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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Why does number of photons fluctuate?

When counting photons (with, e.g., a CCD), there is the so-called ''photon noise'' (important at low photon numbers). What is the explanation in the framework of QED, QFT? Is it the Heisenberg ...
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The size of an electron

Considering that an electron is a quantized excitation of the Dirac field, why are there still discussions regarding the "size" of an electron? Isn't the "size" of an electron simply defined as the ...
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Measuring the Dirac field

If the Dirac field $\psi(x)$ is to the electron as the Electromagnetic field is to the photon, why is it that we can measure the Electromagnetic field, whereas the Dirac field we cannot?
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Scalar QED, are there any scalar-fermion vertices in this theory?

Consider QED with an additional charged (complex) scalar field, $\phi$:$$\require{cancel} \mathcal{L} = -{1\over4} F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu} + (D^\mu \phi)^*(D_\mu \phi) - \mu^2 \phi^* \phi - ...
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Interpretation of QED gauge freedom

In quantum (or classical) electrodynamics we are free to make gauge transformations, which change the form of terms in the Feynman diagrams (or the potentials) without affecting any physical ...
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Where did the gamma matricies disappear to?

In the discussion of external bremsstrahlung, the following amplitude is used: $$M=i\bar{u}_e(k')e \left(\gamma^\nu\epsilon_\nu \left[ \frac{i \gamma^\nu(k'_\nu+\omega_\nu) + ...
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When does the concept of electric field in classical electrodynamics fail, and QED is needed?

It is really hard to find reference to when the traditional concept of electric wave, especially TEM wave, fails, and needs to be replaced by quantum electrodynamics. So when does the concept fail? ...
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87 views

Tadpole diagram in QED

In $\phi^4$ theory with the $\lambda \phi^4 / 4!$ interaction term gives rise to “tadpole” diagrams like this: If I have a standard QED interaction with $e \bar\psi \gamma^\mu \psi A_\mu$, can I ...
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Does a quadrupole transition mean emission of one photon with spin 2?

If it's true and spin-2 photons do exist, could you please point to some literature that discusses spin-2 photons? If not, then how exactly does a selection rule for quadrupole transition make sense ...
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Does the 4/3 problem of classical electromagnetism remain in quantum mechanics?

In Volume II Chapter 28 of the Feymann Lectures on Physics, Feynman discusses the infamous 4/3 problem of classical electromagnetism. Suppose you have a charged particle of radius $a$ and charge $q$ ...
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How are bound states handled in QFT?

QFT seems very well suited to handle scattering amplitudes between particles represented by the fields in the Lagrangian. But what if you want to know something about a bound state without including ...
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35 views

Photon as a mediator of electric field

How can a photon (which has momentum) from one electrically charged particle to an oppositely charged particle cause these particles to be pulled toward each other - or how can a magnetic field cause ...
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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. ...
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Probability of having more than one multiplication per electron collision?

I am studying Gas Electron Multipliers (GEM) where is a common assumption that there is a one primary multiplication per electron collision: Sauli, Nappi and Knoll. However, I am unsure about this ...
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u-Channel Matrix element for electron-positron annihilation

This one is a quantum related question. The calculation relates to the Matrix element for the annhilation of a electron-positron into two photons: $$ e^-e^+\rightarrow\gamma\gamma $$ I've recently ...
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Off-shell degrees of freedom of a massive vector field [closed]

A gauge boson is described by a vetor field $A_{\mu}$, so in four dimensions $\mu$ runs from $0$ to $4$ and thus $A_{\mu}$ has $4$ degrees of freedom (d.o.f), but the gauge invariance ...
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Can an electron jump to a higher energy level if the energy is insufficient or exceeds the ΔE

Lets say we have an atom of hydrogen. It has one electron on E1 = -13.6 eV (E2 = -3.4 eV) energy level. I know that if we fire a photon with 10.2 eV energy the hydrogen atom will absorb it and the ...
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537 views

What creates voltage? What causes electrons to move in a wire?

I was trying to break down how a transistor works to a friend, and I took a moment to think about electric current and voltages. I realised I do not understand where these phenomena come from. I ...
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How to understand photons in terms of EM force carrier? [duplicate]

Say, there are 2 stationary electrons placed at a distance. The result of observation would be both flying apart with the same speed and the opposite direction, which would obey laws of conservation ...
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Is filming 25 micrometer from opposite sides possible QM event? [closed]

I have a Gaussian process where the mean is 0.381 and the standard deviation is 0.524. The process is simplifically the difference of diameters $d_1$ and $d_2$ where $d_1$ is taken from one side, ...
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Why is the term $m\delta_2\delta_m\bar{\psi}\psi$ ignored in the QED Lagrangian?

Consider the QED Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}=\bar{\psi}_0(i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu}-e_0\gamma^{\mu}A_{0\mu}-m_0)\psi_0-\frac{1}{4}(\partial_{\mu}A_{0\nu}-\partial_{\nu}A_{0\mu})^2$$ where the 0 ...
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What is the exact meaning that QED perturbative series is only asymptotic and eventually diverges at very high orders?

When I read paper PRB89, 235431 about the effective field theory of graphene, there is a statement that QED perturbative series is only asymptotic and eventually diverges at very high orders (e. g. ...
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132 views

Which problem is Oppenheimer working on in this picture? [closed]

Does anybody recognize the equations on the blackboard? Above his hand, with the $\gamma_k$ term and its complex conjugate, it looks like a written out matrix representation of a Hamiltonian $U$, ...
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What is the exact mechanism in line broadening of transition frequencies?

