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Why is the Feynman propagator named after Feynman?

In his book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Feynman himself says that he did not know how to compute contour integrals. To give a direct quote, he says: One thing I never did learn was contour ...
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How did Schrödinger do quantum mechanics with wave functions?

On my way to learn about the very beginning of quantum mechanics and its different formulations, starting with Heisenberg infinite matrices and Schrödinger's wave functions, I can really not find till ...
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Who was the first to make a Stern-Gerlach experiment with two magnets?

I'm trying to fill a conceptual gap I have in the history of physics In 1922 Stern and Gerlach make their experiment, proving that electrons have intrinsic angular momentum, however it takes a while ...
HighlyEntropicMind's user avatar
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Did Wheeler and Feynman said that vacuum zero point energy could boil the oceans?

Following on this Were Feynman diagrams motivated by the cosmological constant problem? and this Who was the first to estimate the vacuum energy discrepancy by 120 orders of magnitude? I found a ...
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Were Feynman diagrams motivated by the cosmological constant problem?

Sean Carroll, while speaking about the history of quantum field theory, has said a couple of times (without being completely sure of its factuality) that Richard Feynman was motivated by his trying to ...
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What is the history of $T\neq 0$ quantum field theory?

I am looking to understand the impact of finite temperature quantum field theory. specifically low energy version applied to condensed matter. Certainly it helps to treat many-body systems a ...
Mauricio's user avatar
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On early US patriotism to choose quark color charge labels

Sean Carroll has a video about gauge theory (2020) in his series about Greatest Ideas of the Universe, where he claims that early in the development of quantum chromodynamics, some physicists tried to ...
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Finding the Letter from Freeman Dyson to Gerald Gabrielse in 2006

In 2006, the renowned physicist Freeman Dyson wrote a letter to his colleague Gerald Gabrielse regarding an advance in precision about measuring the magnetic moment of an electron. An excerpt of his ...
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Reference Request: History of Chern-Simons Theory

Chern-Simons theory is a topological gauge field theory and play a prominent role in many brnaches of phyiscs and mathematics. On the physical side, it appears for example in three-dimensional ...
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According to Heisenberg, is quantum theory merely a calculation procedure for predictions?

Is quantum theory just a mathematical tool for correct predictions, according to Heisenberg's views? What are his personal ontological commitments in relation to quantum theory (if he had any ...
Pavel Borisov's user avatar
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How has the modelling of classical electrodynamics changed since Maxwell?

Maxwell published his Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism in 1873, 150 years ago; before the discovery of quantized charges, special relativity, quantum field theory etc. How has the mathematical ...
Larry Harson's user avatar
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Origin of the term "field" (in "vector field")

I am reposting a thread from "physics stack exchange" : I was wondering - Why do we use the word "field" to describe a vector field? i.e., a field is "an expanse of open or ...
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Who was the first one to rigorously show that quantum fields are operator-valued distributions?

Any Wightman-based approach to Axiomatical Quantum Field Theory states that quantum fields are (operator-valued) distributions. Is there a first rigorous proof of this fact which became trivial as ...
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Original derivation of the Dyson equation

In what paper did Dyson derive the Dyson equation, as shown on Wikipedia?
Christina Daniel's user avatar
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When the concept of "Ultraviolet completion" of a low energy effective theory first arose?

In modern view any quantum field theory that has any reason (mathematical or physical) to not be tenable at some short length scale is assumed to be replaced by a more fundamental theory, that we call ...
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Looking for the source of a quote in QFT history

Since it is a strictly physics-related quote i thought this was the best place to ask. It goes something like: "There are no particles, only fields", to which X replied "there are no ...
modellatore's user avatar
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On the naming of quantum chromodynamics

A theory of strong interaction is called quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Particles interacting strongly are supposed to have color charge, for example quarks appear in three "mutations" - red, green and ...
Martin Vesely's user avatar
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Historically how it was discovered that we need fields to describe matter?

This question is from one historical perspective. The question is: how physicists historically found out that one needs quantum fields to describe matter? Being more detailed. Let us consider the ...
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What is the history and motivation for the (d-1,1) notation used to describe a field theory?

Very often in the literature of research papers and other articles, and maybe text books, on topics of quantum field theory, a theory may be described as a 3+1 or 0+1, or maybe even 1+1 theory. I ...
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Origin of heat kernel regularization

One of the ones the make the infinite vacuum zero point energy finite is to use the heat kernel regularization. Does anyone know the origin of this method? Or the first paper published discussing such ...
John's user avatar
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Who first proposed the "colour" charge?

Does anybody know a paper or sorts in which the term "colour" charge in QCD was introduced first? Or any other source in which this label was proposed?
uitty400's user avatar
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During the development of QFT was this theory actually used to build any invention like the MRI?

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 ...
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Why isn't the ${\gamma}^5$ matrix called ${\gamma}^4$?

This is not really a physical question, but it relates to notation in QED. The ${\gamma}^5$ matrix is defined as $${\gamma}^5=i{\gamma}^0 {\gamma}^1{\gamma}^2{\gamma}^3$$ Wouldn't it be more ...
Deschele Schilder's user avatar
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History of the fock space based quantization of fields

In almost all Quantum Field Theories textbooks the same approach to quantization is presented as the first example: one considers the scalar real Klein-Gordon field $\phi$ and just write it as $$\phi(...
user1620696's user avatar
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The origin of Renormalization Group

Polyakov remembers the development of Renormalization Group and Conformal Bootstrap as "With the use of the ingenious technique, developed by Gribov and Migdal [1] in the problem of reggeons, I found ...
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Does anyone know the physics student who passed a quantum mechanics oral exam without taking quantum mechanics?

Many years ago I read an interview with a physics professor, where he recounted a funny situation when he was a graduate student at Harvard. When a first year, he was supposed to take the quantum ...
FurryTheorem's user avatar
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What is the origin of the "virtual particle pair" metaphor for vacuum fluctuations?

In any layman level description of vacuum fluctuations in quantum field theory the fluctuations are described as a pair of virtual particles spontaneously appearing then disappearing within some short ...
John Rennie's user avatar
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1 answer
255 views

How were particle physics calculations done before Feynman diagrams?

I've seen and read that calculations before Feynman diagrams involved solving differential equations, but I can't find sample calculations like these. I've read that they would take months and pages ...
TheStrangeQuark's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What was the first journal to have Feynman Diagrams?

I'm writing a paper on the history of Feynman diagrams and am having trouble finding the first paper published by Feynman which features a calculation done with Feynman Diagrams.
TheStrangeQuark's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
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Why isn't Feynman's path integral taught more widely and earlier in today's academic physics curricula?

Anyone who has studied Feynman's path integral will know that it makes quantum mechanics more like classical mechanics. A student who has learned about the Lagrangian will easily understand the ...
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