Sunday, November 11, 2007

Relativity + QM + symmetry = QED

After a series of posts with only a marginal connection to physics, CV has returned with a nice discussion of the Higgs particle:
Higgs 101 | Cosmic Variance

...Here comes the miracle: if you impose upon our relativistic, complex, quantum-mechanical wavefunctions the requirement that they be invariant under these U(1) transformations, then you get electromagnetism. Conservation of electric charge. A massless photon. QED - quantum electrodynamics, in all its 12-digit precision glory. Electromagnetism is a simple consequence of the U(1) symmetry of any wavefunction....
Symmetry, in this case the U(1) transformation invariance, is given a natural place in this discussion of the Higgs.

Nice summary!

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