I've been having trouble understanding why transition lines in unperturbed states are not infinitely narrow. I'll run through my reasoning and hopefully that helps find the flaw. I imagine that if we ...
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Does light really “travel”?

From what I've so far understood about light, a photon is emitted somewhere and after some time it's absorbed somewhere else. Have we had experiments that confirm the path taken or something akin to ...
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218 views

Characteristic of photons for constant speed

What characteristic of photons causes them to travel with constant speed in all frames of reference? Till the topics I have studied, we always assume this but never got any ideas what can be in the ...
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How to derive the vertex factor for the four-field interaction in scalar QED?

I tried to find the Feynman rules using path integral. For scalar QED, I have an interaction term $e^2\phi^{\star}A_{\mu}^2\phi$. Generating function then can be written as $$ ...
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Quadratic terms in QED lagrangian density

I recently learned that when we speak about a "free lagrangian", this actually means that the lagrangian is quadratic in the fields. When considering the Lagrangian density describing the coupling to ...
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spin direction of the electromagnetic field tensor

I guess the electromagnetic field strength tensor $F_{\mu\nu}$ can be considered as a spin-1 field. So, is it possible to derive $F_{\mu\nu}$'s spin direction based on the elements in the tensor (the ...
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Maxwell equations and quantized electromagnetic field

When the electromagnetic field is quatized for a single mode, we first take Maxwell equations and proceed to write the electric and magnetic field as a stationary wave, since we consider the ...
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Equal-time commutation relations, Feynman propagator for gauge parameter $\lambda = 1$, physical meaning

Classical electromagnetism (with no sources) follows from the actions$$S = \int d^4x\left(-{1\over4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}\right),\text{ where }F_{\mu\nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu.$$The ...
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Snell's law starting from QED? [duplicate]

Can one "interpret" Snell's law in terms of QED and the photon picture? How would one justifiy this interpretation with some degree of mathematical rigour? At the end I would like to have a direct ...
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How light splits up into different colours when passed through prism using QED?

I want to know how light gets splits up into different colours when it is passed through prism? How light interacts with atoms and electrons of the prism? Can someone explain this to me using Quantum ...
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QED: basic process which violates energy-momentum conservation

Why is the following process not possible? My book says it's because it violate energy and momentum conservation. Can someone explain me explicitly why? Why couldn't an energetic electron not ...
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400 views

Could gravity hold electron charge together?

Could the gravitational force be what holds the charge of the electron together? It seems to be the only obvious possibility; what other ideas have been proposed besides side-stepping the issue and ...
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Would the detection of advanced waves be possible in curved space-time?

In the transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics reference 1, inspired by the Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory, a transaction is formed between the emitter and absorber by a superposition of ...
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How do we know photons have spin 1?

Electrons have spin 1/2, and as they are charged, they also have an associated magnetic moment, which can be measured by an electron beam splitting up in an inhomogeneous magnetic field or through the ...
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Does orbital angular mometum has no meaning for single photons?

In the quantization of free electromagnetic field, it is found that the left-circularly polarised photons corrsponds to helicity $\vec{S}\cdot\hat p=+\hbar$ and right-circularly polarised photons ...
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How to describe time evolution in relativistic QFT?

I must confess that I'm still confused about the question of time evolution in relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT). From symmetry arguments, from the representation of the Poincare group through ...
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Principle of superposition and QED

For finding a net force on a charge when it is in influence of many charges we simply do vectorical addition of all individual interaction of that charge with others. That's what is principle of ...
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Lagrangian for $\mathcal{N}=4$ SQED in 3D

What is the Lagrangian for $3D$ $\mathcal{N}=4$ supersymmetric QED, with $N_f$ hypermultiplets? In particular, which is the form of the Fayet-Iliopulos terms, and the real mass terms?
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What are skeleton diagrams and what is their use in qft and many-body physics?

How does one construct skeleton diagrams from specific Feynman diagrams (e.g. for the electronic Green function in QED and in many-body gases, for the polarization function, for the vertex function, ...
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Interpretation of the electromagnetic field strength tensor as a spin-1 field

If I understand correctly the electromagnetic field strength tensor $ F_{\mu\nu}$ could be considered as a spin-1 field. In that case, what can one say about the total spin and the $z$-component of ...
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Does a Description with Photons as Force Carriers Apply for Non-Radiative Systems?

What is the full quantum mechanical description of the statement from classical electromagnetism "the electric field of a uniformly charged infinite flat plane is constant"? By "full" I mean that I'm ...
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Lorentz structure of coupling in QED

what is meant by the "Lorentz structure of the coupling in QED" as a possible test for QED?
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What would the collision of two photons look like?

Could someone explain to me what the collision of two photons would look like? Will they behave like, Electromagnetic waves: they will interfere with each other and keep their wave nature Particles: ...
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How photons can emerge quantized if their cause is continuous?

I know that photons are quantized, they are not continuous. But they are created by an accelerated charge. So how is it possible to have a quantized outcome from a symmetric continuous event? I mean ...
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Peskin-Schroeder, Unitarity of the S matrix, eq 9.61

I have a question regarding a derivation in Peskin and Schroeder's QFT book. On page 298, he is discussing a method for defining a gauge invariant S matrix. He does this by defining projection ...
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Why don't photons split up into multiple lower energy versions of themselves?

A photon could spontaneously split up into two or more versions of itself and all the conservation laws I'm aware of would not be violated by this process. (I think.) I've given this some thought, and ...