The basic idea is that there is a field for each particle particle type.
E.g. in QED, one for the electron and one for the photon: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/166709/are-electron-fields-and-photon-fields-part-of-the-same-field-in-qed.
And then those fields interact with some Lagrangian.
One way to look at QFT is to split it into two parts:
Then interwined with those two is the part "OK, how to solve the equations, if they are solvable at all", which is an open problem: Yang-Mills existence and mass gap.
- deriving the Lagrangians of the Standard Model: why do symmetries such as SU(3), SU(2) and U(1) matter in particle physics?s. This is the easier part, since the lagrangians themselves can be understood with not very advanced mathematics, and derived beautifully from symmetry constraints
- the qantization of fields. This is the hard part Ciro Santilli is unable to understand, TODO mathematical formulation of quantum field theory.
TODO holy crap, even this is hard to understand/find a clear definition of.
But what the heck is the mathematical model for a quantum field theory? TODO someone was saying it is equivalent to an infinite set of PDEs somehow. Investigate. Related:
The path integral formulation might actually be the most understandable formulation, as shown at Richard Feynman Quantum Electrodynamics Lecture at University of Auckland (1979).
The formulation of QFT also appears to be a form of infinite-dimentional calculus.
Quantum electrodynamics by Lifshitz et al. 2nd edition (1982) chapter 1. "The uncertainty principle in the relativistic case" contains an interesting idea:
The foregoing discussion suggests that the theory will not consider the time dependence of particle interaction processes. It will show that in these processes there are no characteristics precisely definable (even within the usual limitations of quantum mechanics); the description of such a process as occurring in the course of time is therefore just as unreal as the classical paths are in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. The only observable quantities are the properties (momenta, polarizations) of free particles: the initial particles which come into interaction, and the final particles which result from the process.
The term and idea was first introduced initialized by Hermann Weyl when he was working on combining electromagnetism and general relativity to formulate Maxwell's equations in curved spacetime in 1918 and published as gravity and electricity by Hermann Weyl (1918). Based on perception that symmetry implies charge conservation. The same idea was later adapted for quantum electrodynamics, a context in which is has even more impact.
A random field you add to make something transform locally the way you want. See e.g.: Video 16. "Deriving the qED Lagrangian by Dietterich Labs (2018)".
Yup, this one Focks you up.
Second quantization also appears to be useful not only for relativistic quantum mechanics, but also for condensed matter physics. The reason is that the basis idea is to use the number occupation basis. This basis is:
Basically a synonym for second quantization.
This one might actually be understandable! It is what Richard Feynman starts to explain at: Richard Feynman Quantum Electrodynamics Lecture at University of Auckland (1979).
The difficulty is then proving that the total probability remains at 1, and maybe causality is hard too.
The path integral formulation can be seen as a generalization of the double-slit experiment to infinitely many slits.
Feynman first stared working it out for non-relativistic quantum mechanics, with the relativistic goal in mind, and only later on he attained the relativistic goal.
TODO why intuitively did he take that approach? Likely is makes it easier to add special relativity.
This approach more directly suggests the idea that quantum particles take all possible paths.
As mentioned at: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/212726/a-quantum-particle-moving-from-a-to-b-will-take-every-possible-path-from-a-to-b/212790#212790, classical gravity waves for example also "take all possible paths". This is just what waves look like they are doing.
Mentioned for example in quantum field theory in a nutshell by Anthony Zee (2010) page 8.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB8r7CU7clk&list=PLUl4u3cNGP60TvpbO5toEWC8y8w51dtvm by Iain Stewart. Basically starts by explaining how quantum field theory is so generic that it is hard to get any numerical results out of it :-)
But in particular, we want to describe those subtheories in a way that we can reach arbitrary precision of the full theory if desired.
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_qNKbwM_eE Unsolved: Yang-Mills existence and mass gap by J Knudsen (2019). Gives 10 key points, but the truly hard ones are too quick. He knows the thing though.
