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The Quantum Electrodynamics of a Medium


Yura, Harold Thomas (1962) The Quantum Electrodynamics of a Medium. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/3MDD-9689.


By using the Feynman diagram technique, a unified analysis is given of the Quantum Electrodynamics of a Medium. We consider both an atomic medium and an electron gas. The photon propagator in a medium is calculated by summing the most highly divergent diagrams in each term of the perturbation series expansion of the photon propagator. An explicit form for the interaction amplitude of two arbitrary currents in a medium is given. From this amplitude a complete complex dielectric function iris defined (at the pole of a photon propagator). Furthermore, we have examined the photon propagator for its poles in order to obtain dispersion relations which yield the energy-momentum relation for free motion of the system. We have considered, in detail, an atomic system and an electron gas. In both cases explicit dispersion relations are found over a wide range of energy and momentum variables. Effects of finite temperatures are discussed. Also we have obtained the energy loss of fast incident charged particles passing through an atomic medium from the self energy of the incident particle in the medium. The energy loss so obtained consists of three parts: loss due to excitation of atoms, loss due to ionization of atoms, and a Cerenkov loss. General features of the energy loss are discussed. We also give a number of expressions for the loss for various incident particles.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Physics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Feynman, Richard Phillips
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1962
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:08182011-105631962
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6594
Deposited By: John Wade
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 21:06
Last Modified:21 Dec 2023 22:38

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