QED: meeting I

Quantum Electrodynamics, that’s the topic six of us grad students decided to try and learn something about. Twice a week (W/F) for about an hour each time we’ll meet to present what we’ve figured out. We’re using “Photons and Atoms” by Cohen-Tannoudji, Dupont-Roc, and Grynberg. It seems like a very accessible treatment so far. The first chapter works out the consequences of representing Maxwell’s equations in ‘reciprocal’ space which I interpret to be wave vector space. We decompose fields into tranverse and longitudinal components and see what happens. The authors seem to be trying to determine the relevant number dynamical variables describing a state of an electrodynamic system.

The approach we’ll follow is to use the Coulomb gauge and so do non-relativistic QED which I’m interested to see since I’ve always thought QED would have to be inherently relativistic. Right now, as I sort of alluded to above, we’re just working out classical EM in wave vector space. Where that’s going I’m not sure yet.


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