While Ciro acknowledges that QED is intrinsically challenging due to the wide range or requirements (quantum mechanics, special relativity and electromagnetism), Ciro feels that there is a glaring gap in this moneyless market for a learning material that follows the Middle Way as mentioned at: the missing link between basic and advanced. Richard Feynman Quantum Electrodynamics Lecture at University of Auckland (1979) is one of the best attempts so far, but it falls a bit too close to the superficial side of things, if only Feynman hadn't assumed that the audience doesn't know any mathematics...
The funny thing is that when Ciro Santilli's mother retired, learning it (or as she put it: "how photons and electrons interact") was also one of her retirement plans. She is a pharmacist by training, and doesn't know much mathematics, and her English was somewhat limited. Oh, she also wanted to learn how photosynthesis works (possibly not fully understood by science as that time, 2020). Ambitious old lady!!!
Experiments: quantum electrodynamics experiments.
Combines special relativity with more classical quantum mechanics, but further generalizing the Dirac equation, which also does that: Dirac equation vs quantum electrodynamics. The name "relativistic" likely doesn't need to appear on the title of QED because Maxwell's equations require special relativity, so just having "electro-" in the title is enough.
Before QED, the most advanced theory was that of the Dirac equation, which was already relativistic but TODO what was missing there exactly?
As summarized at: youtube.com/watch?v=_AZdvtf6hPU?t=305 Quantum Field Theory lecture at the African Summer Theory Institute 1 of 4 by Anthony Zee (2004):
- classical mechanics describes large and slow objects
- special relativity describes large and fast objects (they are getting close to the speed of light, so we have to consider relativity)
- classical quantum mechanics describes small and slow objects.
- QED describes objects that are both small and fast
That video also mentions the interesting idea that:
QED is the first quantum field theory fully developed. That framework was later extended to also include the weak interaction and strong interaction. As a result, it is perhaps easier to just Google for "Quantum Field Theory" if you want to learn QED, since QFT is more general and has more resources available generally.
Note that for atoms with multiple electrons, 2s/2p shifts are expected: Why does 2s have less energy than 1s if they have the same principal quantum number?. The surprise was observing that on hydrogen which only has one electron.
Initial experiment: Lamb-Retherford experiment.
On the return from the train from the Shelter Island Conference in New York, Hans Bethe managed to do a non-relativistic calculation of the Lamb shift. He then published as The Electromagnetic Shift of Energy Levels by Hans Bethe (1947) which is still paywalled as of 2021, fuck me: journals.aps.org/pr/abstract/10.1103/PhysRev.72.339 by Physical review.
The Electromagnetic Shift of Energy Levels Freeman Dyson (1948) published on Physical review is apparently a relativistic analysis of the same: journals.aps.org/pr/abstract/10.1103/PhysRev.73.617 also paywalled as of 2021.
TODO how do the infinities show up, and how did people solve them?
www.mdpi.com/2624-8174/2/2/8/pdf History and Some Aspects of the Lamb Shift by G. Jordan Maclay (2019)
This experiment was fundamental to the development of quantum electrodynamics. As mentioned at Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics by James Gleick (1994) chapter "Shrinking the infinities", before the experiment, people already knew that trying to add electromagnetism to the Dirac equation led to infinities using previous methods, and something needed to change urgently. However for the first time now the theorists had one precise number to try and hack their formulas to reach, not just a philosophical debate about infinities, and this led to major breakthroughs. The same book also describes the experiment briefly as:
Willis Lamb had just shined a beam of microwaves onto a hot wisp of hydrogen blowing from an oven.
It is two pages and a half long.
Previous less experiments had already hinted at this effect, but they were too imprecise to be sure.
Richard Feynman Quantum Electrodynamics Lecture at University of Auckland (1979) mentions it several times.
Apparently first published at the Magnetic Moment of the Electron by Kusch and Foley (1948).
journals.aps.org/pr/abstract/10.1103/PhysRev.74.250, paywall as of 2021.
