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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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Why can't fermions be affected by effective gravity in non-linear quantum electrodynamics?

Quantum electrodynamics based upon Euler-Heisenberg or Born-Infeld Lagrangians predict photons to move according to an effective metric which is dependent on the background electromagnetic field. In ...
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Are virtual photons affected by effective gravity in non-linear quantum electrodynamics?

Quantum electrodynamics based upon Euler-Heisenberg or Born-Infeld Lagrangians predict photons to move according to an effective metric, which is dependent on the background electromagnetic field in a ...
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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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Virtual photon description of B and E fields

I continue to find it amazing that something as “bulky” and macroscopic as a static magnetic or electric field is actually a manifestation of virtual photons. So putting on your QFT spectacles, look ...
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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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What is the spectral energy density of virtual photons around a unit charge at rest?

Given that my previous question, namely "What is the number density of virtual photons around a unit charge?" has no precise answer, here is a more precise wording: What is the virtual photon ...
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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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How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (color)?

How is the following classical optics phenomenon explained in quantum electrodynamics? Color According to Schroedinger's model of the atom, only particular colors are emitted depending on the type ...