Month: September 2018

UofT QFT Fall 2018 Lecture 2. Units, scales, and Lorentz transformations. Taught by Prof. Erich Poppitz

September 17, 2018 phy2403 No comments , , ,

[Click here for a PDF of this post with nicer formatting]

DISCLAIMER: Very rough notes from class. Some additional side notes, but otherwise barely edited.

Natural units.

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:20}
\begin{aligned}
[\Hbar] &= [\text{action}] = M \frac{L^2}{T^2} T = \frac{M L^2}{T} \\
&= [\text{velocity}] = \frac{L}{T} \\
& [\text{energy}] = M \frac{L^2}{T^2}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

Setting \( c = 1 \) means
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:240}
\frac{L}{T} = 1
\end{equation}
and setting \( \Hbar = 1 \) means
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:260}
[\Hbar] = [\text{action}] = M L {\frac{L}{T}} = M L
\end{equation}
therefore
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:280}
[L] = \inv{\text{mass}}
\end{equation}
and
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:300}
[\text{energy}] = M {\frac{L^2}{T^2}} = \text{mass}\, \text{eV}
\end{equation}

Summary

  • \( \text{energy} \sim \text{eV} \)
  • \( \text{distance} \sim \inv{M} \)
  • \( \text{time} \sim \inv{M} \)

From:
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:320}
\alpha = \frac{e^2}{4 \pi {\Hbar c}}
\end{equation}
which is dimensionless (\(1/137\)), so electric charge is dimensionless.

Some useful numbers in natural units

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:40}
\begin{aligned}
m_\txte &\sim 10^{-27} \text{g} \sim 0.5 \text{MeV} \\
m_\txtp &\sim 2000 m_\txte \sim 1 \text{GeV} \\
m_\pi &\sim 140 \text{MeV} \\
m_\mu &\sim 105 \text{MeV} \\
\Hbar c &\sim 200 \text{MeV} \,\text{fm} = 1
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

Gravity

Interaction energy of two particles

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:60}
G_\txtN \frac{m_1 m_2}{r}
\end{equation}

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:80}
[\text{energy}] \sim [G_\txtN] \frac{M^2}{L}
\end{equation}

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:100}
[G_\txtN]
\sim
[\text{energy}] \frac{L}{M^2}
\end{equation}

but energy x distance is dimensionless (action) in our units

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:120}
[G_\txtN]
\sim
{\text{dimensionless}}{M^2}
\end{equation}

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:140}
\frac{G_\txtN}{\Hbar c} \sim \inv{M^2} \sim \frac{1}{10^{20} \text{GeV}}
\end{equation}

Planck mass

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:160}
M_{\text{Planck}} \sim \sqrt{\frac{\Hbar c}{G_\txtN}}
\sim 10^{-4} g \sim \inv{\lr{10^{20} \text{GeV}}^2}
\end{equation}

We can revisit the scale diagram from last lecture in terms of MeV mass/energy values, as sketched in fig. 1.

fig. 1. Scales, take II.

At the classical electron radius scale, we consider phenomena such as back reaction of radiation, the self energy of electrons. At the Compton wavelength we have to allow for production of multiple particle pairs. At Bohr radius scales we must start using QM instead of classical mechanics.

Cross section.

Verbal discussion of cross section, not captured in these notes. Roughly, the cross section sounds like the number of events per unit time, related to the flux of some source through an area.

We’ll compute the cross section of a number of different systems in this course. The cross section is relevant in scattering such as the electron-electron scattering sketched in fig. 2.

fig. 2. Electron electron scattering.

We assume that QED is highly relativistic. In natural units, our scale factor is basically the square of the electric charge
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:180}
\alpha \sim e^2,
\end{equation}
so the cross section has the form
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:200}
\sigma \sim \frac{\alpha^2}{E^2} \lr{ 1 + O(\alpha) + O(\alpha^2) + \cdots }
\end{equation}

In gravity we could consider scattering of electrons, where \( G_\txtN \) takes the place of \( \alpha \). However, \( G_\txtN \) has dimensions.

For electron-electron scattering due to gravitons

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:220}
\sigma \sim \frac{G_\txtN^2 E^2}{1 + G_\txtN E^2 + \cdots }
\end{equation}

Now the cross section grows with energy. This will cause some problems (violating unitarity: probabilities greater than 1!) when \( O(G_\txtN E^2) = 1 \).

In any quantum field theories when the coupling constant is not-dimensionless we have the same sort of problems at some scale.

