understanding the physical World; I'm wondering though, does it has any practical, engineering applications? For example, is it sufficient for development of lasers to ...
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45 views

What one would observe on extremely high voltages?

I am interested which physical processes generate the highest electrical voltage and what the highest measured voltage is. In everyday life, electrostatic charges e.g. while walking with socks on a ...
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4answers
140 views

The analytical result for free massless fermion propagator

For massless fermion, the free propagator in quantum field theory is \begin{eqnarray*} & & \langle0|T\psi(x)\bar{\psi}(y)|0\rangle=\int\frac{d^{4}k}{(2\pi)^{4}}\frac{i\gamma\cdot k}{k^{2}+i\...
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1answer
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Understanding type of force interaction in particle decays

Are there any fundamental rules of thumbs that can be used to identify the type of force interaction (weak, electromagnetic, strong) in a particle decay without drawing the Feynman diagrams at the ...
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44 views

Fine Structure and Fine Structure Constant - intuitive relation?

How does the fine structure and fine structure constant relate to each other, intuitively? I've seen $\alpha$ extrapolated as a term in energy calculations for fine structure, but is there a ...
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1answer
105 views

Proton is made of 3 quarks of each spin 1/2, but the total spin of proton also 1/2, how it is possible?

Proton is made of 3 quarks (UUD) each has a spin of 1/2, so if you follow the constitution the total spin of the proton must be (3/2), but the spin of the proton is still 1/2. How it is possible? But ...
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The singular term in the operator product of two fermion operators

Consider an operator product $\bar{\psi}(x+\epsilon)\psi(x)$ in which $\psi(x)$ is the fermion field operator in QED. We want to compute the singular term in $\bar{\psi}(x+\epsilon)\psi(x)$ in the ...
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2answers
99 views

Running coupling outside QFT

I'm reading about the running coupling in QCD. I understand the vacuum polarization and its consequences. Also I've read that you can find the same phenomenon on the strong interaction, giving us the ...
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1answer
73 views

What happens to the electric field lines when an electron and positron collide? [duplicate]

A month back I began my course in classical electrodynamics. I know about the field lines of moving charges. But I have this question that if an electron and a positron are situated some distance ...
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2answers
81 views

Quantum field theory why is it a trace?

So in perskin when computing the amplitude of $e^+e^-\rightarrow\mu^+\mu^-$ summing up over spin they say \begin{align}\sum_{s,s'}\bar{v}^{s'}_a(p_2)\gamma^\mu_{ab}u^s_b(p_1)\bar{u}^{s}_c(p_1)\gamma^...
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In QED/Yang Mills, why do fermions contribute 4 times as much as scalars to vacuum polarization?

Consider a Yang-Mills theory in $4D$ over a gauge group $G$ $$ \mathcal{L} = - \frac{1}{4} F^{a\mu\nu}F_{\mu\nu}^a + \bar \psi i D_\mu \gamma^\mu \psi + (D_\mu \phi)^\dagger D^\mu \phi $$ where $\...
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1answer
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Feynman propagator for photons and the actual propagation of photons

Reading some books of quantum field theory (c.f. LH Ryder. 'Quantum Field Theory') it seems that the concept of path integrals in quantum mechanics may be extended to the field theory using the ...
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1answer
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Must the fine structure constant be an irrational number? [closed]

This question concerns a conjecture on the nature of $\alpha = e^2/4\pi\epsilon\hbar c$ in light of black hole holes. Let me consider the Reissnor-Nordstrom metric for a charged black hole $$ ds^2 = \...
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71 views

Why is Dark Matter not simply explained by QED

My understanding is that Dark Matter needs to exist to explain the mass of the universe -- that is, all the observable matter in galaxies are not sufficient to explain the gravitational behavior -- ...
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1answer
63 views

How do physicists find the speed of neutrinos?

I have heard that there is evidence for neutrinos traveling close to the speed of light, but how is that done? Since neutrinos barely react with anything, and the only evidence for them is indirect (...
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32 views

Polarized Moller scattering cross section

When doing a computation of scattering cross sections of particles with spin, one usually averages over the initial spins and sums over the final ones. I'm a bit puzzled as to how to do the ...
3
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1answer
104 views

Validity of the 'photon wavetrain' model of coherence

In some optics textbooks, coherence is introduced with the "photon wavetrain" model. In this model, we consider light generated by many atoms each making the same transition. During each transition, a ...
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How frequently do accelerating electrons emit photons?

