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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Equality of electric charges of all leptons

What does it precisely mean the often repeated statement that the electric charges of all leptons are the same. Let's consider QED with two leptons: electron and muon. The interaction part of the ...
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What low-level process drives a frequency-doubling crystal?

I was reading about second-harmonic generation (SHG) crystals (or frequency-doubling crystals) used to produce green laser light from IR. What low-level process in the crystal is actually driving ...
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Why is electric charge conserved?

We have long been taught that electric charges are neither created nor destroyed. But somehow it is okay to destroy two oppositely charged particles at once ! Why is that so? Let's just take a look ...
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Admixtures of longitudinal and timelike photons!

In the quantization of electromagnetic field the physical states $|\psi\rangle$ are found to obey the following relation: $[a^{(0)}(k)-a^{(3)}(k)]|\psi\rangle=0$ It is explained as the physical ...
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Why polarization vector $= (0,1,i,0)$?

I know from CED that one has e.g. polarization $$\vec{E}(z,t) = \begin{bmatrix} e_{x} \\ e_{y} \\ 0 \end{bmatrix} \; e^{i(kz - 2 \pi f t)}. $$ Why do Peskin&Schroeder define a polarization ...
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Is the gauge fixing $\partial_\mu A^\mu + \gamma A_\mu A^\mu=0$ used in the literature and does it have a name?

In an exercise for a course on Gauge Theories, I was asked to derive the action of QED with the method by Faddeev and Popov, using the following gauge-fixing function: $$F(A) = \partial_\mu A^\mu + ...
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How do photons decay in superconductors?

If $A$ is the vector potential, the London equations imply that: $$(\nabla^{2}-\mu^{2})A=0$$ if there is no external current. This can be interpreted as an effective photon mass and so, light ...
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158 views

What does this Lagrangian represents?

I came across this expression while doing exercises and I was wondering if it was a 'real' expression. $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu \phi \partial^\mu \phi -\frac{m^2}{2}\phi ^2 ...
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QED coupling constant at one loop

On page 257 in Peskin's QFT book a qualitative sketch of the QED coupling is given (see the picture below). Why should I expect such a behavior from QED? The QED beta function is ...
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No non-trivial UV asymptotically free and IR free

How it could be proven that a non-trivial theory cannot be both asymptotically free and IR free (g=0 both in the UV and IR with some interpolating function in between)? This is of course contrary to ...
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58 views

Objects made up of electrons?

Say you have a neutral rod, and you bring a positively charged rod beside it (call the side the charged rod is brought near side A and the other side side B). The electrons from the side B will start ...
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Vacuum polarization of dark matter candidates

Can a dark matter particle (axions, for instance, but the question applies to any valid candidate for dark matter) induce QED vacuum polarization effects even if being electrically neutral and with no ...
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Did the Goudsmit-Uhlenbeck analysis of spin consider relativity?

It's frequently mentioned in introductory quantum mechanics texts that Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck conjectured that the magnetic moment of an electron was due to angular momentum arising from the electron ...
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QED and Newton's 3rd law

According to some lecture notes on propagators (see bottom of page) the Feynman particle/anti-particle hypothesis states: The emission (absorption) of an antiparticle of 4-momentum $p^\mu$ is ...
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279 views

Feynman rules for real scalar field interacting with electromagnetic field

I was wondering if anyone could help guide me in finding the Feynman rules for a real pseudoscalar field ($\phi$) interacting with the electromagnetic field $(F^{\mu\nu})$. The (effective) ...
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304 views

Canonical equal time commutation relations in QED

I understand that to quantize the classical electromagnetic field one needs to impose commutation relations and express the field in terms of creation and annihilation operators. I notice that the ...
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170 views

Photons traveling backwards in time?

Imagine that two widely separated charged particles $A$ and $B$ exchange a photon. Because they are far apart one can imagine that there is a major contribution to the photon propagator that travels ...
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Is quark electric charge also confined?

Since we will (maybe) never observe free quarks which has fraction charge, is it logically correct to say that the fraction (1/2,2/3 etc) electric charge is also confined. I.e. the charges that we do ...
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Does radio use virtual photons?

In radio communication each accelerated electron in the transmitter antenna interacts with an electron in the receiver antenna by exchanging a photon. Is that photon always a virtual photon as ...
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What is the relation between electromagnetic wave and photon?

At the end of this nice video, she says that electromagnetic wave is a chain reaction of electric and magnetic fields creating each other so the chain of wave moves forward. I wonder where the photon ...
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Peskin's book page 334 proof of $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory

Peskin in his QFT page 334 argued that $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory, but I couldn't understand his argument: ... With a generalization of the argument given there (section ...
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126 views

some questions regarding Doppler shifting versus absorption-emission

I just got in what I thought was a silly exchange where a self-identified physicist states that the difference between "red-shifting" (in the Doppler sense) and the re-emission of light at longer ...
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309 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 ...
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117 views

Photon propagator in terms of creation/annihilation?

