Questions tagged [feynman-diagrams]

A diagrammatic technique introduced by Richard Feynman to describe the quantum behaviour of subatomic particles and their interactions. Do not use for general questions on diagrams that are not of the Feynman kind.

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42
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4answers
13k views

Do virtual particles actually physically exist?

I have heard virtual particles pop in and out of existence all the time, most notable being the pairs that pop out beside black holes and while one gets pulled away. But wouldn't this actually violate ...
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3answers
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The path integral and Feynman diagrams

This question is somewhat of a historical one, but it also contains some physics. I am curious to find how exactly the concept of Feynman diagrams arose (I assume from Feynman's path integral)? The ...
25
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1answer
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Interpretation of derivative interaction term in QFT

I am trying to understand what a term like $$ \mathcal{L}_{int} = (\partial^{\mu}A )^2 B^2 $$ with $A$ and $B$ being scalar fields for instance means. I understand how to draw an interaction term in ...
25
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1answer
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Software for calculating Feynman Diagrams

Is there a software (open source preferred) where I would input something like "Ingoing: a fermion $(p1, s1)$ and a photon $(p2, s2)$. Output: A fermion $(k1, r1)$ and a photon $(k2, r2)$" and I would ...
24
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3answers
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Gentle introduction to twistors

When reading about the twistor uprising or trying to follow a corresponding Nima talk, it always annoys me that I have no clue about how twistor space, the twistor formalism, or twistor theory works. ...
23
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3answers
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Problem understanding the symmetry factor in a Feynman diagram

I am trying to understand a $1/2$ in the symmetry factor of the "cactus" diagram that appears in the bottom of page 92 In Peskin's book. This is the diagram in question (notice that we are ...
23
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1answer
3k views

If renormalization scale is arbitrary, why do we care about running couplings?

For the bounty please verify the following reasoning [copied from comment below] Ah right, so the idea is that overall observable quantities must be independent of the renormalization scale. But at ...
22
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5answers
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Can Feynman diagrams be used to represent any perturbation theory?

In Quantum Field Theory and Particle Physics we use Feynman diagrams. But e.g. in Schwartz's textbook and here it is shown that it applies to more general cases like general perturbation theory for ...
20
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2answers
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Non-Perturbative Feynman diagrams?

The Wikipedia page for Feynman Diagrams claims that Thinking of Feynman diagrams as a perturbation series, nonperturbative effects like tunnelling do not show up, because any effect that goes to zero ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Systematic way to draw all inequivalent Feynman diagrams

I am wondering whether there is some systematical approach to find Feynman diagrams for S-matrix (or to be more precise for $S-1$ since I am interested in scattering amplitude). For example in $\phi^3$...
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2answers
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Quantum Field Theory in position space instead of momentum space?

What are the reasons why we usually treat Quantum Field Theory in momentum space instead of position space? Are the computations (e.g. of Feynman diagrams) generally easier and are there other ...
19
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3answers
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Recipe for computing vertex factors in Feynman diagrams

I am currently studying quantum field theory from Srednicki. In class we have covered till chapter 14 and then skipped to IR divergences. So my knowledge of quantum field theory is limited to those ...
18
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3answers
648 views

Why don't very high order Feynman diagrams contribute significantly?

In a particle physics lecture I had today it was stated that the magnetic moment, $g$, is not quite equal to 2, and the difference is accounted for by QED. Later it was stated that we can see this ...
18
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4answers
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What would the collision of two photons look like?

Could someone explain to me what the collision of two photons would look like? Will they behave like, Electromagnetic waves: they will interfere with each other and keep their wave nature Particles: ...
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2answers
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Applications of the Feynman-Vernon Influence Functional

I am looking for a reference where the Feynman-Vernon influence functional was defined and used in the context of relativistic quantum field theory. This functional is one method to describe non-...
17
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1answer
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How are Feynman rules derived, in general?

A few questions about the derivation of Feynman rules in specific instances have already been asked here (e.g. Sign of Feynman rules with derivative couplings, Feynman rules for coupled systems, How ...
16
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3answers
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Feynman diagrams in effective theories

I've been seeing many feynman diagrams lately that I can't quite interpret yet. I've heard a basic Quantum Field Theory lecture and so to me, a Feynman diagram is simply a mnemonic picture to quickly ...
16
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3answers
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What's the difference between t-channel and s-channel in particle physics

As the Feynman diagram shows above. Does the s-channel and t-channel stands for exactly same reaction or they have big difference?
15
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1answer
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How to count and 'see' the symmetry factor of Feynman diagrams?

