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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

28
votes
6answers
6k views

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 ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a photon get emitted without a receiver?

It is generally agreed upon that electromagnetic waves from an emitter does not have to connect to a receiver, but how can we be sure this is a fact? The problem is that we can never observe non ...
15
votes
1answer
623 views

Spontaneous breaking of Lorentz invariance in gauge theories

I was browsing through the hep-th arXiv and came across this article: Spontaneous Lorentz Violation in Gauge Theories. A. P. Balachandran, S. Vaidya. arXiv:1302.3406 [hep-th]. (Submitted on 14 ...
11
votes
1answer
447 views

QCD and QED with unlimited computational power - how precise are they going to be?

My question is about quantum algorithms for QED (quantum electrodynamics) computations related to the fine structure constants. Such computations (as explained to me) amounts to computing Taylor-like ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the relation between virtual photons and electromagnetic potentials?

Given that: 1) virtual photons mediate the electric and magnetic force fields 2) the magnetic field is the curl of the magnetic vector potential 3) the electric field is the negative gradient of ...
15
votes
3answers
851 views

Simple (but wrong) argument for the generality of positive beta-functions

In the introduction (page 5) of Supersymmetry and String Theory: Beyond the Standard Model by Michael Dine (Amazon, Google), he says (Traditionally it was known that) the interactions of ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Properties of the photon: Electric and Magnetic field components

Consider an electromagnetic wave of frequency $\nu$ interacting with a stationary charge placed at point $x$. My question concerns the consistency of two equally valid quantum-mechanical descriptions ...
8
votes
1answer
394 views

Gauge Field Tensor from Wilson Loop

It is possible to introduce the gauge field in a QFT purely on geometric arguments. For simplicity, consider QED, only starting with fermions, and seeing how the gauge field naturally emerges. The ...
5
votes
2answers
362 views

Electric current $j^{\mu}$ in standard QED vs. scalar QED

The expression for the 4-current $j^{\mu}$ in standard QED is $$ e\bar{\Psi}\gamma^\mu\Psi $$ and $$ \frac{e}{2 i}(\psi^\dagger D^\mu \psi - (D^\mu \psi)^\dagger \psi) $$ in scalar QED. I ...
5
votes
1answer
316 views

How can an asymptotic expansion give an extremely accurate predication, as in QED?

What is the meaning of "twenty digits accuracy" of certain QED calculations? If I take too little loops, or too many of them, the result won't be as accurate, so do people stop adding loops when the ...
4
votes
2answers
827 views

Some questions about virtual particles

When reading about quantum mechanics, I've stumbled upon a description of the force between two electrons as a result of virtual particles being "exchanged" by the two electrons. So far I've ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How many photons can an electron absorb and why?

How many photons can an electron absorb and why? Can all fundamental particles that can absorb photons absorb the same amount of photons and why? If we increase the velocity of a fundamental ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why can't we make measurements in a photon's rest frame when loop diagrams make measurements possible?

It is one of the axioms of special relativity that the photon has no rest frame; light travels at speed c when measured in any inertial frame of reference. As a corollary, it is often said that if one ...
2
votes
3answers
557 views

How do two electrical charged particles know to repel or attract each other?

Now per QED, electrical charges interactions are effected by photons. Suppose you are one of the two charges. How do you know to attract or repel the other charge? In other words, how do you know if ...
8
votes
1answer
862 views

How can we derive the Feynman rule for the ordinary QED 3-vertex?

I have checked some Quantum Field Theory texts that include basic QED and they all include the Feynman rule that each vertex bring with it a factor of $$\pm i e \gamma^\mu$$ but I have yet to find a ...
8
votes
1answer
746 views

How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (color)?

How is the following classical optics phenomenon explained in quantum electrodynamics? Color According to Schroedinger's model of the atom, only particular colors are emitted depending on the type ...
6
votes
2answers
467 views

Virtual photon counting

How to calculate number of exchanged virtual photons per unit of time between two electromagnetically interacting objects?
5
votes
1answer
495 views

QED Vertex Factor/Rule

On page 303 in Peskin&Schroeder they give the vertex factor as $$V = -ie\gamma^\mu \int d^4x$$ while on page 304 they write $$V_\times = -ie\gamma^\mu\int d^4x A_\mu(x).$$ Why are the ...
4
votes
3answers
79 views

Do we know why the field produced by charge extends to infinity?

Do we have any model to show why charge field or magnetic field extends till infinity. Edit: I agree that according to coulombs law $1/r^2$ cannot be 0 but do we know why this happens.I think I am ...
4
votes
2answers
676 views

Are electron fields and photon fields part of the same field in QED?

I know in classical field theory we have the electromagnetic field. And Maxwell's equations show how electromagnetic radiation can propagate through empty space. I also have been reading about QED ...
4
votes
1answer
607 views

QED BRST Symmetry

This is a homework problem that I am confused about because I thought I knew how to solve the problem, but I'm not getting the result I should. I'll simply write the problem verbatim: "Consider QED ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

Is there any relationship between Gravity and Electromagnetism? [duplicate]

We all know that the universe is governed by four Fundamental Forces which are The strong force , The weak force , The electromagnetic force and The gravitational force . Now, is there any ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

What physics does occur at short distances in QED?

Let us take the standard QED ($e^-, e^+, \gamma$) as a model of QFT and ask what is its "short-distance" physics? They say the UV infinities appear because we do not know the real physics of short ...
2
votes
3answers
828 views

What starts the movement of a photon

Although a photon has no (rest) mass, it does have a measurable speed. Its movement can be altered by gravity. A photon "travels". If I turn on a flashlight, seen by someone at a distance, the photons ...
2
votes
1answer
997 views

Feynman Rules for massive vector boson interactions

I am stuck at the beginning of a problem where I am given an interaction term that modifies the regular QED Lagrangian. It involves the interaction between a photon field and a massive vector boson: ...
2
votes
4answers
343 views

Does the wave nature of a particle refer to the wave function?

