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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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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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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$U(1){\times}U(1)$ 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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427 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 ...
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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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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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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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QED Commutation Relations Implications

In Brian Hatfield's book on QFT and Strings there is the following quote: In particular $$ [A_i (x,t), E_j(y,t)] = -i \delta_{ij}\delta(x-y) $$ implies that $$ [A_i(x,t),\nabla \cdot E(y,t)] = ...
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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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LSZ theorem for photons

Is there any discussion on what the LSZ theorem for photons looks like? I would rather like a discussion of this in axial gauge $A_0 = 0$ (instead of the usual Lorenz gauge), but anything would do.
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How does one interpret the Dirac equation with a self-field potential?

EVERY QFT text I've ever examined states that if there is an external vector potential, $A_\mu$, then one writes the Dirac eq.(or Klein-Gordon eq.) using a covariant derivative to include this U(1) ...
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If a photon's emission is detected is it real or virtual?

I understand that one can measure a single photon being absorbed using a photomultiplier tube or CCD. Can one measure a single photon being emitted by monitoring the current through an LED or the ...
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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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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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539 views

Why does positronium decay into 2 photons more often than into 3 photons?

I cannot find the answer to the above question. I know that para-positronium is created with a probability of $25\%$ and decays into 2 photons, while ortho-positronium is created with a probability ...
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What are the limits of applicability of Coulomb's Law?

Coulomb's law is formally parallel to Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation, which is known to give way to General Relativity for very large masses. Does Coulomb's Law have any similar limits of ...
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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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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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What's the role of field equation in QFT?

For free field theory, it seems the solutions of a field equation are used to give a representation of Poincare group, and the field equation is still satisfied after quantization. However for an ...
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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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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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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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What is predicted to happen for electron beams in the Stern-Gerlach experiment?

The Stern–Gerlach experiment has been carried out for silver and hydrogen atoms, with the result that the beams are deflected discretely rather than continuously by an inhomogenous magnetic field. ...
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Electromagnetic Field VS Photons [duplicate]

I am currently studying electrodynamics with all the fields and the like. Now, as I understand it, in a more modern viewpoint there is a duality between electromagnetic fields and photons, with ...
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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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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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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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How to get Hamiltonian of QED from lagrangian?

I have the QED lagrangian: $$ L = \bar {\Psi}(i \gamma^{\mu }\partial_{\mu} + q\gamma^{\mu}A_{\mu} - m)\Psi + \frac{1}{16 \pi}F_{\alpha \beta}F^{\alpha \beta} . $$ I tried to get hamiltonian by ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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Is it reasonable to interpret the Lamb shift as vacuum induced Stark shifts?

This is a pretty hand-wavy question about interpretation of the Lamb shift. I understand that one can calculate the Lamb shift diagrammatically to get an accurate result, but there exist ...
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Why possibility for X-ray to excite inner electrons higher than outer electrons?

It seems X-ray absorption spectroscopy is usually ascribed to the interation between photons and inner electrons. Does it mean inner electrons are much preferred by X-ray photons to outer electrons? ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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.
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What is the density of virtual photons around a unit charge?

It seems that virtual photons also exist in vacuum. So the precise question is: What is the additional virtual photon density due to the electric field of a unit charge? Or: How many virtual photons ...
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Photon as the carrier of the electromagnetic force

My physics background goes as "far" as reading popsci books on QM, Particle Physics, and Cosmology so pardon my ignorance in the below questions. I've read that the photon is the particle (quanta in ...
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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: ...
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If the electron is point like, then what is the significance of the classical radius of the electron?

What is the physical meaning/significance of the classical radius of the electron if we know from experiments that the electron is point like? Is there similarly a classical radius of the photon? The ...
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Characteristic of photons for constant speed

What characteristic of photons causes them to travel with constant speed in all frames of reference? Till the topics I have studied, we always assume this but never got any ideas what can be in the ...
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Negative mass dirac equation -> Propagator?

There are two types of dirac equations: $(p_\mu\gamma^\mu - m)\Psi(x) = 0$ and $(p_\mu\gamma^\mu + m)\Psi(x) = 0$. Here $p$ are the momentum operators. The fermion propagator is defined in the ...