Could somebody explain how one can derive the symmetry factor both by counting possible contractions and by looking at the symmetry of a diagram. Consider for example this diagram in $\phi^4$-theory ...
14
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2answers
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In what sense are loop diagrams quantum corrections?

What's so not-quantum about tree-level diagrams?
14
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3answers
996 views

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 ...
14
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1answer
4k views

Why is there extra minus sign in Feynman's rules for every closed fermionic loop?

I know this is connected to the fact that fermions are represented by anticommuting operators, but I still cannot find the way to get this minus in Feynman rules.
14
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Use my example to explain why loop diagram will not occur in classical equation of motion?

We always say that tree levels are classical but loop diagrams are quantum. Let's talk about a concrete example: $$\mathcal{L}=\partial_a \phi\partial^a \phi-\frac{g}{4}\phi^4+\phi J$$ where $J$ is ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Feynman diagram and uncertainty

I have been introduced to the Feynman diagrams in QFT after following Wick-Dyson tedious formalism. Two things are unclear, though, about the Feynman shortcut to compute scattering amplitudes. What ...
13
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1answer
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How can the Feynman rules be read off the Lagrangian?

I am reading Peskin. In his functional methods chapter he says that (i) "Once the quadratic terms in the Lagrangian are properly understood" and (ii) "The propagators of the theory are computed" ...
13
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3answers
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Why do the counterterms in renormalized $\phi^4$-theory with power two in fields give vertices and not propagators?

I am reading Peskin and Schroeder, chapter ten, and my Lagrangian is $$ \mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi_r)^2-\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi_r^2-\frac{\lambda}{4!}z^2\phi^4+\frac{1}{2}\delta_Z(\partial_\...
13
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1answer
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Coleman-Weinberg potential: resum at 2 loops?

Say we want to compute the Coleman-Weinberg potential at 2 loops. The general strategy as we know is to expand the field $\phi$ around some background classical field $\phi \rightarrow \phi_b + \phi$...
12
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2answers
661 views

On the interpretation of Feynman diagrams

I am currently trying to find out about what exactly Feynman diagrams are, and up until now I have mainly used the lecture notes 'Mathematical ideas and notions of quantum field theory' by Etingof. In ...
12
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1answer
633 views

How fat is Feynman’s photon?

According to my calculations, it is a lot skinnier than Airy’s photon, but still a whole lot fatter than a straight line. So, how does a photon get from point A to Point B? The ray optics ...
12
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1answer
636 views

Cutoff-Scheme Renormalization and Order of Integration in QFT

The following is the result of Fubini's Theorem, describing when you can replace a double integral with an iterated integral safely: For a set $X \times Y \subset \mathbb{R}^2$, if $\iint |f(x,y)| d(...
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3answers
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Electron Positron annihilation Feynman Diagram

I am having some trouble understanding this fenyman diagram, it seems to indicate that the electron produces the positron, as the arrow of the positron is pointing from the electron. Additionally the ...
11
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1answer
984 views

Can a photon see ghosts?

Does it make sense to introduce Faddeev–Popov ghost fields for abelian gauge field theories? Wikipedia says the coupling term in the Lagrangian "doesn't have any effect", but I don't really know ...
11
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2answers
174 views

Spectral function and bound states in condensed matter

In condensed matter physics (like in QFT) we can use Feynman's diagrams to compute the self-energy. From here we can obtain the spectral function as: $$ A_{\mathbf k} (\omega) = \frac{-\frac{1}{\pi}\...
11
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1answer
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How can we derive the Feynman rule for the ordinary QED 3-vertex?

I have checked some Quantum Field Theory texts that include basic QED and they all include the Feynman rule that each vertex bring with it a factor of $$\pm i e \gamma^\mu$$ but I have yet to find a ...
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2answers
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How do derivative couplings affect canonical quantization?

