Near Fields and QED
In the famous Drei–Männer–Arbeit from 1926, one of the central papers on matrix mechanics, Born, Heisenberg, and Jordan quantized the free radiation field . For simplicity, they worked in one space dimension and ignored the polarization of the electromagnetic waves. As anticipated by Ehrenfest twenty years earlier , the field behaves like a sum of independent harmonic oscillators. Upon quantization, the photon and (infinite) zero-point energy concepts entered the stage. The Drei–Männer–Arbeit, together with Dirac’s studies of the spontaneous emission process [294, 295], mark the birth of quantum electrodynamics (QED), and in a broader sense quantum field theory [296, 297, 298, 299]ll other fundamental “particles” are elementary quantum excitations of some sort of underlying field [156, 157].