In quantum mechanics when we talk about the wave nature of particles are we referring in fact to the wave function? Does the wave function describes the probability of finding a particle (ex: ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Electro magnetic duality, Strong weak duality and N=4 super Yangmils

How we can interpret this self-dual, or duality in terms of generalized version of electro magneitc duality, or Strong weak duality. Let me address some basic information. First, electro magnetic ...
1
vote
1answer
739 views

Where do the photons mediating the electromagnetic force come from?

The electromagnetic field is mediated by photons (energy quanta). Its range is infinite, the interaction only weakens quadratically with distance due to the area of an expanding virtual sphere. Where ...
7
votes
2answers
334 views

Do virtual photons have a frequency?

Real photons do have frequencies, which is directly related to its energy. So, can virtual photons that take part in EM interactions have frequencies too? When my hand is pressed up against a glass ...
7
votes
1answer
928 views

Box normalization

Whenever we study free fields, the solutions of these fields (or particles, whatever feels most comfortable) are always given by plane waves. The dispersion-relation $\omega=\omega(k)$ will of course ...
7
votes
2answers
580 views

Why is the spinor field anti-commutator not made gauge invariant?

When we introduce minimal coupling for the Dirac spinor field, we introduce terms into the Lagrangian, by the substitution $i\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\mu}\mapsto i\frac{\partial}{\partial ...
6
votes
4answers
885 views

Is forward scattering = no scattering?

What is forward scattering? If it is equivalent to no scattering, then why not call it "no scattering"?
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Is there Pair production in between charged plates

In classical electromagnetic theory, If parallel plates are charged oppositely and placed close to each other, there will be no charge will not flow from one plate to another. How does this situation ...
5
votes
1answer
294 views

In QED, why is the $e^- + e^+\leftrightarrow\gamma$ process forbidden on-shell?

QED has a vertex that couples a single photon to two fermions. This vertex describes the annihilation of an electron-positron pair into a photon. Why is this process forbidden for all three particles ...
5
votes
1answer
178 views

Where and how exactly does string theory and Q.E.D. use zeta function regularization?

In the video they mention it being used in many fields of physics inclusing String and QED theory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-I6XTVZXww But I remember reading somewhere that 1+2+3..=-1/12 is ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Does the Casimir effect allow to change the lifetime of a radiating atom?

Is it true that a spontaneously light-emitting atom changes its lifetime if it is put between two parallel plates that are so near that they attract each other through the Casimir effect? Thus: does ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Gauge invariance (QED)

In his book, the author says that according to the Feynman diagrams of this process in QED $$e^+ e^- \rightarrow \gamma \gamma,$$ gauge invariance requires that $$k_{1\nu}(A^{\mu\nu} + ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

How to derive the form of the parity operator acting on Lorentz spinors?

I'm reading Berestetskii (Volume 4 of Landau & Lifshitz) section 19 on inversion of spinors. Berestetskii says parity $P$ maps undotted spinors into dotted spinors and vice-versa as ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

Conservation of BRST current in QED

I am trying to understand the conservation of the BRST current in QED but am having some trouble. This is what I have so far, QED lagrangian density in Lorenz gauge is, $$L = ...
4
votes
1answer
264 views

Stability of a rotating ring of multiple electrons at relativistic speeds

There was a time when physicists where concerned about electron internal structure. The rotating ring model was one of the proposals to explain how a charge density could become stable against ...
3
votes
2answers
811 views

Spacelike and timelike photons

I know the definition of space-like and time-like intervals. How do you show that in some reaction the virtual photon(s) is spacelike/timelike? On page 191 Peskin and Schroeder, it says "since ...
3
votes
1answer
415 views

How to introduce the electromagnetic field in Quantum Field Theory?

There are many ways to introduce the electromagnrtic field in Quantum Field Theory(QFT), such as canonical quantization method which introduces the creation and annihilation oprators by treating the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Does electric charge affect space time fabric?

I am confused with this question. Does electric charge affect the space time fabric? If so, why? Also if electric charge does not affect the space time fabric, how can we interpret the origin of the ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Why/how does an electron emit a photon when decelerating?

I've had two special relativity courses so far but none really gave me a clear description of the process.
3
votes
3answers
765 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Understanding the argument that local U(1) leads to coupling of EM and matter

I'm trying to better understand the argument that U(1) local gauge invariance implies a coupling of EM and Dirac fields. I understand the math, but I'm not sure about the chain of logic. You start ...
2
votes
1answer
371 views

Alternative methods to derive the static potential in the NR limit of QED

In QED, one can relate the two-particle scattering amplitude to a static potential in the non-relativistic limit using the Born approximation. E.g. in Peskin and Schroeder pg. 125, the tree-level ...
2
votes
0answers
522 views

Nonlinear refraction index of vacuum above Schwinger limit

This question is more about trying to feel the waters in our current abilities to compute (or roughly estimate) the refraction index of vacuum, specifically when high numbers of electromagnetic quanta ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

How is the EM force exchanged over long distances?

The Situation Imagine we place two charged objects a very far distance apart, essentially making them point charges. How does the EM force interact between the two point charges if virtual photons ...
1
vote
2answers
190 views

Why group velocity represents energy or information transmission? What relation between phase velocity and special relativity

I have two question, why group velocity represents energy or information transmission? what is the relation between phase velocity and Special relativity: why can it exceed C without violation of ...