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Lecture# QED: Gauge Theories

Description

This lecture covers Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), including instantons, Feynman rules, external electromagnetic fields, and gauge theories. It delves into the modern understanding of particle physics, emphasizing the importance of the S-matrix and the unaffected nature of the interactions. The presentation also touches on Compton scattering and the mathematical formalism behind gauge theories.

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PHYS-432: Quantum field theory II

The goal of the course is to introduce relativistic quantum field theory as the conceptual and mathematical framework describing fundamental interactions such as Quantum Electrodynamics.

In theoretical physics, quantum field theory (QFT) is a theoretical framework that combines classical field theory, special relativity, and quantum mechanics. QFT is used in particle physics to construct physical models of subatomic particles and in condensed matter physics to construct models of quasiparticles. QFT treats particles as excited states (also called quanta) of their underlying quantum fields, which are more fundamental than the particles.

In mathematics, and especially differential geometry and mathematical physics, gauge theory is the general study of connections on vector bundles, principal bundles, and fibre bundles. Gauge theory in mathematics should not be confused with the closely related concept of a gauge theory in physics, which is a field theory which admits gauge symmetry. In mathematics theory means a mathematical theory, encapsulating the general study of a collection of concepts or phenomena, whereas in the physical sense a gauge theory is a mathematical model of some natural phenomenon.

In quantum field theory, gauge gravitation theory is the effort to extend Yang–Mills theory, which provides a universal description of the fundamental interactions, to describe gravity. Gauge gravitation theory should not be confused with the similarly-named gauge theory gravity, which is a formulation of (classical) gravitation in the language of geometric algebra. Nor should it be confused with Kaluza–Klein theory, where the gauge fields are used to describe particle fields, but not gravity itself.

In theoretical physics, the hierarchy problem is the problem concerning the large discrepancy between aspects of the weak force and gravity. There is no scientific consensus on why, for example, the weak force is 1024 times stronger than gravity. A hierarchy problem occurs when the fundamental value of some physical parameter, such as a coupling constant or a mass, in some Lagrangian is vastly different from its effective value, which is the value that gets measured in an experiment.

The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces (electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions – excluding gravity) in the universe and classifying all known elementary particles. It was developed in stages throughout the latter half of the 20th century, through the work of many scientists worldwide, with the current formulation being finalized in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks.

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