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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Where is the velocity term in Dirac current hiding?

The dirac current is $$J^\mu = \bar{\psi}\gamma^\mu \psi $$ It looks weird at first because there is no derivative in the expression. So the velocity must be hidden somewhere in either $\gamma$ or ...
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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 ...
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How does charge work if photons are neutral?

How can an electron distinguish between another electron and a positron? They use photons as exchange particles and photons are neutral, so how does it know to repel or attract?
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How to quantize the free electro-magnetic field in 2d?

I am wondering how one can quantize the free electro-magnetic field in the two dimensional space-time. The standard method of fixing the Coulomb gauge in 4d does not seem to generalize immediately to ...
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Some questions about Ward-Takahashi Identity

I'm a learner of Peskin and Schroeder's textbook of quantum field theory. I have proceeded to Ward-Takahashi identity and have one question when I look for Wikipedia for reference. The following is ...
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Database of scattering amplitudes

I want to check whether my result for the invariant amplitude of the electron-electron scattering (to lowest order in $\alpha$; t+u channels) is correct or not. I can't find any reference that has ...
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Mass corrections to fermions proportional to the mass?

In this post regarding quantum corrections to a massless fermion field, the answerer stated that quantum corrections to the mass will always be proportional to the mass (at least in QED). This point ...
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Ward Identity makes QED logarithmic divergent?

Quick question regarding superficial degrees of freedom and Ward identities. For instance in Peskin and Schroeder it is stated that the photon-self energy is superficially quadratically UV divergent ...
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Maxwell's equations in microscopic and macroscopic forms, and quantization

The macroscopic Maxwell's equations can be put in terms of differential forms as $$\mathrm{d}\mathrm{F}=0,\quad\delta \mathrm{D}=j\implies \delta j=0,\quad \mathrm{D}=\mathrm{F}+\mathrm{P}.$$ ...
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Determinant of Dirac operator in flat space?

How would you evaluate \begin{equation}|iD\!\!\!\!/-m|\end{equation} Where $D_{\mu}=\partial_{\mu}-ieA_{\mu}$. I have an idea of how to do this without the gauge field, because it's essentially ...
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How do fermion and scalar masses run with energy? Is the difference in their running the core of the hierarchy problem?

Do fermion and scalar running masses run in the same way? Specifically, what are the qualitative differences in the mass beta functions for, say, scalar $\lambda\phi^4$ field theory and the fermion ...
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Do EM waves transmit spin polarization?

Suppose you have a normal dipole antennae (transmitter and receiver) . Spin polarized current (as opposed to normal current) is sent into the transmitter, it emits an EM wave and the Receiver receives ...
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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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Charge Renormalization and Photon Propagator

I'm trying to understand charge renormalization in QED. I know that one can write the full photon propagator as $$\frac{-i\eta_{\mu\nu}}{q^2(1-\Pi(q^2))}$$ where $\Pi$ is regular at $0$. Obviously ...
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On Electromagnetic Self Energy

In the process of pair annihilation an electron and a positron annihilate each other to produce a pair of photons, conserving momentum and energy. As the oppositely charged particles approach each ...
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Is the fine structure constant actually a constant or does its value depend on the energy scale?

The value of the fine structure constant is given as $$ \alpha = \frac{e^2}{4\pi\varepsilon_0\hbar c} = \frac{1}{137.035\,999..} $$ It's value is only dependent on physical constants (the elementary ...
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How is the path integral for light explained, or how does it arise?

In a question titled How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (Snell's law)? Marek talked about the probability amplitude for photons of a given path. He said that it was $\exp(iKL)$, and ...
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How does one show using QED that same/opposite electric charges repel/attract each other, respectively?

Why do same charges repel each other and opposite charges attract each other (please explain the phenomenon using real laws of nature (QED) not with the approximation model)?
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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 ...
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Why is the Gupta-Bleuler gauge unfashionable?

In the early days of quantum electrodynamics, the most popular gauge chosen was the Gupta-Bleuler gauge stating that for physical states, $$\langle \chi | \partial^\mu A_\mu | \psi \rangle = 0.$$ ...
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Fundamentals of Quantum Electrodynamics

In quantum electrodynamics, the classical Hamiltonian is obtained from the classical electromagnetic Lagrangian. Then the classical electric and magnetic fields are promoted to operators, as is the ...
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Representation of phase in quantum mechanics

[Note: My discussion of the three answers can be found just after the question.] Imagine three points in space that differ only by a phase angle of "something" (what doesn't really matter). One way ...
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Can a photon see ghosts?

