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 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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256 views

Experimental proof of gravitational redshift of light

Has the gravitational red shift been proven for electromagnetic waves only or also for a single photon?
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324 views

Anomalous magnetic moment of electron

It is known that the value of 2 of the electron g-factor arises from the Dirac equation. As far as I can see from the various sources, this value is obtained in non-relativistic limit, in particular ...
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391 views

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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308 views

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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108 views

Can we use only the observables of Fermion fields?

There are legion ways to consider fermionic Dirac spinor fields, but is it possible to consider the asymptotic free field only in terms of observables, which in the case of the Dirac spinor field must ...
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185 views

For someone who only studied electromagnetism, what is the modern way to explain electromagnetic fields?

After reading most of the electromagnetism chapters of Feynman's lectures on physics, I would like to understand in more detail, at least an idea, of what causes the electromagnetic fields. Not sure ...
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297 views

Effects of parallel superconducting plates

Assuming the existence of virtual particle field ( zero point energy field) Casimir force is produced by 2 parallel conducting plates excluding some of the frequencies between the plates, if these 2 ...
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226 views

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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260 views

Could gravity hold electron charge together?

Could the gravitational force be what holds the charge of the electron together? It seems to be the only obvious possibility; what other ideas have been proposed besides side-stepping the issue and ...
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742 views

Simple (but wrong) argument for the generality of positive beta-functions

In the introduction (page 5) of Supersymmetry and String Theory: Beyond the Standard Model by Michael Dine (Amazon, Google), he says (Traditionally it was known that) the interactions of ...
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Conservation of electric charge in Feynman diagram

Here is a Feynman diagram showing the mutual annihilation of a bound state electron positron pair into two photons: Is the electric charge conserved at the point A (or B)? What is the "charge" of ...
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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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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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Relativistic corrections to quantum mechanics of Coloumb potential

Systems of charged particles (such as atomic nuclei and electrons) can be described by nonrelativistic quantum mechanics with the Coloumb interaction potential. A fully relativistic description is ...
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286 views

Effect of introducing magnetic charge on use of vector potential

It is well known that Maxwell equations can be made symmetric w.r.t. $E$ and $B$ by introducing non-zero magnetic charge density/flux. In this case we have $div B = \rho_m$, where $\rho_m$ is a ...
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Transition of electric charge to “magnetic charge” when $\alpha$ gets >> 1 in QED?

I`ve just learned that electrically charged particles and magnetically charged monopoles in QED are S-dual to each other such that it depends on the value of the fine structure constant which of the ...
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171 views

Simulation of QED

Can anyone point me to a paper dealing with simulation of QED or the Standard Model in general? I will particularly appreciate a review paper.
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695 views

The Schwinger model

The Schwinger model is the 2d QED with massless fermions. An important result about it (which I would like to understand) is that this is a gauge invariant theory which contains a free massive vector ...
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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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Interaction of matter with EM fields

For the interaction between electromagnetic fields and matter, when do we have to include quantization of the EM field and when we can ignore it? when do we have to include quantization of atomic ...
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159 views

Back-of-the-envelope calculation of electron anomalous magnetic moment

I wonder if there is an intuitive way to obtain the $\frac{\alpha}{2\pi}$ correction to electron's $\frac12 (g-2)$ just like how Bethe estimated the Lamb shift? Here is an attempt by Drell & ...
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1answer
928 views

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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189 views

Speed Distribution of The Particles

I want to know the distribution of the particles's speed. The particles what I mean are nucleons and electrons of element. Consume there is 1kg of iron on room temperature and it's shape is sphere. ...
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265 views

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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What is the 2-point correlation function of the electron field in QED?

The Feynman propagator for the free electron field is the Fourier transform w.r.t. $y$ of the time-ordered 2-point VEV $\left<0\right|\mathcal{T}[\hat\psi(x)\hat\psi(x+y)]\left|0\right>$, taking ...
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628 views

Hyperfine structure vs Lamb shift in the hydrogen atom

The hyperfine structure of the energy levels of the hydrogen atom refers to the shifts in the evergy levels due to the magnetic moments of the nucleus and of the electron. This is an effect of ...
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What's the relation between virtual photons and electromagnetic potentials?

Given that: 1) virtual photons mediate the electric and magnetic force fields 2) the magnetic field is the curl of the magnetic vector potential 3) the electric field is the negative gradient of ...
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138 views

Name for phasor model of light

I'm looking for the name of the model of light "exploring" every path to a given point, and reaching that point with a probability proportional to the square of the resultant phasor's amplitude. (Yes, ...
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757 views

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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692 views

Neutral Pion Decay

While studying C-symmetry, a question about neutral pion decay came up. The most probable channels in which neutral pion $\pi^0$ decays are: $\pi^0\longrightarrow\gamma+\gamma$ (98%) ...
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244 views

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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498 views

Why muonium is unstable?

This question is closely related to my previous question Bound states in QED. Muonium is a system of electron and anti-muon. This article in wikipedia claims that muonium is unstable. QUESTION: Why ...
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Bound states in QED

I am a beginner in QED and QFT. What is known (or expected to be) about bound states in QED? As far as I understand, in non-relativistic QM electron and positron can form a bound state. Should it be ...
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how does dynamic casimir effect generate correlated photons

There is a recent paper on arxiv receiving lot of acclaim http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.4714 The authors experimentally show that moving a mirror of a cavity at high speeds produces light from high ...
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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 ...
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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 shown that photon speed is constant using QED?

In Feynman's simple QED book he talks about the probability amplitude P(A to B) ,where A and B are events in spacetime, and he says that it depends of the spacetime interval but he didn't put the ...
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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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Quantizing EM field

Why when we quantize EM field, whe quantize the vector potential $A^\mu$ obtaining vectorial particles (photons) like the elastic field (phonons) and we can't quantize directly the EM-field tensor ...
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799 views

Lightning and nuclear fusion

I'm going to be brief, I just saw a Discovery Channel show that showed a lot of interesting phenomena around lightning (like elves, how cool is that(!)), and got me wondering. 1) Thinking of ...
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thermal energy while calculating Langevin Forces

I have a quick question from thermodynamics. I remember that we take kT/2 as the kinetic energy per degree of freedom in kinetic theory of gases. But when we do langevin forces (for example in ...
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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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487 views

Why is the spinor field anti-commutator not made gauge invariant?

When we introduce minimal coupling for the Dirac spinor field, we introduce terms into the Lagrangian, by the substitution $i\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\mu}\mapsto i\frac{\partial}{\partial ...
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448 views

Spin of an electron [closed]

I have a conceptual difficulty in understanding the electron spin. On the one hand, it is an experimental, observable feature of electrons. The problem is in understanding to what it belongs - to 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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453 views

Are electromagnetic “plane” waves measurable or just a virtual concept?

I find plane waves are uncompatible with light cone. Perhaps plane waves are "virtual" and can never be measured in that case, shouldn't we call plane waves as "virtual plane waves"? (other option ...
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366 views

What is Electromagnetic Induced Transparency?

Please can anyone explain the concepts of electromagnetic induced transparency? I am having problem with the technicality of the explanation on wikipedia. Please I am an engineer with a physics ...
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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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critical electric field that spontaneously generates real pairs

With the current QED framework, If an electric field is strong enough (say, near a nucleus with $Z > 140$) , pair production will occur spontaneously? Is this a real effect or an artifact before ...