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The (seemingly) fractal nature of matter

27 May 2014, 21:00 UTC
The (seemingly) fractal nature of matter
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Matter and energy have a very curious property. They interact with each other in predictable ways and the more energy an object has, the smaller length scales it can interact with. This leads to some very interesting and beautiful results, which are best illustrated with some simple quantum electrodynamics (QED). QED is the framework for […]

Matter and energy have a very curious property. They interact with each other in predictable ways and the more energy an object has, the smaller length scales it can interact with. This leads to some very interesting and beautiful results, which are best illustrated with some simple quantum electrodynamics (QED).
QED is the framework for describing the interactions of charged leptons with photons, and for now let’s limit things to electrons, positrons and photons. An electron is a negatively charged fundamental particle, and a positron is the same particle, but with a positive charge. A photon is a neutral fundamental particle of light and it interacts with anything that has a charge.
That means that we can draw a diagram of an interaction like the one below:
An electron radiating a photon
In this diagram, time flows from left to right, and the paths ...

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