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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Is colour a purely quantum effect?

If the colour of an object is determined by the wave-lengths of light that is absorbs and reflects (?) then can colour be described as a purely quantum effect (i.e. without quantum effects an objects ...
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Mølller scattering

I came across Mølller scattering today (which is just a fancy name for electron-electron scattering. I'm confused as to why there are two tree level Feynman diagrams for this process: Check out the ...
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The contraction of fermion field in 1+1-dimensional massless QED

My question comes from the textbook by Peskin & Schroeder, the integral (19.26): $$\begin{align} \int \frac{d^2 k}{(2\pi)^2}\! e^{- i k\cdot (y-z)}\frac{i \not{k}}{k^2} = -\not\partial ...
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579 views

Width of a photon. And its length

Everyone is always talking about photon's wavelength. But what about its dimensions? What is length and width of it? And does it even have a point to think about such things? Or those dimensions are ...
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Thomson scattering on the elections does not produce any circular polarization?

All references on CMB polarization has this statement as if it is a trivial fact. But I have to admit that I completely don't understand what this sentence is telling us.
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Charge operator for Dirac spinor

In QED, the gauge transformation which acts upon a fermionic field $\psi$ is $$\psi'(x)= e^{i \alpha(x) Q}\psi(x)$$ where $Q$ is the charge operator. Most of the time it's just written as $$\psi'(x)= ...
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163 views

Free Electromagnetic field in Lorenz gauge

To get rid of the extra term in the QED Lagrangian we need to redefine the electromagnetic four-vector: $A^{\mu} \rightarrow A^{\mu} - \frac{1}{c} \partial_{\mu} a(x)$ where $a(x)$ is the function ...
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Electro-magnetic wave propagation in vacum

I was wondering what will the EM wave propagation including virtual particle pairs existence look like. When electric field face virtual pair it should make the lowest state energy the most ...
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61 views

Counting d.o.f. and gauge fixing $A_{\mu}$ and $\psi$ in $D$-dimensions

Setup: Let us assume we are in $D$-dimensional Minkowski space-time where $D=d+1$. Consider a free Abelian gauge theory. Then the electromagnetic field will satisfy $$\partial_{\mu}F^{\mu \nu}=0 ...
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43 views

Tape as a X-Ray Source

A couple years ago I ran upon a YouTube video demonstrating how researchers used x-rays given off by tearing tape off its spindle in hopes to miniaturized and cheapen future x-ray devices. As of ...
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Why Lagrangian of electromagnetism with Lorenz Gauge evolve Klein Gordon equation?

Simply Lagrangian without a source for Maxwell equation is $$ L = -\frac{1}{4}F^{\mu\nu}F_{\mu\nu} $$ Also Lorenz Gauge condition is $$ \partial_{\mu}A^{\mu}=0 $$ and if so I can briefly add this ...
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106 views

Calculation of the Abelian Induced Chern-Simons Term

In Gerald Dunne's paper "Aspects of Chern-Simons Theory" (http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9902115) I'm a little confused as to how equation (225) on page 53 is obtained. Equation (225): ...
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Why very strong fields are required for a photon to split?

Photon splitting does not occur in free space as energy and momentum cannot be conserved in any Lorentz frame. But it does occur in the presence of a strong field. Consider the example of a Magnetar. ...
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Fine structure constant definition

The fine structure constant is usually defined using $e$, $h$ ,$c$ ... However, from QED, we know it cannot be derived but only experimentally measured. Does that mean the usual definition we use in ...
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72 views

Linear and circular polarization in quantization of the EM field

I am going through the "Quantization of the EM field" in Chapter 7 of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, which basically goes like: The vector potential satisfies wave function $\nabla^2\mathbf ...
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257 views

The fine structure constant - can it genuinely be a random variable?

