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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Does the 4/3 problem of classical electromagnetism remain in quantum mechanics?

In Volume II Chapter 28 of the Feymann Lectures on Physics, Feynman discusses the infamous 4/3 problem of classical electromagnetism. Suppose you have a charged particle of radius $a$ and charge $q$ ...
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Why did Feynman's thesis almost work?

A bit of background helps frame this question. The question itself is in the last sentence. For his PhD thesis, Richard Feynman and his thesis adviser John Archibald Wheeler devised an astonishingly ...
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How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (Snell's law)?

How is the following classical optics phenomenon explained in quantum electrodynamics? Reflection and Refraction Are they simply due to photons being absorbed and re-emitted? How do we get to ...
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How do we know photons have spin 1?

Electrons have spin 1/2, and as they are charged, they also have an associated magnetic moment, which can be measured by an electron beam splitting up in an inhomogeneous magnetic field or through the ...
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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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Spontaneous breaking of Lorentz invariance in gauge theories

I was browsing through the hep-th arXiv and came across this article: Spontaneous Lorentz Violation in Gauge Theories. A. P. Balachandran, S. Vaidya. arXiv:1302.3406 [hep-th]. (Submitted on 14 ...
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What tree-level Feynman diagrams are added to QED if magnetic monopoles exist?

Are the added diagrams the same as for the $e-\gamma$ interaction, but with "$e$" replaced by "monopole"? If so, is the force between two magnetic monopoles described by the same virtual ...
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The exchange of photons gives rise to the electromagnetic force

Pardon me for my stubborn classical/semiclassical brain. But I bet I am not the only one finding such description confusing. If EM force is caused by the exchange of photons, does that mean only when ...
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The divergence in QCD Series— How many are they, and what do they mean?

I am referring to this question, and especially this answer. In addition, QCD has - like all field theories - only an asymptotic perturbation series, which means that the series itself will ...
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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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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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How does the Ward-Takahashi Identity imply that non-transverse photons are unphysical in QED?

Peskin and Schroeder say that the Ward Identity of QED proves that non-transverse photon polarizations can be consistently ignored, but I'm confused about the details. Setup One starts by ...
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Can the path of a charged particle under the influence of a magnetic field be considered piecewise linear?

Ordinarily we consider the path of a charged particle under the influence of a magnetic field to be curved. However, in order for the trajectory of the particle to change, it must emit a photon. ...
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Why isn't light scattered through transparency?

I'm asking a question that has bothered me for years and years. First of all, let me give some context. I'm a layman in physics (college educated, math major). I've read Feynman's QED cover to cover, ...
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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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Using photons to explain electrostatic force

I am trying to understand the idea of a force carrier with the following example. Let's say there are two charges $A$ and $B$ that are a fixed distance from each other. What is causing the force on ...
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Does radio use virtual photons?

In radio communication each accelerated electron in the transmitter antenna interacts with an electron in the receiver antenna by exchanging a photon. Is that photon always a virtual photon as ...
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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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Renormalizing QED with on-shell fermions

When renormalizing QED, we calculate the 1 loop correction to the fermion-fermion-photon vertex using the diagram, $\hskip2in$ When doing the calculation we typically let the photon go off-shell ...
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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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Magnetic monopole and electromagnetic field quantization procedure

From the Maxwell's equations point of view, existence of magnetic monopole leads to unsuitability of the introduction of vector potential as $\vec B = \operatorname{rot}\vec A$. As a result, it was ...
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Geometrical significance of gauge invariance of the QED Lagrangian

The QED Lagrangian is invariant under $\psi(x) \to e^{i\alpha(x)} \psi (x)$, $A_{\mu} \to A_{\mu}- \frac{1}{e}\partial_{\mu}\alpha(x)$. What is the geometric significance of this result? Also why is ...
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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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Can a photon get emitted without a receiver?

It is generally agreed upon that electromagnetic waves from an emitter does not have to connect to a receiver, but how can we be sure this is a fact? The problem is that we can never observe non ...
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Deriving Planck's radiation law from microscopic considerations?

In the usual derivation of Planck's radiation law, the energies or frequencies $\omega$ of the oscillators depend on the measurements $L$ of the black body. The model is such that the only ...
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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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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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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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EM wave function & photon wavefunction

According to this review Photon wave function. Iwo Bialynicki-Birula. Progress in Optics 36 V (1996), pp. 245-294. arXiv:quant-ph/0508202, a classical EM plane wavefunction is a wavefunction (in ...
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Did the Feynman heuristic of “simple effects have simple causes” fail for spin statistics?

Someone here recently noted that "The spin-statistics thing isn't a problem, it is a theorem (a demonstrably valid proposition), and it shouldn't be addressed, it should be understood and celebrated." ...
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What is the origin of the factor of $-1/4$ in the Maxwell Lagrangian?

I have seen numerous 'derivations' of the Maxwell Lagrangian, $$\mathcal{L} ~=~ -\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu},$$ but every one has sneakily inserted a factor of $-1/4$ without explaining why. ...
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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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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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How do electrons interact if one of them had just exited the two slits of the double-slit experiment?

Consider the following experiment: a double-slit set-up for firing electrons one at a time. Let's now add a second electron (orange), which is fired parallel to the first one, but in the opposite ...
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Is the third spin vector of a photon always suppressed?

I like to tell people interested in light polarization that the photon is a vector boson for which the third spin axis, the one in the direction of travel, is suppressed due to photons being massless ...
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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 ...
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Does QED provide a closed form for Coulomb logarithms?

The classical models for the integrand as well as the cut-offs in computing the Coulomb logarithm are pretty rough. Does quantum electrodynamics have definite expressions for the quantity ...
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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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What is the relation between electromagnetic wave and photon?

At the end of this nice video, she says that electromagnetic wave is a chain reaction of electric and magnetic fields creating each other so the chain of wave moves forward. I wonder where the photon ...
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What is the massless limit of massive electromagnetism?

Consider electromagnetism, an abelian gauge theory, with a massive photon. Is the massless limit equal to electromagnetism? What does it happen at the quantum level with the extra degree of freedom? ...
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Why can't photons have a mass

Why can't photons have a mass? Could you explain this to me in a short and mathematical way?
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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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Is there Pair production in between charged plates

In classical electromagnetic theory, If parallel plates are charged oppositely and placed close to each other, there will be no charge will not flow from one plate to another. How does this situation ...
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Can an Electromagnetic Gauge Transformation be Imaginary?

The Hamiltonian of a non-relativistic charged particle in a magnetic field is $$\hat{H}~=~\frac{1}{2m} \left[\frac{\hbar}{i}\vec\nabla - \frac{q}{c}\vec A\right]^2$$. Under a gauge transformation ...
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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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No non-trivial UV asymptotically free and IR free

How it could be proven that a non-trivial theory cannot be both asymptotically free and IR free (g=0 both in the UV and IR with some interpolating function in between)? This is of course contrary to ...
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Can a photon exhibit multiple frequencies?

Can a photon be a superposition of multiple frequency states? Kind of similar to how an electron can be a superposition of multiple spin states.
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Is there a simple way to compute some physical constant from Feynman diagram statistics?

I've been playing around writing some software to generate Feynman diagrams for QED, respecting the vertex "rules" described here, and avoiding creating isomorphic duplicates. So from a starter ...
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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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Mass gap for photons

I am puzzled by the answers to the question: What is a mass gap? There, Ron Maimon's answer gives a clear-cut definition, which I suppose applies to any quantum field theory with Hamiltonian $H$, ...