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B The claimed precision of QED

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  1. Jul 5, 2017 #1
    It is claimed that QED could predict certain quantities, like the lamb shift and magnetic moment of electron with astonishing precision of 12 digits. My question is the following: does QED predict only a few things to this precision, or does it predict, this precisely, the entire arbitrary motion of charged particles in electromagnetic fields, in all situations? To what does such precision apply?
     
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  3. Jul 5, 2017 #2

    dextercioby

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    What you call "the entire arbitrary motion of charged particles in electromagnetic fields, in all situations" is really limited in Quantum Electrodynamics. It's either that one deals with so-called "bound problems" or "scattering problems". Due to the slow divergence of the perturbative expansion of the S-matrix elements, one can get very good numerical predictions. But only under this limited spectrum of "motions".
     
  4. Jul 5, 2017 #3

    atyy

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    Are there other types of motions to which QED does not apply?
     
  5. Jul 5, 2017 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    To get 12 digit accuracy of the motion, you need 12 digit accuracy of the field. This is not possible with today's technology.
     
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