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The Stability of Matter: From Atoms to Stars

Selecta of Elliott H. Lieb

The Stability of Matter: From Atoms to Stars by Walter Thirring
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This fourth edition of selecta of my work on the stability of matter contains recent work on two topics that continue to fascinate me: Quantum electrodynamics (QED) and the Bose gas. Three papers have been added to Part VII on QED. As I mentioned in the preface to the third edition, there must be a way to formulate a non-perturbative QED, presumably with an ultraviolet cutoff, that correctly describes low energy physics, i.e., ordinary matter and its interaction with the electromagnetic field. The new paper VII.5, which “quantizes” the results in V.9, shows that the elementary ‘no-pair’ version of relativistic QED (using the Dirac operator) is unstable when many-body effects are taken into account. Stability can be restored, however, if the Dirac operator with the field, instead of the bare Dirac operator, is used to define an electron. Thus, the notion of a “bare” electron without its self-field is physically questionable.
Springer Berlin Heidelberg; February 2006
912 pages; ISBN 9783540270560
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Title: The Stability of Matter: From Atoms to Stars
Author: Walter Thirring; F. Dyson; Elliott H. Lieb
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