19
$\begingroup$

Are there nowadays any actual devices or experimental applications which are based on the quantum field theory and if so, how are they related to QFT?

I could not find any similar question besides this one.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Particle colliders are pretty big applications of QFT, wouldn't you think? $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Aug 22 '15 at 16:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ in every sense of the word...but FWIW I think this question is too broad in scope. $\endgroup$ – user81619 Aug 22 '15 at 16:44
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That's an interesting question. I don't know the answer offhand, but when I look it up I see articles like this. But then when I actually read about John Bardeen and the transistor I get a different picture. $\endgroup$ – John Duffield Aug 22 '15 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Superconductivity is typically understood in terms of quantum fields. $\endgroup$ – Robin Ekman Aug 22 '15 at 16:51
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Please bear in mind that QFT is in essence a theoretical framework employed in various subfields of physics, e.g. in condensed matter, providing foundational ideas, e.g. in describing strongly correlated many body systems. Particle physics would be another such subfield, so it may be more sensible to ask for the theoretical applications of QFT where traditional methods no longer suffice in modeling the universe. $\endgroup$ – Ellie Aug 22 '15 at 17:06
5
$\begingroup$

QFT techniques are routinely used in the condensed matter physics for studying electronic transport, phase transitions, etc. Given the importance of the semiconductor technology and magnetism today, this is probably by far the most extensive application of the QFT to real life.

| cite | improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

US patent 7411772: Casimir effect conversion

Abstract:

Techniques in which a 1.sup.st force, field, or effect caused by a Casimir effect is converted into a 2.sup.nd force, field, or effect. The 1.sup.st force, field, or effect might be distinct from the 2.sup.nd force, field, or effect only in the net vector or might be distinct in other ways. For example, the distinction might involve substituting a torque for a linear force vector or converting a force, field, or effect associated with the Casimir effect into movement or into an electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic force, field, or effect. These changes preferably are caused by an independent element placed proximate or between to the Casimir effect surfaces. Preferably, the torque causes rotation (i.e., spinning) of an element. This rotation is significantly different from prior-art embodiment because energy does not have to be put back into the system to "reset" the structures.

I am not sure though how useful that would be:-) There are several other patents related to the Casimir effect: https://books.google.com/books?id=knyyfeKUTTUC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=Casimir+effect+patent&source=bl&ots=YZN5PZg6_5&sig=TasvbvdJb6oHGSK6HurkWUEbiKQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBWoVChMIxevBxca9xwIVhViSCh1Ccg0m#v=onepage&q=Casimir%20effect%20patent&f=false

| cite | improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure though how useful that would be:-) That's pretty much what Hertz and Faraday thought as well... $\endgroup$ – user81619 Aug 22 '15 at 20:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Acid Jazz: So I am in a good company:-) $\endgroup$ – akhmeteli Aug 22 '15 at 21:06
1
$\begingroup$

Experimental Applications

Take the LHC. We need to calculate what the various probabilities are regarding which particles are going to emerge from the collisions, for how long will they exist and in what way will some decay into stable particles such as electrons and the lowest mass quarks.

Without QFT we could not calculate the probabilites of these events and processes occuring and compare them to experimental results.

The actual calculations involved are far beyond my understanding, so I will recommend this post LHC data and mathematics of QFT and this link Scattering amplitude, link between quantum mechanics and QFT.

Slightly off topic, I might say that a practical application of LHC using QFT was to confirm the existence of the Higgs boson, and it did so. So the LHC might be viewed in practical application terms, sort of, as a gigantic microscope:)

| cite | improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I don't think it is what OP's question was about. LHC is just a giant machine for testing physics (and QFT in particular), and OP wants practical applications. $\endgroup$ – Prof. Legolasov Aug 22 '15 at 19:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Hindsight Hi Hindsight I reread the post. The OP says or experimental applications , I can't think of a better experiment which uses QFT than the LHC, and the LHC did perform a practical application, it found the Higgs....and provided jobs for thousands of physicists:) To be fair, the OP comment was posted after my answer. $\endgroup$ – user81619 Aug 22 '15 at 20:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Superconductivity was discovered more than a decade before even the Schrödinger equation was developed, i.e. before quantum mechanics had been formulated. I'm pretty sure we would have MRI machines even without knowing QFT. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Aug 22 '15 at 21:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.