As far as I understand it the photon propagator, $P(A\rightarrow B)$, described in Feynman's QED book, gives the amplitude that a photon moves from spacetime point A to spacetime point B. I was ...
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191 views

Derivative with respect to ${\not}{p}$

When studying renormalization of QED in standard textbooks, we typically encounter derivatives with respect to ${\not}{p}=p^\mu \gamma_\mu$, i.e., $\partial/\partial{\not}p$. As far as I understand, ...
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Is forward scattering = no scattering?

What is forward scattering? If it is equivalent to no scattering, then why not call it "no scattering"?
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What does “Information” and Virtual Particles mean?

I've read that attraction and repulsion between particles is caused by the exchange of virtual photons, and that virtual photons carry information. I don't understand how a virtual photon actually ...
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gauge invariance of the Feynman amplitudes

When we calculate the photon polarization sums over amplitudes, $$X=\sum\limits_{r=1}^{2}|\mathcal M_r|^2=\mathcal M_\alpha\mathcal M_\beta^*\sum\limits_{r=1}^{2}\epsilon_r^\alpha\epsilon_r^\beta$$ ...
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Probability of absorption and emission of photons

Suppose you have a single electron in a box, and you shoot a single photon at it. How does one calculate the probability that the photon will be absorbed and the particle excited? Or that the photon ...
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84 views

Lorenz gauge in the Gupta-Bleuler Method

Greiner in his book Field Quantization page 180 & 181 wrote: As shown in (7.24) the Lorenz condition cannot be enforced as an operator identity. Instead we will use it as a condition for the ...
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What is the origin of the factor of $-1/4$ in the Maxwell Lagrangian?

I have seen numerous 'derivations' of the Maxwell Lagrangian, $$\mathcal{L} ~=~ -\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu},$$ but every one has sneakily inserted a factor of $-1/4$ without explaining why. ...
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305 views

If time travel to the past is not possible why is this situation considered in Feynman diagrams?

I recently read R.P Feynman's QED:A Strange Theory of Light and Matter. It is believed that time travel to the past is not possible. Then why is particles going backward in time considered in the book ...
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How to understand the QED, QCD and standard model Lagrangians? [closed]

How do you read the QED, QCD and standard model Lagrangians? What do all the symbols and tensors represent? And, how can you derive them by yourselves?
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Revisiting the microscopic concept of Touching with some more questions

This question is regarding the amazing answer given by Terry Bollinger at this Phys.SE post. I think this answer is very helpful but i do have some standing questions. He says Once the bonding ...
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How do you derive the Lagrangian for the Standard Model?

Is there a way to derive the Lagrangian for the Standard Model just like one would for Einstein's field equations for instance? Also, how do you derive the Laganrigans for QCD and QED? Is it possible ...
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Under which representation of U(1) transform electron and photon gauge field?

I know that under $SU(2) \times SU(2)$, the left-handed electron transforms under $ ( \frac{1}{2},0 ) $ representation and the vector gauge field $A_\mu$ under $ ( \frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2}) $. Since ...
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What spin-statistics is a magnetic monopole expected to obey?

What statistics (or spin) is a magnetic monopole expected to have? Does it depend on the theory used?
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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 ...
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184 views

Explanation of photon reflection [duplicate]

What occurs in atomic scale that cause the photon to be reflected? In other words, what is the reason for photons to change its direction and why material can reflect certain wavelengths and absorb ...
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Lagrangian and hamiltonian of interaction

How to prove that lagrangian of interaction is equal to hamiltonian of interaction with minus sign? For example, I can't prove it for special case - quantum electrodynamics.
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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 ...
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On-shellness of photons

In principle, we could describe all physics without EM fields (or photons), as they are mainly a useful tool to describe "action at distance" (which does not mean instantaneous) between charged ...
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Pair production at high laser intensity?

Using high laser intensity to produce electron-positron pair, is it still required interaction with nucleus as is the case when gamma rays are used? What causes the pair creation ?
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Is the third spin vector of a photon always suppressed?

I like to tell people interested in light polarization that the photon is a vector boson for which the third spin axis, the one in the direction of travel, is suppressed due to photons being massless ...
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Classical EM neglects electron recoil?

Imagine two electrons $A$ and $B$ at rest. Electron $B$ is at a vertical distance $r$ above electron $A$. Let us assume that the electrons are constrained to move on horizontal rails. At time $t=0$ ...
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Does electron field exist?

We know, that one-particle states can be earned from relativistic fields, which can be interpreted as functions determined on Minkowski space-time. Field must satisfy some conditions, by which we ...
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375 views

Can a photon survive a collision? If so, is it at rest during the process?

Background Irving Kaplan, in Article 6.7: The Compton Effect of Nuclear Physics (2nd Ed.) explains the Compton effect as follows: Compton (1923) was able to show that when a beam of ...
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Virtual photons as force mediators in QED - really?

If the photon is the force vector for EM interactions, e.g. electrons, how does each electron 'know' where the other one is so that it can send it a photon? I've thought about this for a while. I ...
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Equivalence between different formulations of QED

I have looked at Greiner's book on QED, where he uses the Feynman propagator approach for QED. He solves a lot of things and calculates several processes without "second quantisation" (and without ...