, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 49-71

The physical state space of quantum electrodynamics

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Starting from the fact that electrically charged particles are massive, we derive a criterion which characterizes the state space of quantum electrodynamics. This criterion clarifies the special role of the electric charge amongst the uncountably many superselection rules in quantum electrodynamics and provides a basis for a general analysis of the infrared problem. Within this framework we establish the existence of asymptotic electromagnetic fields in all charge-sectors, find a general characterization of infra-particles and introduce a notion of asymptotic completeness.

Communicated by R. Jost