Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 49–71 | Cite as

The physical state space of quantum electrodynamics

  • Detlev Buchholz


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.


Quantum Electrodynamic Background Field Local Observable Asymptotic Completeness Superselection Rule 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Detlev Buchholz
    • 1
  1. 1.II. Institute of Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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