The point is that we can get far considering just dimensional analysis.

If the coupling constant has a dimension \((1/\text{mass})^N\,, N > 0\), then unitarity will be violated at high energy. One such theory is the Fermi theory of beta decay (electro-weak theory), which had a coupling constant with dimensions inverse-mass-squared. The relevant scale for beta decay was 4 Fermi, or \( G_\txtF \sim (1/{100 \text{GeV}})^2 \). This was the motivation for introducing the Higgs theory, which was motivated by restoring unitarity.

Lorentz transformations.

The goal, perhaps not for today, is to study the simplest (relativistic) scalar field theory. First studied classically, and then consider such a quantum field theory.

How is relativity implemented when we write the Lagrangian and action?

Our first step must be to consider Lorentz transformations and the Lorentz group.

Spacetime (Minkowski space) is \R{3,1} (or \R{d-1,1}). Our coordinates are

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:340}
(c t, x^1, x^2, x^3) = (c t, \Br).
\end{equation}

Here, we’ve scaled the time scale by \( c \) so that we measure time and space in the same dimensions. We write this as

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:360}
x^\mu = (x^0, x^1, x^2, x^3),
\end{equation}

where \( \mu = 0, 1, 2, 3 \), and call this a “4-vector”. These are called the space-time coordinates of an event, which tell us where and when an event occurs.

For two events whose spacetime coordinates differ by \( dx^0, dx^1, dx^2, dx^3 \) we introduce the notion of a space time \underline{interval}

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:380}
\begin{aligned}
ds^2
&= c^2 dt^2
– (dx^1)^2
– (dx^2)^2
– (dx^3)^2 \\
&=
\sum_{\mu, \nu = 0}^3 g_{\mu\nu} dx^\mu dx^\nu
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

Here \( g_{\mu\nu} \) is the Minkowski space metric, an object with two indexes that run from 0-3. i.e. this is a diagonal matrix

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:400}
g_{\mu\nu} \sim
\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\
0 & -1 & 0 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & -1 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & 0 & -1 \\
\end{bmatrix}
\end{equation}

i.e.
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:420}
\begin{aligned}
g_{00} &= 1 \\
g_{11} &= -1 \\
g_{22} &= -1 \\
g_{33} &= -1 \\
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

We will use the Einstein summation convention, where any repeated upper and lower indexes are considered summed over. That is \ref{eqn:qftLecture2:380} is written with an implied sum
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:440}
ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu} dx^\mu dx^\nu.
\end{equation}

Explicit expansion:
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:460}
\begin{aligned}
ds^2
&= g_{\mu\nu} dx^\mu dx^\nu \\
&=
g_{00} dx^0 dx^0
+g_{11} dx^1 dx^1
+g_{22} dx^2 dx^2
+g_{33} dx^3 dx^3
&=
(1) dx^0 dx^0
+ (-1) dx^1 dx^1
+ (-1) dx^2 dx^2
+ (-1) dx^3 dx^3.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

Recall that rotations (with orthogonal matrix representations) are transformations that leave the dot product unchanged, that is

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:480}
\begin{aligned}
(R \Bx) \cdot (R \By)
&= \Bx^\T R^\T R \By \\
&= \Bx^\T \By \\
&= \Bx \cdot \By,
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

where \( R \) is a rotation orthogonal 3×3 matrix. The set of such transformations that leave the dot product unchanged have orthonormal matrix representations \( R^\T R = 1 \). We call the set of such transformations that have unit determinant the SO(3) group.

We call a Lorentz transformation, if it is a linear transformation acting on 4 vectors that leaves the spacetime interval (i.e. the inner product of 4 vectors) invariant. That is, a transformation that leaves
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:500}
x^\mu y^\nu g_{\mu\nu} = x^0 y^0 – x^1 y^1 – x^2 y^2 – x^3 y^3
\end{equation}
unchanged.

Suppose that transformation has a 4×4 matrix form

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:520}
{x’}^\mu = {\Lambda^\mu}_\nu x^\nu
\end{equation}

For an example of a possible \( \Lambda \), consider the transformation sketched in fig. 3.

fig. 3. Boost transformation.