The question Does it make sense, and are there physical reasons to think about the fine structure constant as a (very concentrated) probability distribution rather than a single real number? ...
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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 ...
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Scattering amplitude with on-shell virtual photon

Let's assume electron-electron scattering in QED in second order of perturbation theory. Then in the corresponding scattering amplitude there will appear photon propagator $$ D_{\mu \nu}(q = p_{i} - ...
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Why is it important that the vector current should be conserved in QED?

In Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model by MD Schwartz in the chapter about the anomalies, he derives from the equation of motions and the Noether currents of a effective massless QED ...
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Time ordering, interaction Lagrangian calculation, QED

I am trying to compute $$ \langle 0| \, T\left\{\phi^\dagger(x_1) \phi(x_2) \exp \left[i \! \int{L_1(x) \, \mathrm{d}x} \right] \right\}|0 \rangle $$ for $$ L_1(x) = ...
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Charge dependence of operators in QED renormalization

Consider a UV cutoff regulator $\Lambda$ with an effective QED lagrangian: $\mathcal{L}_{\Lambda} = \bar{\psi}_{\Lambda}(i\not \partial - m_{\Lambda})\psi_{\Lambda} - ...
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182 views

Isn't the Coulomb interaction a photon interaction between two charges?

Isn't the Coulomb interaction a photon interaction between two charges? if yes then what does the following text mean? (Many-particle Physics by Gerald D. Mahan.)
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What are the “two surfaces” in QED's reflection by two surfaces

When Feynman refers to the "top surface" and "bottom surface" probabilities when explaining QED, is he referring to the probability of the photons reaching the top of the object and the bottom of the ...
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108 views

Electric field due to rotating charged sphere

Consider a spherically symmetric charged object (charge $Q$) rotating about its axis. From Gauss's law we know that all that matters for the electric field $\mathbf{E}$ is the charge $Q$ enclosed ...
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Aren't $\phi^4$ composite operators?

I have this trouble with terminology. I wonder why authors introduce the concept of composite operators after they've already talked about eg phi four theory, it phi cubed. Aren't these operators ...
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Differential cross section for photon scattering on fixed magnetic dipole

Photon with energy $\hbar\omega$ scattering on a fixed particle with magnetic momentum $\vec{\mu} = \mu \vec s$. How to calculate a differential and total cross section for the photon. I've found in ...
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QED: what is the relationship between emission and absorbtion spectrums? (and why do plants absorb blue light and emit green light..)

I'm interested in this because of photosynthesis, but hte question is general. I'm looking for a QED explanation. A lot of the explanations talk about light shining on a plant getting aborbed, ...
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How is charge expressed?

I am happy with the concept of electrons interacting with each other through the emission and absorption of photons, but what I don't understand is how the negative charge on an electron is expressed ...
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Intuition behind $U(1)$-gauge model of Electrodynamics in a general spacetime

As the article Electrodynamics in general spacetime greatly explains, the $U(1)$-gauge theory is a good base for working in non-simply connected spaces. But I wonder whether there is a deep reason to ...
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195 views

Photon polarization sum prescription in $e^-e^+\to{}2\gamma$

In calculating the amplitude for the process $e^-\gamma\to{}e^-\gamma$ the substitution $\sum\epsilon_{\mu}\epsilon^*_{\nu}\to-\eta_{\mu\nu}$ is useful to sum over photon polarizations. If we ...
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Non-minimal coupling (Pauli Coupling) of gauge field with a non-relativistic scalar field

I am wondering if it makes any sense to non-minimally (say, Pauli-like) couple an external gauge field with a non-relativistic scalar field: \begin{equation} p_\mu \rightarrow p_\mu - e A_\mu + ...
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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 ...
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Do black holes have transient color charge?

In the membrane model, when a baryon hits the event horizon its spatially separated quarks will impact the membrane at different times. Doesn't this necessarily mean that black holes acquire, however ...
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Can a quark irreversibly pass though an event horizon?

