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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How is the double slit experiment modeled in contemporary physical theories?

Suppose I have the following double split experiment set up: a monochromatic electron source of low intensity, which we can model as emitting a single electron at a time with energy $T$. a ...
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Mass gap for photons

I am puzzled by the answers to the question: What is a mass gap? There, Ron Maimon's answer gives a clear-cut definition, which I suppose applies to any quantum field theory with Hamiltonian $H$, ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Why do some materials reflect (metals) and other materials reflect and refract (glass) from the quantum perspective?

Recently I was asked to explain the difference between reflection and total internal reflection from a purely conceptual standpoint (no math). Let me explain what I already know. Reflection and ...
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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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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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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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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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Proof of Furry's theorem

i was wondering if anyone could give an explicit calculation or show a link that shows the proof to Furry's theorem. showing how the vacuum expectation value of any odd number of electromagnetic ...
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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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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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Why can't Compton scattering happen in leading order of perturbation theory?

Why is the matrix element of Compton scattering in leading order of perturbation theory equal to zero? Why can this process only be described in second order of perturbation theory, i.e. with exchange ...
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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 ...
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Can a neutrino act as a virtual particle between two electrons to mediate an electron-electron fermonic interaction?

Can a neutrino act as a virtual particle between two electrons to mediate electron-electron fermonic interaction analogous to how a photon acts as a virtual particle between two electrons to mediate a ...
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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 ...
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If proton spin emergence from quarks and gluons is mysterious, why is silver atom spin not?

A recent Scientific American article brought up an old issue, which is this: According to quantum chromodynamic models, the emergence of exactly 1/2 unit of spin in a proton (or a neutron, or any ...
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How does light know which path is fastest?

We know from Fermat's principle of least time that light follows the fastest path. But how does light know which path is the fastest?
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What is the difference between surface plasmon and surface plasmon polariton?

I'm trying to understand this reading article linked below and I still don't know how to explain this simply, without need to derive everything mathematically. Can someone just write here how do SP's ...
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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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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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Chiral anomaly and decay of the pion

I am told that if all classical symmetries were reflected as quantum symmetries, the decay of the neutral pion $$\pi^0 ~\longrightarrow~ \gamma\gamma$$ would not happen. Why would the conservation of ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 Phys.SE 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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Ward identity derived from global symmetry and SDE, different from that derived from gauge symmetry?

In QED, according to Schwinger-Dyson equation $^{[1]}$, $$\left(\eta^{\mu\nu}(\partial ^2)-(1-\frac{1}{\xi})\partial^{\mu}\partial^{\nu}\right)\langle 0|\mathcal{T}A_{\nu}(x)...|0\rangle = e\,\langle ...
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Why do we need to prove the gauge invariance of QED (or all of the gauge theories) on the Feynman diagrams language?

Let's have the QED lagrangian. It has explicit gauge invariance, so, by the naive thinking, all of the EM processes must satisfy the property of gauge invariance. So why do we need to recheck of gauge ...
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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 = ...
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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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Are there 2 kinds of photons, one that mediate the electromagnetic interaction and the other the quanta of light?

It is usually said that photons are the force carriers or the mediators of the electromagnetic forces between electric charges. At the same time we know also that electromagnetic waves on the quantum ...
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Do composite particles that are electrically neutral but have charged constituents radiate?

For example an electron radiates when accelerated. So does a positron. But is the radiation emitted by accelerated positronium the sum of the radiation emitted by each separately? If not, why not? If ...
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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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Transparency of solids using bandgaps and relation to conduction and valence bands

I think I understand how a solid can appear transparent as long as the energy of the photons travelling through it are not absorbed in the material's bandgap. But how does this band gap relate to ...
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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 ...
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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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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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Electron's self-energy in QED in arbitrary gauge

Recently I've tried to evaluate electron's self-energy in QED in the second order of perturbation theory by using dimensional regularization. Corresponding 1PI-diagram leads to $$ \Sigma_{1loop} = ...
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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 ...
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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 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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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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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 ...