Advanced quantum mechanics by Freeman Dyson (1951) mentions:
A Relativistic Quantum Theory of a Finite Number of Particles is Impossible.
- physics.stackexchange.com/questions/44188/what-is-the-relativistic-particle-in-a-box/44309#44309 says:
By several reasons explained in textbooks, the Dirac equation is not a valid wavefunction equation. You can solve it and find solutions, but those solutions cannot be interpreted as wavefunctions for a particle
Note that this is the sum of the:
Note that the relationship between and is not explicit. However, if we knew what type of particle we were talking about, e.g. electron, then the knowledge of psi would also give the charge distribution and therefore
As mentioned at the beginning of Quantum Field Theory lecture notes by David Tong (2007):
TODO find/create decent answer.
I think the best answer is something along:
- local symmetries of the Lagrangian imply conserved currents. gives conserved charges.
- OK now. We want a local symmetry. And we also want:Given all of that, the most obvious and direct thing we reach a guess at the quantum electrodynamics Lagrangian is Video 16. "Deriving the qED Lagrangian by Dietterich Labs (2018)"
A basic non-precise intuition is that a good model of reality is that electrons do not "interact with one another directly via the electromagnetic field".
A better model happens to be the quantum field theory view that the electromagnetic field interacts with the photon field but not directly with itself, and then the photon field interacts with parts of the electromagnetic field further away.
From Video 8. "Lorenzo Sadun on the "Yang-Mills and Mass Gap" Millennium problem":
I think they are a tool to calculate the probability of different types of particle decays and particle collision outcomes. TODO Minimal example of that.
At Richard Feynman Quantum Electrodynamics Lecture at University of Auckland (1979), an intuitive explanation of them in termes of sum of products of propagators is given.
No, but why?
fafnir.phyast.pitt.edu/py3765/ Phys3765 Advanced Quantum Mechanics -- QFT-I Fall 2012 by E.S. Swanson mentions several milestone texts including:
We shall not develop straightaway a correct theory including many particles. Instead we follow the historical development. We try to make a relativistic quantum theory of one particle, find out how far we can go and where we get into trouble.Oh yes, see also: Dirac equation vs quantum electrodynamics.
By Richard Feynman.
Talk title shown on intro: "Today's Answers to Newton's Queries about Light".
6 hour lecture, where he tries to explain it to an audience that does not know any modern physics. This is a noble effort.
Part of The Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures lecture series.
Feynman apparently also made a book adaptation: QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. That book is basically word by word the same as the presentation, including the diagrams.
According to www.feynman.com/science/qed-lectures-in-new-zealand/ the official upload is at www.vega.org.uk/video/subseries/8 and Vega does show up as a watermark on the video (though it is too pixilated to guess without knowing it), a project that has been discontinued and has has a non-permissive license. Newbs.
This talk has the merit of being very experiment oriented on part 2, big kudos: how to teach and learn physics
- Part 1: is saying "photons exist"
- Part 2: is amazing, and describes how photons move as a sum of all possible paths, not sure if it is relativistic at all though, and suggests that something is minimized in that calculation (the action)
- Part 3: is where he hopelessly tries to explain the crucial part of how electrons join the picture in a similar manner to how photons do.He does make the link to light, saying that there is a function which gives the amplitude for a photon going from A to B, where A and B are spacetime events.And then he mentions that there is a similar function for an electron to go from A to B, but says that that function is too complicated, and gives no intuition unlike the photon one.He does not mention it, but P and E are the so called propagators.This is likely the path integral formulation of QED.On Quantum Mechanical View of Reality by Richard Feynman (1983) he mentions that is a bessel function, without giving further detail.And also mentions that:
mis basically a scale factor. such that both are very similar. And that something similar holds for many other particles.And then, when you draw a Feynman diagram, e.g. electron emits photon and both are detected at given positions, you sum over all the possibilities, each amplitude is given by: Spacetime points.This is basically well said at: youtu.be/rZvgGekvHes?t=3349 from Quantum Mechanical View of Reality by Richard Feynman (1983).TODO: how do electron velocities affect where they are likely to end up? suggests the probability only depends on the spacetime points.Also, this clarifies why computations in QED are so insane: you have to sum over every possible point in space!!! TODO but then how do we calculate anything at all in practice?
