I'm trying to understand field coupling in QFT in more detail, using a free electron as the simplest example. I understand that an excitation in the electron matter field couples to the EM field to create a local EM excitation (in approximately Coulomb distribution) which can be interpreted as an 'attached' EM field. The 'attached' EM field self-interacts with the electron matter field creating a subtle change in the total mass. Also, an external EM field couples to the electron matter field to induce a force/acceleration. My question is what causes the separate behavior between the self-interaction and acceleration cases of coupling between the EM and electron matter fields, given that it's really just one EM field in both cases? Will an external EM field induce a (small) change in the total electron mass through feedback between the two fields?


Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.