I started learning the basic ideas of QFT in an intuitive manner ( withouth any math, only with mental videos and pictures ) some days ago, and i'm finding it completely beautiful [ the idea of forgetting the notion of particles is so alleviating ] .

But i have some little doubt and i wondered if you guys could help me figure that out.

EM Fields

Pertubations in the electron field [ what we can picture as an electron particle ] , if they are "standing still" in space , interacts with ( generates and get's influenced by ) an EM field that has only the E component.

Furthermore, pertubations in the electron field that are "moving" with uniformly velocity in space, interacts with ( generates and get's influenced by ) an EM field that has only the B component.

Finally, pertubations in the electron field that are "accelerating" in space, interacts with ( generates and gets influenced by ) an EM field that has both the E as well as the B component.

Photons ?

In this last case, where our charge is accelerating, the idea of photons become really clear, they become the discrete quantum fields that make up in energy the totality of the interacting EM field, and the energy of each chunk is related to the acceleration motion of the charge [ the frequency spectra of the EM wave propagated ] . Each of those quantum fields that make the EM field can collapse at any given time.

But i'm really in doubt about the relation between photons ( quanta of the EM fields ) and that case where the EM field has only the E component ( or only the B component ) , namely, the case where our pertubation in the electron field is at inertia in space.

Are photons again the quanta of those EM fields ( that happen to have only E component, or only B component ) present , or is the idea of quanta of EM field,namely photons ,intrinsically related to the idea of accelerating charges ?

Sorry for writing this question on a really layman style and probably ignoring some important aspects, it's just that don't yet know anything close to the math to formalize it. Furthermore, feel free to correct me if i wrote anything that is just intrinsically wrong ( even on the intuitive level ).

Thanks in advance


Yes, photons are the quanta of the electromagnetic field.enter image description here

In this picture, two charges create a disturbance in the EM field (which can also be called the photon field). A virtual photon mediates their repulsion. There is more information here.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you know if the photon field specifically at vacuum state, needed some excited electron field to generate it in first place ? Thanks $\endgroup$ – nerdy Apr 21 '15 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @nerdy photon field is everywhere. $\endgroup$ – Jimmy360 Apr 21 '15 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ But doesnt it have a cause ? I thought the EM field requires a charged field in order to be created. $\endgroup$ – nerdy Apr 21 '15 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ @nerdy that causes an excitation in the photon field. $\endgroup$ – Jimmy360 Apr 21 '15 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Perharps i'm confusing myself. It's just that in Classical Physics, a standing still charge is required for an electric field ( an EM field ) to be generated. Does the notion of an electrical field ( EM with no magnetic component ) exist in the quantum realm ? $\endgroup$ – nerdy Apr 21 '15 at 22:53

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