- Part 4: known problems with QED and thoughts on QCD. Boring.
Sample playlist: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW_HsOU6YZRkdhFFznHNEfua9NK3deBQy
Basically the same content as: Richard Feynman Quantum Electrodynamics Lecture at University of Auckland (1979), but maybe there is some merit to this talk, as it is a bit more direct in some points. This is consistent with what is mentioned at www.feynman.com/science/qed-lectures-in-new-zealand/ that the Auckland lecture was the first attempt.
Some more information at: iucat.iu.edu/iub/5327621
By Mill Valley, CA based producer "Sound Photosynthesis", some info on their website: sound.photosynthesis.com/Richard_Feynman.html
They are mostly a New Age production company it seems, which highlights Feynman's absolute cult status. E.g. on the last video, he's not wearing shoes, like a proper guru.
Feynman liked to meet all kinds of weird people, and at some point he got interested in the New Age Esalen Institute. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman this kind of experience a bit, there was nude bathing on a pool that oversaw the sea, and a guy offered to give a massage to the he nude girl and the accepted.
This book has formulas on it, which is quite cool!! And the formulas are basically not understandable unless you know the subject pretty well already in advance. It is however possible to skip over them and get back to the little personal stories.
From University of Alberta.
Explains beta decay. TODO why/how.
Maybe a good view of why this force was needed given beta decay experiments is: in beta decay, a neutron is getting split up into an electron and a proton. Therefore, those charges must be contained inside the neutron somehow to start with. But then what could possibly make a positive and a negative particle separate?
www.thestargarden.co.uk/Weak-nuclear-force.html gives a quick and dirty:
Beta decay could not be explained by the strong nuclear force, the force that's responsible for holding the atomic nucleus together, because this force doesn't affect electrons. It couldn't be explained by the electromagnetic force, because this does not affect neutrons, and the force of gravity is far too weak to be responsible. Since this new atomic force was not as strong as the strong nuclear force, it was dubbed the weak nuclear force.Also interesting:
While the photon 'carries' charge, and therefore mediates the electromagnetic force, the Z and W bosons are said to carry a property known as 'weak isospin'. W bosons mediate the weak force when particles with charge are involved, and Z bosons mediate the weak force when neutral particles are involved.
Some historical remarks on Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman section "The 7 Percent Solution".
It gets worse of course with cP Violation.
Formulated as a quantum field theory.
TODO experimental discovery.
One big difference is that it carrier itself color charge.
This phenomena makes the strong force be very very different from electromagnetism.
TODO why is it so hard to find anything non perturbative :-(
On a quantum computer...:
- www.cornell.edu/video/john-preskill-simulating-quantum-field-theory-with-quantum-computer Simulating Quantum Field Theory with a Quantum Computer by John Preskill (2019)
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lln-C21u0U8 Quantum Simulation from Quantum Chemistry to Quantum Field Theory by Peter Love (2019)
As mentioned at Video 23. "Are we living in the matrix? by David Tong (2020)" somehow implies that it is difficult or impossible to simulate physics on a computer. Big news!!!
TODO concrete example, please...
- QED and the men who made it: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga by Silvan Schweber (1994) chapter 2.5 "The Divergences" contains a specific example by Pascual Jordan
The different only shows up for field, not with particles. For fields, there are two types of changes that we can make that can keep the Lagrangian unchanged as mentioned at Physics from Symmetry by Jakob Schwichtenberg (2015) chapter "4.5.2 Noether's Theorem for Field Theories - Spacetime":
From the spacetime theory alone, we can derive the Lagrangian for the free theories for each spin:Lagrangian, which then completes the Standard Model Lagrangian.