In the quantum 2-slit experiment with light, we know that as the source intensity is turned down, individual photons arrive at the detector. I would like to know if there is a formula which tells us ...
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1answer
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Can the Biot-Savart law be derived from QED?

It's important that a new theory of physics contains the equations and results of previous related ones. Maxwell theory and QED both have explanations for electromagnetic phenomena so I'm wondering if ...
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1answer
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What does a one-photon state look like as a wave functional?

According to a post on a mailing list here: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sci.physics.research/n7Ao7N9aeq0/wqgj20-jBQAJ In general, quatum states |Psi> of the electromagnetic field, no matter ...
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What is the size/mass of largest metal plate that was moved by casimir effect?

I learned about Casimir effect recently. Is it applicable only on very light/thin metal plates( in terms of micro/nano meters) or is the effect large enough to be noticed on mili meters scale? What is ...
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Implication of breakdown of scale invariance for problems with intrinsic length or time scales?

According to Wikipedia article on scale invarince, the equations for electric (and magnetic) fields : $$\nabla^2\vec{E}=\frac{1}{c^2}\frac{\partial^2\vec{E}}{\partial t^2}\hspace{0.3cm}\text{and}\...
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How to calculate the resonance peak of a NV center during a ESR/ODMR measurement?

I am thinking of making an magnetometer with ODMR measurement of a NV center in nanodiamond. But before I do the experiment, I want to estimate the sensitivity of my experiment beforehand ...
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1answer
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Is there one wavefunction per field? [closed]

Is the big picture of quantum field theory that: There are fields (EM, electron, Higgs, gravity, etc.) A field can be described by a wavefunction indicating the probability density of 1 or more '...
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Does 'real' photon electromagnetically interact with matter?

Consider the standard description of Compton scattering - radiation is constituted of stream of photons (these are supposed to 'real' as contrasted to 'virutal' photons of the QED). One of these ...
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Sudakov double logarithm

I have calculated a few NLO corrections in QED and in the final result the Sudakov double logarithms have always canceled. So I thought that they have no physical meaning. On the other hand I have ...
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Homework question on the Poynting vector

I need to show what the Poynting vector becomes when i insert the definition of A through creation and annihilation operators, what i get is the expected answer plus a term containing two creation ...
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Two Loop QED Feynman Diagram

I'm trying to find the momentum space integral representation of the below Feynman Diagram, but am having troubles with the fact that there are two loops within the system. The main question I have ...
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Feynman graph, proportional charge of a vertex

It is defined that the contribution of a vertex in a Feynman Graph towards the probability amplitude $ M_{fi} $ is proportional to a charge $Q_f$. Yet I seem to cannot find any precise explanation how ...
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1answer
45 views

Evaluating the trace of an expression with gamma matrices

I am currently reading Srednicki's Quantum field theory Book and am having some troubles with evaluating the trace of some gamma matrix expressions. For instance in Equation 59.19 Srednicki defines ...
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30 views

Photon in the box electric field strength

If we put a photon in a box and suppose the resonant frequency is $f$. If we know the volume $V$, How do we approximate the electric fields at the center of the box?
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How does the Electric Field create a force? [closed]

If we have 2 charged particles which are a certain distance away from each other, they either attract of repel due to the electric field created by both of them. But I don't understand the mechanism ...
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Semileptonic decay amplitude

I'm trying to do past exam papers and I am absolutely failing understand some things. I would very much appreciate any insights/intuition you have. The part I'm struggling is here: In the first ...
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Photons when passing through matter

I am wondering whether there is a simple—or complicated—way to explain from a purely quantum mechanics (or QFT) viewpoint what happens to the photons when they go through some material whose index of ...
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Photon Propagator in QFT

Please forgive my temporary split-brain, but I'm a little thrown off by something when considering units at the moment. In QED (depending on the guage), the photon propogator is written as $<0|\...