What is the feynman diagram for electromagnetic force between an electron and proton?

by question dude
Tags: diagram, electromagnetic, electron, feynman, force, proton
samalkhaiat is offline
Jan8-13, 01:04 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 815
Quote Quote by Vanadium 50 View Post
There's a lot of brush in this thread that's worth sweeping away.
Instead, you made a mess.

1. These are not Feynman diagrams without arrows. Full stop.
This is trivially true, because you cannot calculate a diagram without defining an arrow CONVENTION.

2. While a proton is a composite particle, there's absolutely nothing that prevents one from calculating this using a (properly arrowed) diagram.
This is plane wrong: Because the proton is not a point-like, you CANNOT have vertex at the proton's end, i.e., you cannot assign [itex]\gamma^{ \mu }[/itex] as the proton’s vertex factor. This is why we draw a blob (instead of a point vertex) representing two independent Lorentz-invariant FORM FACTORS and reflecting our ignorance about the proton structure.

Vanadium 50
Vanadium 50 is offline
Jan8-13, 08:41 PM
Vanadium 50's Avatar
P: 15,570
A Feynman diagram is a shorthand for a calculation. There are two different ideas that are getting entangled: is the calculation done correctly, and are the calculation's approximations (and since this is a truncated perturbation series, there will always be approximations) valid?

For Mott scattering, when calculating using Feynman diagrams the target (in this case, the proton's) charge appears only as Z2. So at 1st order, electron-proton and positron-proton scattering is the same. There's a very nice QM treatment of this in Schiff (p.141) where he shows the difference between attraction and repulsion is proportional to 1/v - i.e. for one to distinguish attraction from repulsion, the projectile needs to spend a lot of time near the target. This agrees with our classical intuition, and it corresponds to the case in the Feynman perturbation series of many photon exchanges. When texts make the usual Mott approximation that m_e is zero, that of course is far away from the large 1/v situation where attraction and repulsion are distinguishable.

For the proton's form factor, of course it has one, and in certain kinematic regions - large momentum transfer - it is important. In others, it is not: in particular, so long as the projectile wavelength is large compared to the target radius, the target appears more or less pointlike. In this kinematic range, there is nothing wrong with treating the proton as a point. (For a purely electric interaction - there's a subtlety with the gyromagnetic ratio for purely magnetic scattering) This is no worse than treating the proton as a point when applying Coloumb's Law at large distances - indeed, it is the exact same approximation.
agostino981 is offline
Jan10-13, 01:37 AM
P: 8
Quote Quote by samalkhaiat View Post
This is why we draw a blob (instead of a point vertex) representing two independent Lorentz-invariant FORM FACTORS and reflecting our ignorance about the proton structure.
Just saying, I thought the blob was Green function. I guess this is probably the matter of convention.

Can we simply use a single Green function to represent the whole electron-proton interaction instead?

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Feynman diagram of electron and positron annihilation High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics 17
Force of attraction between proton and electron Introductory Physics Homework 5
[Novice] Feynman Diagram for Electron Excitation Quantum Physics 16
magnitude of the gravitational force of attraction between the proton & electron Introductory Physics Homework 1
Free-body diagram for an electron orbitting a proton. Introductory Physics Homework 7