Does it make sense to introduce Faddeev–Popov ghost fields for abelian gauge field theories? Wikipedia says the coupling term in the Lagrangian "doesn't have any effect", but I don't really know ...
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Why are geons unstable? Are there other problems with geons?

I read in various places geons are "generally considered unstable." Why? How solid is this reasoning? Is the reason geons are not studied much anymore because we can't make more progress without ...
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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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How to calculate the properties of Photon-Quasiparticles

in recent questions like "How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (Snell's law)?" and "Do photons gain mass when they travel through glass?" we could learn something about effective ...
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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 ...
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Quantum Electrodynamics

I was wondering if anyone could give a simple explanation of how light interacts with matter. From what I have read in QED, electrons will repel each other because of their ability to emit and ...
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Is diffraction affected by interaction between photons and electrons?

Suppose we take a sheet of ordinary metal, make a narrow slit in it, and shine a light beam through the slit onto a screen. The light beam will diffract from the edges of the slit and spread out onto ...
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Is it true that the angular momentum of electromagnetic waves in an anisotropic medium is an integral of motion?

Extending my previous question Angular moment and EM wave, does it make sense to talk about the angular momentum of electromagnetic waves in an anisotropic medium? It is not obvious that the angular ...
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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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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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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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Magnetic monopoles in spin ice and Dirac string comparison

In spin ice systems magnetic monopole-like excitations are sources or sinks of $H$, not the $B$ field, why is that? Is it because the strings carries magnetic moment $M$ and not solenoidal $B$ filed ...
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How do non-transverse photon polarizations cancel in Euclidean QED?

First, recall how to write scattering amplitudes in covariant fashion in Minkowskian QED. One starts by considering some process with an external photon whose momentum is chosen to be ...
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Why can't fermions be affected by effective gravity in non-linear quantum electrodynamics?

Quantum electrodynamics based upon Euler-Heisenberg or Born-Infeld Lagrangians predict photons to move according to an effective metric which is dependent on the background electromagnetic field. In ...
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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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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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When can photon field amplitudes be written as field operators?

Suppose I have some classical field equation for two photon fields with amplitudes $A_1(z),A_2(z)$ (plane waves) given as ${A}_1=\alpha f(A_1,A_2) \\ {{A}_2}=\beta g(A_1,A_2) $ Under what ...
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Can the Lamb shift be expressed in more-or-less closed form in terms of the renormalized 2-, 3-,…,n-point VEVs of QED?

I see here that there are three contributions to the Lamb shift, from vacuum polarization (-27 MHz), from electron mass renormalization(+1017 MHz), and from the anomalous magnetic moment (+68 MHz). ...
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QED: Would atoms without electrons be visible?

I have been reading a lot of QED books lately, and understand (as well as possible anyway) the interaction between electrons and photons. But I can't seem to get a clear indication of the interaction ...
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Virtual photon counting

How to calculate number of exchanged virtual pohotons per unit of time between two electromagnetically interacting objects?
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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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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 ...
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Radiative Corrections and Bremsstrahlung

I am having trouble understanding why it is consistent to include "Breamsstrahlung" diagrams in computations of scattering amplitudes. For example, consider the scattering of two electrons to two ...
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$U(1){\times}U(1)$ local gauge invariance derivative

In QED and the basic Higgs mechanism, there is a local gauge transformation where a scalar field $\phi$ is transformed as: $e^{i\theta\eta(x)} \phi$ The partial derivative of this however makes the ...
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What exactly is the connection between gauge transformations and symmetry groups?

For a given gauge transformation, say, the electromagnetic field, where observable quantities aren't affected by transformations of the form $$\mathbf{A}' = \mathbf{A} + \nabla \chi,$$ $$\phi' = \phi ...
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Is there any idea why the electric charges of electron and muon are equal?

Is there any idea explaining why the electric charges of electron and muon are equal? Edit: The total charge of a particle is proportional to the integral of its own electric field flow through the ...
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What is the physical process (if any) behind magnetic attraction?

I understand that the electromagnetic force can be described as the exchange of virtual photons. I also understand that it's possible for virtual photons, unlike their real counterparts, to have mass ...
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Why and how, in QED, can excited atoms emit photons?

The quantum mechanics of the structure of atoms as determined by the electromagnetic forces inside them correctly describes the location and coupling of the different energy levels in essentially all ...