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 exciting an electron's surrounding electromagnetic field cause 'electron excitation'?

In more meaningful words than the ones above, how does adding energy to the EM field cause the electron to to change orbitals or oscillate in a different pattern.
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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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Electromagnetic reaction force?

The classical (retarded) Lienard-Wiechert scalar and vector potentials describe the electromagnetic field due to an arbitrarily moving electric point charge. Thus given the motion of electron $A$ one ...
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Isn't the Coulomb interaction a photon interaction between two charges?

Isn't the Coulomb interaction a photon interaction between two charges? if yes then what does the following text mean? (Many-particle Physics by Gerald D. Mahan.)
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Do virtual photons have a frequency?

Real photons do have frequencies, which is directly related to its energy. So, can virtual photons that take part in EM interactions have frequencies too? When my hand is pressed up against a glass ...
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Thomson scattering on the elections does not produce any circular polarization?

All references on CMB polarization has this statement as if it is a trivial fact. But I have to admit that I completely don't understand what this sentence is telling us.
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Charge operator

In QED, the gauge transformation which acts upon a fermionic field $\psi$ is $$\psi'(x)= e^{i \alpha(x) Q}\psi(x)$$ where $Q$ is the charge operator. Most of the time it's just written as $$\psi'(x)= ...
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Is diffraction affected by interaction between photons and electrons?

Suppose we take a sheet of ordinary metal, make a narrow slit in it, and shine a light beam through the slit onto a screen. The light beam will diffract from the edges of the slit and spread out onto ...
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Free Electromagnetic field in Lorenz gauge

To get rid of the extra term in the QED Lagrangian we need to redefine the electromagnetic four-vector: $A^{\mu} \rightarrow A^{\mu} - \frac{1}{c} \partial_{\mu} a(x)$ where $a(x)$ is the function ...
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Electro-magnetic wave propagation in vacum

I was wondering what will the EM wave propagation including virtual particle pairs existence look like. When electric field face virtual pair it should make the lowest state energy the most ...
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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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Counting d.o.f. and gauge fixing $A_{\mu}$ and $\psi$ in $D$-dimensions

Setup: Let us assume we are in $D$-dimensional Minkowski space-time where $D=d+1$. Consider a free Abelian gauge theory. Then the electromagnetic field will satisfy $$\partial_{\mu}F^{\mu \nu}=0 ...
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Tape as a X-Ray Source

A couple years ago I ran upon a YouTube video demonstrating how researchers used x-rays given off by tearing tape off its spindle in hopes to miniaturized and cheapen future x-ray devices. As of ...
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Accelerating charges emit

I would like to know what is the quantum explanation (without going through mathematical details) for the fact that accelerating charge emits light.
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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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Why Lagrangian of electromagnetism with Lorenz Gauge evolve Klein Gordon equation?

Simply Lagrangian without a source for Maxwell equation is $$ L = -\frac{1}{4}F^{\mu\nu}F_{\mu\nu} $$ Also Lorenz Gauge condition is $$ \partial_{\mu}A^{\mu}=0 $$ and if so I can briefly add this ...
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The fine structure constant - can it genuinely be a random variable?

The question Does it make sense, and are there physical reasons to think about the fine structure constant as a (very concentrated) probability distribution rather than a single real number? ...
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QCD and QED with unlimited computational power - how precise they are going to be?

My question is about quantum algorithms for QED (quantum electrodynamics) computations related to the fine structure constants. Such computations (as explained to me) amounts to computing Taylor-like ...
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Why very strong fields are required for a photon to split?

Photon splitting does not occur in free space as energy and momentum cannot be conserved in any Lorentz frame. But it does occur in the presence of a strong field. Consider the example of a Magnetar. ...
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Peskin's book page 334 proof of $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory

Peskin in his QFT page 334 argued that $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory, but I couldn't understand his argument: ... With a generalization of the argument given there (section ...
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Fine structure constant definition

The fine structure constant is usually defined using $e$, $h$ ,$c$ ... However, from QED, we know it cannot be derived but only experimentally measured. Does that mean the usual definition we use in ...
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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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Linear and circular polarization in quantization of the EM field

I am going through the "Quantization of the EM field" in Chapter 7 of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, which basically goes like: The vector potential satisfies wave function $\nabla^2\mathbf ...
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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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Is there a strong force analog to magnetic fields?

In special relativity, magnetism can be re-interpreted as an aspect of how electric charges interact when viewed from different inertial frames. Color charge is more complex than electric charge, but ...
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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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Can a light be bent by a magnetic field?

