By William B. Rolnick
This article provides the innovations of particle physics, together with a few of the experimental facts in their discovery and verification, at an introductory point. Written in an simply obtainable variety, it offers scholars with the heritage and insights essential to comprehend and savor key principles, similar to gauge theories, in addition to the information to interpret experimental effects.
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Additional resources for The Fundamental Particles and Their Interactions
The expectation value of q vanishes in the eigenstates of energy, as do the expectation values of E and B in the eigenstates of (5). An eigenstate of q has no definite energy; by the same token an eigenstate of E (or B) does not contain a definite number of photons! Thus quantum field theory accommodates both the continuum (E and B) and corpuscular (photon) descriptions of electromagnetic phenomena. These are complementary descriptions, just as position and momentum provide complementary descriptions of a point particle's motion.
The photon parities are —1 and +1 for El and Ml radiation, respectively. Consequently (60) must be supplemented by * Emission and absorption of two or more photons in one transition are possible, but the probability of this is very small. B. NONRELATIVISTIC QUANTUM MECHANICS The angular distribution of the emitted light depends only on the angular momentum quantum numbers of the initial and final states. When the direction of the initial and final angular momentum is randomly distributed, the distribution is necessarily isotropic.
Finally, we point out that the product form (62) only holds for nonrelativistic motions. When v is comparable to c, it is still possible to write the wave function as a product of exp[ip • r] with another factor that describes the spin, but the spin function then depends on the momentum as well. This is actually familiar from classical electrodynamics. A running plane wave is described by the vector potential where ek is a polarization vector perpendicular to the direction k of propagation. Thus ek plays the role of sm) in (62), yet it "knows" the momentum k, as it is always perpendicular to it, whereas \sm) in (62) is independent of the momentum.