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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What is the constraint on the Gauge Potential in the Covariant Gauges?

One of the most common gauges in QED computations are the $R_{\xi}$ gauges obtained by adding a term \begin{equation} -\frac{(\partial_\mu A^{\mu})^2}{2\xi} \end{equation} to the Lagrangian. ...
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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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Coulomb interaction as virtual particles exchange?

I've been reading about virtual particle exchanges in physics books and in Physics SA posts, where a particle interpretation of gravity and Coulomb interaction is established. The Feynman Diagram ...
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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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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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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 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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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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In the context of quantum field theory, what does it mean to “couple” something?

Suppose I have the following Lagrangian density \begin{equation} \mathcal{L} = - \frac{1}{4} F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu} \end{equation} The lecture notes I an reading suggest if I want to "couple to ...
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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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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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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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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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Instantaneous Coulomb interaction in QED

It seems I am stuck with a (at a first sight) trivial problem. It's from the "Quarks and Leptons" (Halzen, Martin) book page $141$, where one considers the following integral: $$\tag{1} T_{fi} = ...
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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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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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What is the value of the fine structure constant at Planck energy?

At low energy, 511 keV, the value of the fine structure constant is 1/137.03599... At Planck energy $\sqrt{\frac{\hbar c^5}{G}}$, or 1.956 $\times$ 109 Joule, or 1.22 $\times$ 1028 eV, it has a ...
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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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Could future experiments on “Gravitational Casimir Effect” confirm the existence of gravitons?

From Casimir effect, we know that when two plates are placed very close to each other in vacuum, they attract each other because the quantum fluctuations that press on the two plates' outer surfaces ...
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Dimensional transmutation in QED?

I am familiar with the QCD dimensional transmutation (QCD is dimensionless theory but via renormalisation we get dimensional parameter; we have to choose some referent scale...), but I'm not sure if ...
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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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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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How does a photon “know” that it's left one charge and that it's going to another one?

How does it know the same charge it left will be the same charge it will return to? My understanding is photons are neutral and have no charge. i.e. Like charges repel, unlike attract. All charged ...
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Massless $\lambda \phi^4$ QFT

The $\lambda \phi^4$ quantum filed theory is the textbook example (which probably cannot be constructed nonperturbatively; I'm purely interested in perturbation theory). However, usually one treats ...
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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 ...
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How does determinism manifest out of QFT?

Classical electrodynamics is deterministic. QED is indeterministic, or probabilistically random. Yet they agree with each other? What am I missing?
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Is there any relationship between Gravity and Electromagnetism? [duplicate]

We all know that the universe is governed by four Fundamental Forces which are The strong force , The weak force , The electromagnetic force and The gravitational force . Now, is there any ...
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How to count the number of modes/polarizations of a Gaussian field theory?

A Gaussian (free) field theory is described by a quadratic action of the field, e.g. $S=\int\psi^\dagger K\psi$ (or $S=\frac{1}{2}\int\phi^\intercal K\phi$ for real fields). Usually one just need to ...
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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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Does electric charge affect space time fabric?

I am confused with this question. Does electric charge affect the space time fabric? If so, why? Also if electric charge does not affect the space time fabric, how can we interpret the origin of the ...
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How do we visualise antenna reception of individua radiowave photons building up to a resonant AC current on the antenna?

I am a chemical/biological scientist by trade and wish to understand how quantum EM phenomena translates to our more recognizable classical world. In particular I want to get a mechanistic picture of ...
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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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Is there a way to calculate the photoelectric effect in QED via a Feynman diagram?

The photoelectric effect is the historic origin of the quantum particle description of light. From it we learn that when light is shone onto a metal single photons interact with single electrons in ...
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Photon Mass Term in Schwinger's 2D QED Model

Why does the vacuum polarization in 2D massless Fermion QED, $$ i\Pi^{\mu\nu}(q) = i(\eta^{\mu\nu}-\frac{q^\mu q^\nu}{q^2})\frac{e^2}{\pi}, $$ have the structure of a photon mass term, as is ...
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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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Electron-Positron Scattering using the Feynman Rules - Integration Q

I'm doing independent studies on electron-positron scattering, specifically the annihilation diagram contribution to the M matrix in Bhabha scattering, and this is the equation I recovered with the ...
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How to introduce the electromagnetic field in Quantum Field Theory?

There are many ways to introduce the electromagnrtic field in Quantum Field Theory(QFT), such as canonical quantization method which introduces the creation and annihilation oprators by treating the ...
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Electron in Magnetic Field can lead to non-Hermitian Hamiltonian?

Consider a charged quantum particle in a magnetic field. The Hamiltonian can be written using minimal coupling: $$ H = \frac{1}{2m} \left( \mathbf{p} - \frac{e}{c} \mathbf{A}(\mathbf{x}) \right)^2 $$ ...