electromagnetism

How to get massive particles from gold.

After having explored our economic analogy for the force of electromagnetism, let us turn to the weak force.

Current physical theories suggest that beautiful symmetries underly the fundamental particles and forces of nature. We describe those symmetries using an analogy from economics, and even rediscover the famous Higgs boson.

Now let's look at the economic analogy for electromagnetism.

We'll start our series of articles with a look at the force of electromagnetism.

And finally, here is how the famous Higgs boson gets into the picture.

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Maxwell's equations we talk to physicist John Ellis about what they mean for modern technology and our understanding of the Universe.

This is the second article in our four-part series exploring quantum electrodynamics. After successfully applying quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic field, physicists faced a problem of boundless proportions: every calculation they made returned infinity as the answer.

You may have heard of quantum theory and you probably know what a field is. But what is quantum field theory? This article traces the development of quantum electrodynamics in the first half of the 20th century. Hair raising difficulties, heroic struggle and illustrious characters — this story has it all!

This is the third article in our four-part series exploring quantum electrodynamics. After struggling with a theory plagued by unwieldy infinities an ingenious trick put QED back on track.

This is the last article in a four-part series exploring quantum electrodynamics. After a breakthrough that tamed QED in theory, the stick-like drawings known as Feynman diagrams, policed by a young Freeman Dyson, made the theory useable.

In the first part of this article we explored Landau's theory of phase transitions in materials such as magnets. We now go on to see how this theory formed the basis of the Higgs mechanism, which postulates the existence of the mysterious Higgs boson and explains how the particles that make up our Universe came to have mass.

  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.