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Why do high energies correspond to small distances

  1. Apr 26, 2009 #1
    Where in quantum field theory does it say that probing something at high energies is equivalent to probing it at small distances? Most of the time things are done in momentum space (such as the Feynman rules) so we have no clue about distances and location.

    The only time I even remember using distances in field theory is with lattice theory and Wilson loops, and the Wilson loop seemed to say the opposite, that to stretch a pair of quarks great distances requires great energy. For any attractive force, wouldn't it be that larger energies correspond to larger distance?

    Experimentalists measure everything in energy right, and not distance?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2009 #2


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    It is simply related to the Compton wavelength: http://www3.tsl.uu.se/thep/courses/QM/scattering-overview.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Apr 26, 2009 #3
    You wanted to say "with the De Broglie wavelength"? It is shorter for higher energies.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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