I have always wondered if the equations of quantum field theory were actually ever used in the production of some invention or device other than needed to make predictions about the Standard Model of Particle physics of which quantum field theory was actually necessary in order to complete the Standard Model.

Perhaps the development of radio, television, MRI or possibly all the advances in the construction of nuclear power plants. I know Einsteins's field equations of General Relativity come in handy in GPS systems and quantum mechanics was needed to develop the transistor and the vast explosion in micro processors, superconductors, and solid state devices.

Is quantum field theory a set of equations used as a guide line when these inventions are created or is this some other finely tuned set of equations used only by the theoretical elite. I am not sure where to post the question since this isn't a specific question about a historical date but someone versed in history of scientific inventions might like to comment.

  • $\begingroup$ If you define QFT as the intersection of relativity and quantum mechanics, then anything having to do with photons is QFT. There is no such thing as a nonrelativistic photon. $\endgroup$
    – user466
    Jun 1 '17 at 14:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @BenCrowell But for lasers and photodetectors, say, QM was enough. I think they mean something where it was essential to use the full force of QFT. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Jun 2 '17 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold: There is a definitional problem that needs to be addressed if this question is to be answered. If the question is about "the full force of QFT," then how is "full force" defined? $\endgroup$
    – user466
    Jun 2 '17 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps my question is too vague. I am thinking of the stunning accuracy of how perturbation theory is used within the framework of quantum field theory to make stunning accurate measurement of electric charges. As for example Dirac's large number problem was solved by quantum field theory. I guess I'm looking for an example where such a framework was used to actually help invent something like an MRI diagnostic system not just elite theoretical questions or perhaps the framework of the theory is used daily to create inventions and it is just my lack of knowledge that does not see this. $\endgroup$
    – Sedumjoy
    Jun 2 '17 at 19:10

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