Ciro Santilli's favorites so far:
Bibliography of the biliograpy:
- physics.stackexchange.com/questions/8441/what-is-a-complete-book-for-introductory-quantum-field-theory "What is a complete book for introductory quantum field theory?"
- www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-book-to-learn-quantum-field-theory-on-your-own on Quora
Recommendations by friend P. C.:
- The Global Approach to Quantum Field Theory
- Lecture Notes | Geometry and Quantum Field Theory | Mathematics ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-238-geometry-and-quantum-field-theory-fall-2002/lecture-notes/
- Towards the mathematics of quantum field theory (Frederic Paugam)
- Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics (J. Zinn–Justin)
- (B.Hall) Quantum Theory for Mathematicians (B.Hall)
- Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model (Schwartz)
- The Algebra of Grand Unified Theories (John C. Baez)
- quantum Field Theory for The Gifted Amateur by Tom Lancaster (2015)
Lecture notes found by Googling "quantum field theory pdf":
- www.ppd.stfc.ac.uk/Pages/Dasgupta_08_Intro_to_QFT.pdf "An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory" by Mrinal Dasgupta from the University of Manchester (2008). 48 pages.
- www.thphys.uni-heidelberg.de/~weigand/QFT2-14/SkriptQFT2.pdf "Quantum Field Theory I + II" by Timo Weigand from the Heidelberg University. Unknown year, references up to 2008.
- edu.itp.phys.ethz.ch/hs12/qft1/ Quantum Field Theory 1 by Niklas Beisert
These seem very direct and not ultra advanced, good read.
Author: David Tong.
Number of pages circa 2021: 155.
Some quotes self describing the work:
Perhaps for this reason Ciro Santilli was not able to get as much as he'd out of those notes either. This is not to say that the notes are bad, just not what Ciro needed, much like P&S:This is a very clear and comprehensive book, covering everything in this course at the right level. To a large extent, our course will follow the first section of this book.
In this course we will not discuss path integral methods, and focus instead on canonical quantization.
Author affiliation: University of California, Santa Barbara.
Number of pages: 616!
Don't redistribute clause, and final version by Cambridge University Press, alas, so corrections will never be merged back: web.physics.ucsb.edu/~mark/qft.html. But at least he's collecing erratas for the published (and therefore draft) versions there.
The book is top-level organized in spin 0, spin half, and spin 1. Quite ominous, really.
The preface states that one of its pedagogical philosophies is to "Illustration of the basic concepts with the simplest examples.", so maybe there is hope after all.
45 1 hour lessons. The Indian traditional music opening is the best.
10 2-hour lessons.
Lecturer: Leonard Susskind.
Lecture notes: Quantum Field Theory lecture notes by David Tong (2007).
By David Tong.
14 1 hours 20 minute lectures.
The video resolution is extremely low, with images glued as he moves away from what he wrote :-) The beauty of the early Internet.
This is a bit "formal hocus pocus first, action later". But withing that category, it is just barely basic enough that 2021 Ciro can understand something.
By: Tobias J. Osborne.
Lecture notes transcribed by a student: github.com/avstjohn/qft
18 1h30 lectures.
Followup course: Advanced quantum field theory lecture by Tobias Osborne (2017).