Consider a Lagrangian for a scalar field $\phi$ with an interaction term $$\mathcal{L}_{int} = (\partial^2 \phi)^2 \phi.$$ Here I'm suppressing all indices for brevity. Now, this is just a three-...
11
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2answers
674 views

How to prove equivalence of RG flow of QFT coupling constant and diagrammatic resummation at fixed renormalization scale?

QFT books say that solving the RG equation $\frac {dg} {d\textbf{ln} \mu}=\beta(g)$, using the one-loop beta function, is to the "leading log" approximation equivalent to resumming infinitely many ...
11
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2answers
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Deriving Feynman rules from a Lagrangian for vertex factors for “more complicated” interactions

I am trying to derive Feynman rules from a given Lagrangian and I got stuck on some vertex factors. What for example is the vertex factor that corresponds to the four-scalar interaction that is ...
10
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3answers
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MVH amplitudes and the unitarity method

In the last 5 years there has been a silent revolution in QFT called the unitarity method and the Maximum Violating Helicity (MVH) Amplitudes that basically consist an alternative way to obtain the ...
10
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1answer
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Peskin Schroeder $\phi^4$ mass renormalization

In Peskin Schroeder, section 10.2, the contributions to $M^2(p^2)$ of order $\lambda^2$ are calculated. They respective Feynman diagrams are given: why is this diagram NOT included?
10
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2answers
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How to count the number of cubic tree-level Feynman diagrams at $n$ points?

I'm following this paper: arXiv:0805.3993 [hep-ph] where it's said that the total number of distinct tree-level diagrams at $n$-points with cubic vertices only is $(2n-5)!!$ I want to know where this ...
10
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2answers
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Cutkosky rules for a two-loop diagram

Let's say we want to calculate the imaginary part of the following scalar diagram in $\varphi^3$ theory: This amplitude is given by the expression $$i \mathcal{M} = i^5 \int \frac{d^4 \ell_1}{(2\pi)^4}...
10
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2answers
364 views

Path integrals vs. Diagrammatics

The question is about the approximation techniques available in the path integral formulation and their equivalents in the context of the traditional Feynman-Dyson expansion (aka diagrammatic ...
10
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1answer
914 views

How to justify RPA (random phase approximation)?

The Random Phase Approximation (RPA) is a technical method used in field theory to account for interactions when calculating correlation functions. It consists of only keeping a certain class of ...
10
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1answer
443 views

Any practical results yet from 'Twistor Uprising'?

In Nima's lectures on the 'Twistor Uprising' (for example here), he gushes about about new powerful techniques for calculating amplitudes, such as summing Feynman diagrams using 'BCFW recursion.' He ...
9
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3answers
1k views

What makes a Feynman diagram real or virtual?

Simple question: as the title says, what makes a real Feynman diagram real, and what makes a virtual diagram virtual? Or in other words, how do I tell whether any given diagram is real or virtual? I'...
9
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2answers
743 views

Why don't high-energy experimentalists ever include Faddeev-Popov ghosts in their Feynman diagrams?

To correctly calculate scattering amplitudes in nonabelian gauge theory, one must include Feynman diagrams with internal Faddeev-Popov ghosts (fictitious fermionic scalars that only appear internally ...
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2answers
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Propagator Correction in $\phi^4$ theory - why doesn't this secular growth break perturbation theory?

The free propagator for a massive $m\neq0$ real scalar field is the following: $$ G_{0}(x,y) \ = \ \int \frac{d^{4}p}{(2\pi)^4} \frac{e^{i p \cdot (x-y)}}{p^2 +m^2 - i \epsilon} $$ It is a well-...
9
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2answers
656 views

Why does normal ordering violate the Ward identity?

It is well known that normal ordering the Lagrangian eliminates all Feynman diagrams with tadpoles$^{[1]}$. In the case of the photon self-energy in scalar QED, one of the diagrams is, in fact, a ...
9
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2answers
331 views

Are unstable particles ever “real”?

It's always stressed that internal lines of Feynman diagrams have no physical meaning, that is, they don't actually correspond to anything physical. Where this confuses me is in the case of unstable ...
9
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2answers
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Tadpole symmetry factor

Can someone help me with symmetry factor of one-loop tadpole diagram (one loop correction to one point Green function in phi-3 theory)?

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