We know that boost has the form
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:540}
\begin{aligned}
x &= \frac{x’ + v t’}{\sqrt{1 – v^2/c^2}} \\
y &= y’ \\
z &= z’ \\
t &= \frac{t’ + (v/c^2) x’}{\sqrt{1 – v^2/c^2}} \\
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
(this is a boost along the x-axis, not y as I’d drawn),
or
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:560}
\begin{bmatrix}
c t \\
x \\
y \\
z
\end{bmatrix}
=
\begin{bmatrix}
\inv{\sqrt{1 – v^2/c^2}} & \frac{v/c}{\sqrt{1 – v^2/c^2}} & 0 & 0 \\
\frac{v/c}{\sqrt{1 – v^2/c^2}} & \frac{1}{\sqrt{1 – v^2/c^2}} & 0 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & 1 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & 0 & 1 \\
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
c t’ \\
x’ \\
y’ \\
z’
\end{bmatrix}
\end{equation}

Other examples include rotations (\({\lambda^0}_0 = 1\) zeros in \( {\lambda^0}_k, {\lambda^k}_0 \), and a rotation matrix in the remainder.)

Back to Lorentz transformations (\(\text{SO}(1,3)^+\)), let
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:600}
\begin{aligned}
{x’}^\mu &= {\Lambda^\mu}_\nu x^\nu \\
{y’}^\kappa &= {\Lambda^\kappa}_\rho y^\rho
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

The dot product
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:620}
g_{\mu \kappa}
{x’}^\mu
{y’}^\kappa
=
g_{\mu \kappa}
{\Lambda^\mu}_\nu
{\Lambda^\kappa}_\rho
x^\nu
y^\rho
=
g_{\nu\rho}
x^\nu
y^\rho,
\end{equation}
where the last step introduces the invariance requirement of the transformation. That is

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:640}
\boxed{
g_{\nu\rho}
=
g_{\mu \kappa}
{\Lambda^\mu}_\nu
{\Lambda^\kappa}_\rho.
}
\end{equation}

Upper and lower indexes

We’ve defined

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:660}
x^\mu = (t, x^1, x^2, x^3)
\end{equation}

We could also define a four vector with lower indexes
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:680}
x_\nu = g_{\nu\mu} x^\mu = (t, -x^1, -x^2, -x^3).
\end{equation}
That is
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:700}
\begin{aligned}
x_0 &= x^0 \\
x_1 &= -x^1 \\
x_2 &= -x^2 \\
x_3 &= -x^3.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

which allows us to write the dot product as simply \( x^\mu y_\mu \).

We can also define a metric tensor with upper indexes

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:401}
g^{\mu\nu} \sim
\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\
0 & -1 & 0 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & -1 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & 0 & -1 \\
\end{bmatrix}
\end{equation}
This is the inverse matrix of \( g_{\mu\nu} \), and it satisfies
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:720}
g^{\mu \nu} g_{\nu\rho} = {\delta^\mu}_\rho
\end{equation}

Exercise: Check:
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:740}
\begin{aligned}
g_{\mu\nu} x^\mu y^\nu
&= x_\nu y^\nu \\
&= x^\nu y_\nu \\
&= g^{\mu\nu} x_\mu y_\nu \\
&= {\delta^\mu}_\nu x_\mu y^\nu.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

Class ended around this point, but it appeared that we were heading this direction:

Returning to the Lorentz invariant and multiplying both sides of
\ref{eqn:qftLecture2:640} with an inverse Lorentz transformation \( \Lambda^{-1} \), we find
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:760}
\begin{aligned}
g_{\nu\rho}
{\lr{\Lambda^{-1}}^\rho}_\alpha
&=
g_{\mu \kappa}
{\Lambda^\mu}_\nu
{\Lambda^\kappa}_\rho
{\lr{\Lambda^{-1}}^\rho}_\alpha \\
&=
g_{\mu \kappa}
{\Lambda^\mu}_\nu
{\delta^\kappa}_\alpha \\
&=
g_{\mu \alpha}
{\Lambda^\mu}_\nu,
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
or
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:780}
\lr{\Lambda^{-1}}_{\nu \alpha} = \Lambda_{\alpha \nu}.
\end{equation}
This is clearly analogous to \( R^\T = R^{-1} \), although the index notation obscures things considerably. Prof. Poppitz said that next week this would all lead to showing that the determinant of any Lorentz transformation was \( \pm 1 \).