- Quantum Field Theory lecture notes by David Tong (2007) is the course basis
- quantum field theory in a nutshell by Anthony Zee (2010) is a good quick and dirty book to start
- the advantage of using Lagrangian mechanics instead of directly trying to work out the equations of motion is that it is easier to guess the Lagrangian correctly, while still imposing some fundamental constraints
- youtu.be/bTcFOE5vpOA?list=PLDfPUNusx1EpRs-wku83aqYSKfR5fFmfS&t=3449 Hamiltonian formalism requires finding conjugate pairs, and doing a
- symmetry in classical field theory
- from Lagrangian density we can algorithmically get equations of motion, but the Lagrangian density is a more compact way of representing the equations of motion
- definition of symmetry in context: keeps Lagrangian unchanged up to a total derivative
- Noether's theorem
- youtu.be/cj-QpsZsDDY?list=PLDfPUNusx1EpRs-wku83aqYSKfR5fFmfS&t=3062 Lagrangian and conservation example under translations
- youtu.be/cj-QpsZsDDY?list=PLDfPUNusx1EpRs-wku83aqYSKfR5fFmfS&t=3394 same but for Poincaré transformations But now things are harder, because it is harder to describe general infinitesimal Poincare transforms than it was to describe the translations. Using constraints/definition of Lorentz transforms, also constricts the allowed infinitesimal symmetries to 6 independent parameters
- youtu.be/cj-QpsZsDDY?list=PLDfPUNusx1EpRs-wku83aqYSKfR5fFmfS&t=4525 brings out Poisson brackets, and concludes that each conserved current maps to a generator of the Lie algebraThis allows you to build the symmetry back from the conserved charges, just as you can determine conserved charges starting from the symmetry.
- quantization. Uses a more or less standard way to guess the quantized system from the classical one using Hamiltonian mechanics.
- youtu.be/fnMcaq6QqTY?t=1179 remembers how to solve the non-field quantum harmonic oscillator
- youtu.be/fnMcaq6QqTY?t=2008 puts hats on everything to make the field version of things. With the Klein-Gordon equation Hamiltonian, everything is analogous to the harmonic oscilator
- something about finding a unitary representation of the poincare group
When the word "advanced" precedes QFT, you know that the brainrape is imminent!!!
Big goal: explain the Standard Model.
Gaussian path integrals.
- web.archive.org/web/20150623011722/http://users.physik.fu-berlin.de/~kleinert/b6/psfiles/qft.pdf by Hagen Kleinert (2015). 1500 pages!
- The Quantum Theory of Fields by Steven Weinberg (2013) www.cambridge.org/core/books/quantum-theory-of-fields/22986119910BF6A2EFE42684801A3BDF
- Quantum Field Theory by Lewis H. Ryder 2nd edition (1996) www.amazon.co.uk/Quantum-Field-Theory-Lewis-Ryder/dp/0521478146
- Lectures of Quantum Field Theory by Ashok Das (2018) www.amazon.co.uk/Lectures-Quantum-Field-Theory-Ashok-ebook/dp/B07CL8Y3KY
- A Modern Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Michele Maggiore (2005) www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Introduction-Quantum-Theory-Physics/dp/0198520743
This book really tries to recall basic things to ensure that the reader will be able to understand the more advanced ones.
Sometimes it goes a little bit overboard, like defining what a function does several times.
But Ciro Santilli really prefers it when authors error on the side of obvious.
People are mostly saying you have to be a more of a genius amateur to read it.
First edition: from 2003, www.amazon.com/dp/0691010196, ISBN-13: 978-0691010199.
This didn't really deliver. It does start from the basics, but it is often hard to link those basics to more interesting or deeper points. Also like many other Quantum field theory book, it does not seem to contain a single comparison between a theoretical result and an experiment.
This is very widely used in courses as of 2020, it became kind of the default book.
- David Tong
- Effective field theory
- Generalized coordinate
- Infinitely many slits thought experiment
- Jazz fusion
- Lagrangian density
- Lagrangian mechanics
- Luxury goods
- Millennium Prize Problems
- Perturbation theory
- Physics education needs more focus on understanding experiments and their history
- Quantization of a real scalar field
- Quantum chromodynamics
- Quantum electrodynamics
- Quantum Mechanics for Engineers by Leon van Dommelen (2011)
- Second quantization
- Solutions of the Schrodinger equation for two electrons
- The wave equation can be seen as infinitely many infinitesimal coupled oscillators
- What does it mean that photons are force carriers for electromagnetism?