I'm struck with two competing ideas on the question in the title. Listing #1: http://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=2009 Q: "How far can a magnetic field bend light?" A: "Unfortunately, ...
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Virtual photon counting

How to calculate number of exchanged virtual photons per unit of time between two electromagnetically interacting objects?
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Time ordering, interaction Lagrangian calculation, QED

I am trying to compute $$ \langle 0| \, T\left\{\phi^\dagger(x_1) \phi(x_2) \exp \left[i \! \int{L_1(x) \, \mathrm{d}x} \right] \right\}|0 \rangle $$ for $$ L_1(x) = ...
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Charge dependence of operators in QED renormalization

Consider a UV cutoff regulator $\Lambda$ with an effective QED lagrangian: $\mathcal{L}_{\Lambda} = \bar{\psi}_{\Lambda}(i\not \partial - m_{\Lambda})\psi_{\Lambda} - ...
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What are the “two surfaces” in QED's reflection by two surfaces

When Feynman refers to the "top surface" and "bottom surface" probabilities when explaining QED, is he referring to the probability of the photons reaching the top of the object and the bottom of the ...
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Electric field due to rotating charged sphere

Consider a spherically symmetric charged object (charge $Q$) rotating about its axis. From Gauss's law we know that all that matters for the electric field $\mathbf{E}$ is the charge $Q$ enclosed ...
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Aren't $\phi^4$ composite operators?

I have this trouble with terminology. I wonder why authors introduce the concept of composite operators after they've already talked about eg phi four theory, it phi cubed. Aren't these operators ...
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Differential cross section for photon scattering on fixed magnetic dipole

Photon with energy $\hbar\omega$ scattering on a fixed particle with magnetic momentum $\vec{\mu} = \mu \vec s$. How to calculate a differential and total cross section for the photon. I've found in ...
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How is charge expressed?

I am happy with the concept of electrons interacting with each other through the emission and absorption of photons, but what I don't understand is how the negative charge on an electron is expressed ...
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How do two electrical charged particles know to repel or attract each other?

Now per QED, electrical charges interactions are effected by photons. Suppose you are one of the two charges. How do you know to attract or repel the other charge? In other words, how do you know if ...
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QED: what is the relationship between emission and absorbtion spectrums? (and why do plants absorb blue light and emit green light..)

I'm interested in this because of photosynthesis, but hte question is general. I'm looking for a QED explanation. A lot of the explanations talk about light shining on a plant getting aborbed, ...
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Intuition behind $U(1)$-gauge model of Electrodynamics in a general spacetime

As the article Electrodynamics in general spacetime greatly explains, the $U(1)$-gauge theory is a good base for working in non-simply connected spaces. But I wonder whether there is a deep reason to ...
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Photon polarization sum prescription in $e^-e^+\to{}2\gamma$

In calculating the amplitude for the process $e^-\gamma\to{}e^-\gamma$ the substitution $\sum\epsilon_{\mu}\epsilon^*_{\nu}\to-\eta_{\mu\nu}$ is useful to sum over photon polarizations. If we ...
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Non-minimal coupling (Pauli Coupling) of gauge field with a non-relativistic scalar field

I am wondering if it makes any sense to non-minimally (say, Pauli-like) couple an external gauge field with a non-relativistic scalar field: \begin{equation} p_\mu \rightarrow p_\mu - e A_\mu + ...
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Why doesn't a changed particle ever lose energy by interacting with others by radiation of virtual photons? Are all virtual photons exchanged?

I've had it explained to me in a separate post that charged particles are constantly exchanging virtual particles with other charged particles and their energy is a steady state. How it is a surety ...
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Can a quark irreversibly pass though an event horizon?

This is an attempt to transform a question I asked about a year ago into a binary yes-or-no question: Since a quark has electrical charge, can it irreversibly pass though an event horizon? The ...
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Photo-excitation in terms of particle physics [duplicate]

How does a photon couple to an electron during an excitation/de-excitation process in an atom? My current understanding is rather limited especially when considering types of fundamental forces and ...
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Is quantum uncertainty a function of how matter is distributed in the universe?

As an outcome of his PhD thesis work, Richard Feynman and John Wheeler wrote a series of papers on how the kickback on an electron as it emits a photon can be modeled accurately as the result of an ...
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Why the extra term $\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\rho}A^{\rho})^2$ in the photon Lagrangian?

In my quantum field theory class we have been told to use this Lagrangian for the photon field $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\alpha\beta}F^{\alpha\beta} -\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\rho}A^{\rho})^2.$$ but ...
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Can the granular quantum nature of light be used to engineer a maroscopic optical phenomena?

Today we have optical metamaterials and metasurfaces: materials and surfaces that are made of unit cells with an approximate size of tens of nanometers, that can that interact with light and can have ...
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Admixtures of longitudinal and timelike photons!

In the quantization of electromagnetic field the physical states $|\psi\rangle$ are found to obey the following relation: $[a^{(0)}(k)-a^{(3)}(k)]|\psi\rangle=0$ It is explained as the physical ...
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Which renormalisation techniques are available for 3+1 QED?

I hope my question is not too naive, but I would like to know what are the available renormalisation techniques for 3+1 QED. I have read a bit about Pauli-Villars, but I am wondering if there are ...
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Commutation of field and atomic ladder operators in the Dicke model

Consider the Dicke model, whose Hamiltonian is (in the rotating wave approximation) \begin{equation} \hat H=\omega_c \hat a^\dagger \hat a+\omega_0 \hat \sigma_z + g(\hat a^\dagger \hat \sigma + \hat ...
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How is 2D spectroscopy able to show quantum coherent transport through networks?

For wave-like (quantum coherent) energy transfer in networks (eg. propagation of excitation in photosynthetic protein complexes of algae or FMO complex in plants) 2D electronic (photon echo?) ...