For what it’s worth, it seems to me that this index notation makes life a lot harder than it needs to be, at least for a matrix related question (i.e. determinant of the transformation). In matrix/column-(4)-vector notation, let \(x’ = \Lambda x, y’ = \Lambda y\) be two four vector transformations, then
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:800}
x’ \cdot y’ = {x’}^T G y’ = (\Lambda x)^T G \Lambda y = x^T ( \Lambda^T G \Lambda) y = x^T G y.
\end{equation}
so
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture2:820}
\boxed{
\Lambda^T G \Lambda = G.
}
\end{equation}
Taking determinants of both sides gives \(-(det(\Lambda))^2 = -1\), and thus \(det(\Lambda) = \pm 1\).

Awesome bookshelves in my home office space

September 15, 2018 Incoherent ramblings No comments , ,

Sofia and I spend a large part of the day installing a set of four Ikea Liatorp bookshelves in my office today. The shelves fit pretty much perfectly, with a 1/4″ gap on each side. In fact, to get them to fit we had to take the baseboards and window casings off, but I’ll put in new ones butting up nicely to the shelves. When we eventually sell the house, the buyer better be interested in bookshelves, because these are a permanent feature of the house now!

The Liatorp model shelves are nicely engineered.  There are easy access leveling pegs, they join together nicely, and the backer board uses screws with pre-drilled holes in exactly the right places, plug some other plugs that hold the backer in place (far superior to the Billy model!)

Here’s a view of the whole shelf unit, which is loaded bottom heavy since the top shelves are spaces closer at the moment:

I had a lot of fun moving books down from the bedroom bookshelves, and have moved most of the non-fiction content.  I was really pleased that I can mostly group my books in logical categories:

  • Statistics and probability, with a couple German books and a dictionary too big to fit with the language material.
  • Calculus and engineering:

  • Computer programming, including my brand new Knuth box set!

  •  Spill over programming, general physics, fluid mechanics, and solid mechanics:

  • Home repair and handywork, plus two religious books too big to fit in the religion section (I’ve got other religious material in boxes somewhere in the basement, including a Morman bible, a Koran, and a whole lot of Dad’s Scientology books (and a couple of mine from days of old) :

  • Optics and statistical mechanics

  • Investment and economics (although the only one I’ve really cracked of these is the old “Principles of Engineering Economic Analysis” from back in my undergrad days)

  • Electromagnetism and some older general physics books from Granddad:

  • Algebra, complex variables, General relativity, mathematical tables, plus Penrose’s book, which spans most categories:

  • Political, classics, some borrowed Gaiman books, and religious

  • Languages:

There’s a bunch of tidy up and finishing details to make my office space complete and usable, but this was a really nice step in that direction.  Mysteriously, even after moving all these books downstairs from the bedroom, somehow the bedroom bookshelves are still mostly full seeming.  Was there a wild book orgy when we weren’t looking, and now all the book progeny are left behind, still filling the shelves despite the attempt to empty them?

UofT QFT Fall 2018 phy2403 ; Lecture 1, What is a field? Taught by Prof. Erich Poppitz

September 14, 2018 math and physics play No comments

[Click here for a PDF of this post with nicer formatting]

DISCLAIMER: Very rough notes from class. Some additional side notes, but otherwise barely edited.

What is a field?

A field is a map from space(time) to some set of numbers. These set of numbers may be organized some how, possibly scalars, or vectors, …

One example is the familiar spacetime vector, where \( \Bx \in \mathbb{R}^{d} \)

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:20}
(\Bx, t) \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^{\lr{d,1}}
\end{equation}

Examples of fields:

