# 1948

## Quantum electrodynamics

## The book of science

Tom Sharp

Tom Sharp

Hans Bethe, Julian Schwinger, Shin'ichirō Tomonaga, Freeman Dyson, Richard Feynman quantum mechanics |

- Electrically charged particles
- move, interact, emit and absorb
- photons, create force fields,
- act like waves, act like particles,
- within certain probabilities
- consistent with special relativity.
- Now these behaviors can be
- described, formulated, renormalized,
- quantified with extreme precision,
- and illustrated with Feynman diagrams.

- Every alternative happens at once,
- every state superimposed in time, so
- to calculate the probability of an electron
- moving from here to there, one would need
- to consider all paths including intermediate
- events, which is impractical; however,
- virtual particles in closed loops return
- particles to their real states, so we can
- cut the Gordian knot. Increasingly
- complicated calculations eventually
- increasingly diminish in importance.

- Does any
- virtual particle
- escape to
- become actual?
- Hopes come true;
- dreams awaken;
- silliness
- persists.
- Many agree
- God has a sense
- of humor, like
- a zen potter
- who deliberately
- adds a flaw.
- Fun to tease
- these things out.

A Feynman diagram does not show how a particle moves from one point to another; the particle’s path, speed, dimensionality, and nature are still mysteries, although quantum electrodynamic theory describes the probabilities that it undergoes events, such as when an electron absorbs or emits a photon, or when a quark-antiquark pair radiates a gluon. Quantum electrodynamics is a part of quantum field theory; a field is a function that assigns a value for each point in a space (of some kind).

See also in

The book of science:Electromagnetism—Hans Christian Ørsted, André-Marie Ampère, Michael FaradayMaxwell’s equations—James Clerk MaxwellQuanta—Max Planck, Albert EinsteinSpecial relativity—Albert EinsteinAtom—Ernest Rutherford, Niels BohrWave-particle duality—Werner Heisenberg, Louis de Broglie, Erwin SchrödingerQuasiparticles—Felix Bloch, Yakov Frenkel, Paul Dirac, Igor Tamm, Lev Landau, Ettore Majorana, Lars Onsager, Kirill Tolpygo, David Pines, David Bohm, Leon Cooper, Tony Skyrme, Robert B. Laughlin, Horst Ludwig Störmer, Daniel Tsui, Shin'ichirō Tomonaga, Joaquin Mazdak Luttinger, Jeroen van den Brink, Daniel I. Khomskii, George SawatzkyAntimatter—Paul Dirac, Carl David AndersonNuclear fission—Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassmann, Lise Meitner, Otto Robert Frisch, Rudolf Peierls, Enrico FermiFeynman diagram—Richard FeynmanParity violation—Tsung-Dao Lee, Chen-Ning YangReadings on wikipedia: