The question had to do with the idea that space was filled with particles and that electrons could only exist in specific locations, and same with positrons in the "holes."

But if the electron has self-energy to hold the wavelet together that interacts infinitely, perhaps it means the dark matter we're looking for is all around us, and probably holding everything together.

Or maybe the whole idea is obsolete. I am not sure how it ended up.

I haven't heard about any updates on this controversy. So did he ever solve it?

--EDIT to explain why I am asking: I am trying to figure out the actual physical process of microwave propagation in free space. re Maxwell's equations, I am very curious as to what the permeability and permitivity of free space is. If there are infinite particles that would alter it from being free space, then like dust, I would expect impediments to electromagnetic waves like radio (microwaves).

And if there are differing magnetic moments in free-space Hydrogen, depending on the excitation state of the electrons, I don't know how that affects the propagation of said waves. For instance, how does the wave maintain a stable frequency in a "lumpy" free space.

Hence this question.


1 Answer 1


I think you are referring to the idea of the Dirac sea that was used in the early days of relativistic quantum mechanics. Since the development of quantum field theory we no longer consider the Dirac sea to be a useful concept so there is no need to explain away its odder consequences.

  • $\begingroup$ upvoted and accepted your answer, but the question still remains about the difference between Lamb's experimental results and Dirac's theoretical results. I understand Dirac's as not being useful. Perhaps I need to post this question in a different way. I really want to know whether Feynman ever was able to make theory match the experiment that shook the quantum world of that day, which proved that electrons have different momentums depending on their energy state. $\endgroup$
    – SDsolar
    Apr 6, 2017 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ @SDsolar: I assume you're talking about the Lamb shift, and yes quantum electrodynamics does explain this. Whether it was Feynman who did this calculation or not I don't know, but it's a perfectly routine calculation in QED. I get the impression you're looking for some deep conflict where none exists. $\endgroup$ Apr 6, 2017 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to figure out. I said momentum when I should have said magnetic moment. I'm actually trying to figure out the physical process of how radio waves travel, especially through space. If space is full of hydrogen, and if different excitation states of electrons in hydrogen atoms have different moments, how does the propagation of the wave stay at the same frequency as it induces and alternates between E and M.? I am familiar with Maxwell's equations but they do not describe speed or make reference to excitation levels which might change the inductions. $\endgroup$
    – SDsolar
    Apr 7, 2017 at 8:26

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