  1. \( 0 + 1 \) dimensional “QFT”, where the spatial dimension is zero dimensional and we have one time dimension. Fields in this case are just functions of time \( x(t) \). That is, particle mechanics is a 0 + 1 dimensional classical field theory. We know that classical mechanics is described by the action
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:40}
    S = \frac{m}{2} \int dt \xdot^2.
    \end{equation}
    This is non-relativistic. We can make this relativistic by saying this is the first order term in the Taylor expansion
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:60}
    S = – m c^2 \int dt \sqrt{ 1 – \xdot^2/c^2 }.
    \end{equation}
    Classical field theory (of \( x(t) \)). The “QFT” of \( x(t) \). i.e. QM.
    All of you know quantum mechanics. If you don’t just leave. Not this way (pointing to the window), but this way (pointing to the door).
    The solution of a quantum mechanical state is
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:80}
    \bra{x} e^{-i H t/\,\hbar } \ket{x’},
    \end{equation}
    which can be found by evaluating the “Feynman path integral”
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:100}
    \sum_{\text{all paths x}} e^{i S[x]/\,\hbar}
    \end{equation}
    This will be particularly useful for QFT, despite the fact that such a sum is really hard to evaluate (try it for the Hydrogen atom for example).
  2. \( 3 + 0 \) dimensional field theory, where we have 3 spatial dimensions and 0 time dimensions. Classical equilibrium static systems. The field may have a structure like
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:120}
    \Bx \rightarrow \BM(\Bx),
    \end{equation}
    for example, magnetization.
    We can write the solution to such a system using the partition function
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:140}
    Z \sim \sum_{\text{all} \BM(x)} e^{-E[\BM]/\kB T}.
    \end{equation}
    For such a system the energy function may be like
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:160}
    E[\BM] = \int d^3 \Bx \lr{ a \BM^2(\Bx) + b \BM^4(\Bx) + c \sum_{i = 1}^3 \lr{ \PD{x_i}{} \BM }
    \cdot \lr{ \PD{x_i}{} \BM }
    }.
    \end{equation}
    There is an analogy between the partition function and the Feynman path integral, as both are summing over all possible energy states in both cases.
    This will be probably be the last time that we mention the partition function and condensed matter physics in this term for this class.
  3. \( 3 + 1 \) dimensional field theories, with 3 spatial dimensions and 1 time dimension.
    Example, electromagnetism with \( \BE(\Bx, t), \BB(\Bx, t) \) or better use \( \BA(\Bx, t), \phi(\Bx, t) \). The action is
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:180}
    S = -\inv{16 \pi c} \int d^3 \Bx dt \lr{ \BE^2 – \BB^2 }.
    \end{equation}
    This is our first example of a relativistic field theory in \( 3 + 1 \) dimensions. It will take us a while to get there.

These are examples of classical field theories, such as fluid dynamics and general relativity. We want to consider electromagnetism because this is the place that we everything starts to fall apart (i.e. blackbody radiation, relating to the equilibrium states of radiating matter). Part of the resolution of this was the quantization of the energy states, where we studied the normal modes of electromagnetic radiation in a box. These modes can be considered an infinite number of radiating oscillators (the ultraviolet catastrophe). This was resolved by Planck by requiring those energy states to be quantized (an excellent discussion of this can be found in [1]. In that sense you have already seen quantum field theory.

For electromagnetism the classical description is not always good. Examples:

  1. blackbody radiation.
  2. electron energy \( e^2/r_\txte \) of a point charge diverges as \( r_\txte \rightarrow 0 \).
    We can define the classical radius of the electron by
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:200}
    \frac{e^2}{r^{\textrm{cl}}_{\txte}} \sim m_\txte c^2,
    \end{equation}
    or
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:220}
    r^{\textrm{cl}}_{\txte} \sim \frac{m_\txte c^2}{e^2} \sim 10^{-15} \text{m}
    \end{equation}
    Don’t treat this very seriously, but it becomes useful at frequencies \( \omega \sim c/r_\txte \), where \( r_\txte/c \) is approximately the time for light to cross a distance \( r_\txte \).
    At frequencies like this, we should not believe the solutions that are obtained by classical electrodynamics.
    In particular, self-accelerating solutions appear at these frequencies in classical EM. This is approximately \( \omega_\conj \sim 10^{23} Hz \), or
    \begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:240}
    \begin{aligned}
    \,\hbar \omega_\conj
    &\sim \lr{ 10^{-21} \,\text{MeV s}} \lr{ 10^{23} \,\text{1/s} }\\
    &\sim 100 \text{MeV}.
    \end{aligned}
    \end{equation}

At such frequencies particle creation becomes possible.

Scales

A (dimensionless) value that is very useful in determining scale is
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:260}
\alpha = \frac{e^2}{4 \pi \,\hbar c} \sim \inv{137},
\end{equation}
called the fine scale constant, which relates three important scales relevant to quantum mechanics, as sketched in fig. 1.

fig. 1. Interesting scales in quantum mechanics.

fig. 1. Interesting scales in quantum mechanics.

 

  • The Bohr radius (large end of the scale).
  • The Compton wavelength of the electron.
  • The classical radius of the electron.

Bohr radius

A quick motivation for the Bohr radius was mentioned in passing in class while discussing scale, following the high school method of deriving the Balmer series ([2]).