This is an attempt to transform a question I asked about a year ago into a binary yes-or-no question: Since a quark has electrical charge, can it irreversibly pass though an event horizon? The ...
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Photo-excitation in terms of particle physics [duplicate]

How does a photon couple to an electron during an excitation/de-excitation process in an atom? My current understanding is rather limited especially when considering types of fundamental forces and ...
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Is quantum uncertainty a function of how matter is distributed in the universe?

As an outcome of his PhD thesis work, Richard Feynman and John Wheeler wrote a series of papers on how the kickback on an electron as it emits a photon can be modeled accurately as the result of an ...
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Why the extra term $\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\rho}A^{\rho})^2$ in the photon Lagrangian?

In my quantum field theory class we have been told to use this Lagrangian for the photon field $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\alpha\beta}F^{\alpha\beta} -\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\rho}A^{\rho})^2.$$ but ...
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Can the granular quantum nature of light be used to engineer a maroscopic optical phenomena?

Today we have optical metamaterials and metasurfaces: materials and surfaces that are made of unit cells with an approximate size of tens of nanometers, that can that interact with light and can have ...
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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 ...
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Which renormalisation techniques are available for 3+1 QED?

I hope my question is not too naive, but I would like to know what are the available renormalisation techniques for 3+1 QED. I have read a bit about Pauli-Villars, but I am wondering if there are ...
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Commutation of field and atomic ladder operators in the Dicke model

Consider the Dicke model, whose Hamiltonian is (in the rotating wave approximation) \begin{equation} \hat H=\omega_c \hat a^\dagger \hat a+\omega_0 \hat \sigma_z + g(\hat a^\dagger \hat \sigma + \hat ...
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How is 2D spectroscopy able to show quantum coherent transport through networks?

For wave-like (quantum coherent) energy transfer in networks (eg. propagation of excitation in photosynthetic protein complexes of algae or FMO complex in plants) 2D electronic (photon echo?) ...
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How positron and electron annihilate forming photons? [duplicate]

Electron is a particle with momentum $p$ and it spins up. Positron is its antiparticle having momentum $-p$ and it spins down. "A positron is an electron travelling backwards in time" said by Feynman. ...
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One loop correction to $F^2$ in massless QED, question from Peskin & Schroeder

In Peskin & Schroeder chapter 19, about trace anomaly in massless QED, the trace of $\Theta^{\mu\nu}$ is given by $$ {\Theta^\mu} _\mu =-\frac{4-d}{4} (F_{\lambda\sigma})^2 + (1-d) \bar{\psi} i ...
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What is $Q_p/Q_e$ experimentally? [duplicate]

What is the experimental value of the ratio between the proton and the electron charge? Or more generally, is there a table that lists the ratio of the different nuclei charges to that of the ...
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Can we find the definite path of electron?

Light can crisscross in all directions. Source: Can photons pass through each other? In a given volume, we can have light throughout, such that there is no space with no light in it (with the ...
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Electromagnetic reaction force?

The classical (retarded) Lienard-Wiechert scalar and vector potentials describe the electromagnetic field due to an arbitrarily moving electric point charge. Thus given the motion of electron $A$ one ...
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Help to understand vertex function

In Weinberg's book (the quantum theory of fields, volume 1, pag 446, equation (10.4.19) ) is stated that $\int \ dx \ dy \ dz \ exp(-i p x - ik y + i lz) \langle\Psi_0,T\{J^{\mu}(x)\Psi_n(y)\bar ...
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Are all positrons electrons traveling back in time?

I have recently read Richard Feynman's "QED" and in it Feynman describes positrons as 'how we view electrons when they are going back in time and we are stuck traveling forwards in time'. I was ...
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Regularization of infrared divergences

Let's have diagrams in QED when we don't use Feynman gauge. Then the bare photon propagator will look like $$ \tag 1 D_{\mu \nu}(p) = -\frac{g_{\mu \nu} - \frac{p_{\mu}p_{\nu}}{p^{2}}}{p^{2} + ...