# Questions tagged [quantum-electrodynamics]

Quantum electrodynamics (QED) is the quantum field theory believed to describe electromagnetic interaction. It is the simplest example of a quantum gauge theory, where the gauge group is abelian, U(1).

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### Did the Feynman heuristic of “simple effects have simple causes” fail for spin statistics?

Someone here recently noted that "The spin-statistics thing isn't a problem, it is a theorem (a demonstrably valid proposition), and it shouldn't be addressed, it should be understood and celebrated." ...
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### Classical electrodynamics as an $\mathrm{U}(1)$ gauge theory

Preface: I haven't studied QED or any other QFT formally, only by occasionally flipping through books, and having a working knowledge of the mathematics of gauge theories (principal bundles, etc.). ...
441 views

### Integration & bremsstrahlung calculation

In this paper (relevant pdf section) that I'm reading, involving the calculation of bremsstrahlung in electron proton scattering (diagram below), the author calculates the integral over outgoing ...
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### Do EM waves transmit spin polarization?

Suppose you have a normal dipole antennae (transmitter and receiver) . Spin polarized current (as opposed to normal current) is sent into the transmitter, it emits an EM wave and the Receiver receives ...
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### gauge invariance of the Feynman amplitudes

When we calculate the photon polarization sums over amplitudes, $$X=\sum\limits_{r=1}^{2}|\mathcal M_r|^2=\mathcal M_\alpha\mathcal M_\beta^*\sum\limits_{r=1}^{2}\epsilon_r^\alpha\epsilon_r^\beta$$ ...
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### Path Integral on Feynman Hibbs: Interaction of EM field and matter, how can we get to equation (9.68) from (9.67)?

On Feynman Hibbs "Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals", the equation (9.67) describe the transition amplitude of the matter (for example an atom) to go from the state $M$ to the state $M$ when it ...
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### Measuring the Dirac field

If the Dirac field $\psi(x)$ is to the electron as the Electromagnetic field is to the photon, why is it that we can measure the Electromagnetic field, whereas the Dirac field we cannot?
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### Is it reasonable to interpret the Lamb shift as vacuum induced Stark shifts?

This is a pretty hand-wavy question about interpretation of the Lamb shift. I understand that one can calculate the Lamb shift diagrammatically to get an accurate result, but there exist "...
141 views

### experiment proposal to validate microcausality

I've been wondering about microcausality for some time now (a recent question of mine regarding the topic) and i'm wondering if its possible to devise an experiment to detect potential violations I ...
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### Photons and Electric Current

I am trying to understand how photons as the force carrier for the electromagnetic force (or field) manifest themselves in a flow of electric charge, i.e. an electric current. Both standard (...
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### Equality of electric charges of all leptons

What does it precisely mean the often repeated statement that the electric charges of all leptons are the same. Let's consider QED with two leptons: electron and muon. The interaction part of the ...
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### When can photon field amplitudes be written as field operators?

Suppose I have some classical field equation for two photon fields with amplitudes $A_1(z),A_2(z)$ (plane waves) given as ${A}_1=\alpha f(A_1,A_2) \\ {{A}_2}=\beta g(A_1,A_2)$ Under what ...
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### Can the Lamb shift be expressed in more-or-less closed form in terms of the renormalized 2-, 3-,…,n-point VEVs of QED?

I see here that there are three contributions to the Lamb shift, from vacuum polarization (-27 MHz), from electron mass renormalization(+1017 MHz), and from the anomalous magnetic moment (+68 MHz). ...
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### Spatial wave-function of a single photon and its measurement

In the last decade there were several papers claiming that they've measured a "transverse quantum state" / "quantum wave-function" / "spatial Wigner function" of a single photon: Measurement of the ...
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### When will a quantum measurement occur?

I am confused about the nature of quantum measurements. In short: if a particle is coupled with a field, when will the wave collapse. A field might be coupled to a particle for a long time, and ...
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### When do we need fully quantum mechanically treatment of photon?

I'm wondering when do we need fully quantum mechanically treatment of photon.(i.e. quantized photon and quantum matter.) I kind of know that for sub-Poisson(photon statistics) light, fully quantum ...
55 views

### Relation between the trace anomaly and the energy-momentum tensor being off-shell

Let's say we have a massless QED theory with a Lagrangian $$L=i\bar{\psi}\not{D}\psi-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}$$ The symmetric energy-momentum tensor is \begin{...
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### Do longitudinal and scalar have anything to do with Faddeev-Popov ghosts?

In his this book, Hatfield calls ghosts the negative states appearing in the covariant (Gupta-Bleuler) quantization prescription of the electromagnetic field (page 89). When discussing Yang-Mills ...
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### What is the problem of non-pertubative quantisation?

In reading books about quantisation, there is (sometimes hidden) the claim, that quantisation is done using a pertubative approach. You look at the free field, find that it is essentially a sum of ...
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### Scattering, absorption, emission and virtual photons

From reading many questions on this site I have the following conclusions: Interaction of a photon and a free electron is an instantaneous process of scattering (transfer of momentum) between said ...
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### EM Field Quantization in Spherical polars

Is it possible to quantize the electromagnetic field in spherical polar coordinates instead of cartesian ones? Such that creation and annihilation operators correspond to harmonic oscillator modes ...
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### Convergence of light by light scattering amplitude

Perhaps I'm too exhausted to see the answer of why the photon-photon scattering should contain no divergences. In Peskin and Schroeder page 320 we find that because of the Ward identity the photon-...
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### Transition of electric charge to “magnetic charge” when $\alpha$ gets >> 1 in QED?

I`ve just learned that electrically charged particles and magnetically charged monopoles in QED are S-dual to each other such that it depends on the value of the fine structure constant which of the ...
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### Why does the Dirac equation work for the hydrogen atom?

The Dirac equation works well for predicting the spectrum of the hydrogen atom, famously incorporating relativistic effects like fine structure. Yet, there seems to be a sense in which this is ...
386 views

### Divergent self-energy of point charges in Classical Electrodynamics

Assuming the electron to be a classical point particle, if one calculates the self-energy one finds $$U=-\frac{e^2}{8\pi\epsilon_0r}$$ which diverges as $r\rightarrow 0$. Therefore, the measured mass ...
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### Vector current conservation in vertex correction

Recently, I was calculating this observable: $\langle p s|\bar\psi(0)\gamma^{\mu}\psi(0)|ps\rangle$ Where we only consider the QED case. $\psi$ corresponds to massless Dirac fermion field, p is the ...
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### Scalar electrodynamics “seagull” vertex factor

By expanding the covariant derivative of the Scalar QED lagrangian one gets the following term, sometimes called "seagull" vertex. $$\mathcal{L}_{seagull} = -q^2A_\mu A ^\mu \phi^\dagger \phi$$ Most ...
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### What is electromagnetic radiation (when it is not a 'wave' of EM fields or interacting locally as a photon)?

My questions are related to the question asked at Are EM radiation and EM waves the same thing?. My background is in math (my Ph.D. thesis was in geometric analysis), and I have only taken basic ...
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### Conservation of $\int |\psi|^2$ for Dirac wave

When $\psi$ be Schrodinger wave $\int |\psi|^2$ is conserved even when this wave interact whit another wave say electromagnetic wave. and this is very necessary for one particle interpretation of this ...