That method assumes a circular electron trajectory (\(i = \Be_1 \Be_2\))
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:280}
\begin{aligned}
\Br &= r \Be_1 e^{i \omega t} \\
\Bv &= \omega r \Be_2 e^{i \omega t} \\
\Ba &= -\omega^2 r \Be_1 e^{i \omega t} \\
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
The Coulomb force (in cgs units) on the electron is
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:300}
\BF = m\Ba = -m \omega^2 r \Be_1 e^{i \omega t} = \frac{-e (e)}{r^2} \Be_1 e^{i \omega t},
\end{equation}
or
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:320}
m \lr{ \frac{v}{r}}^2 r = \frac{e^2}{r^2},
\end{equation}
giving
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:340}
m v^2 = \frac{e^2}{r}.
\end{equation}
The energy of the system, including both Kinetic and potential (from an infinite reference point) is
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:360}
\begin{aligned}
E
&= \inv{2} m v^2 – \frac{e^2}{r} \\
&= – \inv{2} m v^2 \sim \,\hbar \omega = \,\hbar \frac{v}{r},
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
or
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:380}
m v r \sim \,\hbar.
\end{equation}
Eliminating \( v \) using \ref{eqn:qftLecture1:340}, assuming a ground state radius \( r = a_0 \) gives

\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:400}
a_0 \sim \frac{\hbar^2}{m e^2}.
\end{equation}
The Bohr radius is of the order \( 10^{-10} \text{m} \).

Compton wavelength.

When particle momentum starts approaching the speed of light, by the uncertainty relation (\(\Delta x \Delta p \sim \,\hbar\)) the variation in position must be of the order
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:420}
\lambda_\txtc \sim \frac{\hbar}{m_\txte c},
\end{equation}
called the Compton wavelength.
Similarly, when the length scales are reduced to the Compton wavelength, the momentum increases to relativistic levels.
Because of the relativistic velocities at the Compton wavelength, particle creation and annihilation occurs and any theory has to account for multiple particle states.

Relations.

Scaling the Bohr radius once by the fine structure constant, we obtain the Compton wavelength (after dropping factors of \( 4\pi \))
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:440}
\begin{aligned}
a_0 \alpha
&= \frac{\hbar^2}{m e^2}
\frac{e^2}{4 \pi \,\hbar c} \\
&= \frac{\hbar}{4 \pi m c} \\
&\sim
\frac{\hbar}{m c} \\
&= \lambda_\txtc.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
Scaling once more, we obtain (after dropping another \( 4\pi\)) the classical electron radius
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:qftLecture1:n}
\begin{aligned}
\lambda_\txtc \alpha
&=
\frac{e^2}{4 \pi m c^2} \\
&\sim
\frac{e^2}{m c^2}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

References

[1] D. Bohm. Quantum Theory. Courier Dover Publications, 1989.

[2] A.P. French and E.F. Taylor. An Introduction to Quantum Physics. CRC Press, 1998.

The danger of a loose electrical outlet (and sloppy wiring)

September 8, 2018 Home renos No comments ,

Check out this scorched electrical outlet and the inside of the cover plate:

It’s a bit hard to see from this picture, but the screw is actually partially melted.  This happened when Sofia pulled her computer’s A/C adapter out of the wall, which resulted in a large spark, and that circuit blowing, leaving her in the dark.

I think this one is not actually the fault of the last owner of the house (who I won’t name, and who did lots of dangerous wiring), but was due to the effects of time, and a slightly lazy electrician.  The electrical box is slightly deformed pushing it on the right towards the hot screws of the outlet, and the outlet was wired up with the “quick wire” method, with the wires plugged directly into the back of the outlet, not using the screws on the sides.  Unfortunately, the hot screws were left sticking out fully (although the neutrals were screwed in nice and tight).  In the thirty years since the house was built, I think the outlet loosened enough that the furthest out hot screw touched the outlet box when the outlet was moved slightly pulling out the cord.  This shorted it nicely (scaring the hell out of Sofia), and toasting the outlet nicely.  Needless to say, I did not try to recycle this one, and it’s going in the trash.

There’s another loose outlet on the first floor that I’ve been meaning to fix.  I’m definitely going to get that opened up soon, and tighten it up — seeing the giant scorch marks on this one really highlights how dangerous that could be.

Is this Cantonese or Manderin?

September 2, 2018 Incoherent ramblings 2 comments ,

I managed to somehow switch my bluetooth headset from English to Chinese, so my Chinese vocabulary is now three phrases:

Power on, pairing: kie-gee pae-doo-eh

Paired successfully: il-ee-en-gee-eh

Power off: guen-gee

However, I don’t know which dialect of Chinese this is.