Authors
Mario Bacelar Valente
Pablo de Olavide University
Abstract
A re-evaluation of the notion of vacuum in quantum electrodynamics is presented, focusing on the vacuum of the quantized electromagnetic field. In contrast to the ‘nothingness’ associated to the idea of classical vacuum, subtle aspects are found in relation to the vacuum of the quantized electromagnetic field both at theoretical and experimental levels. These are not the usually called vacuum effects. The view defended here is that the so-called vacuum effects are not due to the ground state of the quantized electromagnetic field. Nevertheless it is possible to maintain an empirically demonstrable notion of vacuum state that is consistent with the interpretation of the formalism of the theory.
Keywords Quantum electrodynamics  Vacuum  Quantum field  Philosophy of physics
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-011-9162-0
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Quantum Field Theory.Meinard Kuhlmann - 2012 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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